1 Tuesday, 8 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, good morning everyone.
8 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
10 Prosecutor, I would like to greet all the people present in the courtroom,
11 the representatives of the Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused, as
12 well as all the people present in the courtroom.
13 I shall now give the floor to Douglas Stringer, who would like to
14 take the floor.
15 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
16 Your Honours. Good morning, counsel.
17 I have one very brief matter to raise with the Court. I think out
18 of caution it would be best to very quickly go into private session, and I
19 would --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly.
21 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 WITNESS: GRANT FINLAYSON [Resumed]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. The hearing
3 has resumed, and I give the floor to Mr. Bos.
4 MR. BOS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your Honours.
5 Good morning everyone in the courtroom.
6 Examination by Mr. Bos: [Continued]
7 Q. Good morning, Mr. Finlayson.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. Mr. Finlayson, yesterday we left going through a series of UNMO
10 reports relating to the targeting of the UNMO office in East Mostar, and
11 the last report that we looked at was a document dated the 1st of
12 December, 1993, and there it was reported that -- that the HVO committed
13 to double its efforts to trap those shooting at the UNMO accommodation and
15 Now, I would like to continue today to show you some more reports
16 relating to this issue in chronological order starting as of the 1st of
17 December, and what I will do again is I will ask you to confirm for some
18 of the reports I will just ask you confirm what has been reported and for
19 others I may ask you some additional questions. Is that all right?
20 A. That's fine.
21 Q. If we can then move first to Exhibit 07070, and this is an UNMO
22 report dated the 7th -- the 7th of December. And if I could just draw
23 your attention to page number 3 of this report, and I'll just ask you
24 confirm, is it correct that under number 3 it's reported: "Sniping fire
25 during the night on the accommodation of East Mostar team. Six impacts on
1 the house."
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. I then ask you to move to Exhibit 07255.
4 My apologies. No, let's move to Exhibit 7177, and that's a report
5 dated the 14th of December, a week later. Again, on page number 3, under
6 3: "Sniping activity continues around the UNMO location in East Mostar."
7 Can you confirm that?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. We then move to Exhibit 7255. This is a report dated the 19th of
10 December. And if I can direct your attention to page number 2. Under
11 number 3, "Sniping activities on and around UNMO ECMM in East Mostar --
12 UNMO accommodation in East Mostar continues"?
13 A. I confirm that.
14 Q. Underneath that it reads, "23 wounded children accompanied by 22
15 relatives were transported out of East Mostar today during the operation
16 angel." Do you recall anything about this operation angel?
17 A. I recall it, and I recall that we had some difficulty originally
18 getting into East Mostar with that -- that convoy, but from -- from memory
19 also it was a convoy that came up in the last minute, and I don't believe
20 it was part of the UNHCR convoys. It was a -- from memory, it was a
21 privately organised campaign by -- I think it was actually a British
23 Q. Were civilians from East Mostar often evacuated from East Mostar.
24 Did that happen?
25 A. Rarely actually.
1 Q. Could I now ask you to move to Exhibit 7318, please. Now -- we're
2 now moving close to Christmas. This is the 23rd of December, 1993, and if
3 I can draw your attention to page number 2 of this report, and under
4 number 5 it reads as follows: "Meeting SMO HVO revealed that SMO's plan
5 to monitor the Christmas cease-fire would not be authorised."
6 Can you elaborate a little bit on what's been reported here? What
7 kind of cease-fire plan had you been discussing here with the HVO?
8 A. There -- there had been a higher level cease-fire arranged at that
9 time. Typically these cease-fires were signed in New York or Sarajevo or
10 wherever, and very little direction was given on the coal face, so to
11 speak. I essentially decided that I'd try and get that cease-fire to work
12 in Mostar, and the general plan was to put an influx of UNMO and UNPROFOR
13 people into Mostar at key points on both sides and eventually flood --
14 flood Mostar with -- with a presence to ensure that every small firing or,
15 yeah, any firing could be located and dealt with in a more accurate manner
16 than we were generally able to do. This involved a considerable amount of
17 discussion between the local commander of the HVO, and I believe I spoke
18 to both Lasic and Maric regards that. And I spoke to the armija about it.
19 I think it's fair to say there was a reasonable amount of mistrust or a
20 lack of confidence by the HVO on some aspects of the plan in that it
21 relied on people putting theirselves on the line and actually staying
22 there with the likes of the local battalion, which was SpaBat.
23 I had a reasonable amount of support from the UNPROFOR, and I
24 think they in fact posted about another 20 or 30 UNMOs into the area.
25 After, I think, probably two to three days of going side by side
1 East Mostar to West Mostar, I thought we were getting somewhere. The
2 final decision ended up in General Roso's court, and in fact he gave the
3 final no decision to that to go along with my plan late -- late the
4 evening of around -- probably around the 21st or 22nd of December, which
5 was a bit disappointing, but nevertheless ...
6 Q. If I could just ask you something about this.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my apologies to you
8 and to my learned friend. Perhaps it's my folder containing these
9 documents is not the neatest; however, Exhibit P 371A does not bear the
10 date of the 23rd of December 1993 nor does item 2 under paragraph 5
11 address what is referred to in this question. Therefore I would require
12 clarification. Are we talking about the same exhibits or have we perhaps
13 got the numbers mixed up? Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: I think that's my fault.
15 MR. BOS: No, I don't think so. I don't know if there is
16 confusion here on the number. I was referring to Exhibit 07318 and not
17 371A as has been here describe here in the transcript. 07318 and on the
18 top of the page it clearly gives the date, 23rd of December, 1993. Well,
19 22nd of December, although above that it says UTC time 23rd of December.
20 So it's -- it's around that time, please.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Considering the correction and the
22 date being the 22nd of December, I think we can consider the matter
23 clarified. Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as I can see on the face
25 of this document it was addressed on the 24th of -- 23rd of December,
1 21.44, and was received on the 23rd of December at 1.12. That's, at any
2 rate, what's mentioned on the document.
3 MR. BOS: Yes. I think that is -- that is correct.
4 Q. I was about to ask you just about this plan. Did this plan
5 cover the town of Mostar or did -- was -- was the area more bigger than
6 just -- can you -- can you say something about the area in which -- which
7 this --
8 A. It focused on Mostar, and -- yeah. It -- it focused on just
9 trying to get something happening in Mostar that maybe would escalate out
10 if it was successful.
11 Q. Could I now ask you to look at Exhibit 7368.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, I'm sorry. I have to
13 put a question to the witness. I'm sorry for interrupting. Because if I
14 wait for the examination-in-chief, we will have difficulty getting back to
15 this question.
16 Sir, the Prosecutor -- Prosecutor has showed you a whole series
17 of documents stating, according to the Prosecutor, that the house where
18 you were located was being targeted by the snipers. According to the
19 theory of the Prosecutor, from what we understood it was the HVO that was
21 On looking at this document, which is dated at 22nd of December at
22 21.44, please turn to point OG, point 3. This paragraph says: "Attacks
23 on UN personnel, equipment establishments once again," and so on and so
24 forth. I see here that those that are firing are the Serbs. You
25 identify them as such in this paragraph. In that case, how do you make
1 a distinction between the HVO on the Serbs? Could you tell us this,
3 THE WITNESS: Sorry, you're speaking about G -- G, paragraph 3.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [In English] Yes.
5 THE WITNESS: Sorry, that's under sector Sarajevo, sir. This
6 is -- this is a BH command report and -- yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. So this is in sector
8 Sarajevo. Therefore, you have lifted any doubt.
9 MR. BOS:
10 Q. Witness, could I ask you to look at Exhibit 7368, and this is an
11 UNMO report dated the 28th of December, 1993. And if I can direct your
12 attention to page number 2 under F, 7, it reads: "Acute shortage of food
13 items has been reported in East Mostar. Humanitarian aid reaching East
14 Mostar has stopped since 18 December 1993."
15 To what extent was the UNMO involved in -- in getting humanitarian
16 aid to the population?
17 A. I think it's fair to say that the majority of the time the UNMOs
18 were aware of the -- of convoys going into the area. Often it was
19 controlled by SpanBat because the convoys were typically accompanied by
20 Spanish Battalion vehicles. It would normally have a -- an UNMO
21 accompanying them and would -- who would really only get involved should
22 there be problems at any check-point or -- or whatever. That was the
23 typical case. It normally only -- sorry, not -- yeah. That was the
24 typical case. Sometimes, I guess with any large system, we became aware
25 of these convoys once they had experienced a problem, but typically our
1 main role was negotiating -- helping negotiate their -- their arrival, but
2 more -- more particularly we tended to get involved when they actually
3 came across problems on the actual day of execution.
4 Q. And did problems often arise?
5 A. Yes, they -- they did, as they did throughout the former
6 Yugoslavia, I believe.
7 Q. Was it easy to -- for humanitarian organisations to enter
8 humanitarian convoys into East Mostar?
9 A. No, it wasn't, and from memory, to get access into the area was
10 long and involved and often delayed - would be probably the accurate
11 word - by the HVO. I think in most cases they would eventually get
12 through, but it may be some time. And often, of course, the HVO who were
13 in control of the entry to East Mostar would assume responsibility and
14 state that it was it too dangerous for the convoys to proceed. But
15 effectively they didn't -- they didn't get through, and we did have a
16 period there where no food was getting in, and we had to rely on food
17 drops from aeroplanes just simply to get food into the area.
18 Q. We'll come to that -- back to that issue of air drops a little
19 later. Let me just -- let's now continue and let me ask you to look at
20 Exhibit 7489, and if I can direct your attention of this -- on this UNMO
21 report to page number 6. And this is a report of the 6th of January,
22 1994, and I'll read out to you paragraphs (I) and (N) under 5.
23 "In a meeting with HVO authorities they for the first time
24 accepted the responsibility for the sniping of UNMO vehicle on 3 January
25 1994 and promised to resolve the incident once and for all -- once for
2 Under (N): "The HVO acceptance of sniping UNMO vehicle is
3 considered positive development which could eventually lead to the
4 cessation of attacks on UNMO vehicles and accommodation."
5 Let me just ask about this commander's assessment. Was this
6 something that was your assessment? Did -- you drafted this or...
7 A. This -- this report is a report from UNMO HQ Zagreb, which would
8 have been, as I explained earlier, cut and pasted from the reports from my
9 sector. That commander's assessment would have been done by me at the
10 time, assuming I was there on the day at the time. If I wasn't there on
11 the particular day, then I may not have -- my deputy may have put that
12 comment down.
13 Q. Did this -- this particular acceptance of responsibility by the
14 HVO, did it improve the fact -- you know, did it improve the situation as
15 it's hoped in this assessment?
16 A. Negative.
17 Q. Could I ask you then now to go to Exhibits 7633. And this is an
18 UNMO report dated the 20th of January, 1994. And if I could ask you to
19 look at page number 6, under 5(C): "Firing on UNMO accommodation in East
20 Mostar is becoming a routine affair. Five times short arms rounds were
21 fired around the accommodation. Two times short arms hit the
23 Can you confirm what's been reported here?
24 A. I can confirm that was reported by my team at Mike X-ray 5.
25 Q. Could I ask you then to move to Exhibit 7766. Now, this seems to
1 be a consolidated report for a period of a week where all incidents of
2 attacks and intimidation of UNMO personnel are being summarised in this
3 report, and there's several references to Mostar, East Mostar, as well.
4 But let me draw your direction to the 4th of February where it says: "BH
5 South: At 1130A at Vrapcici 6 rounds were fired at the UNMO vehicle UNPF
6 3986. One 12.7 millimetre and one 7.62 millimetre hit the car."
7 Can you comment on this particular incident?
8 A. I can recall that incident. It involved from memory a fellow Kiwi
9 UNMO as well as a British UNMO, I think, who were in the vehicle at the
10 time, and they were essentially travelling south at the time on the main
11 road north of Mostar when they received an incoming round, as reported.
12 Q. And do you recall from where this incoming round came from and
13 from --
14 A. Essentially over -- straight over the Neretva River from the
15 HVO-controlled area, anyway.
16 Q. Could you -- could I ask you to look at the photograph which is
17 Exhibit 10006, and maybe we can have that also put on the screen. Just
18 wait for the photo to appear on the screen as well.
19 Can you tell the Court what's being depicted on this photograph,
21 A. Essentially this is the -- the side of a -- an armoured vehicle or
22 GMC vehicle that we had at the later stages in Mostar. The -- you can see
23 the UN sign on the door there and the UN flag just -- you see the bottom
24 edge of it.
25 On the front driver's windscreen -- I've got to think about that.
1 It may not be the driver's windscreen. Wrong side of the road. My
2 apologies. The -- the large shell or damage there was -- it was the 12.6
3 [sic] indent. For information, these -- these vehicles are tremendously
4 armoured, and the windscreen -- or, sorry, the side windows on those are
5 probably around two inches thick. I guess due to the thickness the memory
6 was the indentation was about half the thickness of the window. So that
7 was the 12.7 round.
8 Q. Okay. And did this particular damage that we seen here on this
9 car was that in fact the damage that was caused by the incident that was
10 reported here on the 4th of February?
11 A. Yes, it was.
12 Q. Now, we also see a little damage on -- on the window, you know,
13 at the -- on the left side of the photograph. What can you say about
15 A. That was actually a separate incident which I think I mentioned
16 yesterday when I myself was in the vehicle with Bo Pellnas, and that
17 occurred -- that's only a small -- a small-arms fire, 7 mil, but that was
18 received down the southern end of town.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic.
20 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd just like
21 to ask the witness to clarify what it means on the photograph when it says
22 10/94. Is it the 10th month of 1994 or what is it at the bottom, the
23 numbers 10/94?
24 THE WITNESS: It should mean that. What it is evidence of is a
25 photographer that doesn't know how to set or turn that particular date
1 item on. Unfortunately, I didn't take my instruction book to Bosnia, so
2 it is confusing, but that does not mean it was taken then.
3 Q. When did you take that photograph? Do you recall that?
4 A. If I recall, it was the day after or even the -- no. No, I can't
5 exactly, but it was shortly after, if not the day or the day after the
7 Actually, I'll take that back. I'm not -- not sure when I took
8 that photograph.
9 Q. Could I ask you to move to Exhibit 7875, please. And I draw your
10 attention to page number 5 of this report. Again under paragraph 5.
11 Under (C) it reads: "UNMO team Mostar east reports 21 small-arms rounds
12 in the vicinity of their accommodation plus 12 small-arms hits of the
13 accommodation itself."
14 Then under (E): "SMO met with General Roso this afternoon.
15 Topics were sniping of UNMO positions and possible solutions in the area.
16 General Roso stated that everything would be solved in the Mostar area,
17 would be solved within 10 days; even the targeting of UNMOs."
18 Do you recall this meeting with General Roso in February 1993
20 A. Yes, do I.
21 Q. What can you tell us about this meeting?
22 A. I think at this particular meeting at that stage we had -- had
23 actually set up an UNMO people in Posusje so we established very good
24 communications with General Roso. The indication that things would be
25 complete within 10 days, General Roso didn't really clarify, and
1 consequently -- I mean, it turned out that more or less coincided with the
2 cessation of -- of the war, but I wasn't aware of that at that time. The
3 meeting went generally -- General Roso was genuine in -- in what he told
4 us, and as he -- and -- and essentially indicated that he was making an
5 effort to -- to make sure it occurred, but in hindsight he was obviously
6 operating at a higher level than I was aware of at that point in time.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I add a small question?
8 Witness, did General Roso give any explanation as to why it would
9 take 10 days?
10 THE WITNESS: I can -- I cannot recall that.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have a series of
12 reports in a time line, and in each report mention is made of fire
13 directed at the building where you had your office. Fortunately,
14 apparently, nobody was killed or injured. This is a rather extraordinary
15 situation. The UN people are targeted. Did this not call for action to
16 be taken by you, more definite action, anti-sniping measures? Was this
17 envisaged by your upper echelons? For instance, could the SpaBat have
18 asked -- because they must have had snipers as well, could you have asked
19 them for protection? This is only a guess. Could you have asked them to
20 protect you, because it's rather easy to see where a sniper is and it's
21 easy to shoot at him. Why were you so passive throughout this time
22 mentioned in the reports? Do you have an explanation for this?
23 THE WITNESS: Believe me, I tried to get support from other areas
24 of Bosnia along those -- those lines. However, it never eventuated. I
25 think there was. We accepted a certain amount of risk, and you can see by
1 the reports that it was reported, and we did have discussion with Roso,
2 General Roso on the matter as well as numerous discussions at the local
3 level. We were really in the hands of BH command regards any greater our
4 support that we got, but we certainly didn't get a lot of support from the
5 local battalion.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you said the local
7 battalion. Which one, SpaBat?
8 THE WITNESS: SpaBat.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] SpaBat. I see. And they failed
10 to support you?
11 THE WITNESS: That would be my assessment of it.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your permission,
13 I'd just like to correct something in the transcript. I think it could be
14 vital. Page 13, line 15. It was wrongly recorded that the question
15 related to February 1993. It should be February 1994. Thank you.
16 MR. BOS: Thank you, Ms. Alaburic, for that clarification.
17 Indeed, it should have been February 1994.
18 Q. Mr. Finlayson, I have just one more document on this topic, and we
19 now move to the 22nd of February, 1994, and that's the last report that
20 I -- on this issue that I'd like to show you. 7 -- Exhibit 7930, page
21 number 5. Page number 5 under 5(C). "Accommodation of East Mostar is
22 still under sniper fire. Three times short arms rounds hit UN
23 accommodation where nine rounds struck within 10 metres." Can you confirm
24 what was written here?
25 A. I can confirm that was reported by my team.
1 Q. Just a while ago you've been referring to air drops of
2 humanitarian aid in East Mostar. Who -- who had organised these
3 humanitarian aids, air drops? Do you recall that?
4 A. These were, as I recall, being organised via the UNMO -- UNMO
5 headquarters in Zagreb. I think they were -- they were instigated by the
6 UNHCR, representatives in -- in Mostar, and they were conducted by the
7 Americans flying from Italy.
8 Q. Do you recall how many air drops of humanitarian aid --
9 A. I can't exactly. I think from memory there were probably only
10 around two or three, I think. Yeah.
11 Q. And if I can ask you to look at the map that is behind you. Can
12 you tell me where these drops of -- these air drops of humanitarian aid
13 were dropped in the Mostar area?
14 A. In fact, I can't. I had trouble thinking about this the other
15 day, but they were essentially -- where are we -- in this area south -- in
16 this area south of the town. We also had some up north near -- sorry,
17 I've forgotten the name of it, Bjelebila [phoen] in this area up here or
18 even further north, and we had another one in fact north into the Croatian
19 pockets up north of Konjic and Jablanica.
20 Q. Can you tell the Court, were these air drops successful? Can you
21 tell a bit more how these ...
22 A. I think they were successful. They were, I believe, successful in
23 the north, north of Konjic. The first one we had in -- in -- south of
24 Mostar was not successful in that it possibly didn't land in a good place
25 and we lost, I think from memory, eight people through mines. We -- the
1 one to the north, from memory, was successful. However, it was rumoured
2 that the general population didn't get a lot of the aid.
3 Q. Can I just -- can I just --
4 A. And.
5 Q. -- you said the first drop of this south of Mostar was not
6 successful and you lost eight people?
7 A. When I say we lost eight people, people in the area that that team
8 was responsible for, and that was the local population. I think they were
9 reported as civilian, but I -- I can't confirm whether they were or not.
10 And it was due to the fact that the -- the first air drop was done in the
11 typical fashion where I think everyone can envisage that there was a large
12 pallet of food dropped from a plane with a big parachute on it. So
13 everyone tended to rush to these large packages.
14 After -- after that debacle, it -- the Americans proposed
15 dropping -- I can't remember what they were called, but like individual
16 food packages, and these were dropped and some landed, from memory, and --
17 near the town, and the idea there was to stop the people rushing out to
18 one big bundle, which happened in the south, and also to stop the -- or
19 assist in ensuring that the general populous got the food that was dropped
20 by spreading it out, small packages, spreading it out a bit more, and they
21 were -- they were very successful, and I think the drops in fact continued
22 probably for a bit longer up in Konjic, just thinking about it now. I
23 think after we did a few -- a couple of drops in Mostar the convoys
24 started to come through in that area. My memory is -- is a bit shaky
25 on -- on times and numbers there but close.
1 Q. Could I ask you to look at Exhibit 6785, please. Now, this is a
2 SpaBat report, and if I can ask you to --
3 MR. BOS: Your Honours, maybe for this exhibit we would need to go
4 into private session. This is an exhibit which is under seal, so --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 Mr. Registrar, please.
7 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
23 MR. BOS:
24 Q. If I can now direct your attention to Exhibit 6913, please. And
25 page number 3. So this is the 26th of November, 1993. Under
1 3(F): "UNMOs continuing to monitor air drops hampered by deep snow. Some
2 air drops continue to land in no man's land or other areas covered by HVO
3 indirect fire."
4 Now, do you recall that snow was a problem here as well?
5 A. To be honest, no, but the -- the dropping in no man's land was --
6 it was always going to be a problem because of the small area that they
7 had, small target area.
8 Q. Witness, moving to another topic now. Do you recall ever being
9 tasked to investigate the presence of HV soldiers in the -- in your area
10 of responsibility?
11 A. Yes, I do remember.
12 Q. Do you recall what time this was?
13 A. I would put the window of around between December 1993 and to the
14 end of my time in BH South, which was -- well, yeah, early March.
15 Q. Could I ask you to look at Exhibit 7587. Now, this -- this is a
16 report on the -- reporting on the -- on the HV presence in Bosnia. Do you
17 recall this report, and do you recall what kind of investigations you did
18 in order to find out whether HV soldiers were present in the region?
19 A. Essentially we -- we tried to spread a net of patrols around the
20 area, in particular in the areas where we had reported to us that it was
21 likely that HV were operating. This was particularly in the area of
22 Siroki Brijeg and also to the south of -- south of the sector -- we're
23 getting close to the Croatian border there. It was considered that there
24 were still Croatian army activity.
25 Essentially the patrols that were sent out, and specifically some
1 of them were -- specific patrols to go and look for the recorded over the
2 weeks or the months that there was significant HV presence there at the
3 time and it was building. We saw HV troops intermingled with HVO troops
4 on check-points. There were also vehicles sighted around -- around the
5 sector with -- with no licence plates and temporary HVO signs up on
6 windscreens, et cetera. Then we also ran into the odd collection of -- or
7 at least one collection of Croatian army soldiers.
8 Q. Could I ask you also to look at Exhibit 7700. And if I can direct
9 your attention to page number 2, part number 2. Is it correct that your
10 name appears there on -- at the bottom of -- of the report?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Now, if you look at -- at paragraphs 2 and 3, I'll read it out, it
13 says: "HV occupation of the area south of Stolac, Capljina, has been more
14 blatant over the last weeks. Even the check-points along the road are
15 sometimes manned with HV soldiers. They appear to always be in company
16 with HV soldiers. There are a lot of trucks now operating without number
17 plates now operating along the area. Over the next few days they have
18 been noticed to be now displaying HVO plates in their windscreen."
19 Number 3: "The insignia/badges have not -- had not been seen
20 clearly at this stage but whilst some are simple HV with a simple
21 chequered crest however it may repeat ... may bear some resemblance to
22 that of the 5 professional brigade."
23 Is it correct that you wrote these paragraphs I just read out?
24 A. That's affirmative.
25 Q. Could I ask you about that last paragraph that I read out. You
1 say at that there's a resemble -- a resemblance to five professional
2 brigades. What are you referring here to?
3 A. To be honest, I -- at this stage the five professional brigade was
4 a known entity within the Croatian army, but my recollection of that and
5 the specific details I'm afraid are no longer with me. I would say I had
6 the, you know, a standard identification documentation that we used to
7 identify people at the time, but I can't recall.
8 Q. Now, finally to -- to close off your testimony, is it correct that
9 in February 1993 you were also again involved in -- in peace negotiations
10 between the parties?
11 A. That's affirmative.
12 Q. Now, in -- in relation to these peace negotiations, did you attend
13 a meeting in February 1993 [sic] in which UNPROFOR General Cot and
14 Mr. Jadranko Prlic participated as well?
15 A. I -- I did.
16 Q. Could I ask you to look at --
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, again I would like to
18 draw everyone's attention to the year that was mentioned, and I would
19 propose that my learned friend make appropriate adjustments.
20 MR. BOS: Thank you, Ms. Alaburic. I apologise. It should be
21 February 1994 rather than 1993.
22 Q. Could I ask you to look at Exhibit -- the last exhibit, 7771. And
23 again, Your Honours, maybe for -- can we go into private session for this
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, registrar, please.
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... private
2 session, Your Honours.
3 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Mr. Murphy, you have the floor.
2 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honour, we have in
3 addition to our time I understand been given some time by the Coric
4 Defence. I'm not sure how much time we will use, but we -- we do have
5 that time also. And I should note, Your Honour, that I think the Prlic
6 Defence was originally due to start in the order of rotation, but due to I
7 think a commitment, Mr. Karnavas's professional commitment, we have agreed
8 to start and they will go at a later time during the rotation.
9 Your Honour, as a preliminary matter, Mr. Bos has indicated to me
10 something that I had not appreciated, which is that evidently the witness
11 records his notes as having been given to the Prosecution confidentially
12 and has indicated that it may be necessary to go into private session for
13 references to the notes. In that case, we may be in and out of private
14 session quite a bit, but I will have Mr. Bos confirm that for the record,
15 if that's the case.
16 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honours. I just told Mr. Murphy before we
17 started that -- at that Mr. Finlayson agreed that the notes could be
18 handed over and disclosed to the Defence but under the conditions that it
19 remain confidential to the public and that it would only be the Defence
20 who would -- could use and look at those notes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, this is the first I hear of this. We
22 had these notes for a long time, and I -- I don't see, you know, why this
23 could not have been communicated early if that indeed was the case.
24 Perhaps the gentleman didn't think that his notes would be used, but I
25 don't think that this is the appropriate time to spring that on us.
1 MR. BOS: Your Honours, when we disclosed those notes we added a
2 sentence saying that we -- we disclose those but under -- confidentially,
3 and we actually underlined that sentence in -- in the disclosure letter
4 of -- of the disclosure of these notes, so we did inform the Defence that
5 they were disclosed confidentially.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Murphy.
7 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Murphy:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Finlayson.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. My name is Peter Murphy, and my colleague Ms. Nozica and I
12 represent Mr. Bruno Stojic. We both have a number of questions for you.
13 Let me indicate first that because you and I speak the same language, more
14 or less, it will be necessary for us to remember to speak slowly and to
15 leave a pause between question and answer for the interpreters.
16 First of all, let me ask you about a witness statement that you
17 made for the Office of the Prosecutor. Do you remember being interviewed
18 by the Office of the Prosecutor on the 31st of March and the 1st of April,
20 A. I remember being interviewed by Brent some of time ago. It would
21 be around that time, definitely.
22 Q. And after that interview, you did make a written witness
23 statement; is that right?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. You were given the opportunity to read that statement before you
1 signed it?
2 A. Yes, I did -- was.
3 Q. And you signed it as being correct?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. Now, you indicated that this is the first time that you've
6 testified in a case before the International Tribunal; is that right?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And do I take it, then, that March 2003 was the first time that
9 anyone from the Office of the Prosecutor asked you to recollect the events
10 of 1993 to 1994?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. But during the time that you were deployed in Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, you did make some personal notes?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And those notes, I take it, were made more or less at the time
16 when the events were going on or shortly afterwards?
17 A. The events were -- the -- the notes were written up at the close
18 of most days. That's why they're fairly brief.
19 Q. Now, yesterday you testified that before being deployed you had
20 received some training in your duties as a UNMO; is that right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And you -- you told the Judges that that training was quite
24 A. The training in New Zealand was thorough. The training in Bosnia
25 was -- sorry, in Zagreb was satisfactory.
1 Q. When you gave your statement to the -- the Prosecutor, you made a
2 statement about the training that you received in Zagreb. Do you recall
4 A. I need to refresh myself on it.
5 Q. I can -- I can read it to you in the English version and you tell
6 me if you -- if you remember this. It's from paragraph 9 of your
7 statement in the English version. You said, and I quote: "I flew
8 straight to Zagreb where I received another three days of training. This
9 training was not very comprehensive and only included driving, first aid
10 and a brief report on the situation in the former Yugoslavia. At no stage
11 did I receive any training on international humanitarian law or anything
12 to do with the laws or customs -- the laws and customs of war. I was not
13 given any instructions on what to do if I witnessed anything that I
14 thought was criminal or in breach of international treaties."
15 Do you -- do you remember saying that to the -- in your
17 A. I don't have an issue with that statement. I would have said it,
18 and I don't have an issue with it at this stage.
19 Q. And one other thing that I would like to read also from the
20 following paragraph, paragraph 10, page 2 of the English version: "After
21 the training, it is fair to say that we still didn't really know what our
22 role was as UNMOs."
23 Do you remember saying that in the statement that you gave?
24 A. I remember saying that. I -- it's possibly not well-worded and
25 could be taken a little bit out of context or meaning.
1 Q. All right. Well, now I want to ask you one or two things now
2 about some things contained in your notes.
3 MR. MURPHY: And, Your Honour, perhaps for a brief time we may now
4 go into private session.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 Please, Mr. Registrar.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 18102-18124 redacted. Private session
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honour.
15 MR. MURPHY:
16 Q. If we can just look at one more photograph there, Mr. Finlayson,
17 of the house, which is 10001. I think it's the next photograph in the
19 Which -- do you see that on the screen?
20 A. Not yet.
21 Q. I think it's still -- we're still on ...
22 You see that photograph, Mr. Finlayson, on the screen?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. Which direction are we looking there? Which direction is the
25 camera facing in that picture?
1 A. That would be just slightly higher than the arrow I indicated
2 there. As I say, that's Spanski Square or in the direction of the Tito
4 Q. So are we facing as from the house --
5 A. West.
6 Q. West.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Again I just want to put this one more time and then I'll move on
9 to my final question. Isn't it clear from these photographs that, as you
10 said, that this is -- this house was in fact in the middle of the action?
11 A. Don't forget this was taken with a telephoto and -- and I can't
12 remember the range, but quite a substantial one. So we were probably a
13 kilometre from what I would term the action area.
14 Q. And yet in due course the decision was taken to relocate your team
15 because it was considered for them to be -- it was considered too
16 dangerous for them to be in the area.
17 A. And that was regarding attacks on the staff that were not related
18 to the accommodation at all.
19 Q. And that was a decision with which you disagree.
20 A. Totally.
21 Q. All right. One further thing. If we could go back, please, to an
22 exhibit that you were asked about yesterday, which is P 02293.
23 Do you still have the Prosecution exhibits that Mr. Bos asked you
24 about yesterday, Mr. Finlayson?
25 A. No, but it's coming up on the screen.
1 Q. It's coming up on the screen. This is, as you may recall, a
2 report that deals with your observation of prisoners, those who were being
3 held at the Helo factory. Do you recall this document?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Mr. Bos asked you about certain parts of it, but no doubt because
6 of lack of time omitted one or two things that I'd like to ask you to look
7 at. If we can go to paragraph 3 of this document, please. If we could
8 bring that up and magnify it a little bit.
9 You see that paragraph three there beginning, "Persons in the
10 prison were separated"?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. You say there in the second sentence: "These people were anxious
13 but insisted that they had been well treated by the HVO soldiers." Do you
14 see that?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. And then about halfway down that same paragraph is and sentence:
17 "The men also were content with their treatment, with the exception that
18 their diet had not included an army ration pack."
19 And then finally if we could go to the next page, to paragraph 8
20 of the same document. You record there that, "all people requiring
21 hospitalisation have been transferred accordingly. Numbers unknown." Is
22 that right? That is what was written in the report.
23 A. That's what I wrote. That would be -- yeah.
24 Q. Okay. All right. Mr. Finlayson, that's all I have. My colleague
25 Ms. Nozica has one or two questions for you. I want to thank you for your
2 A. Thank you.
3 MR. MURPHY: If Your Honour would allow us a moment to readjust.
4 We won't take too much time.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
7 Q. Good afternoon, sir. I see that Judge Antonetti is looking at the
8 clock, but I'll try to use the remaining 10 minutes before the break to
9 the best possible effect. My learned friend said that we could have the
10 Coric Defence time to cross-examine, which I thank them for.
11 Sir, I would like to pick up where my colleague left off asking
12 you questions about the prisoners at Heliodrom. When you saw the Croat
13 prisoners or in eastern Mostar, you wrote down in your diary that the
14 conditions were poor but at least they were safe. The people you saw in
15 the cellar. There was a basement room, 4 by 4 metres. You said something
16 about that. Do you remember that, sir?
17 A. That's the prisoners in Mostar. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. What about the prisoners at Heliodrom? You described their
19 conditions too. Can we say that they, too, were certainly safe and were
20 not at risk as far as the combat operations were concerned? They were
21 outside the areas affected by combat operations. Could we say that, sir?
22 A. I don't believe you could say they were out of risk, but they were
23 out of combat's way, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. That's all I wanted to hear. I would like us now
25 briefly to go back to that meeting that occurred on the 18th of April,
1 which was discussed during this trial a great deal. I would like to ask
2 you, sir, to go back to what you first said. Is it true that at the
3 meeting you were assigned certain tasks until relation to the setting up
4 of a centre for joint operations? Would I be right in saying that, sir?
5 A. Sorry, I think we're at a different meeting here, but -- sorry, it
6 was the -- what was the date? The --
7 Q. The 18th of April. Yes, I'm going back to that meeting, the one
8 that took place on the 18th of April. There's no need for you to go back
9 to any of the documents. I'll tell you exactly when I need you to refer
10 back to the documents. I'm just trying to take you back to the 18th of
11 April and what happened at that time.
12 A. That is correct. Sorry, I was looking at the 18th of May.
13 Q. Sir, do you know that at the meeting it was agreed that both
14 sides, I'm talking about the 18th of April, and I'm not trying to remind
15 you of your diary, therefore, there's no need for you to be looking at
16 your diary. It was agreed that both sides in Mostar should withdraw their
17 soldiers back to barracks. Do you remember that sort of agreement being
18 reached at the meeting?
19 A. I do -- do remember that.
20 Q. Do you know that both sides, commanders on both sides, as it were
21 it, who had reached that agreement gave out appropriate orders for this
22 job to be done? Is this something you're aware of, sir?
23 A. I am aware of that.
24 Q. Before the break, I would like to briefly show you those two
25 orders just to jog our memories. Before the break, I'm talking about my
1 binder, this is EDS, this is 2D 00289. That is the binder that I'm
2 referring to, 2D 00289. Can you please track that exhibit down, and then
3 I'd like to ask you to tell me something.
4 Have you got that, is sir?
5 A. I have.
6 Q. Right. I see you're reading it already. I think we can agree
7 that this is an order issued by the BH army, the 4th Corps, dated the 21st
8 of April, 1993, signed by Mr. Arif Pasalic. Is that not a fact, sir?
9 Referring to item 1, we see that this is an order about the
10 withdrawal of soldiers to the Mostar barracks. That's what item 1 says.
11 It says the 41st Motorised Brigade from 1300 hours will begin to withdraw
12 all their units. And just for the sake of the transcript, this portion is
13 illegible. I think the logical thing would be for this to be a reference
14 to a materiel and technical equipment. The translation reads "MUP," the
15 Ministry of the Interior. We'll try and see what it actually says and see
16 if any amendments need making. And station them at the barracks of Konak
17 and the South Camp. Do you remember this sort of agreement being reached
18 that this was indeed what was agreed and that the BH army promised to
19 withdraw their units to these locations specified in this order or,
20 rather, the barracks mentioned?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. At 4, this is the order which Mr. Arif Pasalic, and he says that a
23 mixed patrol of BH army and HVO military police will be set up to monitor
24 the movement of soldiers within the city. It will seize weapons and long
25 barrels from all -- from all soldiers of the BH army and the HVO carrying
1 such weapons away from the front line.
2 Can we please go to number 6. We see that a commission was set up
3 comprising four persons, Mehic Redzo on behalf of the BH army, Mehic Redzo
4 on behalf of the BH army, Adis Hondzo, likewise on behalf of the BH army,
5 Mario Mikulic and Mato Knezovic on behalf of the HVO. This commission was
6 to monitor the implementation of these assignments. And one thing I would
7 like you to look at is number 10, that being the last thing that we do
8 before the break. Number 10 reads: "Bridges within the city shall be
9 taken over by UNPROFOR until a final resolution is found for the situation
10 in the town by the civilian authorities."
11 Can you agree with me that this very order in its entirety
12 underlines precisely what was agreed at meetings at which you, too,
13 received certain assignments, specifically in reference to soldiers being
14 withdrawn to the Mostar barracks in order to allay such tensions as
15 existed at the time?
16 A. This report or this letter does -- I can't recall the actual
17 letter, but it certainly does cover the points that I believe were -- were
18 reached by -- by the parties at the meetings we attended.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I'd like to
20 move on to another area and another question, so I think this would be an
21 opportune time to take the break.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 We'll have a 20-minute break and return at 20 minutes past 12.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.23 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've already had an hour and
2 15 minutes.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. With the
4 Coric Defence time, I still have 45 minutes, and Mr. Karnavas, or, rather,
5 the Defence of Mr. Prlic has given me 15 minutes, so that makes it an hour
6 more for me.
7 Q. I think we can continue, sir. The last document that we saw was
8 document 2D 00289. You don't have to look for it. I'm just going to ask
9 you a few questions about the document and the facts linked to the
11 Do you know where at that point in time, when Mr. Arif Pasalic
12 issued this order, and he was the commander of the 4th Corps, do you know
13 where in Mostar the command and headquarters of the 4th Corps was located?
14 A. To be honest, I'd -- I'd actually have trouble to actually
15 pinpoint that on the map now. It's -- it was on the western side over --
17 Q. Can I help you -- or, rather, would it help you if I told you it
18 was in the Vranica building on the west side? Do you remember that? Do
19 you remember that building where the headquarters of the 4th Corps was,
20 that it was called the Vranica building?
21 A. It's -- it -- it rings a bell, and I've sort of got a picture of
22 it in my mind, but, I -- yeah, I'm really struggling with the location on
23 the map-type thing.
24 Q. Do you happen to know that the command of the 41st Motorised
25 Brigade, that is to say the brigade that is mentioned in the order whose
1 duty it was to dislocate to the Konak barracks, and South Camp was also
2 located in that same building, that is to say in that same location where
3 the command of the 4th Corps was? Do you remember that? Other witnesses
4 testified about that, so if you remember, just say yes or no. It's not
5 that important. We've heard from other witnesses, but I just wanted to
6 see whether you knew about it.
7 A. I'll say no then.
8 Q. In point 8 of this order it says that for the execution of this
9 order the commander of the 41st Motorised Brigade will be responsible, the
10 famous brigade, and the commanders of the subordinate units.
11 Do you remember you had any contact at all with the commander of
12 the 41st Motorised Brigade and whether you remember that it was the name
13 that I'm going to tell you? Midhad Hujdur is his name. Does that sound
15 A. No, it doesn't. At that point, I believe, the discussions with
16 these parties were being handled particularly by General Bo Pellnas at the
18 Q. Very well. Now, since in point 10 it states that the bridges in
19 town will be taken over by UNPROFOR, do you remember in that connection
20 that at that point in time there were two bridges that were under the
21 control of the BH army? The Tito Bridge was one, which it was also
22 referred to as Musala Bridge, and the Old Bridge. One of those bridges
23 was very close to your own base, so I assume that you know about that.
24 A. I am aware of both bridges, and I am aware of the requirement for
25 UNPROFOR to be present at those bridges at this time.
1 Q. We'll come back to that, the question of bridges, in due course.
2 I'd now like to show you another order issued by the HVO in conformity
3 with the agreement, and it is document P 2030, and it is the last document
4 in my own binder. It has a green sticker because it was put in last.
5 Tell me when you've found it, please.
6 A. I have it.
7 Q. Very well. Now, this is a document which was issued by
8 Brigadier Miljenko Lasic on the 22nd of April, 1993, and it also talks
9 about the same matter, that is to say to put the HVO soldiers in the
10 Tihomir Misic barracks, and the 3rd Brigade to be put up at Heliodrom.
11 I'd just like us to look at point 4 together of the order. The
12 orders are almost identical, but here Mr. Lasic confirms that a mixed team
13 should be established combining the HVO and BH army and Mr. Mato -- Mate
14 Knezovic will be delegated to the 1st, and Mr. Mario Mikulic to the HVO OZ
15 JIH and it says the team will start operating immediately. Now, this
16 order confirms what you said that both sides took the agreement seriously
17 and took steps to implement the agreement at least judging by the orders
18 they issued. Is that right?
19 A. Yes, I -- that's correct.
20 Q. Now, do you happen to know -- do you have any direct knowledge,
21 indirect knowledge through the observers in town or whatever, whether the
22 41st Motorised Brigade of the BH army did in fact act pursuant to the
23 around of Mr. Arif Pasalic and the agreement reached, and whether it did
24 indeed put its units up in the Konak and South Camp barracks?
25 A. First I will emphasise it's indirect because I was sent back in to
1 the Spanish Battalion for-- on an errand for General Pellnas; however, my
2 understanding is that, no, they didn't carry out those orders, and I
3 believe General Pellnas actually got involved to try and prompt the -- the
4 evacuation of the building, as required by the document.
5 Q. I assume that you are referring to Hotel Mostar, which is where a
6 unit was put up of the 41st Motorised Brigade, whereas I was referring for
7 the record to the document that you were shown, which is Prosecution
8 document P 02054, page 6 of that document. You don't have to look for it,
9 but I'm just saying that for the record. Is that what you're referring
10 to, that intervention by Mr. Pellnas when he took part in resolving this
12 A. Actually, you've prompted my memory on that one but, yes, that
13 does -- that was the case, I believe.
14 Q. Do you know -- well, when you say that I prompted your memory,
15 that the unit really did go to the barracks at Konak and South Camp, and
16 do you have any information about what happened to the unit that was moved
17 from the Mostar Hotel? What happened to it later on, I mean.
18 A. I seem to recall that later they did get to the south barracks,
19 but I think it's better for me to say maybe -- I think my -- my memory
20 would be very inaccurate in this case.
21 Q. Yes, I agree. Your memory isn't too accurate. But for the record
22 I'd like to indicate something that Witness CV stated on the 18th of
23 January, 2007. The transcript page is 12599 to 12602, and it was the
24 testimony of Witness -- of a witness who was in the Mostar Hotel, and he
25 said that on that critical day after the intervention that they were moved
1 from the Mostar Hotel, that the soldiers put on civilian clothing and went
2 to the front line and not to the barracks, as was stated in the order.
3 I just say that for the record, but you say you have no knowledge
4 about that so I won't pursue the matter. But so that we can follow how
5 these orders were executed or not, let us look at 2D 00406, the next
6 document in the binder. Tell me when you've found it.
7 A. I have it.
8 Q. This is a report by the mixed commission of the BH army and the
9 HVO, and it came into being on the basis of orders of the 21st of April
10 and the 22nd of April. This report was signed, as we can see here, by two
11 individuals. One an HVO representative, and his name was Mate Knezovic,
12 and a representative of the BH army, Redzo Mehic. So the report is dated
13 the 3rd of May, which means some 10 days after the commission was
14 established. And I'd like us to look at the second sentence where it
15 says: "The mixed police patrol inspected all the facilities which should
16 have been emptied, but the situation is the same as it was a week ago,
17 which mainly refers to the left bank. As the mixed patrol was inspecting
18 the bridge, the commander of the 1st Mostar Brigade told them that they
19 had no business inspecting there. We ask that the commission, the joint
20 commission that is, with representatives of both parts, we ask that the OZ
21 command level for the South-eastern Herzegovina solve this with the corps
23 "The commission demands another urgent meeting to be held for
24 further instructions because the work of the commission has been
25 obstructed because the joint order was not implemented, or due to the
1 failure to implement a joint order."
2 I know you haven't seen that, but can we agree that was roughly
3 how you remember the events, and that quite obviously from this joint
4 report it would emerge that the BH army, and we here see mention of the
5 left bank that it did not act upon the order to relocate the units and
6 send them back to barracks. Would that be the proper interpretation of
7 this report?
8 A. Yes, I agree that that is correct.
9 Q. You will remember from an earlier order by Mr. Arif Pasalic, and
10 you said you remembered that one, that the bridges were supposed to be
11 placed under the control of UNPROFOR. Now from, this report does it
12 emerge that quite obviously that was not done, because it says here that
13 the commission did tour the bridges but that the command of the 1st
14 Motorised Brigade told them that they had nothing to control there, and so
15 the logical conclusion would be that UNPROFOR did not assume control of
16 the bridge, but that at that time, at least, it was still the 1st
17 Motorised Brigade of the BH army which had control of the bridge?
18 A. The sequence of events I'm unsure of, but certainly UNPROFOR took
19 up position at the -- at the bridges at some point. The date I wouldn't
20 be able to give and whether it was before or after this particular point.
21 However, I do appreciate that they did not maintain that -- that -- their
22 position at the bridges.
23 Q. I agree with you when it comes to the bridges. And let's look at
24 the last set of -- the last document in the set. It is 2D 00452.
25 A. I have it.
1 Q. Fine. Let's take a look at the date. It is the 29th of April,
2 1993, and you can see what it says here. It is an order by Mr. Hujdur,
3 and I asked you a moment ago whether you remember that he was the
4 commander of the 41st Motorised Brigade. You weren't able to remember
5 that, but we see his name here. So let's see what the order says. It
6 says: "Upon receipt of this order immediately ban all motor vehicles from
7 crossing the Musala bridge." Can you and I agree that the Musala bridge
8 was in fact the Tito Bridge? Do we agree there?
9 A. I actually can't recall it being called the Musala bridge, but we
10 always referred to it as Tito's bridge, but it appears that that's what
11 they're talking about.
12 Q. Yes, that's right. But please believe me when I tell you it's
13 another name for the bridge. Let's see what point 2 says: "Only vehicles
14 which have permits to use the Musala Bridge issued by the command of the
15 41st Motorised Brigade can be allowed to cross it."
16 So the conclusion on the basis of this would be that the 41st
17 Motorised Brigade had control of the bridge and that it wasn't UNPROFOR
18 who controlled the bridge. Am I right in saying that?
19 You said that you know that at one point UNPROFOR did have
20 control, but you thought that it was for a brief period, and is this borne
21 out by this document?
22 A. I have no knowledge of this, this document, and I cannot recall
23 which -- sorry, I cannot recall whether the bridge was in fact controlled
24 by the 41st Motorised Brigade. However, this letter would indicate
25 that -- as you asked, that they did have control of the bridge.
1 Q. But you have no knowledge that's what things were like at the end
2 of April, or do you have knowledge that it was that way? You were close
3 by. Do you know that vehicles could only pass if they had a permit from
4 the command of the 41st Motorised Brigade? Do you know about that? Yes?
5 No? Do you remember?
6 A. I recall there being antagonisation. The exact details of it,
7 this -- this -- I -- I can recall it, but not in detail, I guess is what
8 I'm saying. I can't recall exactly whether it was a permit and whether it
9 was from the 41st Battalion. It was from the Muslim side, sorry about
10 that, but the -- the details of the letter, I'm sorry, 13 years have gone
12 Q. Fine. Thank you. But we can conclude in what you said that if
13 the Spanish Battalion took control of the bridges in conformity with this
14 order that it lasted for a very brief period.
15 A. Yes. That's my understanding.
16 Q. Now, sir, with respect to the documents we've seen, and I wanted
17 to show you documents which indicate the problem, highlight the problem of
18 the relocation of the BH army and their moving out of the Mostar area, the
19 area of the whole town. Now, do you know that during that period of time
20 most of the conflicts that took place were conflicts between the HVO and
21 the BH army, precisely because the BH army did not implement a single
22 agreement reached, not even its own orders and agreements, and moved its
23 units during that period of time, and they did not go back to barracks, as
24 had been agreed? Do you know that that was one of the main bones of
25 contention between the HVO and the BH army?
1 A. I'm obviously not aware of what goes on in the headquarters of HVO
2 and what decided on their reasons to conduct an attack. I do agree,
3 however, that there was a certain -- a good amount of antagonism regards
4 this refusal to -- to move over to the southern and Konak barracks.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. I have to note for the interpretation that you
6 must be a witness they like very much, because you speak very slowly and
7 of course everything can be translated and be recorded. However, I don't
8 know whether we'll be able to get through everything I wanted to get
9 through at that pace, but let's move on. And of course I think it is more
10 important to have an exact transcript and record of what is being said,
11 and we'll be able to get through other matters with other witnesses
12 perhaps. But I'd like to take you back now to the 18th of April again.
13 After the 18th of April you said that immediately after that, in a
14 patrol you left and went towards the north to a place called Ostrozac, and
15 we saw your diary today -- well, you've already answered some questions
16 related to that, and you said that it was a control, a check-point by some
17 Croats who were surrounded by the BH army.
18 Now, I'd like to ask you to take a look at the following
19 document. It is P 02107. It is a report, in fact, by UNPROFOR, and the
20 date is the 21st of April. That's what it refers to. 1993. Could you
21 just take a look at page 3 in the English version, and it's also on page 3
22 in the Croatian version. As I said, the report is -- is dated the 25th of
24 Take a look at the way the events in Jablanica are described in
25 this report, and then just tell me whether you remember or not, or whether
1 you had any information and knowledge about these events, and whether they
2 were in fact the events that in one way or another -- or, rather, events
3 that you recorded, something in your diary about conduct towards civilians
4 and how the two sides behaved towards civilians. Have you found page 3?
5 It says, "Jablanica and Konjic," and it says, "the situation is extremely
6 tense," and then on the 25th at 0730 hours in the area of responsibility
7 the civilians and soldiers of the HVO are withdrawing. Some of them are
8 wounded. And this took place at one and a half kilometres away from
9 Ostrozac when they stopped a reconnaissance unit that was patrolling and
10 required -- demanded protection. They even took refuge behind an APC
11 stating that if they did not receive protection the armija would kill
12 them. They also said there were many casualties from the last combats.
13 And it says that among the people there were around 60 HVO soldiers and
14 around 200 women, children, and elderly. And while the platoon was
15 awaiting orders the BH army troops approached the locality and started
16 shooting above the refugee's heads. The BH army leader told the platoon
17 commander to leave within five minutes or else they would open fire. The
18 BH soldiers had anti-tank weapons with them. The platoon commander
20 And then it goes on to say that the civilians were in great danger
21 and the BH army personnel disarmed the HVO soldiers. Some of the BH army
22 left. Others stayed on, and the Spanish Battalion tried to protect them.
23 An evacuation was agreed upon, and buses arrived but they weren't allowed
24 to leave. And it says negotiations at all levels are taking place whereby
25 preparations should be taken to see to the refugees if they stayed.
1 Do you remember anything linked to this incident? It was a rather
2 major incident with civilians involved, and all this happened the day
3 after you left the area. But do you have any knowledge about this?
4 A. Negative. I can't recall this incident purely because I would say
5 it -- it appears to be a SpaBat report, and it doesn't appear to have come
6 from the military observer organisation.
7 Q. That isn't what I was saying. It definitely wasn't produced by a
8 military observer organisation. I'm asking you whether you have any
9 knowledge of the incident itself, since this was more or less an area
10 covered by the commissions set up on the 28th of April. They were
11 supposed to look into what was going on, on the ground in that particular
12 area, which includes this incident. They could possibly have reported to
13 you and to the information centre that had been set up.
14 Do you have any knowledge of what or not? If not, please, let's
15 move on.
16 A. [Microphone not activated]
17 Q. That's fine. Sir, something you said several times today. The
18 OTP were asking you certain questions and my learned friend, Mr. Murphy,
19 was asking you several questions about the Croat pocket, as you described
20 them to the north of Konjic and Jablanica. Can we please look at a
21 particular document together so that we may see whether this is the pocket
22 you have in mind and whether you know anything about the destiny of all
23 these people who stayed for a long time in these Croats pockets. This is
24 2D 00450.
25 Before we embark on this, I would like to draw your attention to
1 page 69. You probably have the transcript right in front of you. Pages
2 12, 13, and 14. I asked you if you had any knowledge of that. You said
3 no. The transcript, however, says that the microphone was not activated.
4 You agree with me, sir, that you said no, you didn't have any knowledge of
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. I seem to be running out of time on the one hand. On the other, I
8 think you can be very helpful, considering your knowledge of certain
9 situations. This document is dated the 23rd of April, the 23rd of April,
10 1993. So this is the time when these commissions were it particularly
11 active, the commissions looking into the situation on the ground.
12 I'm showing you this also because at one point in your testimony
13 you said that the Croats to a high degree held it against you and other
14 institutions that you didn't pay enough attention to what was going on
15 with the Croats in the north of Bosnia and Central Bosnia and outside
16 Bosna. This sometimes caused them to be less cooperative than they
17 otherwise might have been. There was this document about the suffering of
18 those people and the previous document an UNPROFOR report talking about
19 those people who happened to be there as a result of military operations.
20 We have an entire document about the suffering of certain villages that
21 were burnt to the ground and Croats were expelled from them. I'm talking
22 about the Konjic area. That's where the villages were.
23 I'm about to ask you a question. I'm just trying to focus on
24 something particular here. It says "B," the Konjic village area and the
25 hamlets in the surroundings. The town of Konjic itself is under the
1 control of Muslims, and Croats have been imprisoned or driven away to the
2 village of Celebici. According to our information there are about 300
3 Croats in that camp. The Croats who were expelled from the town were put
4 in the villages of Turija, Zabrdze, and Zaselje. We know nothing about
5 their destiny. It goes on, the document goes on, but let me ask you
6 this: First of all, do you know for a fact that this is something that
7 happened in Konjic? There were military operations afoot there, and the
8 town was seized by the Muslims, expelling the Croats in the process, and
9 do you know there was a prison in Celebici where the Croats were being
10 held at the time? Lastly, does this tell you anything: Turija, Zabrdzje,
11 and Zaselje, could this be one of the Croat pockets you refer to, sir?
12 A. Yes, it could be.
13 Q. It could be -- is yes an answer to everything that that I've asked
14 you --
15 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 Q. Let's take one step at a time, as my learned friend Mr. Karnavas
17 is wont to say. You do know that these operations took place in the
18 Konjic area and that the Croats were indeed expelled from the area. Is
19 that the sort of information that you had at the time? I'm not asking you
20 in relation to each of these villages, but general knowledge of this
21 situation taking place in the area at the time.
22 A. Certainly this -- this form of report of relocation of personnel
23 were common, and, as you picked up, that was the purpose of the joint
24 commission. And the -- certainly the Celebici area comes to mind, and
25 Konjic was definitely under Muslim -- or came under Muslim control, and I
1 also believe that Croats were relocated.
2 However, the investigation of those areas were -- I wouldn't be
3 able to report in detail on those specific small villages. I can't --
4 can't relate to those without referring to obvious reports. But this
5 would be a typical document. It's not addressed to the -- to the
6 commission, but that -- that sort of discussion would -- would then be --
7 typically in the joint commission, it would be broken down to it a
8 priority agreed by parties, and we'd go -- that's where we got to the
9 Ostrozac. That was the first priority, and so on and so on.
10 Q. I'm slightly concerned by the term you seem to be using,
11 relocated. What does that mean? These are Croats from Kiseljak [as
12 interpreted]; right? Your information seems to suggest that, too, they
13 were imprisoned in Celebici. If we agree with this UNPROFOR report
14 suggesting that they were desperate. They got as far as the road and
15 crawled under UNPROFOR vehicles because they were scared of people taking
17 Would we call these people relocated or perhaps driven out,
18 expelled? Can we be using the same terms when speaking of HVO action and
19 BH army action? I'm just asking this based on your information. Could we
20 say that these people were relocated or were these Croats in fact expelled
21 from the Konjic area, the BH army having taken control of the area? Would
22 that be a more appropriate term to use, or is this simply something that
23 your investigation never looked into?
24 A. I myself did not look into that. It was a -- it was an incident
25 that involved the Spanish Battalion, and they -- they dealt with it. The
1 use the term relocation is -- is appropriate for me, for both sides, when
2 I don't know the facts.
3 Q. I wish to thank my learned friend. Page 72, line 9, it should
4 read Konjic, whereas the transcript reads Kiseljak.
5 You confirmed, as far as I remember, your knowledge of the fact
6 that in the village of Turija, Zabrdzje, and Zaselje, that those were the
7 Croatian pockets that were at one point entirely surrounded by the BH
8 army. You say that you do have knowledge of that, sir, don't you?
9 A. I did not confirm that I had knowledge of those particular
10 villages. As I said, I cannot recall the exact names of the villages up
11 there, so I would be -- and without a situation map, I would not be able
12 to comment.
13 What I will say is that there were a -- I recall there were a
14 number of villages that became very isolated with Croats in them in that
15 area, and it became a very tricky region to actually even get in and
16 patrol due to access reasons.
17 Q. Were those in fact the same villages that were in the midst of a
18 humanitarian crisis? You talk about humanitarian aid shipments to those
19 villages stranded inside those Croat pockets and entirely surrounded by
20 the BH army.
21 A. As I say, the names I'm not familiar with, but I with assume that
22 they were the areas that we were trying to get aid into, yes, definitely.
23 Q. I'm not trying to side-track you, on this is how I'll prove it: I
24 will show you a report dated the 3rd of June, 1993. It's in an OTP
25 binder. I think it should be somewhere on the floor next to your feet.
1 You did have it on day one of your testimony, and I'm sure the usher can
2 help you with that. This is P 02621.
3 A. Sorry, can you repeat the number?
4 Q. P 02621.
5 MR. BOS: Your Honours, this is an exhibit that we didn't use in
6 the examination-in-chief of this witness.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] This document is on the list for this
8 witness, and it was disclosed in connection with this witness. The OTP
9 must have removed the document then. Nevertheless, this is a report, and
10 if we could please have this placed on the ELMO for the witness's benefit.
11 I don't think that should be a problem.
12 It's right there. It's in the e-court system I've just been told.
13 Q. Sir, could we please just briefly go through this. This is a
14 report dated the 3rd of June, 1993. If we could please look at C, item C.
15 It's in the e-court system but it's just a single page and I don't think
16 we should have trouble tracking this down.
17 It reads: HVO already expressed our attitude about humanitarian
18 aid, and it is as follows," so this is the UN attitude, in other words.
19 To start with humanitarian convoys through the places. According to the
20 agreement, "Convoys should enter besieged Croatian villages in the Klis
21 and Turija areas. After that there will be no obstacle for any convoy but
22 we will control the balance of aid." And it goes on to state:
23 "Humanitarian aid has not entered Klis and Turija for almost two months
24 and if no help arrives by the 3rd of June we would like UNMO and SpaBat
25 members to use their authority to help get this aid delivered via roads
1 under the control of the Serbian forces, Stolac, Nevesinje, Zabrorani [as
2 interpreted], and Turija."
3 Do you now remember that this was one of the Croat pockets in
4 Turija, and it was facing an exceptionally difficult situation also in
5 terms of humanitarian aid delivery?
6 A. I do recall the Klis region was an area of concern, and I also
7 believe that was one area that may have eventually been targeted by air
9 Q. Yes. That's precisely what it document suggests, villages around
10 Klis and in the Turija area. This is in relation to all the previous
11 documents that I've been showing you. But now I'd like to move on to my
12 last topic, which is the water supply system and the water supplies, which
13 is something that you addressed in chief.
14 Yesterday, you were shown a document. I believe you still have it
15 in your binder. I believe the OTP put aside all the documents they were
16 going to show you. This is P 02657, a report dated the 5th of June, 1993.
17 Please tell me as soon as you've found it. 50 --
18 A. [Microphone not activated]
19 Q. The Prosecutor showed you what we can see under (F). You said
20 that the BH army -- let me just remind you. I don't wish to directly on
21 this for too long. The BH army requested you an assistance to mend the
22 water supply system, the waterlines. The document clearly indicates that
23 there was a problem that the water supply system broke down, something
24 near the confrontation -- somewhere near the confrontation line.
25 Yesterday at page 59, lines 12 and 13 stated that UNPROFOR did not approve
1 for the waterlines to be mended and that the HVO were simply not willing
2 to give any assistance to -- to have this mended. This is something that
3 you were shown yesterday by the OTP. Can you just confirm that for my
4 benefit, sir?
5 A. Sorry, I'm -- I'm just not quite with you here.
6 Q. You've just read it. Please just follow what I'm saying.
7 Yesterday you said --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please be asked to speak straight
9 into the microphone because the interpreters can't hear her. Thank you.
10 JUDGE PRANDLER: Microphone.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
12 Q. UNPROFOR gave me backing on the one hand, and on the other the HVO
13 people were not willing to help with mending it. Based on that part of
14 the report, somehow the blame is shifted to the HVO because the breakdown
15 wasn't fixed, and the report indicates that pressure should be exerted on
16 the HVO because they're just using the fact that the BH army did not agree
17 to separate and withdraw as an excuse. Isn't that what the report seems
18 to be indicating, sir?
19 A. That's what this report, yeah, tends to be indicating.
20 Q. I'll be asking you questions about this for the following reason:
21 I wish to see whether these conclusions at one time were general
22 conclusions, and as regards your own mission, could these conclusions have
23 caused you to have a less than sufficient knowledge of the situation at
24 one point in time? For example, do you know that the HVO came up with a
25 proposal for how the waterlines were to be mended?
1 A. I believe I do recall that.
2 Q. All right. Let's look at this together. This is -- excuse me for
3 a minute. Let me track down that number, please. 2D 00156.
4 Tell me when you're ready, sir.
5 A. Sorry, should I have that document or --
6 Q. 2D 00 -- no. No, you shouldn't. It's right there on the screen
7 for you. It's in my binder, the pink one, but it's right there on the
8 screen. There's just a single sentence that I wish to draw upon. This is
9 approximately on the 18th of June, 1993. It was a letter -- it's right
10 there on the last page. Written by brigadier Emiljon Kolasic [phoen] to
11 the High Commissioner for refugees. This is the pink binder, the
12 International Red Cross, the military observers in Medjugorje, SpaBat in
13 Medjugrje, the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the government of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the command of the Muslim forces in -- in Mostar.
15 Please let's look at this one thing there is this one sentence in
16 paragraph 2 the last line. "We know they have no water, and they hadn't
17 had any for over a year. The breakdown is located in an area under their
18 control, and we have nothing against this being mended. However, we can't
19 do anything for them before the forces are separated."
20 Do you perhaps remember this document? Do you perhaps remember
21 this document ever reaching you a while ago you said you remember being
22 familiar this was more or less the HVO's attitude as far as this problem
23 was concerned didn't you?
24 A. I can't recall this letter and it probably went to the
25 headquarters in -- in Medjugorje, and at this point in time, the 15th of
1 June, I was based as simply a team leader in Mostar. My recollection of
2 the events around the waterline was there were discussions on -- on
3 either -- from both sides regards how best this was to appear, this water.
4 We certainly was of the opinion that it -- the problem was on the -- on
5 the western side. However, we had no detailed information, and I don't
6 believe it was ever repaired. It made no sense for people on the eastern
7 side not to make a repair.
8 Q. There's with your thing I'd like to put to you. We're dropping
9 two other documents. The HVO says the problem was the fact that the BH
10 army refused to withdraw its troops from the front line in order for this
11 to be fixed, for the repair to be made. Was this perhaps at one point in
12 time not also the position of your own monitoring mission? We could
13 please look at document 2621. If I could get the usher's assistance,
14 please. It was the same document I was showing a while ago. If we you
15 could please have a look again.
16 Second paragraph. I'm sorry -- let me see if I have it myself.
17 Second paragraph of that document, sir. Thank you. Maybe we can look at
18 this. Just a minute, please.
19 Under (A), these are your replies, your position. It says this in
20 connection with the proposal made by the BH army to continue cooperation
21 in terms of the joint commission on the 3rd of June at 1100 hours at the
22 building of the former committee, the following agenda was proposed, and
23 then under (A) it says, "water supply." This report is dated the 2nd of
25 Now, look at the conclusion under (A) and this is the conclusion
1 you reached on the 2nd of June. At previous meetings we were adamant and
2 we agreed that the waterlines repairs could start after the withdrawal of
3 the troops but not before because the problem is of a technical nature."
4 So this was a technical problem, and if you, I believe, thought it
5 couldn't be fixed before both sides withdrew, then that was obviously your
6 conclusion, too, a conclusion that you shared. Would I be right in saying
7 that, sir?
8 A. Sorry, can I see the top of that report?
9 Q. You have if right there in front you on the ELMO. To the right.
10 You can actually take the document in your hand if you like.
11 A. No. Firstly, the -- I'm interested in you saying it is my report,
12 as the -- the drafter of the report is listed at the top, and it wasn't a
13 member of the -- the UNMO team in Mike X-ray 5, which is based upon
14 east -- on the eastern side.
15 I believe that there was -- of course, it -- what it's referring
16 to here is the HVO want the --
17 Q. Sir, I'm sorry. I must interrupt you. I never said that you
18 produced this document, you as a person. All I'm saying is it was
19 produced by your mission. I'm just asking you if you remember this and if
20 that was the conclusion reached?
21 A. I certainly recall the request for troops to withdraw before HVO
22 go on; however, whether that was a realistic request at that particular
23 time, that's debatable.
24 Q. Well, I'm -- I'm now beginning to wonder whether we ought to
25 debate every conclusion made in your reports. I'm reading what it says,
1 and that that is the position of the mission, that any repairs linked to
2 the water supply can start after the withdrawal of the troops but not
3 before that because the problem was of a technical order. So this is your
4 reply to the conditions under which work of the joint commission could
5 resume. Am I right? That's the mission's answer, response. I don't --
6 I'm not going into whether you agreed with it or not, but that's what it
7 says, right?
8 A. [Previous translation continues] ... yeah, that's right.
9 Q. Now, do you know where the water pipes were located and the route
10 the water supply took? This is a technical question, just by way of
11 information. Do you know?
12 A. I can't recall the exact location, but I -- if I'm right, it went
13 underneath the Tito -- the Tito Bridge, but the route either side of that
14 I -- I couldn't confirm.
15 Q. Yes, correct. They've drawn my attention to my question in line
16 18. My question, it wasn't fully recorded. You said that I was right.
17 But if you look at the transcript on page 80, line 20, we don't see an
18 answer, so I think you answered in the affirmative, that that is indeed
19 what the document says and that that was the position taken by the mission
20 at that time. Do you agree?
21 A. I agree.
22 Q. Fine. Now, one more document and then I'll have completed my
23 cross-examination. It's to do with water again, water supply. I'd like
24 to refer to a document that I think should be in the binder. It is 2598.
25 P 02598. If you don't have it, I will provide a copy for the ELMO. I do
1 apologise, I would have prepared all this for you had I had a break
2 between the Prosecution examination-in-chief and my cross-examination, but
3 as it all happened today, I didn't manage to do that.
4 Have you found the document?
5 A. If it comes in numerical order, I don't appear to have it. 2598.
6 Q. The usher will place a copy in front of you. The date is the 1st
7 of June, 1993. Can we take a look at page 2.4? Page 2.4. It says:
8 "Prior to closing the meeting, the SMO brought up the question of need for
9 coordinated activity on both sides concerning the repair of utilities in
10 Mostar. Both sides agreed that this was a priority, but that it could
11 only be done after the separation and withdrawal of troops in the city."
12 Now, if we look at both those reports, and they seem to be in
13 contradiction to the report which accuses and -- that was your report,
14 page 02657, dated the 5th of June, 1993, in which the HVO is being accused
15 of not being cooperative. So can we say that in fact from these reports
16 of yours one can conclude that they have different positions related to
17 the same question? The first thing that I can conclude is that they're
18 not reliable, at least with respect to this question. Do you agree with
19 me there? Or that your mission, like the international community in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina on frequent occasions when it was not able to achieve
21 having the parties implement what they had been -- been agreeing upon,
22 that they would ask one of the sides to do something without supplying
23 sufficient -- or, rather, would blame one or other side without having the
24 grounds to do so.
25 We had before us here, sir, three reports in the space of a few
1 days. Two reports say the water supply cannot be repaired until they
2 withdraw. The third says the HVO insists on withdraw, and that is why it
3 is to blame for the situation that has arisen. So quite obviously we have
4 different standpoints here, different attitudes as to why the water supply
5 system was not repaired. But without a doubt we do have the fact that the
6 BH army did not wish to leave its positions up by the Old Bridge, although
7 they needed water badly, and had they done so the teams would have been
8 able to repair the fault. Do you agree with me?
9 A. The differing reports, I would say, are due to the fact that these
10 stories and the situation changed daily, in fact, and you would -- I would
11 only guess that these reports are based on the information on the
12 particular day and the fact this they differ in hindsight may look
13 confusing or -- or contradictory, but they're probably based on the
14 information available.
15 The refusal to withdraw from the armija, I can -- I can agree that
16 that -- that was -- that was their stance, and it doesn't -- it doesn't
17 appear that the UN -- UN were able to come up with a counter to -- to get
18 around that or to make that happen.
19 Q. You say the BH army insisted upon the withdrawal or, rather, the
20 HVO insisted on the withdrawal of the BH army. I made a slip. I showed
21 you that your mission considered that to be the only solution as well, and
22 now I'd like to ask you quite directly whether in fact refusal on the part
23 of the BH army to withdraw from the area under the control of the
24 international community in order for the water supply system to be
25 repaired in fact means that the BH army was largely to blame for the fact
1 that the east bank had no water, because quite simply it did not want to
2 make that concession in order for the water supply system to be repaired.
3 A. I believe that decision was influential in the -- in the lack of
4 repair of that waterline.
5 Q. I must admit that I'm not following you. Perhaps it's some sort
6 of diplomatic language on the part of an observer. At least the way I
7 received it in interpretation, you believe that that decision the BH army,
8 is that what you said, was -- led to consequences and resulted in the fact
9 that the citizens on the left bank were left without any water? Is that
10 what you wanted to say?
11 A. I'm saying it was influential in it. I do not know or remember
12 the -- the four aspects of what repair was required, but certainly based
13 on the information that you have presented before me here it would
14 indicate that the -- their reluctance to withdraw from the territory held
15 by them prevented the repair the water or at least an attempt to do it.
16 Q. Thank you, sir. My time has expired.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. That
18 completes my cross-examination of this witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your permission,
21 Mr. Praljak would like to start off the cross-examination of this witness,
22 and he has his time plus half the Pusic Defence team's time, and then I'd
23 like to wind up once he has completed his cross-examination. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the Trial Chamber
25 is going to issue a ruling shortly on the right of the accused to put
1 questions. While awaiting the decision, I invite you to ask questions of
2 the witness that relate to military problems, to technical military
3 problems, or to topics that involve you primarily through the answers
4 provided by the witness in -- during the examination-in-chief. You have
5 the floor.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
7 really do think that 95 per cent of what has been stated here is none
8 other than technical matters of a military nature and military situations,
9 and that that is the only thing that the witness as a military observer
10 could talk about and address, and that in that respect -- well, I was
11 there most of that time, too, so it's quite understandable that I should
12 want to ask him questions.
13 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, Witness, have you ever met me before?
15 A. To be honest, I can't recall it.
16 Q. Thank you. When you returned to Mostar on -- for the second time
17 in September until the 9th of November, that I was the commander of the
18 Croatian Defence Council.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Witness, just a procedural matter. You frequently use the turn of
21 phrase beginning with "I believe," or "I had concern," et cetera. You are
22 a military professional. Now, my concept is a simple one. I look at you
23 as a professional soldier with many years of service, and in that capacity
24 I'd like to ask you to give me as precise answer's possible. If you don't
25 remember something, say so. If you can't be certain, tell me. And if you
1 know something, then tell me that you know something or not, whichever the
2 case may be.
3 Now, after the 25th of August, 1993, after that date onwards, can
4 you tell me of a single instance when a humanitarian aid convoy coming to
5 Mostar was prevented from entering town? Time, place, and date. I've
6 given you all that.
7 A. I can't give any specifics. I said earlier that I believe most
8 were organised -- that were organised got through eventually.
9 Q. Tell me, what minority -- well, if the majority entered, a
10 minority didn't, so can you quote a single example of a convoy not having
11 entered Mostar?
12 A. At this stage, 13 years after, no, I can't.
13 Q. Thank you. I thought that military observers as professional men,
14 both at night and during the day, would have a piece of paper with them on
15 which they could record what happened and say on such-and-such a day
16 such-and-such an event happened in such-and-such a way. It was resolved
17 in such a way or not resolved, and so on.
18 So, now, can you tell me of a single journalist, quote a name and
19 surname of a journalist who at that time was not allowed to go about his
20 journalistic duty and prevented in doing so by the HVO? Give me a single
21 name, if you can.
22 A. I had no involvement with journalists and intentionally avoided
23 them. Whether they got in or out, I found out normally after the piece.
24 I don't believe there was free entry for anyone in and out of East Mostar
25 while I was there.
1 Q. Sir, what you're claiming is this: That the journalists couldn't
2 enter East Mostar and it was the HVO who prevented them from doing so. Is
3 that what you're saying?
4 A. What I am saying is that I had very little to do with journalists.
5 In fact, I had nothing to do with journalists. I purposely avoided
6 journalists. I know there was one party of journalists that got in there.
7 Whether -- how they got in there, how they -- and how the others got
8 stopped, I do not know.
9 Q. Witness, in the first part of that sentence you say that you had
10 nothing to do with the journalists, and then you say that some journalists
11 were prevented from entering. You're a professional soldier, so which
12 journalists were prevented, when were they prevented, and who prevented
14 A. I repeat, I had nothing to do with journalists. If I -- I know
15 that one set of journalists got through into East Mostar. I do not know
16 if others tried or whether they didn't try, and that's essentially it. I
17 do not know. I had nothing to do with journalists.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, you quoted an example when a lady journalist and
19 a humanitarian worker, her name was Sally Baker, when she took out a
20 number of children from East Mostar, and I'm -- would like to ask you the
21 following: Was there a lasting, uninterrupted offer from the HVO stating
22 that any seriously injured BH army soldier, civilian, woman, or child
23 would be taken out and transported to a hospital in West Mostar or be
24 taken to Split? Was this an open offer, an open ending offer, and did
25 people use the offer and take the HVO up on its offer if they needed to do
2 A. My knowledge -- from my knowledge I'm not aware of there being an
3 offer to shift injured BH army soldiers. However, I am aware of an offer
4 by the HVO to evacuate seriously ill or injured women or children, and I
5 can recall that being taken up on a number, probably not that many, of
7 Q. Accepted by the BH army or the HVO? Do you know of a single
8 example, you yourself, whereby they requested the HVO to take someone in
9 and take them to hospital and the HVO refusing to do so? Can you quote a
10 single example? And what about the other side, or, rather, that the BH
11 army requested such a thing and the HVO refused to allow them to do that?
12 Can you quote a single example?
13 A. I cannot quote any examples where the HVO refused that transfer of
14 people from the east bank to the west bank. The reason for the low number
15 of times that it was taken up was simply the reluctance of -- of the
16 population to give up young ones to -- to go to the opposite side of the
18 Q. Thank you. When you were down there after your second arrival to
19 Mostar in September, can you tell us of any place, any locality or line
20 or -- facing the BH army, separation line, where you could notice, judging
21 by the language or the names, that there was a Croatian army presence?
22 And if you were able to notice that, could you tell me where that was,
23 when you noticed that and how many Croatian army soldiers you saw
25 A. In the Mostar city itself I saw no presence of Croatian army. I
1 did -- I was shown ID cards of Croatian army soldiers. However, they were
2 never able to substantiate whether they were.
3 On the southern part of the town during the various check-points,
4 yes, I can confirm that I saw members of the H -- who I -- members of the
5 HV, and I can also confirm that it was me personally that came across a --
6 probably a battalion size -- sorry, division down south of Stolac. I
7 can't -- can't recall the exact location at this date. It would have been
8 reported at the time, though.
9 Q. Can you tell me at those check-points the -- how many Croatian
10 soldiers did you see, three, five, 12, with the insignia?
11 A. They were -- the ones I saw personally were normally only ones or
12 twos. I believe there was -- from what I recall the reports coming from
13 my team in Siroki Brijeg, there was a large -- a large number in that
14 area, and -- but that essentially the reports at check-points were ones or
15 twos, as I mentioned either -- earlier that there were reports, and they
16 came from teams other than myself of vehicles transporting people --
17 soldiers, sorry.
18 Q. Well, yes, soldiers being transported and so on. When you say you
19 saw a division, how many soldiers would that be in the term "division"
20 that you used. South of Stolac, how many soldiers would that be?
21 A. I think the term "division," I would look at -- it looked around
22 the region of three platoons of around 20, 21 people. So around 60. That
23 number, maybe a bit more.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, we have to adjourn
1 the hearing. Indeed there is a hearing after ours.
2 So, Mr. Witness, as you know, you're not supposed to meet anyone
3 until tomorrow. We shall convene again at 9.00 tomorrow.
4 Yes, Mr. Praljak?
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Just half a minute or even
6 less, Your Honours. In my cross-examination thus far, I don't think I
7 overstepped any of the rules. I conducted a very precise
8 cross-examination with maximum respect for the witness, and I think all
9 the facts introduced in that way helped the Trial Chamber in gaining a
10 better insight into the situation and into the proceedings.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll be back here tomorrow at
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day
15 of May, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.