1 Monday, 19 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good
8 afternoon to everybody. This is case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor against
9 Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I'd
11 like to say good afternoon on behalf of the two Judges present here today
12 to everybody in the courtroom; the accused, the Defence teams and the
13 Prosecution, and everybody else in this courtroom.
14 First of all, I would like to explain why there are only two
15 Judges sitting this afternoon. As I said last week and the week before,
16 for professional reasons linked to the internal duties of the Judge,
17 Judges to go back to their countries, pursuant to Rule 15 bis (A), the
18 Judge will be absent, which allows us to continue our proceedings within
19 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
20 I would like on behalf of the Judges absent and the two of us
21 Judges present to extend our condolences to Mr. Coric because of his
22 father's demise. When we were in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we were told by your
23 Defence counsel that your father's health was deteriorating and all
24 measures were taken for you to be allowed to go back to your country, and
25 that was done last week. So I would like to express the Chamber's
1 condolences, and I'm sure that everybody else joins me in expressing our
2 sympathies for you for having lost a father.
3 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you. I'd
4 like to thank you for allowing me to attend my father's funeral.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We now have a new witness. The
6 witness is present. But before we have the witness shown in, I'd like to
7 give you some information, and I would like to turn to the Prosecution
8 with respect to (redacted), who is to come in due course. I think
9 that Counsel Kovacic wants to say something. Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Kovacic, microphone.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise. Your Honour, with
12 your permission, I'd like to make an oral submission, and I think it is
13 linked to the situation that we find ourselves in at present. This is it:
14 I consider that the Prosecution, over the past week, linked to bringing in
15 (redacted), (redacted), is proceeding in a manner which
16 makes it impossible for the Defence to prepare themselves to cross-examine
17 the witness and to prepare for the witness in general. And it is in that
18 sense that I'd like to suggest that the Trial Chamber issue instructions
19 and guidelines to the Prosecution in order to ensure a just and fair
20 trial, and that is that the Trial Chamber should make rulings in order to
21 ensure a fair trial. This is the matter in hand.
22 The first point I'd like to raise is this: The Prosecutor is
23 providing the wrong information to the Defence teams, and of course to the
24 Trial Chamber in the same way, with respect to the scope of the expected
25 testimony of that witness. Specifically speaking, this is how things
1 stand: You know full well, because you received the same documents from
2 the Prosecution that we do, that with every witness we are able to extract
3 from the viva voce witness list, to extract the portion which relates to
4 the witness in question, and several days after that, usually before the
5 witness is brought in, the Prosecutor supplies us with what is known as
6 the proofing chart, which is a more detailed list in which they state the
7 documents that they're going to use with the witness during that witness's
8 testimony, and also they provide us to references of paragraphs in the
9 indictment and the counts in the indictment as well. And that proofing
10 chart should, in fact, be a list which you, Your Honours, pursuant to your
11 order of the 30th of November, 2005, asked for. However, it still does
12 not contain all the elements.
13 Now, one the differences between those two lists or charts is the
14 following: In the first viva voce witness list, we are provided with a
15 summary of that witness's testimony, and there is a column in which the
16 paragraphs and counts are listed, and the names of the accused are stated
17 to whom those paragraphs or counts relate, at least as far as -- what the
18 Prosecution considers to be relevant.
19 Now, this other material in the proofing chart, as a rule a series
20 of paragraphs and counts in the indictment are added without mentioning
21 the names of the accused specifically. However, the names of the accused
22 to which testimony relates is something that can be found out if you look
23 at the numbers of the paragraphs of the indictment, the numbers listed,
24 because in the proofing chart, you'll see that it relates to paragraph 7
25 and 8 of the indictment, then it is quite obviously my client because he
1 is the accused related to those paragraphs.
2 Now, what happened in this case, in the case of the documents
3 which refer to (redacted), that during the -- in the viva voce
4 list, that is to say the first listing, the Prosecution states that that
5 particular witness will speak about Stojic, Praljak, and Petkovic. Now,
6 in the proofing chart, when you take it paragraph by paragraph in order,
7 you will find that that particular witness, with respect to the
8 paragraphs, also this refers to the accused Prlic, then later on you come
9 across the accused Coric, and a little further down you will come across
10 the accused Pusic, and then you come to paragraphs which relate to all the
11 accused, paragraphs in which all the accused are named, either where the
12 legal arguments come in or at the end of the whole -- all the paragraphs.
13 So I think that this procedure is contrary to your ruling - that's
14 my first point - because it makes it impossible for us to see where
15 they're going because we have a contradiction between the two papers,
16 between the two documents, which is contrary to your ruling and tends to
17 cloud the issue generally, because the Defence, when it examines the list,
18 finds it difficult to assess which facts relate to which accused and so on
19 and so forth, and how this will be linked to the evidence and the
21 So the first argument is that the Prosecution is providing the
22 wrong information to the Defence and, by the same token, to the Trial
23 Chamber with respect to the scope and subject of the testimony, which
24 affects our preparation.
25 Now, the second point is this: Along with that, the Prosecution,
1 much too late, discloses documents linked to the witness, and especially
2 is running late with the translations into the language which the accused
3 can understand. And when they hand out the material - and when I say
4 "material" I mean the 66 -- Rule 66 material and Rule 68 material
5 disclosure - and in order to save time I'm not going to interpret things
6 here or present separate arguments and say that documents pursuant to Rule
7 66 should have been disclosed far earlier on, and I would like to say that
8 usually we get them just before the witness appears. So a lot of those
9 documents were not disclosed on time, but I don't want to dwell on that
10 for the moment.
11 So in respect of this witness, the Prosecutor first of all sent in
12 extensive material to the Defence which related to the witness, which is
13 predominantly -- which was predominantly in Spanish. I do not consider
14 that to be disclosed to us, because Defence counsel are not duty-bound to
15 know Spanish. They are duty-bound to know English or French, and of
16 course they know their own language, B/C/S, but it is not a requirement
17 for them to speak Spanish.
18 Now, on the 14th of June, the Prosecution, in the EDS system,
19 disclosed another portion of the material, and we don't know, nor were we
20 told whether that material relates to that particular witness alone or
21 whether it also includes that witness. After that, the Prosecution -- and
22 let me say that we contacted during the weekend -- the Prosecution during
23 the weekend or, rather, on Friday and Saturday, I sent them two letters
24 myself. The Prosecution on Friday evening, so on the 16th of June, that
25 is, at 1800 hours, when people are not in their offices any longer, sent a
1 fax with an index and an attending letter and said that the package
2 contains 40 new documents, an addition of 40 new documents, which were not
3 stipulated in the proofing chart, and the list's there. And let me also
4 say that that listing was not a complete one because it begins with page
6 Now, the next morning, that is to say on Saturday morning, the
7 17th of June, we were able to pick the material up in our pigeonholes, the
8 material provided by fax to us, and that's what we did. We fetched the
9 material. And I must say that the Prosecution was very obliging, because
10 it put it all on CD, on compact disk, and we were provided with two copies
11 of the CD so that we could provide our clients with one of those CDs since
12 the CD has a lot of the texts already translated into B/C/S. Although I'm
13 very grateful for that gesture, for providing me with a compact disk on
14 Saturday morning, I must say that I need four and a half minutes for
15 copying the CD, so thank you for saving those four and half minutes of my
16 time, but let me say that we need a lot of days and many staff to check
17 the list against the charts.
18 So it was only on Saturday that we were provided with the
19 documents, including the translations into B/C/S, but unfortunately, up
20 until this point in time, according to my information, we are still
21 lacking 160 translations into the language which the accused understand,
22 give or take two or three documents, but roughly speaking approximately
23 160, because it's become a forest, very dense forest, and you can't count
24 all the trees.
25 Anyway, I think that this is very irrelevant, because we still do
1 not have all the translations available.
2 Pursuant to the rules of the detention centre, the Defence is not
3 able to provide the accused with the material and documents before Monday
4 morning because we don't have access during the weekend unless we are --
5 make a request of the Trial Chamber to allow us to do this if we have
6 received the documents during the previous week, which means that in
7 actual fact the accused cannot be given the material and documents for
8 this week. Specifically this relates to Wednesday of this week. And you
9 should also bear in mind the fact that the material and documents which,
10 according to the Prosecutor's allegations, we were given connected to
11 (redacted)is four thick binders, and they total 281
12 documents, and they are mostly very long, extensive documents on many
13 pages. Of those 281 documents, as I say, 160 of them, approximately, have
14 still not been translated. So I don't have to explain to you that we
15 cannot look at those documents nor can the accused look through those
16 documents in the space of two days and give me instructions, whereas the
17 accused were there, of course, I was not. Nor can the Defence teams with
18 all the teams and staff working with them can do this. And I want to be
19 benevolent to the Prosecution and say that I can't even leaf through 160
20 documents let alone anything else.
21 So as I say, the Defence did contact the Prosecution. We told
22 them of the situation. We communicated by phone, but we weren't able to
23 convince them of anything or prevail upon them in any way.
24 I think that, based on these events, this makes it impossible for
25 the Defence to work normally, particularly because we need reasonable time
1 to go through such a large number of documents and prepare for the
2 examination. And I think you are quite aware that the burden of proof is
3 on the Prosecution. They are the active part. The Prosecution has to
4 decide when they're going to bring in what witness. So it is up to them
5 to see whether they have the material that they need to disclose and
6 provide the Defence with, whether they have all the translations of the
7 material, and whether they have indeed disclosed the material to the
8 Defence in a reasonable scope of time. If those conditions are not met,
9 they cannot go ahead with their witnesses, because this is a constant race
10 and we're always lagging behind because the Prosecution doesn't seem to be
11 able to see if they have everything they need to have and to coordinate
12 that with the timetable and scheduling of the witnesses. Of course I'm
13 not even going to mention the Defence's work on the weekend, Saturday and
14 Sunday, and I mean all the Defence teams, all the Defence counsel and the
15 staff, because that's become -- become quite usual and customary. I
16 myself am personally ready to give up my weekends but I must say that it's
17 difficult to make my whole team do so. We have to work every Saturday and
18 every Sunday, and that has gone beyond all limits. But even if we leave
19 that point behind, I would like to focus on my main points.
20 And let me also just mention one matter. Your Honours, perhaps
21 you feel that we are exaggerating. You also know that there is a schedule
22 and a timetable and that we have to have -- proceed at a certain rate, and
23 I think we're lagging behind already. And now the Defence, to make up for
24 that lagging behind, they want to make it up at the debit of the Defence.
25 And as you know, the Defence teams have limited resources and limited
1 personnel, and we have no possibility of increasing our resources because
2 the limits are set by the Registrar.
3 So I would like to propose that (redacted)
4 planned for this week be deferred, be postponed. Second, that the Trial
5 Chamber should indicate to the Prosecution that the materials they plan to
6 use along with any witness, including (redacted), must be disclosed at
7 least three weeks before these people testify, in the official languages
8 of the Court and the languages understood by the accused, pursuant to Rule
9 66 and Rule 68. And thirdly, that the proofing chart should be prepared
10 in such a way as was required and demanded by the Trial Chamber in its
11 ruling or to find a compromise solution to improve transparency because
12 there is no transparency for the time being. You cannot say that that
13 witness is going to address matters referring to the Accused X and then
14 you see that it wasn't this X, it was Mr. Y or whatever. So that method
15 has to be improved in the interests of transparency, and it must become
16 quite clear, explicitly stated to which accused the documents refer.
17 So those are my proposals, Your Honour. I'm of course at the
18 Court's disposal for any additional explanation that you would like to
19 have from me.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Counsel Karnavas,
21 just a few minutes, please. I think everything's already been said.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I just want to be a little more concrete to some
23 extent. What this entailed was this: Us getting the material
24 approximately 7.00 on Friday afternoon. Our staff would look at it on
25 Saturday. I had two staff members working Saturday and Sunday full time
1 just to put the material in binders and collate it and organise it,
2 realising that there's also 40 additional documents.
3 Now, you might say, well, (redacted)is not going to be
4 here until Wednesday, but we're preparing for Monday and Tuesday, and it's
5 impossible to be in court doing your job and at the same time knowing that
6 you've got four binders to go through.
7 In this particular case, we have at least one accused, and that is
8 Mr. Praljak, who has specifically indicated that he wishes to actively
9 participate in his own Defence, but each and every one of the accused is
10 entitled to assist in their own Defence and one way of assisting is to go
11 through the documents and have them in a language which they can
12 understand and appreciate.
13 Now, just to highlight one point Mr. Kovacic made. The
14 Prosecution chooses when they're going to bring in these witnesses. There
15 are lots of witnesses that are not documentary witnesses, a lot of
16 witnesses they can bring in that don't cause a dilemma. When they do
17 these things, it really stresses the Defence to its absolute limits, and
18 it -- and this is becoming a trial by attrition. There is only so much
19 that we can do. We have a limited budget, but it's exhausting, and this
20 is not a fair process.
21 Lastly, what I want to point out is an observation that I over the
22 weekend, thinking about what happened last week with Mr. Beese. It took
23 approximately 45 minutes, at the most, to introduce all of the documents
24 that Mr. Beese -- through Mr. Beese that the Prosecution wished, documents
25 generated by the -- the European observers.
1 Now, based on what you've already told us, Mr. President - and I
2 totally agree with you - is that when a document comes in, that entire
3 document in its totality is fair game, any part of it. But think about
4 it: Mr. Mundis said that if he were to spend one minute on each document,
5 it would take approximately six hours. When you have all those documents
6 being introduced within a matter of 10 or 15 minutes, and then if we go
7 back to our approach of our time, the Defence time, should be equal to the
8 Prosecution's time, you can see where the problem lies. And we're going
9 to have a problem with all of these documents because we're responsible to
10 go through all of them at one point or at some point.
11 I think the Trial Chamber may wish to reconsider or at least think
12 about the possibility of first requesting from the Prosecution that they
13 make some sort of a demonstrable effort to tell us, to show us why a
14 particular document is relevant, rather than asking the witness, "Is this
15 relevant to the period at hand?" I think the onus is on the Prosecution,
16 or on the moving party, to show why a document has some indicia or
17 relevancy to this particular case. At least that might narrow the number
18 of documents. But I think we need to know concretely why a particular
19 document is being introduced by the Prosecution. I think that's only fair
20 when they're bringing in all these documents. I just throw that out. I
21 ask you to consider it, and I'm sure you will. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Counsel Karnavas.
23 Before I give the floor to the Prosecution for the response, just
24 a few observations on my part. If my colleague Judge Trechsel wishes to
25 intervene, he will do so, but as far as I'm concerned this is what I would
1 like to say, and I'm just speaking in my own name. I was aware of the
2 problems that you have raised, and I have been aware of them since
3 November, because I know that those kinds of problems will inevitably
4 arise, first of all because there are a lot of documents in this trial,
5 and secondly because I thought that -- I was sure that the documents
6 wouldn't be all translated on time in the language of the accused. So for
7 that reason, I did ask in November -- I asked the Prosecution to provide
8 me with the chart, the proofing chart, the chart with witnesses, the
9 exhibits, the paragraphs -- relevant paragraphs of the indictment, and all
10 the other indications with respect to responsibility and accountability of
11 7(1) and 7(3) of the accused.
12 Now, as you know, that request of mine was not complied with
13 integrally. Unfortunately, we saw that the Prosecution wasn't able to
14 comply with the November ruling, or not entirely with the November ruling.
15 Now, with that in mind, the Prosecution did tell us that in
16 September they would provide us with that famous chart, which would be a
17 response to the ruling made by the Chamber and so that we could have this
18 by the beginning of September, that we could have a comprehensive and
19 integral vision of everything that is going to happen in the future. But
20 from this time onwards until September, especially for the witnesses
21 coming in in June and July, the Prosecution will also have to provide for
22 those witnesses a list of witnesses and exhibits.
23 I listened to what you said very carefully. I listened to the
24 explanations, and I think you said that on -- you said on Friday, around
25 about 7.00, that the Prosecution sent you information, faxed you
1 information, or e-mailed you information of the material that they were
2 going to provide you with, and then you found out that among all those
3 documents there were actually 281 documents, you said, and among those
4 281, 160 had not yet been translated into B/C/S. You also just told me
5 that you had to work on Saturday morning, and that because of the rules
6 governing the Detention Centre you were not able to contact your clients,
7 so that the accused only had knowledge of those documents as of today.
8 I'd like to tell you that I am highly aware of the difficulties
9 that the Defence in general encounters, and that is why I as the Judge
10 would like to say that the Defence must be given the necessary time to
11 meet with the accused and to be able to discuss with the accused the
13 Now, if they are unable to meet with the accused and discuss these
14 problems on a weekend, then I don't see what we're going to do and how the
15 Defence counsel will be able to meet with their clients.
16 Now, a few months ago I said that in view of the nature of these
17 proceedings where we have a record number of exhibits, it seemed to me to
18 be important, both for the Defence and for the Prosecution and for the
19 Judges, that the Defence be able to have the necessary time accorded them
20 to be able to do their work and also to have enough time to meet with the
21 accused. For that reason, I suggested that you should have the freedom on
22 a Friday, that you should be able, on a Friday and on Monday morning, to
23 have meetings, that is to say to have meetings with your clients on Monday
24 afternoon and to be able to prepare for the cross-examination.
25 When you have a case with several hundred documents, of course
1 this can be done very quickly, but in this particular trial and with
2 (redacted), which you have 281 different documents, and certain trials
3 have introduced as many documents in a short space of time as were
4 introduced during a whole trial. So I'd like to tell you that I'm very
5 aware of the problems in hand, and in our ruling of November I wanted you
6 to have an overall view of the Prosecution's intentions, and I take note,
7 together with you today, that you are encountering difficulties.
8 Having said that, we have to ensure a -- a speedy trial. That
9 does not only mean expeditious. A speedy trial means that we must respect
10 all the facets of a proper trial, a just trial. And when you have tens of
11 thousands of documents, then those documents have to be studied, and the
12 questions raised in those documents must be pertinent and useful to the
13 Judges. So I understand fully that the Defence teams have many questions
14 to raise with respect to documents, and those were voiced by Mr. Karnavas
15 as well.
16 So those are the problems that we're all faced with, all of us
17 together, and I personally think that, at the very least, the Prosecution
18 should provide the Defence a fortnight before they bring in a witness all
19 the documents listed which will be used. And, of course, those documents
20 have to be translated because, as you have already indicated, you are
21 there to help the accused, to assist them, but you have to work together
22 because the accused give their own observations on the documents and
23 thereby build up a defence strategy. And as you very rightly underlined,
24 there are certain accused who want to ask the questions themselves. So
25 the accused must have the documents provided in their own language. Of
1 course, if you don't know Spanish, how can you be expected to interpret
2 documents that are in Spanish? These quite impossible. So we're faced
3 with a very real problem here.
4 Now, you're asking that we postpone the (redacted)
5 (redacted). There are two ways of proceeding: Either to postpone it for
6 a period of time or go ahead with the examination-in-chief and postpone
7 the cross-examination. But having listened to you, another idea -- I have
8 got another idea, and I don't understand why we can't bring in witnesses
9 where there are no problems with the documents and the translations, and
10 bring in the international witnesses later on, at a later stage. Why not
11 bring in fact witnesses first where we don't have this problem of
12 documents and language, and then leave the important international
13 witnesses, ambassadors and other internationals, until a later stage?
14 Well, we have so far had a mixture. We had internationals, we had
15 fact witnesses, and so on, and of course this has led to problems.
16 Without further ado, the Prosecution can go ahead, unless my
17 colleague Judge Trechsel wants to take the floor.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
19 would first of all like to hear the Prosecution.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel Ibrisimovic. I'm
21 going to give you the floor and then the Prosecution.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I see
23 another problem here which could crop up, and that is the introduction of
24 new documents. We started with a list of 9.490 documents, which was
25 provided. We have 9.607, which means more than 100 new documents within
1 the space of a month.
2 The Defence made no objection, but I fear that there must -- might
3 be a hyperproduction of documents, and that this figure of approximately
4 10.000 will be overstepped. So it is my proposal that we have a meeting
5 scheduled in future to see how we can get round this issue and help us --
6 help all the parties concerned.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, there won't be
8 10.000 documents, but several thousand additional documents, perhaps,
9 which is a real problem.
10 I'm going to give the floor to the Prosecution now. May we hear
11 their sentiments on the different problems that were raised, and let me
12 say that we've already spent almost an hour discussing this.
13 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Your Honours Mr. President and Judge
15 In connection with -- well, let me say many things have been said
16 in the last 45 minutes. I will try to touch upon those that seem to me
17 the most basic, and of course if I miss something, I'm sure the Chamber
18 will correct me.
19 In terms of the general observation -- some of the general
20 observations made by counsel, I must say the Prosecution takes exception
21 to that in -- for the most part. I suppose it's a bit of the old saying
22 whether the glass is half empty or half full. The Prosecution has for
23 many months now engaged in very, very extended and substantial efforts
24 dealing with a large -- undoubtedly a large volume of complex material,
25 and for the most part I think the disclosure and the preparation has gone,
1 if I may say so, I think for the most part rather well. So we do not
2 accept any broad allegations or criticisms of any wide-scale problems in
3 this respect.
4 I say this in this context as well, in terms of the frequent
5 references to the number of -- the size of the Prosecution team. I can
6 assure Your Honours as I stand here this afternoon that if you look around
7 the courtroom and, including the lawyers of the Prosecution that are
8 outside this courtroom, there are substantially more lawyers and case
9 managers and paralegals working for the Defence than there are for the
10 Prosecution. And if anyone disputes that, I will be happy to put our
11 rosters side by side. It is simply not true. Our team is working
12 extremely hard. Our teams work on the weekend as well, almost all
13 weekends, as I did myself this weekend. Indeed, everyone, I'm sure, on
14 both sides -- all sides, are working very hard.
15 Again, I take exception to the allegation that there is
16 substantial discrepancies between the Rule 65 ter summaries and the
17 proofing charts. Yes, indeed, as we have said repeatedly, when a witness
18 comes to The Hague, some of whom have not been seen for a substantial
19 period of time, provide some additional information or clarification, that
20 has to be reflected and often leads to some supplemental disclosure, but
21 by and large, Your Honour, we do not accept that there are any substantial
22 contradictions or discrepancies between the original summaries and those
23 that are provided on a more recent basis. Don't -- don't -- do not accept
25 In terms of the allegations that has been made about the -- which
1 witness goes to each accused, again I think there is a misunderstanding
2 and I think that's being used or mischaracterised in the nature of the
3 evidence. As we said in our 65 ter witness list filing on the 19th of
4 January, 2006 - I'm referring to page 2 of our filing, paragraph number
5 5 - "Except as expressly indicated in paragraph 230 of the amended
6 indictment, all of the evidence is against all of the accused. Using the
7 illustration of a more usual case involving only one accused, all the
8 Prosecution is against that accused. There is no one else or nothing else
9 against which some other part of the evidence is used. All of the
10 Prosecution evidence is against all of the accused except where we have
11 specifically stated to the contrary. All the crime base evidence goes to
12 all of the accused. All the common jurisdictional element evidence goes
13 to all of the accused."
14 So we did not in our charts and do not now list for each item of
15 evidence all six names every time, because that would be entirely
16 repetitive and redundant, for every piece of evidence to put all six
17 names. We have in some instances where a particular document or a
18 particular witness substantially talks about a particular accused by name,
19 and we know that by reading the statement, then we have indeed put that --
20 endeavoured to put that in all of our summary material or our disclosure
21 material, but by and large, if there is any effort by the Defence to make
22 some broad distinction that this goes to this accused, this goes to this
23 accused, this goes to this accused, that is a misunderstanding of --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel please slow down for the
1 MR. SCOTT: My apologies to the interpreters. The vast majority
2 of the Prosecution evidence goes to every accused because we have to
3 establish the crime base for the counts of the indictment that go to each
4 of the accused. Again, where there is something that is very specific as
5 to a particular accused, we have endeavoured to highlight that. So again,
6 we reject -- with all respect to Mr. Kovacic, I do not accept the broad
7 criticisms that he has made toward the Prosecution in this respect.
8 Now, in connection with the Spanish Battalion materials, Your
9 Honour, I just want to look at my notes and make sure that we shouldn't be
10 in private session. I don't think we need be for this purpose.
11 There has indeed been some difficulty with this particular set of
12 materials because of -- they not only have to be translated, first of all,
13 into English, or at least one of the official languages of the Tribunal,
14 which in this case, for better or worse, happens to be English, and
15 secondly, they have then to be translated into Spanish. So this
16 represented a situation -- excuse me, B/C/S. My apology. This represents
17 an absolute doubling of the work involved, and the Tribunal does not even
18 employ, regularly employ Spanish translation staff. All this material has
19 been had to be sent outside the institution to contract translators to
20 have these translations made. Now, I will be the first to say that I was
21 under the impression until late last week that we were further along than
22 we were, and I have to say that in all transparency to the Court. I
23 thought that more of the B/C/S translations had been completed as of the
24 end of last week. My most current information is that of the
25 approximately 260, or someone says 280, Spanish Battalion documents, a
1 little less than half have -- are presently in B/C/S. That's my
2 understanding. So indeed there are a number of B/C/S translations that
3 remain outstanding.
4 As to the English translations, an the official language of the
5 Tribunal, most of those have been available -- Your Honour, it is our
6 position that most of those have been available for some time.
7 Now, I would say, Your Honour, this: As to the Spanish Battalion
8 documents, I think -- and for the witness, I think we should proceed and
9 do the best we can. We don't know how we're -- the week may take us.
10 There are additional days before the witness is called. A lot of these
11 documents, like many of these reporting documents, just as the Chamber
12 will have seen with some of the ECMM documents, often it is only a
13 particular paragraph of a three- or four- or ten-page document that is
14 relevant to the case. One need not review the entire document because
15 there may be something in that report about something that happened in
16 Tuzla or somewhere else, or in Zagreb or in Belgrade, and the pertinent
17 parts of the material can often be identified in a much more limited way.
18 Now, having said that, I'm not dismissing -- let my say again I'm
19 not dismissing the volume of the work involved for the Defence as with the
20 Prosecution as well. I'm just suggesting that we go forward, we call --
21 (redacted)is here in The Hague, we present -- we take his testimony and
22 we conduct at least his direct examination and see where the week takes
23 us. (redacted)
1 Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I will summarise
3 briefly what you have just stated. You acknowledge that generally,
4 speaking, the Defence has reason to point to certain problems, although
5 not overall.
6 With regard to translations from Spanish into B/C/S, you say that
7 the services of those not employed at the Tribunal had to be used. This
8 is not your responsibility, but that is why some documents have not been
9 translated. You also pointed to the fact that the Spanish documents are
10 quite voluminous but that certain passages would be useful and relevant
11 for this case. You also say that with reference to events in Tuzla or
12 Zagreb, these do not relate to the testimony or, rather, the examination
13 of this witness. Furthermore, you say that you see no obstacle to
14 postpone the cross-examination of this witness when the Defence has all
15 the documents at their disposal.
16 I have taken note of and listened carefully to what you have said.
17 You have in fact not replied to any of the questions I put to you. For
18 example, why you don't bring in witnesses with whom there would be no
19 problem with regard to documents, leaving international witnesses until
20 the end of the trial. But of course it is up to you to decide how to
21 proceed and you leave open to the Judges the possibility of Draconian
22 measures. However, so far this International Tribunal has not issued too
23 many directives either to the Prosecution or to the Defence, leaving it up
24 to you to decide how to proceed.
25 This witness could be brought in and the cross-examination
1 delayed. I don't know whether Judge Trechsel has something to say.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ...
3 nevertheless, I wonder whether a broad discussion of general questions is
4 conducive to the speedy and rapid and smooth continuation of the -- of the
6 I think the Prosecution will be aware of the fact that the
7 preparation of the hearing of (redacted)did not run the way it has,
8 and I'm confident they will learn the lesson. I think for the moment the
9 best thing is to go ahead with interrogation this week, have the main, and
10 then probably for cross we will have to postpone that. I absolutely
11 accept that the Defence is right, and I think we could start with the
12 witness for today now. That would be my view.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave. Since
14 I have raised this issue, I cannot refrain from saying some things.
15 Of course, one of the possible solutions, which would go a long
16 way toward rectifying this imbalance and incorrect way of proceeding, is
17 to separate the cross-examination from the examination-in-chief. I would,
18 however, ask the Chamber, before issuing a definite decision about this,
19 to consider the following: The Defence can, of course, live with this,
20 but there are two problems. One, the Chamber hears a witness, and the
21 testimony consists of two parts, examination-in-chief and cross. This
22 gives the Chamber an impression of the testimony of that witness, an
23 impression of matters pertaining to weight, and so on and so forth.
24 This Tribunal and every court recognises the principle that both
25 -- it would be best that both parts were heard as a whole. Of course,
1 there will be cases when we will not be able to do that. However, when
2 such major and important witnesses are called, this should be avoided.
3 That's why I ask that when we have received all the translations and
4 prepared, we bring this witness in and hear the entirety of his testimony.
5 That's the first point I wish to raise.
6 Secondly, I will not respond to everything stated by the
7 Prosecutor, but I do wish to touch upon the following: I cannot agree
8 with what the Prosecutor says when he mentions the human resources
9 available to both sides. The Prosecutor says when we take into account
10 the whole team that we see in the courtroom today plus those in the
11 office, there are fewer of them than there are of us on the Defence side.
12 But my client is one of six accused. He could be tried on his own or
13 together with 16 others. But I as his Defence counsel am up against the
14 OTP. Each one of us is conducting his own defence, and according to the
15 rules of our profession and the rules of these proceedings, each one of is
16 duty-bound to conduct his own defence. Of course, we try to cooperate
17 whenever this is possible. But, Your Honours, the next witness and the
18 witnesses we are discussing now, I have to say that for these witnesses
19 each Defence team has prepared as if they were doing this on their own.
20 And another thing I have to say for the record, Your Honours: The
21 Prosecutor has given the Defence some good advice. He said you needn't
22 look into all the documents. Your Honours, I think I would lose my
23 licence to practice law if I were to behave like this, because if I could
24 find a single word or a line or a passage that makes this document
25 relevant, of course I have to read all this in order to find that word or
1 that line. Once I find it, I go further in my analysis.
2 Your Honours, you yourselves have imposed this as a rule.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. What you are saying is relevant and
4 interesting and understandable, but it's not really necessary to go
5 broadly into every argument of the other side just to keep your head up
6 and swimming maybe arm's length further down the stream. I wonder whether
7 it's necessary and I invite you to limit yourself to what we really have
8 to hear now.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I accept your
10 criticism. I just wish to point to two major examples.
11 I ask Your Honours to consider once again, because this is
12 becoming the pattern now. We also have Witness Beese. Is it in line with
13 the most important principles here to separate the direct and the cross?
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I support
17 my colleague Mr. Kovacic fully, and with respect to what we have said so
18 far, I have something to add very briefly.
19 Today, the OTP has confirmed that in the documents handed over to
20 us there are parts not directly linked to our indictment. If we look at
21 the documents carefully, we will see that there are entire documents which
22 are not linked either to the territory or the time frame of the
23 indictment, and there are some documents which do not refer at all to the
24 events described in our indictment. The central issue to be discussed
25 today is who is to select the relevant documents which are tendered into
1 evidence by the Prosecution? It is my impression that the OTP wishes to
2 simply shift all the documents at their disposal relating to certain
3 geographical areas, regardless of the places and times mentioned in the
4 indictment, to the Court and the Defence, asking them to make a selection
5 and find the relevant documents. I feel that this practice is
6 impermissible and that the Prosecution should be obliged to state
7 precisely for each and every document to which paragraph in the indictment
8 it refers. I feel that in this way the OTP will stop disclosing hundreds
9 of documents and will make it easier for all of us to conduct these
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall soon issue a written
12 decision in connection with the admissibility of documents. So we will
13 respond to this question. In the meantime, we have to proceed. Even if
14 delaying the cross-examination is not an ideal solution, the Judges do pay
15 special attention to the fact that the testimony of a witness should be
16 evaluated as a whole based on both the examination-in-chief and the
17 cross-examination, and we shall do everything in our power to avoid any
18 prejudice to you. The fact that the witness will return for the
19 cross-examination will give you ample time to prepare, and in this way
20 your cross-examination will certainly be more productive than it would be
21 were it to take place immediately after the examination-in-chief.
22 Because of all the problems that have arisen with translations of
23 documents, we shall postpone the cross-examination for (redacted)
24 until a later date, and the Judges feel unanimously that this is the best
25 solution. Should there be any scheduling problems, of course all this has
1 to be taken into account in order to ensure a fair trial.
2 We have now spent a whole hour on these issues, but of course
3 these issues had to be raised.
4 Before I ask the usher to fetch the witness for today, there is
5 one further point I wish to clarify. Next week, on the 29th of June,
6 Thursday, there will be a Plenary Session for all the Judges. This is an
7 important Plenary Session, and for this reason it would be a good idea for
8 the witness planned for next week to be here on Monday, Tuesday, and
9 Wednesday, to be examined on those three days, and we might have to leave
10 a witness for later.
11 Mr. Mundis -- Mr. Scott, do we agree? Private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 3321-3323 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are now in open session.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the usher please fetch the
21 witness. We have about 25 minutes left before the break.
22 OTP you have the floor. I said 25 minutes before the break, not
24 MR. BOS: I will keep that in mind. Before the witness enters,
25 maybe I'll just inform the Trial Chamber the relevant paragraphs and
1 counts that will be related to this witness. It will be paragraphs 63,
2 64, 66 and 67, and the relevant counts will be count 1, count 2, count 3,
3 count 8, count 9, count 15, count 16, count 17, count 19, count 20, and
4 count 21.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Bos. Thank you
6 for what you have just said.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 WITNESS: JACQUELINE CARTER
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, I'd just like to see if
10 you can hear me in a language you can understand. I'll be listening to
11 you. Can you hear me?
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I see that you're
14 speaking English. So you've understood what I've just said.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you take the solemn
17 declaration, could you tell me your first name, last name, and date of
18 birth, please.
19 THE WITNESS: My first name is Jacqueline, my surname is Carter,
20 and my date of birth is 8th of May, 1962.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me, madam, what
22 your current profession is.
23 THE WITNESS: My current profession, I'm a military general
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992, 1993, and 1994, what
1 was your function?
2 THE WITNESS: The same. I was still serving in the army as a
3 general practitioner.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, have you ever testified
5 before a court, an international or national court of law about the events
6 in Yugoslavia or is this the first time that you're testifying?
7 THE WITNESS: This is the first time that I'm testifying.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Would you now read
9 the solemn declaration handed to you by Madam Usher.
10 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
11 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.
13 Madam, just a few explanations from me before I give the floor to
14 Mr. Bos. You were cited as a Prosecution witness by the Prosecution.
15 You're going to start off by answering questions put to you by the
16 representative of the OTP - you already know him - and once he completes
17 his examination, the Defence counsel sitting to your left, who represent
18 the people sitting at the back, are going to ask you their questions
19 within the scope of cross-examination, and you'll see that there is a
20 difference in the way in which this is conducted. There is a difference
21 between examination-in-chief and cross-examination, where your answers
22 will be yes or no.
23 Now, there are two Judges sitting this afternoon, and we might be
24 asking you some questions as well. You have taken the solemn declaration
25 to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, which
1 excludes any mendacity, so please try and answer the questions as best as
2 possible. If you have any difficulties, please let us know.
3 So before the next technical break, we still have a quarter of an
4 hour, so we'll go on for 15 minutes, have a break, and then continue.
5 Mr. Bos, I give you the floor.
6 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Examination by Mr. Bos:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Carter. You told the Trial Chamber that you
9 were a military general practitioner. When did you join the army?
10 A. I joined the army in February, 1989.
11 Q. And could you briefly tell us your career in the army as of 1989.
12 A. I served my first two years as regimental medical officer in
13 Bielefeld, in Germany, and then moved to British military hospital
14 Iserlohn, also in Germany, to do an obstetrics and gynecology job, so
15 completing my general practice training.
16 In February, 1992, I returned to United Kingdom to serve in
17 Tidworth, which is a military base in the south of England, as a qualified
18 general practitioner and a regimental medical officer to the 1st Battalion
19 of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
20 While serving in Tidworth, I was informed that I was to move from
21 that post as and when the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Battle Group
22 deployed to former Yugoslavia as part of the UN force.
23 I joined that battle group in October, 1992, and served with them
24 for a six-month tour of duty. I then returned to the United Kingdom and
25 continued to serve as a military general practitioner in a variety of
1 bases throughout UK, during which time I did two further tours of the
2 former Republic of Yugoslavia.
3 I spent four years as a senior medical officer in Cyprus,
4 returning to UK in 2002 to assume a non-clinical post of regional clinical
5 director for army primary health care services based in the West Midlands;
6 and since May, 2005, I have been the senior medical officer in army
7 training Regiment Pirbright.
8 Q. Thank you. Ms. Carter. You just stated that -- that you had two
9 further tours in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Could you tell us
10 during which periods you were there again and where you were.
11 A. My second tour was in the handover from United Nations to NATO
12 forces from January to June, July, 1996, when I was based in Vitez, and my
13 third tour was in March to September, 1998, when I was based in Sipovo,
14 but in that tour I had the responsibility of being the senior medical
15 officer, and as such was responsible for the whole of the delivery of the
16 general practice service by British forces, so travelled through --
17 throughout the British area of responsibility.
18 Q. Thank you. I would like to focus your attention now on the period
19 the first time you were in the former Yugoslavia, which was from October
20 to April, 1993; is that correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. And you said that you were a medical officer attached to the 1
23 Cheshire Battle Group.
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Yes. And was this an UNPROFOR group?
1 A. It was an UNPROFOR group, yes.
2 Q. And was this unit also been referred to as BritBat?
3 A. It was, yes.
4 Q. Could you tell us under which chain of command you operated in
5 that unit?
6 A. The medical detachment that I was working with, our direct chain
7 of command was back to the National Support Element based in Tomislavgrad.
8 However, on a day-to-day basis, I worked for officer commanding Bravo
9 Company for 1 Cheshire Battle Group based in Gornji Vakuf, and indirectly
10 therefore on day-to-day basis also for Lieutenant Colonel Bob Stewart, the
11 commanding officer of 1 Cheshire Battle Group.
12 Q. What was your rank at the time?
13 A. At the time I was a major.
14 Q. Could you tell us what -- what your job description was.
15 A. I was responsible for the delivery of role one medical care for
16 the UNPROFOR troops based in Gornji Vakuf, other UNPROFOR troops who were
17 passing through our area of responsibility, and other specific aid
18 agencies for -- or NGOs, for example, UNHCR. By role one medical
19 facility, by role one medical care, I mean immediate lifesaving medical
20 treatment, stabilisation of casualties for extraction to a hospital
21 facility, and the delivery of day-to-day general practice family type
22 medicine, coughs and colds, and also providing and occupational health
23 facility, for example considering the effect of the environment in which
24 we were living, the factory and the dust and how that might be affecting
25 the soldiers' health.
1 Q. And how large was the medical team you worked with?
2 A. There was myself as the doctor, I had one medical sergeant, and
3 approximately ten junior soldiers which were a mixture of medics and
4 drivers. And during the period of the conflict, the fighting period, I
5 also had attached a small number of bandsmen from the 1 Cheshire's
6 Battalion themselves, because in the British army bandsmen are also
7 trained as a second trade as medics.
8 Q. Thank you. And what vehicles did you have at your disposal?
9 A. We had three kinds of vehicles. We had normal Land Rovers, we had
10 wheeled ambulances, and we had armoured ambulances, which I colloquially
11 refer to as 432s. Those vehicles are very old and do not have the
12 advantage of the armoured protection that you might associate with
13 armoured vehicles. For example, they don't have the chobham that is on
14 the side of a Warrior, but they are tracked vehicles and therefore look
15 like a tank.
16 Q. Just -- just to get back to your -- to a question that I asked you
17 earlier. You've been referring to "bandsmen" and maybe some of the people
18 here in the court don't know what bandsmen are. Could you explain what
19 bandsmen are.
20 A. In 1992, the British army had a very large number of military
21 bands, and each battalion more or less had a military band where the
22 musicians are also soldiers, and so those soldiers -- there isn't much of
23 a military role for playing a clarinet or a big bass drum, so they are
24 secondarily trained as medics and are sometimes used as stretcher bearers
25 as well.
1 Q. In what kind of building was the BritBat company regiment housed?
2 A. We were housed in what had been a -- a small factory complex which
3 was used for a light engineering company, the exact details of which I'm
4 not aware. There was still evidence of some of the machinery still in the
5 building, but on the whole the building was more or less empty at the time
6 that we were using it.
7 Q. Were you involved in the early inspection before the regiment
8 actually moved into this building?
9 A. As is traditional with British army deployments, the medical units
10 deploy early in order to have integrated medical support on the ground for
11 the incoming troops, and as such, once the site had been selected, that
12 the factory had been selected as the site for our base in Gornji Vakuf, I
13 moved up-country with the other command element of B Company ahead of the
14 other troops that were going to occupy the building, and as such was one
15 of the first -- I think there were about 20 of us who were first resident
16 in that building.
17 Q. And when you inspected that building, did you -- did you discover
18 any particular -- any particularity?
19 A. There were two areas of the building complex that caused concern.
20 One was in a small outbuilding where there was bloodstaining and what
21 appeared to be evidence of cerebrospinal fluid marking the walls and
22 extensive bloodstaining on the floor of that building. The bloodstaining
23 and cerebrospinal fluid was at a height of about five and a half to six
24 feet, so considerably a little bit taller than myself, and was associated
25 with evidence of what appeared to be human hair.
1 The second area was in what was the plant room for the boilers of
2 this building, where there appeared to be ropes, chains, and other
3 associated paraphernalia that were left in a -- in positions that led one
4 to postulate that that could well have been used as a site for torture,
5 including hanging insofar as that the ropes were hung over high structures
6 with nooses held -- with noose-like configuration of the ropes hanging
8 Q. You've been referring to feet, and maybe some of us in court are
9 not familiar with feet. Would you be able to tell us -- you're saying
10 around six feet. Would you be able to say how that would be in metres?
11 A. Approximately 1 metre 80.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you.
13 A. Apologies for my Englishness.
14 Q. And do you know which -- do you know who had previously occupied
15 the factory?
16 A. I was led to believe that the building had previously been
17 occupied by the HVO, and to that end I understood that a gentleman who I
18 recollect was called Avdo had been the HVO's representative left to
19 oversee our use of that building, and he remained working alongside us
20 during certainly the six months that I was there.
21 Q. And did you confront this Mr. Avdo with your findings?
22 A. We did. On inspecting the building and finding the two
23 aforementioned areas, it was raised with Mr. Avdo as to our concerns as to
24 what had gone on and as to whether in fact it was likely that this was --
25 particularly that this was blood and cerebrospinal fluid from a health and
1 safety perspective if nothing else. He was not prepared to answer our
2 questions and was quite dismissive and a little cagey about his responses.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may put in a question. How do you recognise
4 blood? That we more or less can imagine, but what about spinal fluid?
5 How did you know this was spinal fluid? Did you analyse the traces?
6 THE WITNESS: There is a very classic association between when
7 blood and cerebrospinal fluid are exuded from the body. There is a very
8 typical pattern of the way in which the blood and cerebrospinal fluid
9 separate and leave their two separate traces.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you perhaps explain what you mean by spinal
11 fluid. I must confess that I'm not quite familiar with the term.
12 THE WITNESS: Okay. It is the fluid that surrounds the brain.
13 It's the fluid that surrounds the brain and down the spinal cord. So
14 seeing cerebrospinal fluid implies that there has been significant brain
15 injury, with exposure of underlying tissues.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now a medical precision: The
18 liquid, if it is red, what -- if blood is red, what is the cerebrospinal
19 fluid's colour?
20 THE WITNESS: It is a very, very pale yellowy -- straw-type
21 coloured, very pale, but not as clear as water.
22 MR. BOS: Maybe now is a good time for a break, Your Honours. I
23 see the clock.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is a quarter to
25 four. We reconvene at approximately 4.05.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, please continue.
4 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Ms. Carter, before we continue, I just want to clarify one thing
6 and I apologise for not doing that at the start. What is your current
7 rank --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. No microphone.
9 MR. BOS:
10 Q. I don't know if -- I'll repeat the question, but -- so my question
11 was what is your current rank in the army?
12 A. I currently have acting rank, which means I am wearing the rank of
13 full colonel, but in fact I'm still actually a lieutenant colonel.
14 Q. And for this examination would you prefer I refer you to as
15 "Lieutenant Colonel" or "Doctor"? What is your preference?
16 A. I have no preference. It really doesn't -- I'm used to all.
17 Q. I'll refer to you then as Lieutenant Colonel Carter. Lieutenant
18 Colonel Carter, when the units moved into this base, this was the B
19 Company of the Cheshire group. Now, how many soldiers are contained in a
21 A. Normally a company is the strength of about 120 soldiers and
22 officers, but when deployed on ops - operations - that figure rises to
23 more like 150.
24 Q. And so were there 150 soldiers in the base in total or were there
25 any other units also occupying the base?
1 A. In addition to B Company of 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment, there
2 were also seven armoured workshops who are also of about -- strength of
3 about 120; and in addition, there were elements of an engineers support
4 unit as well as ourselves. We're not -- as a medical attachment, we were
5 also not included in the original figures of the Cheshire's Battle Group.
6 Q. So how many soldiers or persons would be in the base in total?
7 A. Approximately 300.
8 Q. And who was -- what was the name of the commander of the -- of the
9 B Company?
10 A. For the first part of the tour B Company was commanded by Major
11 Alistair Rule, 1 Cheshire, and towards the middle of January his tour of
12 duty was finished and he was replaced by Major Alun Jones, 1 Royal Irish
14 Q. What were your daily activities in the first two months of your
16 A. My primary duty, as I previously stated, was to provide medical
17 care to the soldiers in the camp. We ran a sick parade in the morning
18 usually, and another one in the evening, but were available to see
19 soldiers during the day and out of those hours if required. In addition
20 to that, part of my remit was, in order to understand the lay of the area
21 of responsibility that we were to look after, in other words, the Gornji
22 Vakuf opstina predominantly, and to understand the medical capability and
23 the medical facilities that were available on the ground to military and
24 civilian personnel, and to have an idea of the populations that those
25 medical facilities were serving, both from a military and civilian
2 Q. So is it fair to say that in those first few months you travelled
3 around a lot in the area?
4 A. I did. During those -- during those first few weeks, I spent
5 quite a lot of my time on the -- on the ground, visiting villages and the
6 town itself, getting to know local people and, in particular, the medical
7 personnel both in the town and in the outlying villages.
8 Q. And the area that was covered by -- by the B Company, was this the
9 opstina of Gornji Vakuf or was it a wider area?
10 A. It was -- it was predominantly the opstina of Gornji Vakuf, but it
11 did extend outside of those boundaries. For example, we had visit --
12 opportunity or cause to visit the village of -- of Here, which I
13 understand sat within the Prozor opstina rather than Gornji Vakuf, and we
14 also had cause -- or meetings, for example, in Bugojno also.
15 Q. When you would travel around in the area, what was your general
16 impression about -- about the area as far as it was affected by the war
17 against the Serbs? Did you witness a lot of destruction in the area?
18 A. When we first arrived in Gornji Vakuf, it struck me as a town that
19 was reasonably prosperous compared with some of the communities we'd
20 driven through on our way up. I was -- I remember recalling that there
21 was evidence of quite a lot of new buildings, particularly housing, being
22 put up. There was quite -- there was quite a lively community in the
23 centre of town, with shops open, cafes frequented by young -- young
24 adults, children playing in the streets. There were cars driving around,
25 and there was a -- an air of -- air of relative normality. In those early
1 days I do not recall seeing any what I would call war damage from small
2 arms or heavier weapon systems in Gornji Vakuf or surrounding villages at
4 Q. Thank you. And which ethnic groups were living in the Gornji
5 Vakuf area?
6 A. Gornji Vakuf was very much a mixed community of Muslims and Croat
7 families, and as -- and the time that we were there in those early --
8 early few weeks, we were made well aware that this was traditionally a
9 very happy, mixed community with a large number of mixed marriages. And
10 certainly when you spoke to lots of the children, they really didn't have
11 any idea from -- where they came from ethnically.
12 Q. Were there many -- were there Serbs in the area as well?
13 A. I was not aware of any Serbs in the Gornji Vakuf area.
14 Q. And, yes, you touched upon it already a little bit as far as the
15 relationship between the local Muslims and the Croats is concerned. So
16 you're saying in this first period you didn't feel that there was any
17 tension between those two groups?
18 A. Not when we first arrived. As we approached the back end, the
19 last end of -- the last bit of sort of December, 1992, it became
20 increasingly evident that relationships were deteriorating between the two
21 ethnic groups, both in the town and in the villages.
22 Q. And how was this noticeable?
23 A. Examples would include a lot of the ladies who -- Muslim ladies
24 were now seen wearing more traditional Muslim-style dress, including even
25 younger ladies, whereas previously it had been -- you saw it a little bit
1 in the older ladies, but now it was often in girls and teenagers and in
2 their early 20s. We had evidence of less vehicle movement. The cafes had
3 become noticeably quieter and often empty. The shops were much quieter,
4 and we had stories of, and I personally had firsthand experience of people
5 telling me that they were no longer able to meet with friends from the
6 other ethnic group.
7 Q. Were there difficulties for Croats or Muslims to -- to buy goods
8 in a shop which was owned by the opposite ethnicity?
9 A. Very much so. We had stories from people that we'd got to know
10 whereby they'd always bought their bread, for example, from a particular
11 bakery, and that was now no longer available to them because it was on the
12 wrong side of the ethnic divide.
13 Q. And this gradual division, was there a distinction on how it
14 developed in Gornji Vakuf town and the villages compared to the villages
15 surrounding Gornji Vakuf town?
16 A. When we'd -- when we'd first arrived, some of the villages were
17 either purely Muslim villages or purely Croat villages, but many of them
18 were -- were mixed and had no particular end of the village, east or west,
19 north or south, that was affiliated by either ethnic group. But towards
20 the end of December, 1992, there was -- it was noticeable that locals were
21 moving within their village to ethnic groupings, or -- or moving to a more
22 ethnically aligned village. So, for example, if you lived in a -- in a
23 mixed Muslim-Croat village, you might well choose to move down or up the
24 hill to a Muslim village if you were a Muslim.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, moving up a little bit, you know, towards --
1 towards the end of December, so you've testified that tensions increased,
2 were there any particular incidents that further, I would say, ignited
3 these tensions?
4 A. Two incidents that spring to mind about evidence to us of
5 increasing tension, the first of which was New Year's Eve, 1992. The
6 office commander in B Company, Major Alistair Rule, had chosen to invite
7 the two local military commanders, namely the BiH and HVO commander, for
8 dinner that evening. We had in the camp discussed whether we would choose
9 Christmas for the dinner, but decided that that was ethnically sensitive.
10 We had understood that both the commanders would be coming for dinner, but
11 in fact one of them did not turn up. I do not recall who didn't come, but
12 what I do recall is that he said that he didn't feel able to sit down with
13 his counterpart from the opposite ethnic group even in the company of the
14 neutral UNPROFOR base and surrounded by UNPROFOR personnel.
15 The second incident I recall was, in my memory, after that, so
16 probably the first week of 1993 when the -- it was an incident over the
17 raising of a flag. My memory is that that was a BiH flag that was raised
18 either within an HVO predominant area or next to an HVO flag. I cannot
19 quite recall what that was about. As a result of which that caused
20 immense anger and resulted in the BiH flag being torn down and set fire
21 to. And as any of us would appreciate, burning your national flag is a
22 very emotive subject. As a result of that, tensions became immensely
23 increased to the point that Major Rule had cause to bring in the two local
24 commanders to try and defuse the situation.
25 Q. How -- how did you learn about this incident with the flag? From
1 whom did you hear this?
2 A. I heard that from other military -- UNPROFOR British military
3 BritBat personnel in the camp. I wasn't actually on the ground at that
4 time. In that -- really from the beginning of January, I had finished my
5 tour of getting to know the ground, and with tensions becoming
6 increasingly difficult in the opstina, it was felt more appropriate for me
7 to be in the base at that time.
8 MR. BOS: I would like the witness now to be shown Exhibit 01068.
9 Q. This will take a moment.
10 A. That's okay.
11 Q. Do you see this document now?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Oh.
14 A. I can see it now.
15 Q. You can see it now. Now, first of all, do you recognise this
16 document? You know what it is?
17 A. It's the kind -- the daily infosums that are intelligence
18 summaries that are sent from the operations room of a location up to
19 higher formations. So these would go from Gornji Vakuf up to battle group
20 headquarters in Vitez.
21 Q. Do you know who would prepare these daily insums?
22 A. They would be prepared on behalf of the officer commanding, so on
23 behalf of Major Rule, by one of two people, either the ops-officer,
24 operations officer, who is Captain Robbie Boyd 1 Royal Irish, or on
25 occasions by the intelligence colour sergeant, who also worked in the
1 operations room, who was, I believe, was called Colour Sergeant Williams,
2 who was again 1 Cheshire cap badged.
3 Q. Now, with this particular document, I'd like to focus your
4 attention to the third paragraph, and maybe you could read that paragraph.
5 A. "At approximately 1500 hours on Monday afternoon --"
6 Q. Read it --
7 A. Oh, to myself.
8 Q. You can read it to yourself.
9 A. Okay. I have read that.
10 Q. Now, this report talks about the fact that the HVO raised a
11 Ustasha flag in town, and I think your testimony was that it was the BiH
12 who raised the flag. Would this be a different incident, or do you think
13 that this is the same incident?
14 A. I think --
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, madam.
16 The question, the way it's posed, calls for speculation. "Do you
17 think ..." He can just ask the question whether she knows, not whether
18 she -- I don't think we should be speculating at this point in time,
19 because there may be more than one incident.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
21 MR. BOS:
22 Q. Would this be the same incident that you have been referring to?
23 And I -- let me just first -- what is the date of this report?
24 A. We would need to go back to up the -- to the top. It's a little
25 unclear, but looks like 06-Jan-93.
1 Q. And would this be the same incident as you just had been referring
3 A. As I -- as I think I alluded to when I described the incident, A,
4 I was not actually on the ground to witness it myself; and secondly, after
5 12, 13 years, my memory's not entirely accurate as to the exact details.
6 What I do recall is that it was -- in my memory it was very much BiH, but
7 I'm only aware -- aware of the one flag-raising incident, so I would be --
8 I would believe that that is the incident to which I referred and that I
9 was incorrect in the recollection of which side had raised the flag.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know when the conflict broke out, the date?
11 A. I do not know -- I do not recall the exact date. However, I do
12 know that Corporal Edwards was killed on the 13th of January, 1993, and
13 that the fighting had been going for a very small number of days before
14 that incident. And I do also recall that the flag-raising incident
15 occurred very shortly before the outbreak of hostilities in Gornji Vakuf.
16 So I put the date somewhere between the 7th and the -- let's say the 11th,
17 something like that.
18 Q. And how did you personally notice that the conflict had started?
19 A. From my own personal experience, this was my first operational
20 tour, and I had little experience of the firing of variety of weapons all
21 at the same time. We got used, in that time, to rounds of AK-47 bullets
22 being fired off, and that became part of normal daily life to hear that,
23 but all of a sudden the intensity and complexity of the barrage of weapon
24 sounds that we heard was clearly much more than just random AK-47 rounds
25 and appeared to be consolidated bouts of small-arms fire in addition to
1 the introduction and first, from my own experience, first sounds for real
2 of heavier weapon systems.
3 Q. In those first few days that the conflict had started, did you
4 remain on the compound or did you actually go outside as well?
5 A. I remained in the compound for the first few days of the fighting
6 and, in fact, did not deploy out of our base until the shooting of
7 Corporal Edwards on the 13th of January, 1993.
8 Q. You've been twice referring now to the shooting of Corporal
9 Edwards. Could you explain to the Court what happened when Corporal --
10 Corporal Edwards was shot at.
11 A. The -- our UNPROFOR base was approached by a civilian from a local
12 Muslim area, saying that they had a female casualty who was severely ill
13 and in respiratory distress who required moving to a Muslim medical
14 facility and they were unable to, A, treat her in their own community; and
15 secondly, were unable to move her freely and without risk to her. And we
16 -- it was made clear to her that that would be -- for us to move her
17 would be in breach of our mandate, but Major Rule did agree that we -- we,
18 the UNPROFOR forces, would escort their vehicle. To that end, he
19 requested that I accompany that escort duty, travelling in the front
20 Warrior. The convoy became lead Warrior with myself as a passenger, the
21 -- the casualty's vehicle with the lady in it, and a rear Warrior.
22 Q. Can I just interrupt you for one second. You've been referring to
23 a Warrior. Can you explain what a Warrior is.
24 A. It's an infantry armoured fighting personnel carrier. So it looks
25 like a mini tank.
1 Q. Please continue.
2 A. We left the base about 10.30 that morning. It was the first time
3 I'd been out on the ground. We didn't -- the -- the town was quiet,
4 immensely quiet, eerily quiet, and to that end the vehicle was what we
5 called the mortar hatches were open; in other words, we were in the back
6 of the vehicle, actually stood up so you can actually see all around. We
7 drove, and as we approached the crossroads in centre of Gornji Vakuf we
8 realised the rear vehicle had swerved into the bridge, and that was
9 because the driver had sustained a gunshot wound to his face, wound --
10 bullet exiting out of the rear of his brain, and he was, for all intents
11 and purposes, killed instantly.
12 Q. What did you do when this happened?
13 A. The -- as I say, the front vehicle immediately reversed to
14 ascertain what had happened. The -- the vehicle carrying the Muslim
15 casualty had disappeared. I have no idea what happened to that. We then
16 what we call militarily, de-bused, got out of the vehicle, and assisted in
17 extracting Corporal Wayne Edwards from his driver's seat, which was
18 difficult because, in the crash, the electrics had failed so we weren't
19 able to pull the seat back and he was a fairly large gentleman, and we
20 then carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other lifesaving
21 techniques in the lee of the bridge for some protection for ourselves. He
22 was then -- I called up for -- I didn't -- I requested that one of our
23 ambulances came out, A, to provide me with assistance, and B, to extract
24 the casualty back to the base. At that time I knew that he -- he was
25 dead, but I wasn't going to certify him dead in the middle of the -- at
1 the side of a river. I felt that it was more appropriate to return to
2 base and -- and to do the necessary medicolegal checks to certify him dead
3 when we were back in camp some 30 minutes later.
4 Q. Do you know from which direction the shot came from that -- that
5 hit the corporal?
6 A. Immediately after the -- as I -- just -- as I'd said, it was
7 eerily quiet as we went into town. There was nobody around at all, and
8 there was no noise. So to hear a couple of rounds of small arms go off
9 was very noticeable. And on hearing those, looked up to the direction in
10 which I'd thought the rounds had come, and looked up and to the right of
11 the crossroads and saw what I believed to be two guys with a weapon stood
12 in an open window in a block of -- in a modern block of flats.
13 Q. Were these guys arrested afterwards, do you know?
14 A. There was a British military investigation into this incident, and
15 I understand that there was outrage from both BiH and HVO command on the
16 ground, and as a result of which an investigation was attempted. I don't
17 believe that anybody was -- was arrested. The hearsay or similar that we
18 got was that these were two previously known criminal brothers of Croat
19 extraction who'd probably used the war as an opportunity to continue some
20 of their criminal activity.
21 Q. When you were driving through Gornji Vakuf town, you said there
22 was an eerie silence. Was there any damage to buildings in the area that
23 you were driving through?
24 A. It was a noticeably different vista than I had seen previously.
25 The drive from our factory complex to the crossroads where the shooting
1 took place was through what was Muslim community, and it was -- it was a
2 marked amount of damage to civilian houses that I noticed. The hotel
3 which had sat on the crossroads was all but razed to the ground, and what
4 had been the town's main medical centre on the left as you drove in had
5 also received a not insignificant amount of battle damage.
6 MR. BOS: I'd like to show the witness Exhibit 01113.
7 Q. And Lieutenant Colonel Carter, once this document appears on your
8 screen, I'd like to ask you to read for yourself the first paragraph on
9 this page.
10 A. I have read that.
11 Q. Would this report reflect what you've just testified to us?
12 A. It would, yes.
13 Q. And what is the date of this report?
14 A. Again, it's not awfully clear to read but looks like "13 Jan 93."
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. It looks like something "Jan 93."
17 Q. Once the conflict had started, did there come a time after the
18 start of the conflict that you were taking up another function?
19 A. As the fighting intensified, Major -- the officer commanding was
20 approached by UNHCR and IRC as to whether, in view of the intensity of the
21 fighting, we - we UNPROFOR - could assist in carrying out some of the
22 tasks that they were supposed to be undertaking, because they were unable
23 to do so. As a result of that request, a meeting was held in the UNPROFOR
24 base with representatives from both of those organisations to look at
25 what, if anything, we could do in order to stay within our own mandate and
1 -- and theirs. OC B Company was clearly was fully occupied controlling
2 the military aspects of the deployment, and the OC of the workshops was
3 fully occupied in keeping the vehicles on the road. And thankfully, we
4 were not ourselves busy, and as such it was proposed and accepted that, as
5 the other senior officer in the camp, that I should take on that role, and
6 it also sat comfortably insofar as I'd already been out and about to the
7 villages, met the local sort of humanitarian representative in each
8 village, and had a feel as to the ethnicity of villages and number of
9 people living in those villages. So both agencies were happy that I could
10 take that on as a task.
11 Q. So -- so what was the result of this? What -- what did they ask
12 you to do?
13 A. They --
14 Q. And I'm referring now to IRC and UNHCR.
15 A. Yeah. They asked if we would be involved in the delivery of food
16 packages, the cardboard food parcels, and plastic sheeting for replacing
17 roofs and windows, because obviously in the middle of winter that was an
18 important part of their support to -- to towns and villages.
19 Q. And for how long did you -- did you take up this -- this task?
20 A. We took up the task only for a short period of time. They
21 delivered approximately 20 tons of aid to us and 20 tons of aid covering
22 -- covering such a large community doesn't -- doesn't go very far and
23 doesn't last very long, and as a matter of fact, we never needed to take
24 any resupply from them because they -- the situation became such that they
25 felt that they were able to -- to take it back on. So we did it for a
1 very short period of time.
2 Q. And how long is --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I -- I'm sorry, may I just ask a question of
4 understanding? What does IRC stand for? You referred to IRC. It's not
5 ICRC, by the way, the International Committee of the Red Cross. No.
6 THE WITNESS: No, no. It's an American --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: International Relief --
8 THE WITNESS: Committee, that's right.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: I've forgotten my question, I'm afraid.
11 MR. BOS:
12 Q. My question was that you said that you took up this task for a
13 short period of time, and my question is how long was this short period of
15 A. Oh, some five -- five days, seven days, 10 days, something of that
16 nature. It was a very short period.
17 Q. How did you transport this -- this aid to the villages?
18 A. The aid was transported nearly always in the backs of my armoured
19 ambulance, the 432, to which I've previously referred. Very occasionally
20 we would use the Warrior fighting vehicle, the Warrior armoured personnel
21 carriers for that purpose, but predominantly it was in the back of the
23 Q. And how would this in practice work when you distribute this in
24 the village? Could you explain that.
25 A. Yes. We would go invariably as a secondary tasking. The taskings
1 would be given by the OC as to where he needed to have troops on the
2 ground, and invariably we would then be invited to accompany that patrol.
3 Thinking out in the villages, that would then involve quite a lot of cross
4 -- crossing of checkpoints to get to where we were going, and often
5 crossing from HVO territory into BiH and back into HVO or whatever, and so
6 it was often quite a lengthy process. And invariably by the time we
7 arrived in whichever village we were going to, the local village commander
8 was aware that we were coming, presumably from messages from the
9 checkpoints that we'd driven through. And it was then a case of meeting
10 with the local humanitarian village commander to ascertain, from my
11 perspective, what requirements they had with regard to what casualties
12 they'd suffered within the community, what -- whether they'd had houses
13 damaged and as to whether they needed plastic sheeting, for example. And
14 as we'd already decided ourselves, but also in line with the UNHCR and
15 IRC, it was very much on a 50/50 distribution. So the distribution was
16 not based upon request for perceived need by them or by us. It was very
17 much 50/50.
18 Q. And in your opinion, were both ethnic groups also in equal need
19 for this humanitarian aid?
20 A. There was pre- -- before the fighting started, there was already
21 evidence that there was discrepancy between the - I'm not sure - we call
22 stock holdings of food and medical supplies on both sides of the divide,
23 but as the fighting intensified and the damage to Muslim-controlled areas
24 appeared to be greater, the -- the discrepancy between the need became
25 exaggerated, became more evident with the need on the Muslim side being
1 greater than on the Croat side.
2 Q. So you said already before the start of the conflict, you know, in
3 looking at the stockpiles, it appeared that the Croats would have more
4 supplies than the Muslims. Why was that?
5 A. The -- the locals themselves, before the fighting started, had
6 spoken to us about the fact that everybody had feared that war was
7 inevitable and that people had started to do their stockpiling in
8 anticipation of conflict. Because of fighting elsewhere and the large
9 movements of refugees around Central Bosnia, the Muslim communities were
10 reporting that they'd had larger number of refugees come to live in the
11 Gornji Vakuf opstina than -- than the Croats had and, therefore, the
12 communities which might have been, say, 50, if a village had been 50
13 pre-movement of personnel, it might now have risen to a hundred. And so
14 when you'd stockpiled for 50 and you suddenly had a hundred, it wasn't
15 going to go far enough.
16 Another example that the locals gave us from both sides was that
17 the Croat communities were quite heavily subsidised or supported from
18 Croatia, and also from Germany, whereas the BiH and the Muslim families
19 did not report having -- feeling that they had support from anywhere, and
20 -- and used to touch upon the feelings that they didn't have support from
21 the wider Muslim world, partly because of the type of Muslim religion that
22 they had in recent years followed.
23 There was also -- before the fighting started, I'd had, as part of
24 my understanding of the ground, had opportunity to visit both Caritas and
25 Merhamet in Gornji Vakuf centre, and it was evident there that both
1 communities had reasonably well-stocked warehouses actually in Gornji
2 Vakuf. I certainly saw -- I personally saw lots of Caritas wagons, I
3 rarely saw Merhamet, but Merhamet must have been getting there to supply
4 the warehouses. But that wasn't the case when you got out into the rural
5 communities where there seemed to be much more of a divide. And we tried
6 to ascertain whether that was a distribution problem or whether there was
7 difficulties with them actually getting into their own villages, and we
8 did have reports that at checkpoints, HVO checkpoints, the food was -- or
9 the distributions from -- by Merhamet were being confiscated. But -- and
10 obviously all of -- all of those various parts went towards causing a
11 discrepancy in two similar sized villages from the different ethnic
13 Q. And would that also be, I mean, a reason why that -- well, let me
14 ask you this: Was there a difference in the general standard of living
15 between the Muslims and the Croats?
16 A. There was. Pre -- pre the fighting, not a hundred per cent by any
17 stroke of the imagination, but there was evidence that on the whole the
18 Croat communities were more affluent than the Muslim communities, as I
19 say, not by least -- by any means was that unanimous. And it was often
20 around the more luxury end of goods. For example, the numbers of current
21 models of TVs, videos, fridges, microwave ovens were more evident in Croat
22 households than in Muslim households.
23 Q. Now, while you were travelling around in -- during the conflict in
24 January and February, 1993, to these various villages, did you ever get
25 opportunities to talk to the local villagers?
1 A. I had lots of opportunities throughout my tour to -- to talk to
2 local villagers. Invariably that was through interpreters, be they
3 UNPROFOR-employed interpreters or the military interpreter, and just
4 occasionally when we were on the ground without either, several of my
5 soldiers are German speakers, or were German speakers, and that was quite
6 often a language of -- the mutual language we could communicate in, and we
7 came across, of course, people who spoke potted English, and we'd learnt
8 the odd word or two of local language as well.
9 Q. And what would these villagers -- what kind of stories would these
10 villagers tell you?
11 A. Before -- before the fighting broke out or --
12 Q. No, after the fighting had broken out.
13 A. Once the fighting had broken out, the common theme from both Croat
14 families and from Muslim families was the disbelief as to the level of
15 hatred that had now arisen in such a short space of time and the feeling
16 that they, as local people, did not want the war and the fighting to
17 continue. And that, as I say, came from both -- both sides. With regard
18 to describing suffering and disturbing stories, they were predominantly
19 from the Muslim families that we met.
20 Q. What kind of disturbing stories would -- would they --
21 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, if I may intervene. The witness's
22 evidence does have to have some showing of probative value here, and so
23 far we're having stories related from people who haven't even been
24 identified through a medium of interpretation, sometimes British soldiers
25 speaking a level of German that we haven't even been told about. Your
1 Honour, there should be some showing of probative value for all of this
2 rather than just a generalised relating of the -- of these undefined
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. Would you try
5 and ask more precise questions, please, because if we remain at the level
6 of generalities, we won't get far.
7 MR. BOS: I was getting to that, Your Honours, and I will do right
9 Q. Witness, do you -- do you recall a specific conversation that you
10 had with a young lady about in her 20s?
11 A. I spoke with a young -- a young lady, a young Muslim lady in her
12 early 20s, who lived in a rural community. She was from that village and
13 was not originally from elsewhere.
14 Q. Do you recall the name of this village?
15 A. I'm afraid I don't. The --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: At this -- excuse me, madam. At this point I'm
17 going to object to hearing the rest of this story. One, we don't know the
18 name of this individual, unless it can be recalled; and two, we don't know
19 the name of the place, so we need a little bit more. But I think, how is
20 it possible for the Defence to challenge evidence of this nature? Albeit
21 this Tribunal does allow quite a bit of hearsay, I think now it's a little
22 bit so far removed that it makes it impossible for the Defence to
23 challenge such evidence.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Try and have the witness
25 speak more specifically, give us an idea of the village she met this young
1 lady in, and things like that. Thank you. Was it within 15 minutes of
2 where she was, or half an hour, two hours?
3 MR. BOS:
4 Q. Witness, you've heard what the Judge said. Can you be a bit more
5 specific about where, in which village this was? Would you recall
6 anything more specific?
7 A. I can't recall the -- I can't recall the name of the village.
8 What I do recall is some -- some idea of where within the opstina, and I
9 apologise for those who don't know the roads to which I refer in Gornji
10 Vakuf, but if you come to the crossroads in the centre of the town and
11 turn right as if you were going towards Bugojno, and the -- once you've
12 left the outskirts of the -- the town, and then turn right up into the
13 hills along there, and the village was a reasonable way up sort of windy
14 rural -- rural roads. The travel time from the base was in the region of
15 20 to 30 minutes' drive, but allowing for that, some of that was through
16 roughly roads.
17 Q. Was this a Muslim village or a Croat village or a mixed village?
18 A. It was a Muslim village.
19 Q. So please continue. I don't know where you left off, but you were
20 talking to this girl, and what did she tell you?
21 A. She described how the previous night she had been awoken to find a
22 number - two or three - unknown males in her room who she took to be HVO
23 soldiers because of the dress that they were wearing and the insignia that
24 they had on. She was then -- she then described that she was raped by
25 these soldiers and that she'd been prevented from screaming by them
1 covering her mouth. There were other ladies living in the house at the
2 time, and she was not aware whether any others had been raped.
3 When I was speaking to her, she was clearly upset. She was
4 dressed in Muslim dress, and I appreciate I do not know her name. I don't
5 believe I even asked her her name at the time. She was in her early 20s.
6 She had long plaits, and she was forever taking her headsquare off and
7 playing with her plaits and putting it back on, which I took to be part of
8 her anxiety. She was comforted by a much older lady who I took to be a
10 Q. Did you speak with her in English or did she --
11 A. I was working through one of our UNPROFOR female interpreters, and
12 on that occasion, as was quite often the case, it was an all-female
13 environment, insofar as that although I had male soldiers and drivers with
14 me, they invariably stayed outside to let the young children in the
15 village climb all over the vehicles and just play, and they were
16 protecting the vehicles as well. So quite often it was all ladies in the
17 room with a female interpreter, because both of our UNPROFOR interpreters
18 were female, and myself.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, did you report on this incident?
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did. Yes, I did, sir.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Did you report in writing?
22 THE WITNESS: I -- it was not -- not the modus operandus of B
23 Company to report things in writing. They were given as verbal reports
24 back to the chain of command, either the ops-officer or the officer
25 commanding, and it was left for them to deal with.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And do you know what was the consequence of this
3 THE WITNESS: That particular incident I do not. It was very
4 often that when I came -- when we'd been out on the ground, not only
5 myself but other people reporting incidents back, if there were incidents
6 of concern, then the officer commanding would organise to meet with
7 either, either, or both of the local commanders in order to ascertain
8 their understanding of stories that we had been given by -- from the
9 locals that we'd met on our trips.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Did you yourself follow up on this
12 THE WITNESS: I -- I did not follow up on this story other than,
13 as I say, to report it back to the chain -- to the chain of command.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Kovacic.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think this part of
17 the examination-in-chief and this story about the rape has no place here,
18 it should be redacted from the transcript, because the incident is not
19 mentioned in the indictment nor the paragraphs quoted as being relevant
20 paragraphs, nor does rape exist in the indictment, rape in Vakuf, Gornji
21 Vakuf or, rather, the Vakuf municipality or opstina. That does not exist
22 in the indictment. We have been taken by surprise. We did not conduct an
23 investigation into any of that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I turn to the Prosecution.
25 The Defence has said that rape in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf is not
1 included in the indictment. So would you continue your examination on
2 important points, but if this is not in the indictment, or perhaps you're
3 laying grounds for a question that you're going to ask in due course.
4 MR. BOS: Your Honours, the reason why I led this evidence is
5 because of paragraph 60 -- 67 in the indictment, which talks about the
6 general attack on the villages in Gornji Vakuf, and which says that
7 "during their detention, Muslim men, women, children and elderly were kept
8 in harsh conditions and often mistreated and/or abused." And it's
9 particularly to this paragraph that I'm referring to.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may --
11 MR. BOS: Mistreatment and abuse of civilians in the area.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel Kovacic.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I think that we can all read and we
15 can call read the paragraph, but I still don't see the crime of rape in
16 that paragraph. It cannot come under the description as it is presented
17 here. So that is our standing objection, objection to the unclear form of
18 the indictment.
19 That's my first point. And in paragraph 66, if we look at the
20 annex following on from this, then we see the locations, and in view of
21 the objection made by my colleague, my learned colleague, we don't know
22 where this happened, so the Defence cannot prepare for this. It cannot
23 conduct an investigation into the incident before the cross-examination.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In paragraph 67 there are four
25 localities; Dusa, Hrasnica and the other two places. I apologise for the
1 poor pronunciation. Dusa, Hrasnica, Uzricje and Zdrimci. And it goes on
2 to speak of plunder and burnt houses. Now, I'm going to ask the witness
3 or you can ask her whether she saw burnt houses, destroyed houses, and
4 whether the woman in question spoke about -- referred to any of this. So
5 we have paragraph 67 where the places are mentioned. So would you focus
6 on the question and the answer. We're either losing time or we can focus
7 on the heart of the matter. But perhaps we'll see where you're -- this is
8 leading to with the follow-up questions. Otherwise, I'll ask the
9 questions myself.
10 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'll move on to a -- I was finished with
11 this topic anyway. I'll move on.
12 Q. Witness, were you also involved in the distribution of medical
13 supplies to various medical centres in Gornji Vakuf?
14 A. During the -- during the -- during the time, we were involved in
15 having an understanding of the medical capability within the town and
16 within the villages, but the issue of distribution of medical supplies
17 rested quite firmly with Medecins sans Frontieres and Pharmaciens sans
18 Frontieres, and as such we didn't actually distribute medical supplies,
19 but I had an understanding of what was available to various medical
21 Q. Did you visit the medical facilities in Gornji Vakuf town, the
22 Muslim and Croat medical centres during the conflict?
23 A. During -- during the conflict I had cause to visit both the main
24 medical centres for the HVO Croat population and the BiH Muslim
1 Q. Could you explain a little bit about -- could you explain what --
2 what about the situation was in both of these facilities.
3 A. Starting with the -- with the medical centre in the Muslim side,
4 their main medical centre was located in a converted house. It had been
5 converted quite late because the main medical centre in the centre of town
6 was predominantly in -- if I understand to be a Muslim area, and the
7 medical facility was now based around normal household equipment. For
8 example, there were no hospital beds, they were the kind of beds that you
9 would have found in a normal home. There were, for example, beds squashed
10 in together. Say there were five -- five or six beds squashed together in
11 what had been a room, but on one occasion I recall going and visiting, and
12 in order to get sufficient casualties on the beds, the casualties were
13 actually laid sort of the other way, and so in fact there were getting on
14 twice as many casualties as there were number of beds, if that makes
16 There was no store facility as such and the medical supplies were
17 stored in what had been the kitchen cupboards and living-room cupboards.
18 The supplies were very limited.
19 Q. And how was this facility compared to the Croat medical centre?
20 A. The Croat medical centre, the main medical centre in Gornji Vakuf
21 was based in the crypt of a large church. It was a very spacious facility
22 including having a dedicated surgical capability, insofar as, if I
23 remember correctly, right deep in the -- in the church, a room which had
24 two proper surgical tables, is my recollection, with dedicated surgical
25 lighting. I don't recall whether that was hospital-style surgical
1 lighting or just use of civilian lighting appropriately positioned.
2 The storerooms were exceedingly well -- exceedingly well stocked.
3 I remember being shown into a very large storeroom with shelving and
4 supplies floor to ceiling. The -- they had quite a number of medical
5 staff from their -- from the local area. I remember particularly meeting
6 the female gynaecologist who was from Gornji Vakuf herself, and I also
7 remember meeting a dental officer who actually didn't come from Gornji
8 Vakuf, came from somewhere considerably north, outside of the -- outside
9 of the whole area, but he'd moved there for family -- for family reasons,
10 to be closer to his own family.
11 Q. During this period, January, February, 1993, when you went around
12 in the area, did you ever notice any damages to property in the villages
13 that you -- that you visited?
14 A. There was extensive damage to property throughout the area, but by
15 far and away to Muslim communities. There was lots of villages that were,
16 for all intents and purposes, completely destroyed, where 90, 95 per cent
17 of houses were -- were now uninhabitable. And -- and in reference to one
18 of the comments from -- from the Judges earlier, I am aware of -- of
19 houses that were -- that were burnt as part of the conflict as well.
20 Q. You've mentioned destruction of houses. Was there also other
21 property? Did you also witness other property that was damaged or
23 A. Yeah. The -- invariably in a community the religious centre of
24 the village, be that the church or -- or the mosque, would have some
25 evidence of -- of damage, but I do not recall ever seeing a church tower
1 damaged other than superficial splats from munition strikes. However, I
2 do remember vividly seeing minarets that were destroyed quite often with
3 the metal structure that sits inside to hold the -- hold the tower up
4 exposed and bent, and often the minaret actually sort of toppled over.
5 And I also do not recall ever seeing damage to Christian graveyards, but I
6 do recall damage to Muslim graveyards with knocking over of headstones,
7 graffiti, and used as a sort of pivo throwing away area. Often lots of
8 cans and bottles of beer in the graveyards.
9 Q. When you've been referring to destroyed minarets and mosque, can
10 you think of any particular villages?
11 A. I recall -- the one that strikes in my mind is probably the
12 village of Bastrica, for two reasons: It was close to us. It was a
13 village we'd been to regularly. It was a village where the -- there was a
14 sniper working out of the church tower who was pinning down local Muslims,
15 and ourselves too, made it quite difficult for us to operate in Bastrica.
16 In the church, less small arms damage was -- the tower was very much
17 standing whereas the minaret in Bastrica was closer to horizontal than
19 Q. Was there a difference in the type of destruction you observed in
20 Gornji Vakuf town and the villages you observed in the opstina?
21 A. I think in the -- in the town, the -- the damage to -- to property
22 was much more that which would be attributable to the rigors of war
23 fighting, be from small arms and larger munitions, artillery shells, for
24 example, landing on roofs and sides of buildings. Whereas although there
25 was evidence of that to a lesser extent in the outlying villages, the
1 damage seemed much more to be related to houses being burnt and left
2 uninhabitable from that rather than the house half falling down or the
3 roof falling in.
4 Q. When you visited these villages and noted this destruction, were
5 reports made about this type of destruction, and by whom?
6 A. Once again, when -- after every trip out there was a requirement
7 to provide a briefing back to the operations room and/or the officer
8 commanding, and to report what you -- what one had found on the ground,
9 conversations you'd had with military and civilian personnel, to talk
10 about how easy it was or not easy to get to the place, to provide grid
11 references of checkpoints and, therefore, as part of that would be to
12 describe the -- the state of property within the village or villages we
13 had visited.
14 Q. How detailed would these reports be as far as destruction is
16 A. It would be -- it would usually be along the lines of giving a --
17 an estimate as to the percentage of damage, the type of damage, and any
18 significant structures that had been damaged.
19 Q. Was anything particular noticeable in the villages where -- in
20 mixed villages where both Muslims and Croats would live, as far as
21 destruction is concerned?
22 A. With regard to the destruction, it was markably noticeable, the
23 difference between the amount of destruction on the Muslim side compared
24 to the Croat side, with the Muslim side being considerably more noticeably
25 damaged. Again, Bastrica springs to mind. The -- I had with me a -- an
1 SLR camera with a wide-angle lens, and I had a photograph of the centre of
2 Bastrica, being able to get sufficiently far away to get both sides, and
3 the BiH side is in effect razed to the ground, whereas the -- the -- the
4 Croat side is -- is -- is much -- it is damaged but much less so.
5 Q. Now, we've spoken a lot about destruction in the village, and I'm
6 going to ask you now do you recall any names of any particular Muslim
7 villages that stood out as being heavily destructed?
8 A. Yeah. The -- there are five or six villages' names that have
9 stuck with me since -- since my tour, and I guess at the time there were
10 many, many more villages, the names of which I knew off the back of my
11 hand, but the villages that have stuck in my mind are the villages of
12 Bastrica, Dusa, Hrasnica, Uzricje and Zdrimci. I apologise if the
13 pronunciation of those is not helpful. I also remember Vrse and I think I
14 remember that because it was one of the easier ones to say and only had
15 four letters in its name, whereas the others were quite difficult for my
16 non-linguistic English tongue.
17 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'm noting the time. I don't know if we
18 need a break now or we need to continue for a little bit longer.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue for another ten
20 minutes. You have ten more minutes.
21 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 01373. I'd request
22 that the second page of this report to be shown to the witness.
23 Q. Witness, could you please read -- read for yourself the paragraphs
24 numbered as A, B, and C.
25 A. I've read those.
1 Q. You've been referring to the villages of Zdrimci and Vrse, which
2 have been referred to in this report. Is -- the report on the destruction
3 of the houses in this particular report, does that correspond with your --
4 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, may we at least establish what this
5 document is and whether the witness has any knowledge of it before she's
6 asked questions about it, please?
7 MR. BOS: I could do that, Your Honours. If we can move to the
8 first page of the document, please.
9 Q. Witness, do you recognise this report?
10 A. I do indeed. The previous -- I think it was the previous document
11 I was asked to look at, talking about Corporal Edwards' death, was a B
12 Company milinfosum. Those company milinfosums are then consolidated by
13 the operations officer of the Cheshire's Battle Group in Vitez and form
14 then a Cheshire's Battle Group milinfosum which is then sent to higher
15 formations. So this is a conglomeration of the various company reports
16 from the -- from the date stated. So --
17 Q. And what is the date stated?
18 A. 31st of January, 1993.
19 Q. And if we can move again to the second page. And, yeah, I had
20 already asked. Is the reporting on the destruction of these villages, is
21 that in concurrence with your experience in the field?
22 A. Yeah. That's very much as -- as my experiences were on -- on the
24 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 01600, please.
25 Q. Again, Witness, what kind of document is this? Do you recognise
1 this document?
2 A. Again, it's from the 3rd of March, 1993, and it's the 1 Cheshire's
3 Battle Group milinfosum, and therefore covers the reports from not only B
4 Company's AOR - areas of responsibility - but also the areas of
5 responsibility of the other Cheshire companies.
6 Q. And maybe -- could you read out loud for us paragraphs A and B of
7 this report.
8 A. "The village of Uzice, grid reference 068666 had 80 per cent of
9 its housing destroyed by external HVO/HOS troops during the ethnic
10 conflict. The only houses remaining in the village are predominantly --
11 are reportedly Croat houses."
12 Paragraph Bravo: "The hamlet of Dusa grid reference 070672
13 formerly 100 per cent Muslim has been totally destroyed. Only one old man
14 is now believed to be living in the village."
15 Paragraph Charlie --
16 Q. That's okay.
17 A. Okay.
18 Q. Alpha and Bravo is sufficient.
19 MR. BOS: I think, Your Honours, this may be a good time for a
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We're going to take a
22 20-minute break and reconvene at approximately ten to six, and we will
23 shall be working until 7.00 p.m.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.29 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, please continue.
2 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 1386, please.
3 Q. Witness, could you look at this document and tell me whether you
4 recognise this document. Oh, sorry. It was still the old one.
5 A. Yes, I do recognise it as a 1 Cheshire milinfosum, dated the 1st
6 of February, 1993.
7 Q. Move to page 2, please. Witness, I'm interested in the second
8 part -- paragraph, and I'd like you to read out the last sentence of this
9 second paragraph.
10 A. "There has been extensive damage to many Muslim villages,
11 including the almost total destruction of the village of Hrasnica which
12 has obviously created much fresh hatred toward the Croats."
13 Q. Was this the name of the village that you mentioned earlier as one
14 of the villages that had extensive destruction?
15 A. It was one of the villages that I named earlier, yes.
16 Q. Was -- another village that you mentioned earlier was the village
17 of Dusa. Did you ever visit the village of Dusa?
18 A. I did visit the village of Dusa.
19 Q. Do you know when you visited?
20 A. Yeah. I visited Dusa in -- once the fighting had started, towards
21 the end -- towards the end of January, 1993. I don't remember the exact
22 -- the exact date.
23 Q. Do you remember the reason why you visited Dusa?
24 A. I do not -- I do not recall why -- why we were going to Dusa, but
25 as I previously stated, it would have been under the direction of OC B
1 Company rather than of my own request.
2 Q. Tell me what -- what happened when you -- when you visited this
4 A. As we -- as we came into the village, we were met by a very
5 distressed community, and in particular we were met by somebody who spoke
6 a little bit of broken English, but -- and therefore was trying to tell us
7 the story in English, but we -- we actually had an interpreter with us, so
8 we were able to communicate through an UNPROFOR interpreter and not rely
9 on his broken -- their broken command of English. And the story we were
10 given was that the village had been attacked by HVO soldiers - it was a
11 Muslim village - and that the women, children, and elderly men had been
12 herded into the two houses that were sitting, as we drove in, on the
13 right-hand side of the village. They were partially constructed.
14 Partially constructed. Very nearly finished, but partly constructed
15 houses. And in the process of the attack, the men of fighting age,
16 including some that, we were reported, were probably slightly too young to
17 be counted as fighters and slightly too old to be counted as fighters but
18 nevertheless had been counted as fighting age, had been herded up and the
19 majority of them forced into the backs of trucks to be taken away.
20 When we asked as to where they believed them to be taken, they had
21 no idea, although they said that they feared that they would be taken away
22 to detention facilities and that in fact that would be less preferable to
23 them being taken away and killed because the suffering that their menfolk
24 would suffer in a detention facility would be greater than that of being
25 killed. But they also told us about some that had been killed actually in
1 the village whilst they were there but that those bodies had already been
2 taken away by -- by these HVO soldiers.
3 Q. When -- when you say that -- you know, that people had been
4 killed, do you know who had been killed? Did they tell you? Were these
5 Muslim men or civilians, or were they more specific on who was killed?
6 A. They told us that it was out of the group of men of fighting age
7 that had been killed but that they were not fighters, and that's why they
8 were still in the village.
9 Q. Did you walk around in the village?
10 A. We did. We were escorted by the same guy who -- who had met us
11 and were very much under his direction as to where we were -- where we
12 went. From our perspective, that was fine because he'd obviously walked
13 around the village already, and from a military perspective certainly
14 concerned that areas might be booby-trapped or mined and so we were not
15 going to ask to go anywhere where he wasn't prepared to take us. We
16 didn't want to become casualties ourselves. And --
17 Q. Yes. What did you notice as you were walking around?
18 A. What he -- what he showed us was -- appeared to be the -- all of
19 the houses within the village. We certainly couldn't see, you know,
20 houses that he didn't show us, if that makes sense. And there were about
21 -- about 20 houses of which all but the two where the women and children
22 were appeared to have been set on fire and -- and destroyed. There was
23 little evidence of munitions damage to the buildings. There was a few
24 impact -- impact marks but nothing of any great note. And it would appear
25 that the incident had happened fairly recently insofar as you could still
1 smell the burning in the air and one or two of the buildings were still
2 not actually alight but were still smouldering.
3 Q. Did the person who guided you around stop at some specific houses?
4 A. The house that -- there was one particular house that he wanted us
5 to be made aware of which was towards the left-hand side of the village as
6 we walked round and was about a third of the way into the village, and he
7 told us that men had been forcibly taken into the basement of the
8 building, and that's where he believed that they'd been shot and killed.
9 Q. And what did you notice about the basement of these -- of these
11 A. We didn't go into the basements, for reasons that I've previously
12 described, but because of the lie of the land and the slope and the
13 ground, obviously being on -- not absolutely flat, you could see into the
14 basements, and there was evidence of -- of bloodstaining and what appeared
15 to be, but looking from a distance, human hair, but as I say, looking from
16 -- from a distance. There were no bodies in the building.
17 Q. And -- and had these houses also been destroyed by fire?
18 A. They had, yes.
19 Q. And the basement as well?
20 A. Yeah. Yeah.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Do you -- are you saying that there were traces
22 of blood which, according to what you saw, in your judgement then were
23 posterior to the burning?
24 THE WITNESS: As -- as -- not that I've -- in my experience when a
25 house is burnt, that you can have areas where it doesn't burn and areas
1 where it does, and so I wouldn't like to say which came first. I wouldn't
2 be forensically in a position to say which preceded the other, the blood
3 or the fire.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
5 MR. BOS:
6 Q. Witness, after you visited Dusa, did you ever spoke with some -- a
7 local HVO medic about this?
8 A. I did. A day or two later, I -- I was visiting a nearby HVO
9 village very close by. My recollection is that -- if I had a map it would
10 be sort of the adjacent run of villages. As the villages run up and down
11 the hills, adjacent village. Not up and down but sort of across the
12 hillside. Who was an HVO medic, and he asked if I was aware of what had
13 gone on in Dusa, because he'd had cause to tend to some casualties, and he
14 went on it tell me that he could not believe the inhumanity that had been
15 inflicted on the people of Dusa and that he understood that they
16 were fighters from outside of the local Gornji Vakuf area for two reasons,
17 because, A, he didn't recognise any of them, which is what the villagers
18 told us, that they didn't recognise any of the guys who had come in the
19 village, but also that he had been told that that was the case, that the
20 people who had been to Dusa were not Gornji Vakuf personnel but from --
21 but from elsewhere, although he didn't say from where.
22 Q. Witness, you just said that -- that he said that he -- that this
23 HVO medic said he couldn't believe the inhumanity that had been inflicted
24 on the people of Dusa. Was -- was this the only thing he said, or was he
25 more specific as to what kind of inhumanity had been inflicted?
1 A. He was talking about the brutality of the way in which the people
2 were -- were handled, and the way in which the women and children had been
3 forced to go where they'd been forced to go, the way in which the guys had
4 been -- the -- the male members had been put into the -- into the trucks,
5 and what he described as the murder rather than the killing by fighting of
6 -- of the individuals concerned.
7 Q. And was he more specific about the individuals concerned as to who
8 had been murdered? Because you've also said that he had cause to tend
9 some casualties.
10 A. Yeah. Yeah.
11 Q. Who had been --
12 A. He said that they were men. He'd seen -- as casualties, he'd seen
13 people who were trying to run away, to flee away, and not that he'd been
14 part necessarily of the -- of the incident and that they -- that they
15 became -- they became involved sort of as a -- as a subsidiary to.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could I ask for some precision here? I'm not a
17 native English speaker, as you hear quite well. The term "casualties," as
18 I understand it, can have several meanings, or does it only refer to
19 people who actually died or also to people who were wounded? And if it
20 has these double -- these double meanings, do you have an idea whether
21 your interlocutor spoke of one or the other or both?
22 THE WITNESS: The term -- the term "casualty" we'd come to use as
23 being those who were injured as opposed to the dead who were the other
24 group, and that's a distinction that's quite clearly and freely made
25 within military speak and reporting, because when we're sending -- when
1 we're sending casualty sitreps from the ground, we quite clearly
2 distinguish between the injured and the dead, and we have a grading to
3 describe -- to describe that. So we were quite clear that a casualty is
4 an injured person, and that does not therefore include the dead. The dead
5 are --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
7 MR. BOS:
8 Q. Witness, you've also mentioned the village Uzricje. Did you ever
9 visit Uzricje?
10 A. I did visit Uzricje. Uzricje was one of the villages that often
11 came up in discussions and as an area of concern within B Company's
12 location and therefore was, shall we say, quite often on the visiting rota
13 of villages and, as I say, I was therefore in a position to visit Uzricje
14 as part of the B Company.
15 Q. Did you just visit it just once or on several occasions?
16 A. I visited Uzricje on several occasions. I'd certainly visited
17 Uzricje before the fighting started, so the back end of 1992, and visited
18 it during the period of more intense fighting. And if I remember rightly,
19 I have also been to visit it sort of when it was much quieter and really
20 not very much --
21 Q. And what do you remember of these visits and particularly the ones
22 during the conflict?
23 A. During -- during the conflict, it was a village that had suffered
24 very badly, and was -- showed evidence of lots of damage to -- to
25 property, again with lots of burnt-out houses rather than -- although
1 still with evidence of munitions damage to houses.
2 Q. Were Muslims still living in the village?
3 A. The village was very -- had very reduced number of inhabitants
4 over the -- over the time that -- that we were visiting. And by the end
5 of the time, it's one of the villages that I remember as being really
6 essentially abandoned.
7 Q. And what was the condition of these Muslims who were still in the
8 villages? What were their living conditions?
9 A. Living conditions in many of the Muslim villages was dreadful.
10 Q. In particular, in Uzricje.
11 A. It was dreadful. The very -- people tending to live together in
12 the houses that were least badly damaged, so living very, very many in one
13 small house, leading very much a hand-to-mouth existence with regard to
14 how much food they had and other sort of staples of life. Like everybody
15 else, they didn't have electricity, but then that was true for everybody,
16 less ourselves and some of the headquarters facilities in Gornji Vakuf.
17 Q. Are you saying that throughout the period of January, February,
18 there was no electricity in any of the villages or Gornji Vakuf town?
19 A. No, no, no. The medical facilities had generators and military
20 establishments, and so command-post type places had generators, but I
21 think the greater the problem than generators was fuel supply for those
22 generators. And one of my abiding memories is looking out and seeing
23 absolutely no lights, and it felt like forever, forgetting what the street
24 lighting or night light looked like.
25 Q. Witness, let's move on to another topic. Did you ever participate
1 in cease-fire meetings or negotiations of cease-fires?
2 A. Because I spent quite a lot of my time out and about on the
3 ground, and because I was aware of some of the, in the broadest sense,
4 humanitarian consequences of the fighting and had been given stories from
5 local villagers of the kinds of events that had gone on in their village,
6 I was on occasions invited to sit in and participate in cease-fire
7 negotiations that were convened and chaired by OC B Company.
8 Q. And who would be representing the ethnic groups in these meetings?
9 A. Many of the meetings that were held were attended by the local
10 commander from HVO forces and from BiH forces, but there were occasions
11 where commanders from higher formations were in attendance.
12 Q. Do you recall any particular meeting where, like you say,
13 commanders from higher formations were in attendance? Do you recall any
14 particular meeting and any particular person who -- who would be a
15 commander of a higher formation?
16 A. The one that I remember most vividly was a gentleman I believe to
17 be known as Colonel Siljeg who was from the higher command of HVO forces.
18 I believe he came from Mostar, although I'm not absolutely certain.
19 Q. Did you ever attend a meeting in which Colonel Siljeg also
21 A. Yes, I did. There was one particular meeting around the same sort
22 of time as -- as sort of the back end -- back end of January time. So
23 around the same time as Dusa. I don't remember if it was before or after,
24 but around that sort of time, but --
25 Q. Do you remember the topics that were discussed at this meeting?
1 A. Yeah. There were two main topics that were discussed. One was
2 over the allegations or reports that we'd had from local populations that
3 the HVO were intending to use tankers, petrol tankers from the hillsides
4 outside Gornji Vakuf, to roll them down the hill, set fire to them, with a
5 view to wiping out Muslim communities in order to put a stop to the
6 fighting once and for all and to ethnically --
7 Q. This was a rumour that -- that --
8 A. That we'd heard, yeah, from quite a lot of sources within the
9 Gornji Vakuf opstina. And at that meeting, there was also debate - I
10 believe it was the same meeting - the debate about body exchange and --
11 and setting -- setting up body exchanges. I don't believe the body
12 exchange that actually did happen was actually agreed at that meeting. I
13 believe it was initially discussed, and other themes for that meeting.
14 That was the main thing talked about at that meeting. Other themes, again
15 trying to seek clarification about allegations that we'd had about the use
16 of outside -- outside troops to augment HVO fighting capacity.
17 Q. What did Colonel Siljeg say about that particular topic, about
18 whether the -- about the involvement of outside troops in Gornji Vakuf?
19 A. He -- he denied that HVO forces from elsewhere were -- were
20 coming, but did say that he saw Gornji Vakuf as a main thrust, as we would
21 say in military terms, a main focus for -- for fighting.
22 Q. The main focus for whom?
23 A. For the HVO. And it was one of their central objectives, I guess,
24 would be the military term.
25 Q. Did anything particular happen at that meeting as far as
1 Mr. Siljeg was concerned that -- that kept in your mind?
2 A. Yeah. At that particular meeting, it was a very disjointed
3 meeting insofar as Colonel Siljeg continued to receive numerous telephone
4 calls into our operations room downstairs. The meetings were held in the
5 officers' mess room upstairs, and Colonel Siljeg was forever getting calls
6 in the ops room and so breaking the meeting, going downstairs and taking
7 the call, and coming back upstairs, and a short while later getting
8 another call and going back down and --
9 Q. Did you ever say whom he had to call?
10 A. Yeah. He reported that he was talking to his higher formation and
11 that during the course of the -- of these telephone calls up and down he
12 was very pleased to inform everybody present, ourselves and the BiH, that
13 much as we'd been giving him a hard time and suggesting that things were
14 not as they should be, he'd been congratulated by his higher formation and
15 had actually been -- and I don't remember whether his words were rewarded,
16 congratulated, promoted, or something along those lines, and was very
17 proud and pleased to tell us that.
18 Q. And how did you interpret the fact that he was so proud and
19 pleased to -- to inform the other participants of the meeting that he had
20 -- that he had been promoted?
21 A. He -- it -- it came -- it came across as -- and again this may be
22 an English term, that he was giving a two fingers up to -- a less pleasant
23 sign, to -- to the rest of us, that he was very much in the right and that
24 he was -- he was being recognised for his military prowess and that stuff
25 the rest of us, he and his -- he and his command would continue to behave
1 and continue their military planning and operations in the direction of
2 which they were -- or he was intent, and that had the backing -- and that
3 had the backing of his higher command and wasn't him just acting on his
5 Q. How would you describe the general demeanour of Mr. Siljeg?
6 A. He's -- he stands out in my mind as a very memorable individual,
7 both with regard to his very bushy eyebrows, which joined in the middle
8 and his very deep-set dark eyes, and he had a very commanding presence,
9 but associated with that was very much a man of arrogance and self-belief
10 and very pompous, and -- and that came across both in his body language
11 but also in the way -- in the way in which he would address the meeting,
12 be that addressing us or his opposite number or in fact his own HVO
13 subordinate commanders too.
14 Q. Was this the only time you met Mr. Siljeg?
15 A. That's the only recollection I have of actually sitting in a
16 meeting with him. I do know that he visited the base on more than one
17 occasion, but as I say, that was the only meeting that I recall sitting in
18 with him.
19 MR. BOS: Witness -- could the witness be shown Exhibit 01351
20 [Realtime transcript read in error "01531"], please.
21 And could the witness be shown the English version of this
22 document, please.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think there is mistake in the notes. It says
25 here in the notes 01531 and I think it's 01351.
1 MR. BOS: 01351, yes. I think the exhibit which is on the screen
2 is the document but in the original language. There we go. There's the
3 English version.
4 Q. Witness, do you recognise this document?
5 A. I don't, no.
6 Q. Can you describe what you -- what you see at this document, what
7 kind of document it appears to be?
8 A. It looks like -- it looks like an official document --
9 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, perhaps the witness should not, with all
10 due respect, speculate about what the document is.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Either she knows the
12 document or not. If not, well, then --
13 MR. BOS: Your Honour, if the witness could be shown the last page
14 of this document, please.
15 Q. Do you see the name that appears at the bottom of this document?
16 A. It's commander Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, which is how I -- I -- the
17 middle name -- the personal name I wouldn't recognise, but -- but the
18 other I read as the gentleman I knew as Colonel Siljeg.
19 Q. Very well. And could the witness now be shown page 3 of the
20 English version of the document.
21 Could you read this page and -- and tell the Court whether you
22 recognise any of the names of the villages that are mentioned in this --
23 on this page.
24 A. From -- from the top of the page?
25 Q. No, you don't have to read it out loud. Just read the document
1 and tell me whether you recognise any of the names of the villages.
2 A. Just as I'm reading it down, Uzricje I've already mentioned, Dusa
3 I recognise, we've already spoken about that, Trnovaca likewise. Luzani
4 doesn't ring a bell, and Gornji Ricica does ring a bell but not as much as
5 the first three. So the first of that one, two, three, four, about sort
6 of the top paragraph, the first -- the first three I recognise as -- very
7 much so. The fourth one I don't, and the fifth -- the fifth one I do but
8 less so.
9 Q. Now, if we just move -- scroll to the bottom of the page. Could
10 you read out what's -- what's in red under -- under number 4.
11 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, with great respect, I don't know what
12 probative value this could possibly have. The witness has said that she
13 has no knowledge of this document beyond speculating that it looks like an
14 official document, and having her read out the contents has no probative
15 value whatsoever and I object to that.
16 MR. BOS: Your Honour, the witness knows about what -- she has
17 given testimony about what has happened in these villages and she has
18 given testimony about the person, Colonel Siljeg, which she knows, and for
19 that reason I'm showing her this document.
20 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, the --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The Judges are of the
22 opinion that she cannot confirm the document, but on the other hand, you
23 can say to her, you said a moment ago such-and-such and I see the contrary
24 in the document, for example, and then you could ask her for an
25 explanation. But otherwise speaking, this is a document drafted by this
1 colonel. The witness has never seen it. All she can say is that she went
2 to some of these villages where she was able to make certain observations.
3 So you can confront those observations with the contents of the document
4 if there are any differences. In any case, that would be useful to the
6 MR. BOS: And that was my intention, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Then get to the
8 heart of the matter quickly, please.
9 MR. BOS:
10 Q. Well, just -- so reading again the bottom of the page under number
11 4, could you please read that out loud.
12 A. Number 4 states: "A total of 24 houses destroyed (22 torched, 2
14 Q. What's been written there, is that -- of course -- does that
15 correspond with your observations as regards the destruction?
16 A. It does, yes.
17 Q. We then move to page 5, please. And again I would like you to
18 scroll down to the bottom of this page. And could you again read out
19 what's been written under number 4.
20 A. Number 4: "A total of 18 houses and sheds were destroyed, of
21 which 16 were torched and two houses were destroyed by shelling."
22 Q. And again, the same question, does that correspond with your
23 observations as regards the destruction of Dusa?
24 A. It does, yes.
25 Q. Okay. Did you ever notice any evidence from the field that
1 outside HVO troops were actually involved in this conflict?
2 A. I had two personal incidents that led me to believe that outside
3 HVO forces were involved. The first was the reports on the attack on
4 Dusa, both from the villagers themselves and the HVO medic that we have
5 already discussed, and the second was when I was working down in
6 Tomislavgrad and had cause to go and treat some casualties from a bus
7 incident very close to a British military location called Redoubt Camp.
8 Q. And what happened on that particular occasion?
9 A. On that particular occasion we were called to go and assist our
10 own medical -- small medical facility there at the Redoubt Camp following
11 a hand grenade accidentally being discharged on a bus which contained
12 approximately 50 HVO fighters. It was about 0300 hours and was
13 exceedingly cold outside, as I remember reminding my driver we mustn't
14 become casualties ourselves in trying to drive too fast on the ice and
15 snow-packed roads.
16 Q. Do you remember what time this was?
17 A. It was about 0300 hours.
18 Q. No, but the date.
19 A. The date must have been a little bit later than those incidents
20 that we had been talking about insofar as I was based in Tomislavgrad for
21 a four-week period -- a two-week period, and then followed by -- by my own
22 two weeks' leave, so it puts it sort of middle -- middle of --
23 Q. Which period were you in Tomislavgrad?
24 A. I was in Tomislavgrad for two weeks.
25 Q. Which two weeks?
1 A. Towards the middle and end of February, I don't remember the exact
3 Q. And you took your leave?
4 A. Immediately after. And I went to Tomislavgrad so that the doctor
5 who came to cover me in Gornji Vakuf, with Gornji Vakuf being a much more
6 unstable place, had another military doctor for a full four-week period,
7 and I went down to Tomislavgrad to cover the doctor who was based in
8 Tomislavgrad and because there wasn't such an -- wasn't any active
9 fighting in Tomislavgrad it wasn't felt that it needed to have a stable
10 doctor for any period of time particularly.
11 Q. Talk with a bit slower pace.
12 A. Slower, okay.
13 Q. You referred to these incidents and you mentioned that -- that the
14 person had discharged a -- discharged in a bus a hand grenade; is that
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. So what happened? How did you get involved?
18 A. As I say, we were asked to go and provide additional medical
19 support to our own troops, medical personnel who were on the ground
20 pending the arrival of HVO medical support from Tomislavgrad. On arrival,
21 there was one dead soldier who reported to be the gentleman who had let
22 the pin out of the grenade in his pocket. There were approximately a
23 dozen seriously injured casualties. There were another 20 or so who were
24 reason -- would require medical intervention, specialist medical
25 intervention, and the remainder were minorly injured, cuts and bruises, or
1 not injured at all. Within -- within the detachment there was -- from the
2 HVO side there was -- there was a nurse with them, and she had helped
3 divide the casualties into the -- into the three groups, which is
4 certainly how in the British military -- hence I've given you those
5 figures; the seriously injured, the moderately injured, and the minorly
7 Q. And all these HVO soldiers who were in the bus, were they soldiers
8 from Tomislavgrad?
9 A. A little while after we'd arrived, the commander of -- one of the
10 commanders from Tomislavgrad HVO Brigade came up to the scene, and I had
11 personally to do a double-take because he was either the brother of or the
12 twin brother of the deceased, and I had that moment where I'd looked at
13 the dead body and looked at the gentleman I was just talking to and that
14 was a fairly surreal experience to see the same person, in inverted
15 commas, twice. However, he was quite open with me. We were talking about
16 the poor state of hydration and nutrition of the casualties and how that
17 had made it a little bit more difficult for my junior medical staff to
18 treat the casualties, particularly with getting fluids into them, putting
19 the venflons in, the needles through which the fluids go into the veins,
20 and in casualties who were dehydrated and malnourished that is much more
21 tricky business than you'd normally expect.
22 He went on to explain that, well, of course they were coming back
23 from having just been fighting for the previous 10 to 14 days in Gornji
24 Vakuf and were coming back for a period of R and R, rest and recuperation.
25 He didn't know where -- where I'd previously been working, and he was very
1 -- very open and honest about that and went on to thank us for the
2 medical care that we had delivered to his injured fighters.
3 Q. Thank you. You've been referring in your testimony a couple of
4 times to -- to checkpoints, and I'd like to talk briefly about this again.
5 Did checkpoints already exist in the opstina of Gornji Vakuf at the time
6 you arrived, so in the period prior to the conflict?
7 A. Yes, they did.
8 Q. And during that period of time was it -- and -- well, let me ask
9 you first this: Were there both HVO and ABiH checkpoints in the region?
10 A. Yes, there were. There were checkpoints from both sides when we'd
11 first arrived.
12 Q. And would it have been an equal division of checkpoints as far as
13 ABiH and HVO are concerned?
14 A. Yes, it appeared that there was fair and even distribution and --
15 to mark areas of -- of ethnic divide, really.
16 Q. And in that period did you ever have problems passing through
17 checkpoints in the first few months?
18 A. Not at all. Checkpoints from UNPROFOR were seen very much as tip
19 your hat, possibly have a -- a -- a friendly chat, and served in no way to
20 heed our progress around the area.
21 Q. Did that change when the conflict started?
22 A. Very much so. The checkpoints became more numerous. They became
23 more heavily manned and protected. They became more difficult for us to
24 get through, and on some occasions impossible for us to get through, and
25 they occasionally just appeared and disappeared within the space of a few
2 Q. You just said that -- that on some occasions it was impossible for
3 you to get through. Was this -- were those occasions -- were you dealing
4 then with HVO checkpoints or ABiH checkpoints?
5 A. I don't ever recall being held up and impossible to get through a
6 BiH checkpoint. Times I remember the -- the -- it was usually -- when we
7 did have difficulties was when we were doing our aid deliveries, and as I
8 previously said, we were very much delivering 50/50. And I recall going
9 to a -- a Croat village and dropping off our aid and then not being able
10 to progress beyond there up to the BiH village because they -- they didn't
11 need to give us a reason, they just refused to let us pass. And if
12 they're going to leave mines on the road there's not much you can do about
13 it, really, so you can't progress. So that was stopping us from going
14 upwards, and that was usually the time we had difficulties, going upwards.
15 And then coming back we often had certainly a difficult time proceeding
16 back down the hills after we'd done aid drop-offs.
17 Q. Were you ever personally threatened at checkpoints?
18 A. I had one when I personally was threatened and feared for my life,
19 and on a second occasion when I was part of a convoy where we were
20 threatened and as such feared for our lives.
21 Q. Could you elaborate? Maybe let's start with the first time you
22 personally were threatened.
23 A. We were coming back from having done an aid distribution. The --
24 we'd dropped of our 50 per cent of aid in the Croat village and had
25 proceeded through that village, but not far beyond there we'd had
1 difficulty getting further up the hill in order to go to a Muslim village.
2 Q. Do you remember in which reason -- in which region this was and on
3 what road?
4 A. Yeah. Again, it was -- going from the crossroads, it was going
5 right out of Gornji Vakuf towards Bugojno, and again on the right-hand
6 side of the road. And because of what happened, although I don't remember
7 the name of the village, the drive back I remember vividly and remembered
8 it when I was back in the same area in 1996. So -- so I can be fairly
9 confident that it's -- although I can't remember the name, that's the area
10 in which we're talking, and only about 15 or 20 minutes' drive, if that,
11 from our base.
12 Q. So what happened on that occasion?
13 A. We were in my medical armoured vehicle, the 432, and in front and
14 behind us we had two small reconnaissance vehicles, one Scimitar and one
15 Spartan. The -- both of which were crewed by soldiers of the B Company
16 Battle Group.
17 Q. Who commanded the convoy?
18 A. It was commanded by a gentleman called Captain Nick Short,
19 Nicholas Short, who's 1st Battalion of the Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire
20 and Worcestershire [sic], I think it is - RGBW anyway - Regiment who was a
21 military interpreter. He had deployed with the battle group and been
22 collocated with us in Gornji Vakuf for the duration of the tour, so I'd
23 got to know him quite well, and he'd learnt his local language at the
24 British military language school in Beckinsfield prior to deploying in
25 back end of 1992.
1 Q. Please continue. What -- what happened?
2 A. He had shown the HVO checkpoint the back of his vehicle, and they
3 were content. He then showed them the back of our vehicle, my medical
4 vehicle, and there was some light-hearted banter about whether I was
5 hiding any Muslim personnel in the back of my vehicle, and so we lifted up
6 some of the aid that we'd not been able to deliver to show him that we
7 were in fact not hiding any BiH in the vehicle. And they closed the door,
8 and then they went to the rear to inspect the rear vehicle.
9 A little while after that, a minute or two maybe, the door of the
10 ambulance was forcibly opened and an HVO soldier started screaming and
11 shouting and whatever. I do not know what he said, I don't speak that
12 language, but it was clearly not, "Nice to see you and can I come for a
13 cup of tea?" It was something very nasty. And he then cocks his AK-47
14 and pushes it up against my throat, up here, and into my chin and forced
15 my chin backwards. My RCT driver, a full corporal, sat next to me, the
16 transport driver who was just along for the trip, froze solid. It was one
17 of the few occasions that I've actually seen anybody freeze with fear.
18 Due to a vehicle problem, the intercom between the rear of the vehicle and
19 the commander was broken, and so I was not in a position to be able to
20 talk to the commander. Allowing for how angry, frustrated, and every
21 other kind of emotion this HVO soldier appeared to be exhibiting, I very
22 much feared for my life, and I said in English that I wished he would take
23 the weapon away and that he was hurting me, but nothing happened. And
24 rightly or wrongly, I took the decision that if I didn't do something to
25 alleviate the situation then he would fire the weapon. So I took the
1 decision that I would - excuse to the gentlemen present - but I would kick
2 him where it would hurt in the belief that that would either pull the
3 trigger on the rifle, in which case I'd know nothing about it because I'd
4 be dead and that would be that, or that it would make him stagger and fall
5 over and drop the weapon, which is obviously the consequence it had.
6 Allowing for the fact how long that took and how quickly they'd inspected
7 the rear of the first vehicle and the rear of the second vehicle even with
8 the joke about the Muslims that we were hiding or not hiding in our
9 vehicle, clearly Captain Short had had difficulty getting final clearance
10 for us to move on.
11 We did eventually move on, and on talking to Captain Short when we
12 returned to base, that in fact was the issue, that he had had difficulty
13 negotiating our exit from that checkpoint, and that had put me in the
14 position that I was -- that was in.
15 Q. -- account. And you were talking about another occasion, and
16 maybe a bit briefer, could you briefly just say what happened on this
17 second occasion.
18 A. We were coming back again --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. To me the story is not complete. At
20 one point you said what your thought was and your conclusion, but you did
21 not tell us whether you did actually act in the way you had planned.
22 THE WITNESS: Oh, yes.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You did.
24 THE WITNESS: I did kick him.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you're still happy about it, one can see from
1 your face.
2 THE WITNESS: I don't know if I was happy about it, but it's one
3 of those events in your life that you do not forget rapidly.
4 The second incident was rapidly coming towards dusk one evening,
5 again having done a convoy drop-off. We were with two Warrior on this
6 occasion, again in my 432 ambulance, and the convoy was commanded by
7 Captain Jack Ferguson, one staffer's officer who was attached to the
8 battle group, and he had severe difficulties in negotiating our way
9 through the HVO checkpoint because there was a battle -- a firefight going
10 on between the two sides of what had been once a mixed village with the
11 BiH and the HVO fighting and we -- they wanted to use us as a shield, I
12 guess, in order to try and reduce the fighting.
13 We took the -- he took the decision on the ground that we would go
14 tactical. In other words, we would turn our lights off and drive at full
15 speed through the checkpoint and beyond, and in the process of that,
16 build-up to that, they -- we had been surrounded by HVO fighters whom --
17 with RPG 7s which would, once again, have caused me greater difficulty
18 than it would have done the two Warrior because, as I previously
19 mentioned, they are armoured with protective chobham sides which I didn't
21 Q. Could you explain, what is an RPG 7?
22 A. A rocket-propelled grenade. It's a hand-held weapons system.
23 Q. So eventually you managed --
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. -- to --
1 A. We drove, as I said, tactically, as fast as we could with our
2 convoy lights on, which are just lights really underneath the vehicles so
3 you can't actually see the vehicles so well. And --
4 Q. Were you shot at when you were actually driving away?
5 A. The vehicle noise was so intense because of you accelerating so
6 hard, I don't recollect whether we were or whether we weren't. Certainly
7 there were no rounds came -- certainly no rounds came through the 432 on
8 that -- through my vehicle on that occasion, and we only put our lights
9 back on and slowed down once we were back on the main Bugojno-Gornji Vakuf
11 Q. Two more topics. One is do you know whether Muslim civilians were
12 ever forcibly removed from their villages by the HVO soldiers?
13 A. The -- I never witnessed Muslim personnel being forcibly removed.
14 I had stories told to me by villagers that that had happened. For
15 example, in -- in Dusa, the -- the men had been forcibly removed in their
16 trucks. And I also had cause to remember one other particular incident
17 when I had cause again to do some psychological support for one of the
18 infanteers who had been on the ground and had been witness to two
19 individuals who had been killed in the village where also the villagers
20 had been forced -- forced to leave, but it was --
21 Q. Do you remember the name of that village?
22 A. I'm afraid I don't, no.
23 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 01373, please.
24 Q. We -- we've seen this report before.
25 A. Uh-huh.
1 Q. And I'd like you to move down to -- to the bottom of the first
2 page. If the document could be scrolled down, please. And could you
3 please read out the last sentence of this last paragraph.
4 A. "The local BiH command were reported to be demanding compensation
5 in cash for all the Muslim families who have been forced to move as a
6 result of ethnic cleansing."
7 Q. Did -- did you ever hear about this, that the BiH command was
8 demanding compensation for -- for Muslim families?
9 A. I never heard about it from the families on the ground, although I
10 was aware of it from meetings that happened at the base, the kind of
11 meetings we've referred to earlier with BiH and HVO local commanders, and
12 it was a topic that I do recall being discussed at -- at at least one of
13 those meetings.
14 Q. Now, just one last matter. Did you ever -- were you ever involved
15 in exchange of bodies, and do you recall when that was?
16 A. Yeah. As I previously mentioned, one of my meetings with Colonel
17 Siljeg, the issue of body exchanges was on the agenda of that meeting. My
18 recollection is that was towards the end of January, 1993. And the
19 arrangements were initially tabled, and then, because that was
20 predominantly ICRC business, was very much organised by ICRC with the
21 involvement of B Company 1 Cheshire's Battle Group being to supervise the
22 actual crossover of HVO and BiH dead.
23 Q. And how did you get involved in this exchange?
24 A. I was -- I was -- I sat in on some of the planning meetings.
25 There was no requirement for medical involvement because we were dealing
1 with the exchange of dead bodies and not of living people, not prisoners
2 of war or anything of the sort. However, my involvement became a little
3 bit more than anticipated because when the body exchange actually did
4 happen, the call-sign on the ground, Colour Williams -- Colour Sergeant
5 Williams, to whom we referred to the intelligence cell senior NCO, who was
6 a trained medic, discovered that one of the BiH fighters who had been
7 placed at the bottom of the pile in the truck was in fact alive, and so he
8 got on the radio to me in order to ask for medical advice as to how to
9 manage the individual. And then I also had cause to do some psychological
10 support, debriefing, whatever you'd like to call it, with him after the
11 event because of some of the things that he'd seen, and he needed to talk
12 through that.
13 Q. So you were on the phone, but do you know where this exchange
14 actually took place?
15 A. I know it took place within Gornji Vakuf opstina. It clearly
16 wasn't right by the -- let's say the centre of town. It wasn't by the
17 crossroads, because that would have made sense for me to go down to see
18 the casualty myself. It would have been -- it would have made more sense
19 for me to go to carry out the treatment there. But it certainly wasn't an
20 hour or more away.
21 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 01308.
22 And, Your Honours, I'm almost done, so I don't know if you want me
23 to continue tomorrow morning or whether I can finish the testimony, which
24 will take five more minutes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, finish within the five
1 minutes then.
2 MR. BOS: So if the witness could be shown Exhibit 1308, please.
3 Q. Witness --
4 A. Can I ask you -- can I ask them to scroll it down? Thank you.
5 Q. Witness, could you read out the text that is -- that is on this
6 document. ?
7 A. "The captured Muslims are to collect --"
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, ma'am. Mr. Siljeg -- Is she aware of
9 this document? If he can lay a foundation, fine; if not, we ought to move
11 MR. BOS: Your Honour, the only reason I'm showing this document
12 is whether she can recognise whether this was the exchange that she has
13 just given testimony about.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: She can just look at the date or something but
15 she's being asked to read this aloud into the record, a document which she
16 doesn't know. He can lay the foundation. If he cannot lay the
17 foundation, then he might go some other route.
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. Well, Witness, could you read this document to yourself and tell
20 me whether what is in the document is in fact the same exchange that you
21 have been talking about, and why you think it would be the same exchange.
22 A. I have read -- read the document, and I would be happy to state
23 that I believe that to be the same exchange to which I referred earlier.
24 Q. And for what reason?
25 A. The arrangements were that the dead would be collected by their
1 captured of their own side. The exchange was -- was related to the heavy
2 fighting that had gone on in the Partisan cemetery in Gornji Vakuf.
3 Q. And as far as the date is concerned?
4 A. And the date would fit in exactly with that, that to which I
5 referred earlier, and the signature being Colonel Siljeg relates therefore
6 back to the meeting where this was originally discussed.
7 Q. Two more questions. Did there come a time in February where the
8 conflict actually calmed down and -- as the result of a cease-fire?
9 A. The fighting did calm down actually at a time whilst I was away
10 from Gornji Vakuf on my two weeks' break.
11 Q. And how would you describe the situation in that period that
12 followed the cease-fire in the last two months of your duty?
13 A. It was a very tense and brittle environment in which we were now
14 working. There was an awful lot of hatred and mistrust. The villages
15 where four months previously had been mixed were now very much divided
16 with -- if they were still inhabited by both sides with central areas that
17 were completely no-go-zone areas for both sides. And there was a feeling
18 that -- reports from people on the ground, and the feeling as you lived
19 amongst it, that business was not finished.
20 Q. Thank you for your testimony.
21 MR. BOS: That closes my examination, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Bos. So the
23 examination-in-chief has been completed.
24 Madam, you'll be back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in order to answer
25 questions put to you by the Defence counsel within the frameworks of the
1 cross-examination. Between now and then, please don't make contact with
2 either the representatives of the OTP or the Defence counsel, and of
3 course not the Judges either. So having said that, we reconvene tomorrow
4 morning at 9.00, and please be here on time. 9.00 sharp. Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day
7 of June, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.