1 Monday, 21 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
7 everyone. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 This is the beginning of the week. My greetings to all the people
11 in the courtroom, the OTP, the Defence counsel, and the accused, as well
12 as all the people in and outside this courtroom helping us.
13 First of all, I'm going to give the floor to the registrar. He
14 has a few IC numbers for us.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Several
16 parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered through Witness
17 BC. The list submitted by OTP shall be given Exhibit number 565 under
18 seal. The list submitted by 1D shall be given Exhibit number IC 566 under
19 seal. The list submitted by 2D shall be given Exhibit number IC 567 under
20 seal. The list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit number IC 568 under
21 seal. The list submitted by 4D shall be given Exhibit number IC 569 under
22 seal. The list submitted by 5D shall be given Exhibit number IC 570 under
23 seal. And, finally, the list submitted by 6D shall be given Exhibit
24 number IC 571 under seal.
25 In addition, some parties have submitted lists of documents to be
1 tendered through Witness Salim Delalic. The list submitted by OTP shall
2 be given Exhibit number IC 572, while the list submitted by 3D shall be
3 given Exhibit number 573.
4 Thank you very much, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
6 Mr. Registrar.
7 One reminder with relation to a procedural matter. On the 2nd of
8 May we received from the Defence a motion or request for certification on
9 appeal regarding Witness BB. Today, the Defence filed a supplemental
10 document with submissions within the same framework. Initially the
11 Prosecution had been given until the date of the 23rd of May to reply.
12 Now that we have supplemental submissions, we extend, if need be, this
13 delay to the 30th of May. Thereby the Prosecution will have until the
14 30th of May to file its reply.
15 Regarding the coming witness - he's going to come into the
16 courtroom in a few moments - the Prosecution will have five hours as
17 requested in its filings. As to the Defence, they will have all together
18 seven hours to be divided as follows: For Prlic, two hours; for the
19 Petkovic Defence, one hour and a half; for the Praljak Defence, one
20 hour -- one hour and 30 minutes; 40 minutes for the other accused. So all
21 together you have seven hours. Of course, the accused through their
22 counsel may decide to spread the time differently. It's for them to
23 decide according to their needs. At any rate, I remind that Prlic has two
24 hours; Petkovic, one hour and 30 minutes; same amount for Mr. Praljak;
25 Mr. Stojic, 40 minutes; Mr. Coric, 40 minutes; and, Mr. Pusic, 40 minutes.
1 So much for this witness who is scheduled for the whole week.
2 I am pleased to see Mr. Scott again. He wasn't there last time.
3 I would like to say to Mr. Mundis that following the ruling of the Appeals
4 Chamber confirming the time given to the Prosecution by the Trial Chamber,
5 we should very soon have a schedule, a timetable planning the witnesses to
6 come in the remainder of time available to the Prosecution; that is, by
7 the end of the Prosecution case, so that all and sundry can have an
8 overview of the remaining witnesses.
9 So this is a remainder for you, Mr. Scott. I believe that
10 Mr. Mundis has already conveyed our concern to you, but this is a very
11 major concern, and I spend every minute, every second thinking of it.
12 We're going to have the witness brought in.
13 Madam Usher, can you bring the witness in?
14 Yes, Mr. Kovacic?
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on Thursday at the end
16 of the questioning of Witness Delalic, if you remember my microphone
17 wasn't working, so I wasn't able to ask an IC number for the video, for
18 the footage that we showed in the courtroom together with General
19 Praljak's cross-examination. I put on the IC list which was given a
20 number, but without the actual number. So may I have a number for that
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I have the video here with me and it
25 will become Exhibit IC 574.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, IC 574.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 WITNESS: PHILIP ROGER WATKINS
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Let me
5 first check that you can hear me in your own language. If you do hear me,
6 say yes, you understand me.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, I understand you, sir.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you have been called by the
9 Prosecution as a witness in this case, which is happening currently.
10 Please give me your first name, surname and date of birth?
11 THE WITNESS: My first name is Philip, my surname is Watkins, and
12 I was born on the 21st of April, 1959.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. What is
14 your current occupation, sir?
15 THE WITNESS: I am chief executive of a company involved in urban
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you had an opportunity to
18 testify before an international court on the events that took place in the
19 former Yugoslavia or is this going to be the first time you testify?
20 THE WITNESS: This is the third time I will have testified in this
21 court, sir.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is the third time. Can
23 you tell us in which other cases you have been a witness?
24 THE WITNESS: I was called by the Prosecution in the case of Dario
25 Kordic, and I was called by the Defence in the case of Tihomir Blaskic.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please read out the
2 solemn declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Please sit
7 Before I give the floor to the Prosecution, I'll give you some
8 explanation. You're used to this Tribunal since this is the first time
9 you've testified [as interpreted]. Moreover, you were both a Prosecution
10 and a Defence witness, which is quite something special. Therefore, you
11 won't be surprised to the types of questions that are going to be put to
12 you. You will first be put questions by the OTP. I guess you met with a
13 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor this morning or yesterday,
14 and after this first stage you have Defence teams on your left-hand side,
15 or the accused, and they in turn will put questions to you as part of the
17 The three Judges in front of you can, pursuant to the rules,
18 intervene at any time, but for the sake of convenience and for parties to
19 be able to present their case, we now prefer to put our questions towards
20 the end, after the examinations by the parties, but it may happen that
21 because of certain circumstances we might have to intervene. For
22 instance, when some documents are being reviewed, in this instance we do
23 have a lot of documents to go through, I think close to 54 of them, so it
24 may be that rather than wait until the very end, in order not -- to avoid
25 coming back to a document later on we meet intervene but only if it is
1 absolutely necessary to do so.
2 Try to be very specific and short in your answers. As you know,
3 these are oral proceedings supported by documents that are going to be
4 tendered into evidence once your testimony is over, but what matters above
5 all is what you are going to say in answer to questions by parties.
6 If you fail to understand a the meaning of a sentence, do not
7 hesitate to ask the party asking you that question to reformulate it.
8 As you know already, we have breaks for technical reasons in this
9 Tribunal every 90 minutes, and they are about 20 minutes long.
10 So this is very briefly the way your testimony is going to take
11 place. If at any time you feel unwell, you want to have a break, also
12 there again do not hesitate to say so, and I will call a break for you to
13 have a rest, if need be.
14 It is now your witness, Mr. Prosecutor. Mr. Registrar is going to
15 count the time.
16 Mr. Karnavas.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Keeping with our
18 objections in the past, we've noted that the gentleman has personal notes
19 and used those personal notes in creating the statement that he was -- he
20 provided to the OTP, the last one, at least. Also, he indicated that he
21 used confidential ECMM reports. Now, he notes that he doesn't wish to
22 turn over his personal notes, so, number one, I would like to know whether
23 he has had a change of heart by -- since then, since making that
24 statement, and, if so, could we have those notes. Two, if he's not
25 willing to turn over the notes, whether he reviewed the notes prior to
1 coming here, and also whether there are any documents that are -- that he
2 looked at, confidential ECMM documents that are not in reference -- that
3 are not referred to in the statement but only he had access to and the
4 Defence has not been or the Prosecution has not had access to. So those
5 are my questions, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, for several weeks
7 already, systematically so, the Defence have been asking for documents to
8 be turned over, notes that might have been used towards preparing a
9 witness statement.
10 Before you answer this question, I have to ask you this: You have
11 already been a witness in the Kordic and in the Blaskic cases. In these
12 both cases, did the Prosecution or the Defence ask you to turn over your
13 personal notes or documents that you might have had access to before you
14 wrote out or gave this written statement?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. Both previous occasions I was asked to
16 disclose notes which I took at the time while I was in Bosnia, and on both
17 occasions I declined to offer those, primarily because they are a mixture
18 of thoughts and comments after meeting individuals, but also that they
19 contain personal information such as telephone numbers of my family and so
20 on. So I have not disclosed those.
21 In answer to the question pressed to me, yes, I have looked at
22 those books prior to coming to the court today. I have not looked at any
23 other ECMM documents except those that were presented to me in
24 proofreading by the Prosecution.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Second question I'd like to put:
1 At the time you were a member of the ECMM, at the time as part of the
2 mission you had been given specific instructions as to the documents of
3 the ECMM, or was nothing said to the effect?
4 THE WITNESS: Nothing was said to the effect of -- of documents
5 from ECMM. We were required to write daily reports. We simply wrote
6 those and submitted them, but there was no -- no other instructions, sir.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You heard
8 Mr. Karnavas earlier on. You may know him already. He was officially
9 asking for the documents to be turned over, documents that you possibly
10 have looked at. What is your current position, faced with this request?
11 THE WITNESS: Sir, I would not like to have hand over my
12 notebooks. I would not like to put them in the public domain.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, what is the position of the
14 OTP on this?
15 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Our position is the
16 same as we've announced previously, and that is if the witness does not
17 wish to turn over the notes, they or matter of his papers and, consistent
18 with other Trial Chambers and other trials, the notes should not be turned
20 MR. MURPHY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. May I
21 is suggest that a simple solution to all this would be to ask that the
22 notes be turned over on a confidential basis and that any references to
23 them during the testimony should be made in closed session, and then,
24 obviously, if references were to be made to them in the judgement of the
25 Trial Chamber or for other purposes, that could be done under seal. That
1 would, I think, take care of Mr. Watkins's concern about the personal
2 information and, at the same time, Your Honour would make available to the
3 Defence potentially relevant information that could be important for the
4 purposes of cross-examination. And in the exercise of Your Honours'
5 discretion, I would submit that that is a better solution than simply
6 denying the Defence access to potentially very helpful documents.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have heard the
8 submissions by Mr. Murphy. He suggested you would turn over the documents
9 on a confidential basis in closed session so that it would not be
10 disclosed to the public, and, if mentioned in the final judgement, the
11 Judges would only refer to the notes as to the extent as they are in the
12 public domain and not private. What do you think of this?
13 THE WITNESS: Sir, I'd rather remain consistent and not hand over
14 the books. It may be that people perceive they will be extremely useful
15 to either Prosecution or Defence. I think they would be very
16 disappointed. They're merely scribblings, names, appointment next to it,
17 a couple of thoughts. They're personal to me, and I'd rather keep it that
18 way, sir.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has already
21 discussed this matter. It is of the view that the documents are the
22 private ownership of the witness, and it being so, if the witness declines
23 to turn them over, he won't have to, all the more so, since this witness
24 has just specified that the content of the notebooks is very personal and
25 only personal and that in his view there would be nothing in the notebooks
1 that might be likely to be interesting. But when they ask their
2 questions, the Judges will be able to assess the relevance of this.
3 But there is something else that still is not very clear.
4 Mr. Scott, looking at the list, I realise that all the ECMM documents are
5 in the Rule 70 column. There's a "yes" there, and until the under seal
6 they're also mentioned as "yes" documents. Does this amount to say that
7 the European Union told you that they didn't want the documents to be in
8 the public domain?
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. As I explained to some of
10 your staff last week, the position of ECMM on this, as I understand it, is
11 consistent with the position that some of the other providers such as the
12 Spanish government and the United States have taken concerning documents
13 produced by those providers, and that is that the documents may be
14 referred in court. The question -- excuse me. The witness may be
15 questioned about them, but the documents themselves will neither be
16 broadcast or shown outside the courtroom and will be maintained in the
17 court records under seal. That is, no member of the public would be able
18 to either see, broadcast, or have access to the documents themselves.
19 They may be used in the courtroom.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This means, doesn't it, that
21 questions can be asked in a public fashion, and that documents will not be
22 put on the ELMO, but the answers also will be public. Is that so?
23 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. I'm now going to give the
25 floor to Mr. Kruger.
1 Good afternoon, Mr. Kruger.
2 MR. KRUGER: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
3 Your Honours. Good afternoon, everybody in the courtroom.
4 Examination by Mr. Kruger:
5 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
6 MR. KRUGER: Your Honours, just at the outset I'll point out, as
7 there have been previous witnesses who have testified regarding the
8 structure of the ECMM as well as the reporting methods and then the
9 structure of documents, I will not go into these details with this witness
10 unless directly relevant regarding this witness.
11 Q. Sir, if we may start with a few biographical details. Could you
12 please tell the Court what your background was prior to becoming an ECMM
14 A. Yes, sir. I studied economics and politics and achieved a degree,
15 a bachelor of honours degree and then a Master of Science at the London
16 School of Economics. I worked for a while on the family farm before
17 joining the British Army, where I served after training at Sandhurst as an
18 officer in the royal artillery and the royal horse artillery. I left the
19 military forces and was recruited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
20 to act as an observer seconded to the European Community Monitor Mission.
21 I served between 1993 and 1995 in Bosnia and in Croatia. I then joined
22 the political staff of Mr. Yasushi Akashi, the Special Representative to
23 the Secretary-General of the United Nations and worked for four months
24 with him in 1995 in Zagreb. I then left the employ of the -- of
25 international organisations and established a company along with some
1 colleagues. That was involved in trying to get companies rebuilding
2 Bosnia following the Dayton peace agreement. That company was in
3 existence for three years, and I then was approached by the Foreign and
4 Commonwealth Office and asked if I would join a new international
5 verification mission which was being established in Kosovo. I joined that
6 mission before the NATO intervention in Kosovo, and then after the NATO
7 intervention in Kosovo I stayed with the Organisation of Security and
8 Cooperation in Europe and worked specialising in elections, and was
9 involved in the municipal elections and subsequent elections in Kosovo. I
10 then returned to the United Kingdom, and for the last five years I've been
11 involved in trying to bring new investment into deprived areas within
12 British towns where there is particular deprivation. That is the
13 occupation I have now.
14 Q. Thank you. Sir, how many years did you spend in the British
16 A. Eight years.
17 Q. And of those eight years how -- how much of those years were spent
18 as an artillery officer or involved with artillery?
19 A. I spent one year of training at Sandhurst and then I specialised
20 special to arms training at the Royal School of Artillery, and so for the
21 remaining seven years. I first served with air defence artillery, our
22 surface to air missiles and then was a forward observer with traditional
23 artillery for another three years.
24 Q. Thank you. Turning to your time in Bosnia, you said that you were
25 there as a monitor between 1993 and 1995. Could you give us the
1 breakdowns of in which areas you worked during which periods?
2 A. I first deployed to the ECMM mission in late January 1993, and
3 after a brief induction in Zagreb I deployed to Bosnia where I served as a
4 member of a team in Tomislavgrad but spent most of my time in Gornji
5 Vakuf. By June of 1993, I was appointed as the head of the coordination
6 centre, so in charge of several times in Travnik covering an area of
7 Central Bosnia, and I held that position through to October 1993, where I
8 transferred to Mostar as the head of the coordination centre in Mostar,
9 and I remained there until -- I think it was early January 1994. I was
10 then required by my government to spend three months back in the UK, but
11 was then sent back to the ECMM mission, and I served for approximately two
12 months, maybe three, in Croatia as the head of the coordination centre for
13 the ECMM in Topusko, working in the Krajina area. I was then appointed as
14 the head of the Regional Centre Zenica, which later changed its name
15 during my period to Regional Centre BiH, and I was responsible for running
16 all of the ECMM teams in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. Thank you. Just for clarity, coordination centre, for instance,
18 Coordination Centre Travnik, is that abbreviated as CC Travnik in
20 A. Yes. CC Travnik or CC Mostar or CC Tapusko.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, just looking at the various levels at which
22 you worked, as an ECMM team member attached to CC Gornji Vakuf, at what
23 level were your contacts?
24 A. Primarily at a brigade level, but one rapidly began to work with
25 more senior individuals. So in Gornji Vakuf, within four or five weeks of
1 arrival, I was dealing with the operational zone commander,
2 Colonel Siljeg, and of the armija forces with commander of 4th Corps,
3 General Arif Pasalic, and also members of 3rd Corps, senior members of 3rd
5 Q. Thank you. And what -- where -- or was your focus when you became
6 head of a coordination centre?
7 A. The geographical area became wider. As a team member, as I noted,
8 the title of my team was "Tomislavgrad," but because of the nature of
9 activities in the areas where we needed to concentrate, I actually spent
10 most of my time in Gornji Vakuf, and in that capacity would have a
11 responsibility running from Bugojno down through Prozor to Jablanica. As
12 the head of the coordination centre in Travnik, I was responsible for an
13 area which included that valley, the Vrbas valley, but also the Lasva
14 Valley, and then Zenica and as far to the north-east as Zepce and
15 Zavidovici and Vares. My responsibilities ended at the point at which CC
16 Travnik and -- sorry, CC Tuzla and the head Tuzla's area, so they covered
17 the -- up to the Posavina Corridor.
18 Q. During your period in 1993, 1994 as an ECMM monitor, was your
19 efforts focused on any specific ethnic groupings and relations or events
20 between them?
21 A. Primarily I was dealing with relations between the Bosnian Croats
22 and the Bosnian Muslims. I had very little contact with the Bosnian
23 Serbs, although there were one or two meetings.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, when you became head of a -- of CC Mostar,
25 Coordination Centre Mostar, could you very briefly just tell the Court
1 where your focus of contact was during that period?
2 A. Well, by this time, because of the fact I had been in the country
3 and working continuously for approximately nine months, I had gained a lot
4 of experience and was primarily dealing with the senior leadership of the
5 Bosnian Croats, and that would include some of the defendants here today.
6 Mr. Prlic was an interlocutor, as indeed were several others here today.
7 Q. Okay. Now, sir, at this stage I'd just like to very briefly refer
8 you to document 4106.
9 Now, document 4106, or Exhibit 4106 appears to be a daily summary
10 report dated 10 August 1993, from team V to CC Travnik to RC Zenica. My
11 first question to you, sir, is: Do you recognise this report?
12 A. Can I just clarify? Mine says 11th of August rather than the
14 Q. Sorry, the 11th of August. That's my mistake.
15 A. This is a report that would have been sent from the headquarters
16 of the Travnik coordination centre to the regional centre in Zenica, and
17 this is a report which I wrote.
18 Q. Now, sir, if you could look at the second page of the report, and
19 that would be paragraph 8, which says "Assessment" right at the end. Now,
20 in that assessment it states that the emphasis in CC Travnik remains on
21 humanitarian work," and then it goes on to state some other things, but
22 then it says: "It is ironic that access to the Croat community is
23 normally uninhibited but access to the Muslim minorities such as Prozor
24 remains difficult".
25 Now, my question to you, perhaps in the context of this, but you
1 may go wider, is while you were a monitor, an ECMM monitor during 1993,
2 1994, did you have any problems gaining access to the areas you were
3 supposed to monitor?
4 A. Yes. We had considerable access, and we were blocked from
5 visiting isolated Muslim communities, but equally often blocked from
6 visiting isolated Croatian communities. It was a consistent factor in our
7 operations, and we needed to address these by going to the senior levels
8 to try and get access.
9 Q. Was the issue of access ever fully resolved?
10 A. No. There was often temporarily a breakthrough, an agreement and
11 overcoming of the immediate issue but it would inevitably return at a
12 later stage.
13 Q. Sir, if we can just very briefly look at your time as -- with the
14 team in CC Gornji Vakuf. What was your primary task or focus when you
15 were in Gornji Vakuf on the ECMM team?
16 A. A joint commission had been established prior to my arrival, which
17 was a commission formed of representatives of the HVO and of the armija,
18 and the idea was to try and introduce and build confidence where there had
19 been some early conflict in January, and the sort of activity we were
20 engaged in was, first of all, discussions, separation of forces, removal
21 of trenches, agreement on where flags could be flown or not flown, and
22 then vir if I case by actually physically going to these areas to assure
23 what had been agreed around the table was actually happening.
24 Q. From the Bosnian Croat side or the HVO side, do you know who had
25 been involved in the setting up of this joint commission?
1 A. Yes. It was established at a very senior level, and I believe
2 that initially it was established at a level which involved
3 General Petkovic. By the time I was there, I was dealing with General
4 Siljeg and Arif Pasalic, as mentioned earlier. So having been
5 established, it was then the local military or the corps commanders and
6 operational zone commanders we were dealing with, as well as the
7 subservient brigades to those organisations.
8 Q. From the ECMM side who chaired this meeting?
9 A. When I first arrived it was being chaired by an Irish monitor
10 called Ray Lane. It -- on his departure - I don't remember the exact
11 date, but it was fairly early on; I would say in February - he was
12 succeeded by a British monitor called Christopher Beese, and in either of
13 those absence then, the team itself would chair, and so on occasions I
14 chaired those meetings.
15 Q. Thank you. You've mentioned Christopher Beese and Mr. Ray Lane.
16 Could I ask you, when you arrived in Bosnia, how did you come up to speed
17 or gain your knowledge in -- sufficient knowledge to be able to function?
18 A. We had an initial brief in -- in Zagreb, just an orientation, a
19 very general brief. Then arriving in -- in Bosnia, we had one-to-one
20 discussions with monitors who had been there that much longer, including
21 the two people you mention, but also your immediate team leader who would
22 have more experience. So it was really a case of that direct
23 communication through those individuals. You had reference to some of the
24 reports that had been previously written, but the biggest experience was
25 the experience you gained rapidly in those -- in those situations.
1 Q. Now, sir, if I could refer you to Exhibit 5502. Exhibit 5502.
2 And this is an ECMM report dated 30 September 1993, issued by team V2 in
3 Gornji Vakuf addressed to CC Travnik. And, sir, if I -- first of all,
4 could I ask you, do you have any -- do you know about this document or
5 could you tell us where this document comes from, what it is?
6 A. Yes. This would be a -- a report written at a team level, sent to
7 the coordination centre, and it's giving a background of the
8 municipalities of Gornji Vakuf. And the reason for this was because there
9 was a rapid turnover of monitors, some serving for as little as six weeks
10 in the case of the Belgium monitors, most serving for three months, a few
11 such as the British monitors serving for a year, we found those that had
12 been there any time wanting to get some corporate knowledge and
13 understanding. So we asked teams to draw up briefs, some background
14 reports to help make it easy for new arrivals to understand the patch, and
15 this is one of those reports.
16 Q. Now, if I may refer you specifically to paragraph 2, which
17 is "History of the area." And this paragraph, it basically gives a
18 summary of events in Gornji Vakuf from the beginning of 1993, and it goes
19 on to say that Gornji Vakuf was the focus of HVO policy in the region and
20 direction came from corps HQ in Mostar. The next paragraph on 8 January
21 1993, "an HVO flag was raid in the town of Gornji Vakuf," et cetera.
22 Now, do you recall having been shown this paragraph during our
23 meeting prior to -- to testifying, or one of our meetings prior to
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And are you able to comment on -- on this reflection of the
2 history of that area?
3 A. Well, it is a -- a very brief summary which would introduce a new
4 monitor to some of the structures that were in place and the importance
5 that Gornji Vakuf had. By the time this report was written on the 30th of
6 September, 1993, the events and focus of activity was elsewhere, but
7 Gornji Vakuf in January 1993 had been one of the key focuses. So it would
8 be a useful introduction but not massively comprehensive.
9 Q. Okay. Two-thirds of the way down in that paragraph it states: "A
10 joint commission was established to deal with extant issues and later
11 humanitarian agencies were involved." Is this joint commission the one
12 which you were involved with and to your knowledge?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Now, that joint commission, did it continue working through 1993?
15 A. Yes, but I would say that it had probably reached its peak of --
16 of influence in February, March, 1993, because by April we had a very
17 different military situation, and although -- in that area, particularly
18 in Central Bosnia. So although the functions of the ECMM in trying to
19 keep discussions going between Bosnian Croats and Muslims would have been
20 there, the joint commission as such would have had evaporated after April.
21 Q. The beginning of the last paragraph -- well, just beneath that
22 section that I've just read on page 1, it says: "Since June of 1993, the
23 situation in Gornji Vakuf has reduced to one of open warfare."
24 Is that pretty much as you recall what happened?
25 A. I may not have used the word "open warfare" myself. I mean, what
1 had -- Gornji Vakuf was an important town on a front line, and it was
2 important because of its control of access routes further into Bosnia.
3 Open warfare, well, it wasn't an intense front line, although there was
4 military activity there.
5 Q. Now, sir, in June 1993, you said that you then moved to CC
6 Travnik. At the time of your move, who was the head of CC Travnik?
7 A. The head of CC Travnik was a Swedish monitor whose name just
8 momentarily escapes me. A Swedish fighter pilot. I --
9 Q. Did you replace him after a short while as head?
10 A. Yes. He was there for a matter of a week or -- or two weeks and
11 then left.
12 Q. The headquarters of CC Travnik, where was that? Was it in Travnik
14 A. Yes, it was. We actually established a headquarters in the -- in
15 a hotel in Travnik.
16 Q. And did it remain there?
17 A. No, it didn't. Shortly after we'd opened it, the fighting between
18 the Croats and Muslims intensified in -- in April, and we were evacuated
19 when there was fighting in that town, and so we operated still with the
20 name of CC Travnik, but by -- I can't remember the exact date we were
21 evacuated, but sometime in late April we were then based in Zenica,
22 operating out of Zenica, covering the same territorial area but not
23 physically located in Travnik.
24 Q. Now, CC Travnik, is it correct that that also felt -- fell under
25 the regional centre or RC Zenica?
1 A. Yes, it did.
2 Q. During June what was the organisation of RC Zenica? Along what
3 lines was it organised?
4 A. It's -- RC Zenica had formed in early January and had grown out of
5 Split in Croatia. It had been planted in Zenica, and it was organised
6 primarily as a mechanism for helping to introduce the Vance-Owen Peace
7 Plan, which was the main international reconciliation effort, and we on
8 the ground were tasked with preparing and supporting and trying to build
9 confidence in institutions, and so teams began to focus very specifically
10 on making connections with the political community and -- and trying to
11 send information back up to Vance -- Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen on what the
12 feeling was on the ground and how real it was to implement this -- this
14 Q. And did this organisation then change the organisation along the
15 lines of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan for RC Zenica?
16 A. The geographical areas changed a little bit. One example would be
17 the time that was working in Gornji Vakuf. When that -- I was in that
18 team in January. It reported to Mostar. What was then CC Grude, which
19 became CC Mostar. But during this period it reconfigured and reported to
20 CC Travnik. So although the Vance-Owen Plan very clearly was not going to
21 be a success by the early summer of 1993, the teams essentially covered
22 the same sort of territory, but the activity was different. It was much
23 more about fire-fighting-type duties, humanitarian, organising temporary
24 cease-fires, exchange of prisoners, bodies, visiting isolated communities,
25 trying to let them know that they weren't forgotten.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, from there, in October you then became head
2 of CC Mostar. Who had been your predecessor as head of CC Mostar?
3 A. Martin Garrod, Sir Martin Garrod.
4 Q. When you arrived did you immediately assume the duty of --
5 actually I see you want to add something?
6 A. Yes. Actually he had been the head of CC Mostar, but he was
7 replaced by a Spanish monitor called Jesus Amatriain, and Sir Martin
8 Garrod became the head of the regional centre. So he asked me to go to
9 Mostar, and I then reported to him as the head of the regional centre but
10 I took over from Jesus Amatriain.
11 Q. Was there an overlap period between you and Jesus Amatriain?
12 A. Yes, a short period. I forget exactly but, again, it would have
13 been somewhere around a week.
14 Q. Okay. Whom did Sir Martin Garrod replace as head of RC Zenica?
15 A. Jean-Pierre Thebault, a French monitor.
16 Q. Okay. Now, when you arrived in Mostar, what was the actual level
17 that you were conducting your contacts at? Actually, I have asked you
18 that. Sorry.
19 I will ask you this, though: How would you describe the people
20 you were dealing with when you became head of CC Mostar?
21 A. Well, the aim was to get the highest possible access you could so
22 I strove to meet the senior political and military leaders.
23 Q. Okay. Now, before moving into some more detail regarding that,
24 could you tell or give the Court an idea of what were the main issues
25 which were -- or which were playing during October, November, December
1 1993 in Mostar when you were there?
2 A. In Mostar on the humanitarian side it was discussions and activity
3 around evacuation of hospitals, exchange of prisoners, and freedom of
4 movement for humanitarian aid. On the political side, it was the
5 development of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna having earlier - I
6 think in August 1993 - changed from the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
7 to the Croatian republic. Institutions were forming, and that was a
8 particular it interest to the European Community Monitor Mission.
9 Q. Now, you mentioned humanitarian issues, exchanges, et cetera. Was
10 there any particular exchange which was particularly high profile during
11 this period, which caused a -- which drew a lot of attention?
12 A. I would say there were two. The first I was immediately involved
13 with was the attempt to evacuate the hospital in East Mostar in
14 conjunction with a similar evacuation of a hospital in Central Bosnia,
15 Nova Bila, and essentially the idea was that there would be simultaneous
16 evacuation of the hospital. The one from Central Bosnia would be
17 evacuated by helicopter, while the one from East Mostar would be a land
18 escort, and I was involved in East Mostar at the hospital trying to get
19 that element of the -- of the operation functioning. That actually
20 collapsed when the helicopters that flew out of Nova Bila landed in -- I
21 forget exactly where they did land. It will probably come to me, but
22 certainly in Herzegovinian territory and were -- were seized, and that
23 prevented the evacuation of East Mostar.
24 Q. By whom were these helicopters seized?
25 A. Well, we were told that they were seized by families, by civilian
1 population, but it was very evident that, had there been a will to
2 actually allow those helicopters to fly again, that could have been
3 achieved. So it was a convenient -- a convenient explanation.
4 Q. If you say they were seized by people, and -- did these people
5 belong to any group?
6 A. They were Bosnian Croats, but I have no doubt that they were being
7 instructed and hadn't -- hadn't themselves of their own volition decided
8 to stop the helicopters taking off.
9 Q. We will -- this issue of the helicopters will come up in a number
10 of documents that we deal with, but could I ask you at this stage, how
11 long did it take to solve this issue?
12 A. I was dealing with the helicopters certainly until I left, which
13 was in early -- I think it was early February 1994, and I don't believe it
14 was resolved in that period. So a period of three or four months.
15 Q. I see that you wanted to add something.
16 A. Yes. There were two main humanitarian issues. That was one, and
17 the second one was about the release of prisoners of -- of war and
18 exchanges where there had been several attempts, but there was an
19 announcement in early December 1993 by Mate Boban that he was going to
20 release prisoners. So that was another main area that we were dealing
22 Q. During your period in Mostar, that was when the Old Bridge or
23 Stari Most was also destroyed. Was this at all an issue which the ECMM
24 also took an interest?
25 A. Yes, it was an issue we took an interest in.
1 Q. And did you get -- come to hear or know about the Stupni Do
2 incident during this period that you were there?
3 A. Yes. Stupni Do happened just after I'd left Central Bosnia. It
4 had fallen into my area of responsibility, but I then -- my understanding
5 what happened at Stupni Do came from the successor monitors up in Central
7 Q. Okay. Now, sir in the course of further -- of the further
8 examination a number of these issues will come up in various documents,
9 sometimes in combination, sometimes singly, and so we will be touching
10 upon a number of these issues as we go along.
11 Now, returning to your contacts, and if I may focus specifically
12 on your contacts as head of CC Mostar with Bosnian Croat leadership.
13 Could you perhaps briefly, first, just describe or mention who were the
14 people that you met with, the main people?
15 A. I met with a -- a broad group, but my primary interface at a
16 senior level was with Jadranko Prlic. I also met with Mr. Pusic, who was
17 the head of all dealings with regard to prisoner exchanges. I dealt and
18 met with some of the Presidency advisors who were forming a new Presidency
19 circle around Mate Boban. I met Mate Boban himself. And Vladislav
20 Pogarcic would be one of the examples of the people I met, and I also met
21 many of the mayors and senior leaders. So Ivan Bender from Neum, and
22 Mr. Tokic from Tomislavgrad, and other key leaders.
23 Q. Okay. The -- focusing for a moment on the accused in this case,
24 did you meet with Bruno Stojic at any stage?
25 A. I don't remember meeting him, although we regularly met with his
1 deputy, Slobodan Bozic. I simply don't remember having a direct meeting
2 with him.
3 Q. And what about General Praljak?
4 A. Yes, I met General Praljak on a number of occasions, but actually
5 primarily when I was the head of CC Travnik, and I met him in Prozor and
6 near Prozor on the front line at the Makljen ridge. And I tried to meet
7 him in Citluk, which is the headquarters of the HVO -- actually, to
8 address a number of the issues we've touched upon, by then there was
9 uncertainty as to who was the commander-in-chief of the HVO forces. First
10 of all, there had been some uncertainty as to the exact point at which
11 General Petkovic departed and General Praljak turned over, and again
12 between General Praljak and the arrival of Ante Roso. But I met all of
13 these military leaders and including others such as -- operational zone
14 commander was Colonel Lasic, and General Tole, who I met.
15 Q. Valentin Coric, did you ever meet with Valentin Coric?
16 A. The name is very familiar and was right from the beginning. It
17 was a name of somebody who Ray Lane in particular seemed to meet. He was
18 the commander of the military police. I may have met him, but again,
19 perhaps in retrospect, one wonders why I didn't, but I don't remember
20 actually meeting him.
21 Q. Now, if we may turn specifically then to Mr. Jadranko Prlic. When
22 was the first time that you actually did meet with Jadranko Prlic?
23 A. I believe that I met him in the very first few weeks when I
24 visited Mostar, because my team reported to Mostar, and I met Ray Lane.
25 The reason there is a hesitation is, in the early days and I'm sure you
1 would appreciate, in a complex environment with many names it took a few
2 weeks, a few months to begin to understand who was who. But -- I believe
3 I met him there, but the first time I certainly met him and had a good
4 working relationship with him was when I became head of CC Mostar.
5 Q. Just to be clear, when you say the first time you met him was in
6 the very few -- first few weeks, would that be the very first weeks that
7 you actually went to Bosnia as an ECMM monitor?
8 A. Yes. This would have been February or early March 1993.
9 Q. At that stage, could you give the Court an idea of your awareness
10 of what position he held or his status?
11 A. I was told that he was the Prime Minister of the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
13 Q. Now, from October onwards when you became head of CC Mostar, where
14 did you meet generally with Jadranko Prlic?
15 A. I met him in West Mostar in his office, but that wasn't the only
16 time I met him. There was an odd -- a couple of social occasions. I went
17 to a Christmas gathering of senior leaders, and I was also hosted by Mr.
18 Prlic when I brought the ambassador, the head of the mission, the whole of
19 the ECMM mission, from Zagreb. He hosted me at -- primarily it was
20 meetings in his office. One other meeting I had with him was when he
21 invited me to go to the first presidential or -- sorry, not -- the first
22 convening of the government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. I'd
23 established a good relationship with Mr. Prlic. I found him very easy to
24 talk to and he was always very open, and he was keen that the European
25 Community heard the voice of -- of the Croatian -- Bosnian Croats, and so
1 he -- he invited me to this session at the end of December 1993. So
2 various locations, primarily his office.
3 Q. Okay. Just before we have a look at another document, you said
4 you met him in the -- in his office in Mostar. Could you give the Court
5 an idea of whether the Ministry of Defence may also have been housed in
6 this location or not?
7 A. Actually, I think the Ministry of Defence was in a separate
8 building, although I can't be absolutely sure. Certainly I met other --
9 other lead -- political leaders in the same offices as Mr. Prlic, but I
10 believe that when I saw Slobodan Bozic and went to see Mr. Stojic, it was
11 in another building.
12 Q. Okay. Sir, if I may refer you to document 6084. Exhibit 6084.
13 And this is an ECMM daily summary from CC Mostar dated 25 October 1993.
14 Do you recognise this -- this document?
15 A. Yes. I wrote this document, and I note that on that date, 25th,
16 I'm still signing myself as "Des," which means the designate. So I can't
17 remember the exact date I arrived in Mostar. I think it was about 17 or
18 18th of October, and so a week later I'm still the Des. So Jesus
19 Amatriain would also have been in territory.
20 Q. So if we look at the very first paragraph on -- the first
21 paragraph under "Political" on page 1, it starts off with "HCC and HCC
22 (Des)." So does that refer then to you as HCC Des?
23 A. HCC would be Jesus Amatriain, and I would be HCC Des.
24 Q. Sir, if we can look on page 1, the is second paragraph
25 under "Political." It's about the middle of the page, and it says that,
1 "HCC and HCC (Des) met Jadranko Prlic and the situation of Croats in
2 Central Bosnia as the main topic and previous experience on the area
3 proved an asset." Was this the first meeting that you had, well, as --
4 when you went to Mostar as head of CC Mostar?
5 A. Yes, I believe it was.
6 Q. And can you comment on -- on this, on this meeting?
7 A. Yes. I suppose it established the beginning of -- of the
8 relationship I've described of one of -- of easy access and open
9 discussion. The reason I make a comment here about my experience in
10 Central Bosnia is because we -- there was a physical separation between
11 Herzegovina and Mostar and the activities that were happening in, for
12 instance, the -- in the Lasva Valley, and because of the position I'd had
13 before dealing with everything up as far as Vares and Zavidovici and
14 Zepce, I believe that my -- my understanding of the position of the
15 isolated Bosnian Croat communities in Central Bosnia was of particular
16 interest to Mr. Prlic.
17 Q. The very next paragraph -- my apologies. The very next paragraph
18 refers to 5.000 refugees who had arrived in Herzegovina last week and a
19 further 10.000 were expected during the next two months, and the comment
20 which is added states that: "The figure of 5.000 was also quoted by
21 Jadranko Prlic, who added that accompanying them were -- or accommodating
22 them would now be a serious concern." Could you comment on this?
23 A. Yes. This was a time of particularly large movements of
24 population from Central Bosnia. Bosnian Croats coming out of Central
25 Bosnia through Bosnian Serb territory and re-entering into Bosnian Croat
1 territory around Herzegovina. There were primarily two locations this
2 happened. Celebici to the north of Mostar up on the front line, and also
3 Stolac, which was to the south-west of -- of Mostar. And these were the
4 points at which civilians came out of Central Bosnia and re-entered into
5 Herzegovina. And so any movements were of -- of this sort of scale were
6 interesting on a number of fronts. Just the sheer scale, the humanitarian
7 issues that were raised as are mentioned here, but also the cooperation
8 that must signal between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Serbs.
9 Q. Okay. Now, sir, if we can perhaps just turn to the next page of
10 that document. "Other matters," which is paragraph 6, and the very first
11 paragraph there states is that "HCC Des," which would have been you,
12 "contacted by telephone Vladislav Pogarcic," and this was in regard to
13 the question of the hijacked helicopters. And it says, "As a result of
14 this information, HCC and HCC Des have arranged a meeting with General
15 Tole for 26 October. General Praljak was not available." Could you
16 comment on this?
17 A. Yes. First of all Vladislav Pogarcic was one of the main people
18 that I met. He was forming or was an advisor to Mate Boban and giving me
19 a very, again, open discussions about the Presidency and how that was
20 formed. The reason I was raising the helicopters is for those already
21 discussed. The continued holding of the helicopters was preventing
22 further evacuations in and exchanges and indeed general cooperation
23 between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims and we wanted to take
24 it out as an issue, and I obviously saw General Praljak still as the
25 important person to meet in terms of military, being the commander of --
1 of HVO. But that suggested saying he wasn't available. I don't think at
2 this stage raised any particular issues but it was in this particular
3 period we were unsure quite who was in command where.
4 Q. Now, if we can step off that document. You've already mentioned
5 that you had a favourable impression of Mr. Prlic. From -- from your
6 dealings with him, could you comment on whether he possessed or what the
7 authority was that he possessed, if any?
8 A. Well, he was the Prime Minister of the Croatian Republic of
9 Herceg-Bosna, so he was in a very senior position. We were seeing a
10 formation of the Presidency, the government, and the parliament, and he
11 was obviously a key player, certainly at the government level. He spoke
12 English. He was the same age as me, similar background in terms of
13 economics, and, as I said, we -- I found him very approachable and open to
15 Q. Did you ever discuss him with other people, with other leadership
16 figures or internationals?
17 A. Yes. He would have been, and was indeed an important person in
18 terms of any visitors we had, international visitors. I hosted a visitor
19 of Ambassador de Baenst, the Belgium head of mission, and I took him to
20 see Mr. Prlic. Mr. Prlic was involved in certain discussions as we
21 approached things like the -- the discussions in Geneva and discussions in
22 Washington. He wasn't necessarily the person that went there, but he was
23 certainly someone we wanted to -- to talk with, to get our -- an
24 understanding of the Bosnian Croat perspective.
25 Q. Now, on the question of authority, which we've touched upon, to
1 your mind when you were down there, did you have the impression that he
2 could actually exert authority?
3 A. Yes. He was in a position of authority. What became increasingly
4 apparent to me, though, was trying to understand the relationship between
5 the government and the Presidency, and there were many discussions and
6 uncertainties as to who as persons were in the ascendance and who perhaps
7 was disappearing off the scene, and that was both in the military and on
8 the political side. Mr. Prlic I didn't ever get any impression that his
9 position was in any way threatened, but I was interested, for instance,
10 in -- in views about other government positions and who was going to fill
11 them, and I found Mr. Prlic was always quite open and -- and informative.
12 Q. When you referred to the Presidency just a few lines up and the
13 relationship between the government and the Presidency, which is on line 2
14 of page 32, the Presidency, to whom are you referring to or what are you
15 referring to there?
16 A. I'm sorry, could you just point me to the document?
17 Q. Sorry, it's on the transcript. You stated that you were trying to
18 understand the relationship between the government and the Presidency.
19 A. Yes. The Presidency was Mate Boban, and there were many
20 discussions and many rumours that Mate Boban was on the way out as -- as
21 the political -- the main political character for the Bosnian Croats. The
22 information we were receiving from discussions with senior Bosnian Croat
23 leaders in Central Bosnia, but also from discussions that I was having,
24 his position was uncertain. But that's what I mean by his presence.
25 Q. Sir, perhaps could you give the Court an indication of the issues
1 that you were discussing with Jadranko Prlic in your time as head of CC
3 A. I primarily spoke to him about the political institutions of the
4 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, which would have included some
5 discussion about the military structures but primarily it was about who
6 was going to be the new Minister of Justice, the international relations
7 minister, and so on, and these power struggles. I did speak to him about
8 issues of humanitarian aid, but those would have been primarily dealt with
9 by Mr. Pusic, and later a humanitarian organisation was formed that was
10 led by Martin Raguz, and we did a lot of the humanitarian discussions
11 with -- with him had.
12 Q. Okay. Did you ever discuss with Mr. Prlic his views on the
13 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna and its role?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. What were his views on that?
16 A. The Croatian -- the establishment of the Croatian republic was
17 seen as an important signal to be sent not only to the Croatian Community
18 but to other ethnic groups within Bosnia and indeed to the international
19 community. It was the movement from the Croatian Community of
20 Herceg-Bosna, gathering of interests and important aspects of the Croatian
21 in -- of the Croatian Community into -- into a much more governmental
22 structure, something with an equivalence which was mentioned sever times
23 to the self-styled republic which the Bosnian Serbs had set up. It was a
24 step and a demonstration of a self-styled state that he wished to see
25 recognised, certainly at an international level, and it seemed to be a
1 move towards some sort of tri-republic solution. This is before the
2 Federation and the ideas that were emerging were one of Bosnia remaining
3 within its existing borders but with three republics, and there was much
4 discussion about aspects of that, but the Croatian Republic of
5 Herceg-Bosna, its state organisations, its functions, its legality, its
6 relationship with the military structures, that was my primary discussions
7 with him.
8 Q. How would you assess his role during October, November, December
9 in actually setting up the government of this Croatian Republic of
10 Herceg-Bosna? Did he have an important role there or not?
11 A. Yes, he did. He was due to form the government, and the
12 government was then to be presented to the parliament, and the parliament
13 would ratify it. At least that's ostensibly what was happening. What was
14 of interest to us was, who had the final say? Was it Mr. Prlic or was it
15 Mr. Boban? What was the relationship there? Was it going to be presented
16 to the parliament and merely rubber-stamped or was there any challenge to
17 what was being represented?
18 Q. Okay. Just prior to stepping onto the next document which will
19 build on what we've just been talking about I would just like to refer
20 back to one specific thing you mentioned that you said regarding
21 humanitarian matters, you actually more often referred to where you had to
22 go to Mr. Pusic, but just generally on this, did -- was Mr. Prlic
23 well-informed about these humanitarian matters and exchange issues, to
24 your mind?
25 A. Yes, I think he was informed, although it was -- his interest was
1 primarily in these political structures I saw, and I was indeed referred
2 to other people to sort out those issues. So I think there was knowledge,
3 but a distancing and a focus of interest on political structures.
4 Q. Okay. Now, sir, if we can step on or continue. You mentioned
5 earlier a meeting by the head of mission of the ECMM, and I'd like to
6 quickly or -- deal with this now. First of all, in October, towards the
7 end of October, who was or became the head of mission of the ECMM?
8 A. At that time it was Ambassador de Baenst.
9 Q. Was he from Belgium?
10 A. From Belgium. If it helps, the head of mission changed with the
11 rotations of the EU Presidency. So you see the change each time.
12 Q. Okay. And is it correct that the Belgian ambassador then did come
13 down to visit various leadership figures in Bosnia?
14 A. Yes. He came on quite an extensive visit, and he met Radovan
15 Karadzic. He met Izetbegovic. I think Haris Silajdzic, Ganic, and then
16 he came into Mostar, which is my area in terms of organising, and I took
17 him to see Mate Boban, Mr. Prlic. I think Slobodan Bozic was also at
18 that -- at that meeting. Yes, he was. And then I took him to East Mostar
19 where we met the new 4th Corps commander of the armija, who was
20 General Budakovic. And we also met Smejl Klaric [phoen] and Ibrahim
21 Kaluda who were the civilian leaders in East Mostar at the time.
22 Q. If I can refer you to Exhibit 06693. Exhibit 6693. And this is
23 title "Special report number one." It's an ECMM document from the ECMM
24 liaison officer to ICFY, Elmar Dinter. Is this a report on the meeting of
25 the head of mission, the Belgian ambassador?
1 A. Yes. It's notable for being -- handwritten is unusual for an
2 ECMM, but it may be just a fax cover.
3 Q. Now, if we can look at the third page of the document, and there
4 is a list of people met, and towards the end, the third last name is Mate
5 Boban. The second last name, Jadranko Prlic, and then Arif Pasalic, and
6 the date is then given for all these, the 30th of October. Do you have
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. These meetings, it states that they took place in Grude, Mostar
10 west bank, and then Mostar east bank. So is it correct that these were
11 three separate meetings?
12 A. Yes, three separate meetings.
13 Q. Now, sir, if I may refer you to the page of the report which, if
14 you see at the top of the report there's number DK00. If you could look
15 at the one which says 7227. DK007227. Do you have that?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Toward -- two-thirds down the page there's C and then "the Croat
18 objectives." And what this paragraph then states is that all Croat
19 interlocutors want a solution with ethnic partition, and essentially
20 Mr. Boban wants immediate negotiations while Kordic and Prlic feel it is
21 too early. Could you comment on this paragraph?
22 A. Well, first I would say two things. I didn't write it. It's not
23 one of my reports. And the second thing is just a point. I believe that
24 we met General Budakovic rather than Pasalic, but those we may be able to
25 verify that with another report. Now specifically here --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could interrupt for a second, sir.
2 I will raise an objection at this point, and I didn't do so
3 earlier. I thought that the gentleman would have been familiar with this
4 report but it's obvious that there was a foundation that was lacking in
5 this case. Since the gentleman did not generate this report, I would
6 object to the gentleman commenting on what somebody else might have opined
7 on. If the gentleman has an opinion of his own that he wishes to share,
8 keeping in mind that he had just arrived in the area only shortly before
9 this time in Mostar - we're talking about October, as I understand it he
10 had just come into the Mostar area - I think that he may not be in the
11 best position to be opining as to what somebody else's opinion might have
13 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I will try and rectify that.
14 Q. Is -- sir, first of all could you comment on the origins of this
16 A. Well, it's come from an ECMM liaison officer. On the 16th of
17 November I'd been there for a month, and that was after 10 months in
18 Bosnia. So I think I would have picked things up pretty quickly. And
19 while I appreciate what's just been said, I was at those meetings so I am
20 able to say what I think happened there.
21 Q. Can you comment on what happened to the meeting, whether this
22 issue was discussed and in what context? And I'm now referring to the
23 view that Boban wants negotiation, Prlic and Kordic feel it may be too
24 early. If you can recall that.
25 A. The timing of this particular visit was at a time when we were
1 looking at an international level for the solution, but this is before the
2 announcement of the Federation. So we were very interested in everyone's
3 perspective on the future, and certainly it was stated by Mate Boban that
4 he was ready for immediate resumption. I think the general consistent
5 pattern that we saw was that at that stage the solution seemed to be three
6 republics. There were issues about how the Muslims would get to the sea
7 and that became important, but here, that Kordic -- I wasn't at the
8 meeting with Kordic, believe it's too early, I -- I would be speculating
9 as to why they thought it was too early. I don't recall exactly what was
10 said, but of course this was the period at which they were just forge the
11 institutions of the Croatian republic. So he was just or about to present
12 the government to the parliament. The parliament hadn't met because that
13 happened at the end of December, so the structures that would send a
14 signal to the international community about there being a viable
15 interlocutor, a viable state with which one could have discussions, that
16 wasn't quite there yet. You know, give it a couple of months and there
17 would be more legitimacy because the process would have gone through than
18 would exist here at this time in November.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I see it's nearly a quarter to.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we break, Your Honour, just one
22 clarification. Is the gentleman suggesting now that from his
23 recollection, after meeting Prlic, Prlic indeed was of the position that
24 it was too early for a negotiated solution, because he said that he wasn't
25 at the meeting with Kordic, and then he gave his explanation and he gave a
1 reason behind the explanation but the question now is whether Prlic
2 himself to his understanding, to his knowledge, to his belief --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, we believe that
4 you will be in a position to ask these questions during your
5 cross-examination. Please do not interrupt the examination-in-chief for
6 such questions.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I just -- well, the objection then
8 would be non-responsive to the question that was asked by the Prosecutor.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's a quarter to 4.00. We'll
10 have a 20-minute break and resume at five past 4.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
15 You have the floor, Mr. Kruger.
16 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Sir, during the break I've been informed by the interpreters that
18 they've requested that we make a break between question and answer just to
19 help them with the interpretation. It was mostly my fault, I suspect.
20 Sir, if we -- we're still busy with document 06693, and if I can
21 refer you to the same paragraph C, the Croat objectives. That's where we
22 were last. Now, if we -- if you turn the page; the report then goes
23 further: "When talking about the Stupni Do massacre, Prlic, who condemned
24 the incident, mentioned that they had not been up there," and it actually
25 goes further because this is raised again further on the -- in the report,
1 and that is if you go to -- if you page two pages further, and this is the
2 page which reads at the top DK007230. Point H is the Stupni Do massacre,
3 and the second paragraph in that is: "In fact, the only -- only the Croat
4 Prlic condemn the action, while Boban and Kordic tended to play down the
5 seriousness of the Stupni Do. They seemed, however, well aware of the
6 negative effect it exerts through the media."
7 Sir, do you recall the issue of Stupni Do being raised during your
8 meetings with Mate Boban, and then with Jadranko Prlic on the 30th of
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. And can you tell the Court basically what the views were expressed
12 by Boban and then by Mr. Prlic?
13 A. Yes. Stupni Do, it happened a matter of a -- a few days before
14 this meeting, and a -- a confused picture had first emerged as to what had
15 happened, but all the reports coming back from both the UN and ECMM were
16 giving a very clear indication that it was an atrocity committed by
17 Bosnian Croat forces, and I think very quickly in our discussions -- first
18 of all Bosnian Croat leaders in -- in the Herzegovina area were interested
19 in what had happened. There was no doubt that this was a serious
20 international incident, and there were various degrees of explanation
21 offered from, "It was nothing to do with us," to, I think, the most senior
22 leadership as exhibited by Prlic, a realisation in fact that it was
23 Bosnian Croat forces that had committed that, and an open admittance of
24 from Mr. Prlic, whereas certainly Mr. Mate Boban, and it appears from the
25 meeting that was also the same view offered by Dario Kordic, it was very
1 much played down.
2 I think this is important for another reason. I think one of the
3 reasons why Mr. Prlic was willing to engage with us was very much an
4 attempt to get the Bosnian Croat voice heard and a recognition of how
5 important it was that they went on a sort of a -- a media offensive to
6 present themselves in a better light than they were getting reported by
7 the international community. It was a consistent refrain from Bosnian
8 Croat leaders that the EU and the UN only listened to and only accepted
9 the Muslim perspective and not theirs. And there were another -- one or
10 two other characters. I think we've mentioned Vladislav Pogarcic and
11 another was Mile Akmadzic, who were much more aware of the importance of
12 the international perspective, and here we note that the different
13 attitudes, but also they were very well aware that at this moment when
14 they were trying to send signals and trying to be taken more seriously by
15 the international community, they were also -- that here was another event
16 which put them in a bad light.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, if we can return to section C, two pages earlier
18 again. And this is the page marked DK007228. And just after the part
19 which we'd previously read on Stupni Do, it says: "The incapacity,"
20 that's four lines down, "the incapacity of Herzegovinian Croats to release
21 the two BiH medevac helicopters," and so there once again the medevac
22 helicopters was discussed. Could I just ask you, was this issue raised
23 during your meetings with Mr. Boban and with Mr. Prlic?
24 A. It was certainly raised with Mr. Boban. I actually don't remember
25 whether we raised it with Mr. Prlic. I think it's highly likely we did,
1 but I can't be sure on that.
2 Q. Now, if I may refer you to the -- the final part of that
3 paragraph, and here is an assessment, and I want to ask you whether you
4 share this assessment or have a different view, the -- dealing with the
5 failure to release the medevac helicopters shows either that the command
6 structure in Herzegovina is not reliable or that the Herzegovinian Croats
7 attach more importance to the release of prisoners of war in Mostar, East
8 Mostar, than to the long overdue evacuation of wounded and sick from the
9 Travnik-Busovaca pocket.
10 A. Could I just take a moment to actually read the whole paragraph
11 just to then --
12 Q. Yes, certainly.
13 A. Thank you. There were complex and interlinked relations between
14 movement of humanitarian aid, evacuation of -- of prisoners, and -- sorry,
15 evacuation of hospitals and prisoner exchanges, and at any one moment each
16 one of those may have more -- be attributed more importance than another,
17 and I think here there's some speculations as to the motives of why won't
18 the Bosnian Croats release those helicopters? And there were some very
19 simple explanations offered at the time. This was 50 per cent of the
20 armija's air force caught, and why release and relinquish an important
21 logistical support? That's a very pure military aspect. Another one was
22 about the leverage it gave for negotiations, be it prisoner of war
23 exchange or -- or some other evacuation. So I think also within that are
24 discussions, obviously, about the relationship between what was happening
25 in Herzegovina and the leadership in -- in Central Bosnia. We were always
1 very interested to know whether there was difference of views and
2 difference of emphasis, but I can throw no more light than that.
3 Q. Okay. Before stepping off the helicopter issue, if you turn the
4 page and you go to section G, which is medical evacuation and release of
5 prisoners of war, and you actually turn the next page, it's then the third
6 paragraph of this section but the top of the page marked DK007230.
7 This says: "Although Boban promised us on 30 October he would do
8 his utmost to get the helicopters released (I will go there myself if
9 Minister Stojic cannot do the job. Nothing of the sort happened)." Can
10 you recall whether any incident or discussion to this effect during the
12 A. Yes, absolutely. Mate Boban was in full flow. He was talking
13 expansively about the Bosnian Croat perspective in his view, and I
14 remember him saying this, you know, quite dramatically, "I will go there
15 myself and sort it out," but interestingly pointing to Minister of Defence
16 Mr. Stojic as his responsibility first. So, yes, I'll do something about
17 it, but actually somebody else is responsible for holding those. In fact,
18 we tried political, military, and we could not get those helicopters
20 Q. Now, finally on this document, if you could go to section E, which
21 is on page DK007228. And this is the section dealing with ECMM and EC,
22 and the second paragraph is the one which says: "Pogarcic and Prlic
23 expressed their good relations with ECMM, although hint that the results
24 are meager, while Prlic indirectly criticises," and then it says, "Boban
25 and Pogarcic are less diplomatic," a few lines down.
1 Did the issue -- do you recall the issue of the relations with the
2 ECMM and the attitude of the ECMM coming up during the meetings with
4 A. Yes, I do. I think, as I said earlier, Prlic was astute to the
5 need to send good signals, and in fact we did have good relationships
6 with, broadly speaking, Mr. Pogarcic and Mr. Prlic, but the EC and UN were
7 constantly being blamed by both factions for either failing to solve the
8 issues or, in fact, indeed, in causing them in the first place. And what
9 we're teasing out here is a difference of emphasis with Boban and Pogarcic
10 speaking more directly and Mr. Prlic giving a -- perhaps a more measured
11 support for ECMM, though hinting that not everything was good for the ECMM
12 or EU generally.
13 Q. Okay. Now, from your experience and your time down there, was
14 this justified, this criticism, in your mind?
15 A. No. I think it was part of the rich tapestry of pointing the
16 blame anywhere other than where it sat.
17 Q. Actually, there is one final thing I want to refer you to in this
18 document. The very last page of the document, section J. And that is the
19 section stating: "Demarche by Head of Mission on behalf of the CMS,"
20 that's the council, "of 4 October with Karadzic and Boban."
21 Could you perhaps just give the Court an idea of what this
22 demarche was about?
23 A. This was a rare thing but a demarche was issued by the European
24 Union and it was to try and directly address the issue of blocking of
25 humanitarian aid, and it was something which I believe was addressed at
1 all of the warring factions and here we see the contents specifically
2 mentioning that we should have freedom of movement for humanitarian aid.
3 Q. Now, sir, stepping off this document, after the meeting with
4 Jadranko Prlic, is it correct that you then went for lunch with him?
5 A. Yes. He invited the ambassador, Sir Martin Garrod, the head of
6 the regional centre, and myself to lunch, and he was accompanied by
7 Slobodan Bozic, the deputy minister of defence, and also responsible, I
8 believe, for relations with the international community.
9 Q. Could you tell the Court what happened during this luncheon?
10 A. Yes. Actually it hadn't been part of the planned itinerary and we
11 arrived at Mr. Prlic's office and he very kindly offered to take us out to
12 lunch and it was quite difficult to say no. So we went, but we did state
13 very clearly that there was further elements of the programme including a
14 visit to East Mostar that we felt was important to achieve, and therefore
15 the lunch may have to be concluded early, and indeed it was.
16 Q. Could you tell the Court about the exchange that took place when
17 you indicated that you were going to leave this lunch earlier?
18 A. Yes. I think it was obviously quite awkward having been invited
19 to -- to break that lunch, but I was insistent knowing that we had to meet
20 the Muslim leadership, and this caused a little bit of consternation and a
21 little exchange between Mr. Prlic and Mr. Bozic. Mr. Bozic then left and
22 later made a call, I believe, returned and said that it was all sorted for
23 our passage.
24 The next day I met Slobodan Bozic, and he was concerned and
25 annoyed and was -- said that we should give warning when we were
1 travelling to East Mostar to ensure there were no incidents, and indeed we
2 had an incident-free visit later on that afternoon immediately after the
4 Q. Did you have any idea or could you form any idea of how it came
5 that there were no incidents when you visited West Mostar that day?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object. My learned
7 friend knows better than that. That's really calling for speculation. I
8 think the fact that there were no incidents speaks for itself, but now to
9 ask the gentleman to speculate, I think it goes beyond the pale. Unless
10 the gentleman can tell us concretely if he knows anything.
11 MR. KRUGER: I think if we allow the witness to answer then it
12 would become clear, Your Honour.
13 THE WITNESS: Could you pose the question again? Sorry, I need
14 to --
15 MR. KRUGER: Sir, you said there was an incident-free visit to
16 Mostar when you left the luncheon with Mr. Prlic, and the question was,
17 did you have any idea, were you able to form any idea of how it came that
18 this was incident free?
19 A. Well, not every time we went to East Mostar were there incidents,
20 but clearly our statement that we were going and we were going that
21 afternoon caused consternation. A communication was made. We didn't have
22 any incidents. There may have or may not have been instructions given. I
23 can only say that we didn't have a -- any incidents that afternoon.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the word "incident" has
1 been used here in English. Line 14, page 46, "incidents" in the plural
2 form. What is, in your view, an incident in East Mostar? What could have
3 happened there if there had been incidents?
4 THE WITNESS: A range of possibilities. First, we may not have
5 been physically able to get there. Perhaps our passage and freedom of
6 movement would have been prevented. That didn't happen. There were no
7 direct or aggressive acts against us as individuals or our vehicles, which
8 sometimes happened. We were sometimes sniped at. We had armoured
9 vehicles. It wasn't uncommon that those armoured vehicles received
10 small-arms attraction. There were no detonations of mortar or artillery
11 or tank rounds in East Mostar during the period of that visit. So it was
12 a smooth passage in terms of movement and no aggression against us and no
13 observed or heard detonations or explosions during that particular period.
14 So that's what I meant, sir.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Witness, if we may turn to a different document, and this is
17 Exhibit 6381. Exhibit 6381. And this is a special report dated the 8th
18 of November, 1993, and we read right at the beginning: "Please find
19 hereunder an incident report by Philip Watkins, HCC Travnik."
20 Looking at this report, is this indeed a report drafted by you?
21 A. It has -- first of all, I supplied a report but I did so in my
22 report as HCC Mostar, and I see that's been annotated here. So Travnik
23 was wrong. It was actually issued by the political section by the
24 headquarters in Zagreb, but it would have been based, as stated here, on a
25 special report that I wrote and passed up through the headquarters of
1 Zenica and from Zenica on to Zagreb.
2 Q. So based on what you say, looking from the introduction further in
3 the various sections, would that have been the contents of your original
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Sir, if we look at the introduction, paragraph 2, and it deals
7 here with the origins of the republic. "The origins -- the origins of the
8 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna lies in the Croatian Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna or can be found in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
10 The CCHB was established to promote the interests of Croats within
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Many of the senior politicians now in the CRHB held
12 positions in this organisation."
13 Could you comment on this?
14 A. Yes. This was the maturing of the self-styled Croatian republic,
15 and certain members, including Mr. Prlic, who had been the president of
16 the government of the CCHB, was now emerging as the president of the
17 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
18 Q. The next part says: "The other source of political experience in
19 the Croatian republic are those who held positions in the
20 Bosnian-Herzegovinian government. They have -- the latter have abandoned
21 the BiH parliament stating that it is unconstitutional having been
22 hijacked by the Muslims." Could you comment on this one?
23 A. Yeah, the C -- the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was, if you
24 like, gathering political experience, and some of that political
25 experience had been evident by individuals playing a role in the
1 internationally recognised Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina over time and
2 during the fighting, and because of the fighting and many other reasons,
3 there was an increasing view articulated by the Bosnian Croats that the
4 legitimacy of the Sarajevo government had been eroded, that while
5 recognised by the international community it didn't have the legitimacy it
6 once had because, for instance, the Bosnian Serbs had left the government
7 and the Croatian republic was a better manifestation of the interests of
8 the Bosnian Croats.
9 Q. Now, sir, in the set-up of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna,
10 were you aware of any elections that took place?
11 A. No. And as noted here, the -- it would have been impossible to
12 have held any meaningful elections, but there was a genuine attempt to
13 demonstrate legitimacy by noting that many of these key post holders that
14 were emerging either in the government or in the Presidency or indeed as
15 members of parliament had once been elected when the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed. So there was a legitimacy, an audit trail
17 of legitimacy, if you like, back to, for instance, municipality elections
18 that had taken place of elected mayors and so on.
19 Q. If we turn the page to paragraph 5, Government. And here we have
20 a statement of: "Ministers have not been elected. They have been
21 temporarily employed in caretaker positions or roles. And then the
22 president of the government will present its nominations to the House of
23 Representatives for the ratification on 10 November 1993." Could you
24 comment on that, explain that?
25 A. Yes, this is this period of sort of fluidity of uncertainty as to
1 exactly who was filling what role and what the functions of the various
2 elements of government were going to be, and so there was a government
3 that was being put together and it was being put together by Mr. Prlic and
4 there would be temporary announcements, and indeed you can see in the
5 paragraph below some of the known ones were -- were, I have filled in, but
6 it was made clear to me that these would need a ratification and that that
7 ratification was to come at a later stage. Well, it says here 10th of
9 Q. The question marks against some of the names under the 13
10 ministries, what do those question marks signify?
11 A. It simply means that at the moment that I wrote this report I
12 could not put a particular name. I think quite soon after and rapidly
13 over the coming weeks we were able to fill in most of those blanks but at
14 this time it's because I didn't know.
15 Q. Now, if we look at the first paragraph of this section, it says
16 the known positions in the government which are considered secure are as
17 follows, and then it lists president of the government, Prlic, and then
18 under that Valenta. Could you comment on what basis they were seen as
19 being secure in their positions?
20 A. Well, by having meetings with as many individuals in key positions
21 as I could, one began to sort of triangulate and cross-check information,
22 and I don't think there was any doubt that Mr. Prlic was going to be the
23 president of the government. There was, however, considerable uncertainty
24 about the roles of some of the central -- central Bosnian -- the Bosnian
25 Croats in Central Bosnia. By that I mean Kordic and Valenta in
1 particular, but also some others from Zepce and Zavidovici, Mr. Lozancic,
2 and one or two others. The names will probably spring to me in a moment,
3 and we were very interested to know what role those leading players in
4 Central Bosnia were going to play in this newly formed administration. So
5 Mr. Prlic secured Valenta. By that time I'd obviously got enough
6 information for me to be confident, but I do remember that was one
7 position we were uncertain of.
8 Q. Now, Anto Valenta, did you ever meet Anto Valenta?
9 A. Yes, I met Anto Valenta in Central Bosnia in Vitez when I was the
10 head of CC Travnik.
11 Q. We'll come back to the in due course. Sir, against the Ministry
12 of Defence is the name of Branko Stojic. Could that be a mistake and
13 could that perhaps be Bruno Stojic?
14 A. Yes, it is Bruno Stojic. There is no doubt in my mind that he had
15 been the Minister of Defence under the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
16 and there was no suggestion at this stage that he wasn't going to continue
17 that role, although he was later replaced by Perica Jukic as the minister
18 of defence.
19 Q. Now, could --
20 A. Perica Jukic would be a good example of someone out of Herzegovina
21 up in Central Bosnia. I think his hometown was either Zepce -- it was
22 Zepce or Zavidovici. That was his political power base, I think, as the
23 mayor of Zepce, and we were interested in how they would be drawn into
24 this government.
25 Q. If I can refer you finally on this document to -- no --
1 penultimately, paragraph 6, house of representatives, and could you
2 perhaps just explain what -- what this is about, the 70 members of the
3 house of representatives?
4 A. Well, the house of representatives was going to be the sort of
5 members of parliament, and from the members of parliament Mr. Prlic was
6 going to select his government, and the members of parliament would then
7 ratify that government. So the 70 members, I think this was -- this was a
8 figure that was yet settled, but, but it was going to certainly as trying
9 to send a signal of legitimacy include, and I note here 21 of the
10 presidents of the municipality, i.e., mayors who had been elected under
11 the elections that took place to form the structures of the Republic of
13 Q. Now, these 13 ministers, did I understand correctly that they
14 would have been appointed from within the house of representatives?
15 A. I -- yes, that was my understanding yeah.
16 Q. If we can turn the page to other, the last page of the document.
17 Paragraph 7. So it says, other recently formed Croatian Republic of
18 Herceg-Bosna instruments, and it says, "Vladislav Pogarcic informs that
19 they are presidential appointments of Mate Boban, and the officers and
20 institutions have authority for the following," and then the list of -- of
21 officers or institutions follow. Could you comment on -- on this?
22 A. Yes. This was of considerable interest to us that Mate Boban
23 appeared to be forming a group of advisors, a series of offices which he
24 seemed to be controlling, and we didn't understand what the relationship
25 of that office would be to the government. Would they receive legitimacy
1 through the government? Would the government ultimately control them? It
2 appeared that there were almost two structures forming, one around Mate
3 Boban and then the government and the house of representatives. And we
4 were later able to put some names next to the -- to these offices. And I
5 remember Mr. Pogarcic himself was to become the advisor on human rights
6 and some element of international relations, and I believe that Mr. Pusic
7 was to be head of the office of refugees and displaced persons, but I may
8 be -- stand corrected there.
9 Q. That is under item C.
10 A. Yes. It may have changed its name, but at a later stage we were
11 able to verify that Mr. Pusic seemed to have a direct link with Mr. Boban
12 through this structure we were slightly unsure of its constitutional role
13 or these offices and their constitutional role.
14 Q. Thank you. If we can step on to another document, Exhibit 6 --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Mr. Kruger, I'm
16 terribly sorry to interrupt, but I have to interrupt at this point.
17 The paragraph number 7, sir, as we read it, it seemed, and I do
18 say that it would seem that at the reading of this paragraph we can
19 conclude that Mr. Mate Boban appointed the officials of various offices
20 that are enumerated here, and we can count six offices exactly. One of
21 them is the office of refugees and displaced persons.
22 You've stated earlier that were two parallel structures. One
23 which is a governmental structure presided by Mr. Prlic, and another
24 structure presided by Boban with these offices.
25 When you drafted this paragraph, paragraph number 7, what source
1 did you use? Who informed you of this, and how were you able to confirm
2 this or to assert this? Is this an assertion that was not yet an
3 assertion? Was it a certainty, or was it something that was supposed to
5 THE WITNESS: Sir, when I said parallel structures, I think what
6 was being presented to us was a coherent state with a Presidency, a
7 government, and House of Representatives. Our interest was understanding
8 where the power lay within that, and it wasn't clear whether that was one
9 coherent state or whether there were going to be power struggles. When I
10 wrote this report, the source of information about the four offices and
11 two institutions was Vladislav Pogarcic, and clearly at the moment that I
12 wrote this report I was not able to put names next to it. So he was
13 telling me of an intent. I think that if I'd had the names at that stage
14 I would have put them because I was keen to do so on the previous page
15 when I did have names. So it was a forge self-styled republic about which
16 we were gathering information, and at the time of this report I could not
17 put names next to those offices, and the source of information about those
18 offices was primarily Mr. Pogarcic, but also, sir, I remember another
19 media advisor whose name was Lozancic, and there was another media advisor
20 called Maric, and these were people that we talked to, to try and get as
21 much information as we could, but primarily, sir, to be clear it was
22 Pogarcic who informed me of the structures forming around Mate Boban.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
24 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. If we may turn to document 6473. And this is an ECMM CC Mostar
1 daily summary for 6 November 1993. Do you have the document?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. Is this a report by you?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Now, sir, if we look under paragraph 1. This just builds on the
6 previous document we saw. Actually, it precedes it.
7 In the very first section, Political, about two-thirds of the way
8 through that first paragraph it says: "Jadranko Prlic, president of the
9 government of CRHB had been authorised by parliament to form a government.
10 Prlic would make his recommendations and these would then be ratified or
11 not." And do you have any further comments on that?
12 A. This is a good example of how we tried to gather information, and
13 I used the term before, triangulate. So we went to see the president of
14 Grude, the mayor of Grude, and his assertion corresponded what we heard
15 before that Mr. Prlic would make a recommendation and these would be
16 ratified. The comment that I make here, "it seems that parliament will
17 ratify rather than elect," is again confirmation that elections in these
18 circumstances were external to give validity to the Presidency were
19 unlikely. What wasn't clear was whether there would actually be a vote
20 within the Presidency, which would of course have been possible but here
21 it seems to suggest a ratification, a rubber-stamping rather than a real
22 democratic nomination and legitimacy.
23 Q. Thank you. If you turn the page to paragraph 7, Assessment. And
24 your assessment which you give here is the statement by Jozo Maric
25 demonstrates Jadranko Prlic is safely established as president of the
1 government of CRHB. The future for others may not be so secure. Do you
2 want to comment on that further?
3 A. Yes. This is beginning of November, and as I think I said before,
4 it have the end of December before we had full ratification. So I'm
5 sending an early signal that I'm getting enough information from different
6 sources to suggest that Mr. Prlic -- there is no threat to his personal
7 position as a transfer of president of the CCHB to the president of the
8 CRHB. "The future of others may not be so secure," well, again this is
9 reference to what I said earlier about who else would or would not survive
10 the transition from a community of interests to a self-styled republic.
11 Q. Okay. Is sir, one further aspect on this document. If you turn
12 to the first page again and look at Military. Jozo Maric then also is
13 reported as giving some views on the Stupni Do massacre, and he revealed
14 that "outside elements had participated the attack," and then it goes
15 further. Could you comment on this explanation given by him?
16 A. Just to be clear, this is where it says, "this condemned the
17 Muslim occupation of Muslim territory in Central Bosnia and condemned the
18 synchronised attack on Vares." I don't see the specific reference to
19 Stupni Do.
20 Q. Sorry, if you look under Military?
21 A. Oh, under there. Yeah, got it.
22 Q. First paragraph under Military.
23 A. Yeah. This was -- 6th of November would have been about two --
24 two weeks after Stupni Do, and I think I said earlier there were very
25 different and confusing versions of what had happened but here we see an
1 example, I think an early recognition which we have already stated,
2 Mr. Prlic agreeing what had happened and here is another person saying
3 that, "outside elements." Well, outside elements could have referred
4 to -- to Mujahedin, for instance. I wanted clarification. Did he mean
5 Muslim or Croat elements? And he says -- or I report that he says, "Maric
6 answered that rogue HVO from Kakanj and Kiseljak seemed to be involved."
7 Well, that very much corresponded with our own information that the Stupni
8 Do massacre was committed by HVO elements commanded by Ivica Rajic who was
9 the brigade commander in Kiseljak-Busovaca -- Kiseljak area.
10 Q. Just two lines further there's this following sentence: "The
11 massacre was the excuse the armija wanted and the coordinated attack by
12 the 2nd and 3rd Corps of Vares proved they were prepared."
13 Can you comment on this? What was meant by this?
14 A. The Vares pocket was vulnerable militarily. There had been much
15 speculation that the armija forces from 2nd Corps and 3rd Corps, 2nd Corps
16 being Tuzla based and 3rd Corps being Zenica based would try and retake
17 that territory, and they would need justification for that otherwise there
18 would be international condemnation because there would undoubtedly have
19 been significant humanitarian issues resulting with the movement of that
20 population, the Bosnian Croat population out of Vares. So that's --
21 that's what this refers to.
22 Q. Thank you. If we can step on to the next document, is document --
23 or Exhibit 6382. Document -- or Exhibit 6382. This is an ECMM daily
24 summary report from CC Mostar dated the 3rd of November. Do you have the
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Do you recognise this document?
3 A. Yes. It's one I wrote.
4 Q. Now, sir, I see that there are certain annotations or markings on
5 this. Can you perhaps just cast some light on that?
6 A. I can only say they weren't put on by me because this would have
7 been electronically transmitted, and it was a recipient somewhere that put
8 that cross and those two lines, but not me.
9 Q. Okay. Now, if we look at the first page, Political, the first
10 paragraph, "HCC and M2 and 3 met Ivan Bender." HCC, that was you?
11 A. That's me.
12 Q. Mm-hmm. And the last sentence then in the paragraph, it says that
13 the current appointments were caretaker with the exception of Mate Boban,
14 and this appears to be Ivan Bender. Can you comment on this?
15 A. Yes another example of a political lead are trying to get another
16 angle, perhaps a little bit more information on who was in what position
17 and it seemed -- this was written on the 3rd of November so really quite
18 early on, even though it -- in the last document. Yeah. The issue of
19 Mate Boban and his position was really -- by this time we were getting
20 lots of rumours, and he's saying that Mate Boban's position is firm. "The
21 rest," he said, "are caretaker," and I note that he's -- puts down the
22 president of the government there as a caretaker.
23 Q. Okay. Now immediately after the names, can you comment on that
24 sentence, "When parliament has elected the government position of
25 president of the government. Will assume primacy, but until then Perica
1 Jukic was senior to Jadranko Prlic." Could you comment on that?
2 A. The role of Perica Jukic was -- I think he was president of the
3 house of representatives, and also by this time beginning to be mentioned
4 as a possible minister of defence, and I think we were unsure as to which
5 position he would hold. And here we're getting a very clear steer from
6 Mr. Bender that actually Mr. Jukic has the upper hand at the moment,
7 because until Mr. Prlic -- "the upper hand," by that I mean the senior
8 position, that Mr. Prlic is awaiting some sort of endorsement, some sort
9 of constitutional endorsement. What later happened was -- well, Jadranko
10 Prlic retained his primacy. I don't believe it was ever seriously
11 threatened, but there were some interesting manoeuvres going on there.
12 Q. Sir, if we can step on to another document, Exhibit 6687. Exhibit
13 6687. And that is daily is summary or summary report from CC Mostar dated
14 16 November 1993. Do you have the document?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. Do you recognise this document?
17 A. It's a document that I wrote.
18 Q. Now, if we can look under point 1, Political, the very first
19 paragraph. It reports a meeting -- or you report a meeting with Slobodan
21 A. Mm-hmm.
22 Q. Could you perhaps just tell us who he was?
23 A. Yes. This is the person I was referring to, or one of the people
24 I was referring to earlier. He was a press advisor to Mate Boban and
25 quite a good source of information.
1 Q. Okay. Now, he mentions, "Lovrenovic said the House of
2 Representatives will convene on 20 November 1993. They will provide legal
3 confirmation of Jadranko Prlic for nomination of ministers." Can you
4 comment on that? Was this a postponement or had this already been
5 scheduled prior to this -- to your knowledge?
6 A. Yeah, we had the statement earlier on, that it was scheduled. I
7 think it was the 10th of November, so it hadn't happened now and we were
8 interested in when it would happen, and we're told in four days' time,
9 20th of November.
10 Q. Looking at the next part -- sentence, Lovrenovic was asked whether
11 Prlic or Boban has primacy in selection of Obrenovic in selection of
12 ministers and replied, "Prlic himself had stated it was essentially his
13 choice but with the president's input." Could you comment on this,
15 A. Yes and a good example of where we're trying to understand the
16 relationship between Prlic and Boban, who has primacy is -- is the choice
17 really with Prlic or is Boban -- does Boban have the final say? And it's
18 being suggested to -- to us here that it is Mr. Prlic's choice, but not
19 detracting from the fact that Mr. Boban would have an input into who that
20 would be. So my understanding was there was going to be collaboration
21 between the two, that Mr. Prlic would not independently be able to put
22 those forward without some sort of endorsement from Mate Boban.
23 Q. Sir, now, at the bottom of that page the next section starts,
24 Military. If we then turn to the next page. And if we look at the very
25 first paragraph on that page. It says Lieutenant General Ante Roso has
1 replaced General Praljak as commander. This is in line with your
2 recollection and what you testified earlier.
3 A. Yes, it is. A succession of the Supreme Commander of HVO. We
4 knew and I think that earlier statement showed we were trying to reach
5 General Praljak. He wasn't around, and then it becomes clear that there
6 is a new senior commander emerging, and it's lieutenant General Ante Roso.
7 Q. If we can just take note of the following part where he says that
8 Praljak -- he said that, "Praljak had been honourably retired due to
9 mental fatigue. There was to question of him having been dismissed."
10 Just take note of that, and we will come back to this topic a bit
11 later on. I just highlight it at this stage.
12 The next paragraph, I'd like your comments on Jadranko Prlic met
13 Ante Roso to introduce measures introduced to ensure the observance of
14 codes of war. And then, "a brochure has been issued to all HVO units
15 detailing regulations regarding treatment of POWs," et cetera, et cetera.
16 Do you see that?
17 A. I do see that. What I can't comment on unless it's somewhere else
18 and I read the whole -- this report is -- what the source of that
19 information or where it came from, but what I am reporting here is
20 something of interest because we have the political situation emerging and
21 we have a new military leader, and of course we're interested in -- in the
22 relationship between the military and the political leadership and it
23 appears here that we have the new commander talking with the president of
24 the government trying to ensure new observance of codes of war, again
25 providing more surety and more legitimacy to the self-styled republic that
1 was forming.
2 Q. Could you comment from your experience as the head of CC Mostar at
3 that stage on the involvement of Jadranko Prlic in this aspect?
4 A. Sorry, in what particular aspect? It was clear --
5 Q. Sorry, on the -- on -- ensuring the compliance with the code of
6 war and the issuance of this brochure, talking to Roso.
7 A. Well, I think if you're establishing a new republic what's
8 important would be important to the international community is that in
9 fact the political leadership has command over the military forces, and it
10 appears that we have a meeting of the two key leaders of -- or a key
11 leader in the political structure with a key leader of the military
12 structure to do what's stated there, to -- to suggest -- it suggests that
13 up until now there may well have been, and indeed I believe there were,
14 Codes of Conduct, but here is a new moment to ensure either that those
15 that are there are implemented or that new codes are formed. A
16 demonstration of a legal structure connecting political with military
17 right down to the troops on the front line understanding a command
18 structure and a conduct of war, what's acceptable and what isn't.
19 Q. Okay. To your understanding, or do you have any idea or could you
20 shed light on the position that Jadranko Prlic occupied in the Croatian
21 Republic of Herceg-Bosna as opposed to what he had previously been in, in
22 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
23 A. Well, it was essentially the same thing Prime Minister of the
24 Croatian Community and Prime Minister of the republic, but I think we're
25 seeing the formation of something which was more defined, more legally
1 secure, more credible as an interface with other republics, such as the
2 Bosnian Serb Republic, and also trying to establish a legitimacy in the
3 international community's eyes.
4 Q. Sir, if I may refer you to the final section of this document.
5 Paragraph 7, Assessment. And here you say the information provided by
6 Lovrenovic has to be confirmed, but the statement that "Kordic and Valenta
7 do not hold executive office is significant." Could you comment on that
8 and why it would be significant?
9 A. Yes. This is -- this is again referring to what is the role of
10 the central Bosnian Croat leadership, and there was endless speculation
11 and end the different interpretations, because while I was meeting the
12 senior leaders in -- in Mostar, of course, the teams up in -- teams up in
13 Central Bosnia were talking to Mr. Kordic, Mr. Valenta, and there were
14 different stories coming out as to what roles they were going to play.
15 And it appears here from Mr. Lovrenovic that Kordic and Valenta are not
16 going to hold executive office is of great interest to us. Well, if
17 they're not, why not, and that's contrary to reports we're getting
18 elsewhere. So we need to get, well, more information and keep sort of
19 pushing and pressing on this to find out.
20 Q. You mention in this paragraph a political divide between the
21 Croats of Central Bosnia and those of Herzegovina as the subject of
22 debate. Would you like to elaborate any further on the divide you refer
24 A. The -- broadly speaking, and this is a bit of a generalisation, I
25 think the further you moved away from Mostar and up into Central Bosnia
1 and up into Tuzla, then you perhaps found less certainty in some of the
2 understanding as to what the future of -- of the Croats would be. You
3 were vulnerable if you were a Bosnian Croat in Central Bosnia or up in --
4 in the Tuzla area, and you perhaps could not afford to take positions
5 which were as stark and voiced as clearly as those in Mostar. They had a
6 certainty about creating a republic that had a concentration of the
7 Croatian Community which will territorial integrity, and I think you felt
8 vulnerable and there were lots of discussions about, well, if we were
9 moving towards an internationally acceptable, three-republic solution to
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there would have to be boundaries drawn, and if you
11 were in Herzegovina, it was very clear that you were going to be in the
12 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. If you lived in Tuzla or Vares or
13 Zepce or Zavidovici, you probably weren't quite so certain, and so there
14 were differences being articulated by leaders, depending where you were.
15 Q. Thank you. How many times in all would you say you met Jadranko
16 Prlic? If you could give the Court an estimate.
17 A. I would say somewhere between, I don't know, eight and -- 8, 10,
18 12 times. Probably nearer -- yeah, 8 to 10, I'd say.
19 Q. This was as head of CC Mostar?
20 A. No. I would say that was more than that, because of course I -- I
21 also dealt with Mr. Prlic at a later stage when I became the head of the
22 regional centre in BiH. I would say during this period I probably --
23 which is October to January, a four-month period. I probably saw him six
24 to eight sometimes, something in that -- that -- certainly more than --
25 not every week, but every -- every couple of weeks, yeah.
1 Q. When you dealt with him later as -- was that as head of RC Zenica?
2 A. It was, although RC Zenica then changed its name to RC BiH.
3 Q. Mm-hmm. What was his capacity at that stage?
4 A. The Federation had been formed, and he was still a senior member
5 of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, but I think by then he had
6 become the Foreign Minister of the Federation.
7 Q. After this and after having left the ECMM, could you tell the
8 Court briefly of any other dealings you had with Mr. Prlic?
9 A. Yes. I left ECMM in 1995 and then the UN for a short period, and
10 then I then set up this business, and the business was involved in trying
11 to get companies involved in reconstruction, to take advantage of the 5.2
12 billion dollar restoration package. And I felt I was quite well placed.
13 I'd made many contacts at senior leadership level, and companies that
14 wanted to get involved were interested in the opportunities but concerned
15 about the situation and no knowledge. So I created a company with some
16 colleagues, a consultancy that was going to try and facilitate entry of
17 companies, and to that effect I made contact with many of the people I
18 previously dealt with in ECMM, and Mr. Prlic was one of those.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, you -- we touched upon Ante Valenta earlier,
20 and you said you had met him. Can you tell the Court approximately when
21 it was you met him?
22 A. That would have been in my position of HCC Travnik, so it would
23 have been between June and October. I don't remember exactly but
24 certainly July, August, September.
25 Q. Where did you meet him?
1 A. I met him in the headquarters of operational zone middle Bosna in
3 Q. Could you tell the Court about the -- the meeting you had with him
4 what you discussed?
5 A. Well I met him several times but on one particular occasion I
6 was -- I had a meeting with him and the discussion was about the future of
7 Bosnia, and Mr. Valenta treated me to one of his explorations of movements
8 of population which he felt -- which he demonstrated happened, I think,
9 historically, but how he saw the future moments of population to secure
10 very clearly boundaries and divisions between the two ethnic groups.
11 Q. Did he show you any documents or --
12 A. Yes. He referred to a book that he'd written and -- and I was
13 shown that, but not a translation of it. And he showed me some maps, maps
14 with arrows demonstrating movements of population. Some were looking at
15 a -- a Bosnia-Herzegovina level with large movements, sort of hundred
16 thousand this way and a hundred thousand that way, but also some more
17 fine-grained maps of what was -- what should happen in Central Bosnia.
18 Q. If you say referring hundred thousand in this way and hundred
19 thousand in that way, could you perhaps be more specific?
20 A. Yes. I'm not sure it was a hundred thousand; it was large
21 numbers. But he was suggesting that the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina lay
22 not in an integrated, mixed community but in the separation and
23 establishment of three political states, and that the way that would
24 provide there would be security in the future in a way that hadn't
25 happened in the past was to ensure that they were largely ethnically pure
1 and concentrated. So he saw movements would be required in any settlement
2 of Bosnian Croats into Bosnian Croat-held territory primarily in
3 Herzegovina, and in fact extending into Central Bosnia. He saw the
4 movement of Muslims out of Croat and Serb areas and concentrating in an
5 area, Sarajevo-Sandzak, and he saw other movements of Croats out of
6 Bosnian Serb territory and vice versa. Big movements of the three
7 populations to establish ethnically pure, or nearer than they were at the
8 moment, states.
9 Q. Thank you. Sir, if I can refer you to Exhibit 21. Exhibit
10 00021. It's the very first one in the binder you have. And if you can
11 ignore the translation at the beginning and move directly at -- to the
12 B/C/S or the original version.
13 A. I have that document.
14 Q. Now, sir, is it correct that you had an opportunity during our
15 meeting prior to your testimony to have a look at this document and page
16 through it?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. And what is this document?
19 A. I believe this document is the -- is a translation of that book
20 which I referred to a moment ago, Mr. Valenta's Vision of the Future.
21 Q. If you can go beyond the translation to the original document --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may lodge an objection or an
23 observation at this point in time. While I have no -- no problem with the
24 gentleman going through the document itself, first I would like a
25 foundation, whether the gentleman was provided with a full translation of
1 the book at that time when he met Mr. Valenta. That's number one.
2 Next two, if he was not, is this the first time he's looking at
3 the excerpts that were provided by the Prosecution? If the answer is yes
4 to the latter, then I would object to the gentleman commenting about the
5 books obviously he told us what he was told by Mr. Valenta. To now
6 comment on excerpts of the book without giving the gentleman the
7 opportunity to read the entire book, I think, would be a disservice to the
8 testimony, because I think we need to put it into context. So perhaps we
9 could have a foundation and then we'll see how I'll -- whether I will
10 object or not.
11 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. If I may just respond to
12 that and then hopefully set the mind of my learned colleague at rest. The
13 Prosecution does not intend to go into the book in any depth. The purpose
14 of showing this is merely to ascertain whether this is indeed the book he
15 refers to when he says that a book was shown to him.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, then, Your Honour, and again I don't mean to
17 be disputatious, but if the gentleman could be shown whatever was shown to
18 him. So if a Bosnian version was shown to him or a Croatian version, they
19 could show him, but to show them excerpts of a translated version and say,
20 "Was this shown to you?", unless the gentleman -- unless you can
21 establish that the gentleman reads and understands B/C/S, I don't see how
22 he can simply answer the question at this point in time. Again, I have no
23 objection to the entire book coming into evidence.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, please put your
25 question to the witness, because if you're dealing with Exhibit 21, you
1 certainly have a reason. Please go ahead.
2 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
3 Q. Sir, you mentioned the -- the fact that Mr. Valenta also showed
4 you maps. I would like to refer you to page 43 of the B/C/S version. And
5 my simple question to you is: Just looking at that map as it is there, do
6 you recall maps such as this being shown to you and being discussed with
7 Mr. Valenta?
8 A. Yes. This is the -- the type of map that I was shown.
9 Q. If you can look at page 66. The map on page 66, do you recall
10 this map specifically?
11 A. This is consistent with the mapping that I was shown on that day,
12 the large arrows with big movements indicated.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Sir, if we can step off that document. Just one further question
15 on Mr. Valenta and his views as he explained them to you as well. Did you
16 hear his views being discussed in any other forum during your period as an
17 ECMM monitor?
18 A. He made the same presentation to Jean-Pierre Thebault, the head of
19 mission, and I believe that most internationals who visited him were given
20 the opportunity to listen to his views.
21 There was an interesting dynamic within the -- within Vitez. I do
22 remember that before I saw Mr. Valenta I actually met Tihomir Blaskic, a
23 commander of the operative zone middle Bosna, and said I was going to see
24 Mr. Valenta, and there was a certain nod and a certain smile, and
25 certainly the liaison officers sort of said -- well, good luck was the
1 indication they were giving. There was some lack of respect given to the
2 ideas that were coming out by those immediately sharing the same building
4 Q. Now, sir, turning to Bruno Stojic for a moment, we've already
5 discussed your -- the fact that you didn't actually have direct dealings
6 with him. If I may refer you to Exhibit 04083. So 4083. And this is a
7 ECMM daily summary or summary report dated 10 August 1993, from team V2
8 HBC Travnik to RC Zenica. My first question is do you recall this report
9 or can you comment on whether you would know it?
10 A. This is actually a report from the head -- the HCC Travnik, so
11 it's -- it's a report from me to Regional Centre Zenica.
12 Q. Thank you. And if I may refer you to point 1 and under point 2
13 political activity and if you turn to the second paragraph and this it
14 relates what happened during a meeting with Pero Skopljak. He indicated
15 that Mr. Boban and the military did not enjoy mutual confidence, and it
16 goes on. A little further down it says that, "There's talk of an alleged
17 Stojic-Boban rift which could suggest that the leadership is suffering
18 under the strain of HVO defeats." Could you comment on this?
19 A. Well, I guess this is the beginning of those issues to which I
20 earlier referred of Boban's position. I didn't know Mr. Stojic then
21 except by -- by name and appointment, and it's obviously suggesting here
22 that there is a rift, but the other interesting point is suffering under
23 the strain of -- of HVO defeats.
24 The military situation in Central Bosnia on 10th of August wasn't
25 good. There had been the fighting in Busovaca in the Vrbas and Lasva
1 Valley in January tempered for a few months by these joint commissions
2 that were set up in both areas. Then we have the breakout of fighting
3 between the Croats and Muslims in April time, and, if you like, at a
4 tactical level the winners in Central Bosnia were the armija forces. The
5 HVO had not achieved their military successes, and I think the feeling in
6 Central Bosnia was that there had been an expectation from Mostar that the
7 HVO forces would have achieved more than they had. They had failed to
8 gain territory. Indeed, they had lost territory, and that there was a
9 political impact on Mr. Boban as a result of that.
10 Q. Sir, if we can turn to General Praljak and focus on him for a
11 while. When was the first time that you met General Praljak?
12 A. I met him when I was head of CC Travnik, and I met him actually by
13 chance when I visited the Rama Brigade headquarters and the operational
14 zone headquarters in Prozor and discovered General Praljak there.
15 Q. And could you give an indication on approximately when this was?
16 A. It would have been round about August, possibly July 1993.
17 Q. How did you find General Praljak as a person at that time?
18 A. He was very open, very engaging. He received us well. We had --
19 he answered the questions directly and in fact was a contrast to often
20 what you found with the military leadership, which was a tendency not to
21 want to give information. Quite the opposite in General Praljak. He was
22 quite expansive about his role and his views and some wider issues.
23 Q. Did he indicate anything about his -- his own background?
24 A. Yes. He told me that he had served in the HV in Vukovar. He told
25 me that he's -- he'd also been involved in the theatre I believe in some
1 capacity, director or producer, and also that he had a background in
3 Q. Did you talk to General Praljak about his status at that time?
4 A. Yes. He told me that he was in command and General Petkovic
5 wasn't. Now, this is the first time that I'd met General Praljak, and I
6 don't actually think that many, if any, other members of the international
7 community had either. So I was very interested in who was commander, was
8 it Petkovic or was it General Praljak, and he made it very clear that he
9 was in command and that General Petkovic reported to him, and I think he
10 actually described him as the Chief of Staff.
11 Q. Was there any talk about the relationship between General Petkovic
12 and Mate Boban that you can recall?
13 A. Not immediately, no.
14 Q. Now, did you speak to General Praljak about humanitarian aid?
15 A. Yes. I took the opportunity to address a range of issues, freedom
16 of movement being one of those, freedom of movement for ECMM, freedom of
17 movement for UN, and in particular freedom of movement for UNHCR convoys.
18 And General Praljak was very clear that there needed to be a military
19 solution to the situation and whatever means were necessary should be
20 taken, and he actually said to me that that would include the stopping of
21 convoys, and it would include the cutting off of water.
22 Q. Stopping of convoys going where and cutting off of water to whom?
23 A. Well, supplies of utilities, be it water or electricity, were
24 obviously very contentious issues, particularly as lines and sources of
25 those utilities were inevitably held by different groups. So they were
1 always being played off. The water source for Zenica was held in
2 Kruscica, and you'd find the people of Kruscica turning off the water that
3 not only supplied Zenica, but it also supplied the Croats. So it was
4 forever being used as tool. The supply of humanitarian aid was always an
5 issue because while I was recognised that isolated pockets needed
6 humanitarian aid, there was also the concern often articulated that
7 humanitarian aid was merely sustaining military units as well as a
8 civilian population. And what General Praljak was saying to me was all
9 means should be brought to bear to defeat the armija, and that would
10 include stopping what he saw as the supply of -- of food, and he also
11 mentioned, as I say, the water.
12 Q. Okay. Did you and General Praljak discuss anything concerning the
13 army of the Republic of Croatia and their -- their soldiers?
14 A. Yes. I think within a matter of days of arrival in Bosnia it
15 became very clear to me that a consistent concern coming through was the
16 involvement of outside elements. As I said before, that could be
17 Mujahedin in this case and regularly there were reports of HV involvement,
18 Croatian republic troops involved in Bosnia. And we took every
19 opportunity we could to -- to find out more. And General Praljak said to
20 me very clearly that the HV were not involved in Bosnia.
21 When I referred to individual soldiers who you sometimes saw
22 wearing HV insignia, he explained that, like himself, they were born in
23 Bosnia. They may have served in the Croatian army, and they were
24 returning as individuals to support the Bosnian Croats and their families.
25 That was his explanation. Individuals and not units.
1 Q. The presence of the -- of HV components in Bosnia at that stage,
2 was there something which interested the ECMM?
3 A. We had reports, as I say, from many sources, and primarily it was
4 from the armija, the armija saying that various units were in certain
5 locations. And we often investigated that, but we were never able to get
6 anything definitive until, in my own personal circumstances, January 1994,
7 possibly early February, I forget the exact date, when I was returning to
8 Herzegovina from a meeting in Central Bosnia, and I was returning with the
9 head of the regional centre, Martin Garrod, and we were travelling on the
10 main routes, Diamond and Triangle, and bad conditions. We had to pull
11 over to allow a military convoy to pass us travelling up towards Prozor.
12 That was the first time I saw definitively a formed military unit where
13 there was almost no pretense to hide what it was. It was an HV unit, and
14 I made a report of what we saw.
15 Q. Okay. We'll get to that at a later stage. So if I could just
16 perhaps then go back to the original question. The presence of HVO
17 components in Bosnia or not, was this something that -- that was being
18 actively monitored or looked at by the ECMM?
19 A. Can I just confirm you mean HV?
20 Q. HV. My apologies. Was the presence of HV something which
21 interested the ECMM?
22 A. Yes, it did. Not just ECMM. The United Nations, the
23 international community, because it would send signals of the involvement
24 in another state -- internationally recognised military forces in a --
25 internationally recognised state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. In your meeting with Mr. Praljak was HVO strategy in Central
2 Bosnia a topic of discussion there or goals?
3 A. Yes. There had been much speculation that the HVO were going to
4 carry out an offensive pushing from the Prozor front line either down
5 towards Gornji Vakuf to secure routes in or actually alternatively
6 straight across through -- through, up to the so-called Kakanj area. This
7 was, in my estimation and many others, very unlikely. The HVO had not
8 proved themselves capable of making that sort of military gain. Indeed,
9 where there had been attempts to made military gain it -- in Central
10 Bosnia, it had been set back. So it was going to need a different dynamic
11 to alter that balance of forces. That's why the HV and the HV's
12 involvement was so important.
13 But in discussions about the future, and this is at the time when
14 we're still -- international community is looking and exploring the idea
15 of a three -- three-republic solution to Bosnia-Herzegovina, along with
16 the issues of Mr. Valenta and movements of population were, well, if
17 you're going to form that republic it has to have a border and boundary,
18 and where is that going to be? Would it be at the front line as it
19 existed in Prozor or was it more ambitious? Did it include Central Bosnia
20 and? And General Praljak said to me very clearly that there was no way
21 that they were going to accept a Croatian republic that didn't include
22 Vitez and the Lasva Valley as part of Herzegovina. However, and he
23 specifically mentioned that Tuzla and Vares may be -- as part of the deal,
24 they could be conceded to one of the other republics.
25 Q. Did you take stage talk to General Praljak about access to Muslim
1 families in Prozor?
2 A. Yeah. We -- as part of our role in ECMM, as I said earlier, I was
3 trying to visit isolated communities be that Bosnian Croat in Central
4 Bosnia or -- or Muslim communities, and because I had been involved
5 specifically with Prozor since the very first day, I had been in -- in
6 Bosnia, the issue of the situation for the Muslims in Prozor was of
7 interest to me, and we had regularly tried to and sometimes had achieved
8 gaining access to the imam of Prozor as a signal, if you like, that we --
9 we knew of their position, their existence, their predicament, and we had
10 found it difficult, and I believe one of my teams had been prevented from
11 seeing the imam. So I asked General Praljak directly about this and he
12 said he would guarantee me access to prisoners of war and to the imam.
13 Q. And did that happen?
14 A. My recollection is that we did gain access to the imam, again,
15 after that discussion. Yes.
16 Q. And to prisoners of war?
17 A. Ah. Prisoners of war was more contentious. Access to alleged
18 detention camps and prisoner of war camps was something which ECMM was
19 interested in. It was primarily the responsibility to negotiate terms of
20 prisoners and access -- that of the International Committee of the Red
21 Cross, the ICRC; however, we took a keen interest in this and there was
22 rarely access granted by either the Bosnian Muslims and the armija forces
23 to HVO-held prisoners or access to Bosnian Croats. We did achieve it
24 sometimes. I personally achieved it at Gromiljak where I saw -- I went to
25 a camp, and I actually instigated that all my teams when I became HCC
1 Mostar should try and gain access to certain camps, and again with very
2 little success but with a little bit of success.
3 Q. After this first meeting did you meet with General Praljak again?
4 A. Yes, I did. I met him once more for -- did I remember on the
5 Makljen ridge, which is the front line just north of Prozor where I
6 actually met him in the field. I have tried very hard to recollect why I
7 was on the Makljen ridge but -- and why I went to this particular area,
8 but -- broadly it was because of this belief that there were forces
9 gathering to -- to go on the offensive. And I met him with a UN observer
10 whose surname I forgot, but I do remember his first name was Randy and he
11 was a US citizen, and we had a discussion. I don't honestly remember the
12 detail of that discussion but, again, very open. Never doing anything
13 other than engaging me in conversation and not hiding his answers. He was
14 very open in his answers.
15 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, do we have -- do we have time for one
16 more document, or shall we break?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One more document.
18 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. If we may look very quickly at document 6244. 06244. And this is
20 an ECMM CC Mostar daily summary for 29 October 1993. Is this a report by
22 A. It doesn't have my signature, but I do believe it is a report by
24 Q. Sir, if I can very quickly refer you section 5 on the first page.
25 Humanitarian. And very last paragraph on that page. A meeting between
1 HVO General Praljak and BiH was schedule for today. The meeting was
2 initiated by the HVO but was cancelled because Pasalic refused to attend.
3 Could you recall this?
4 A. I'm sorry I have inadvertently turned to 6424, and I see on the
5 screen 6244 is the one you want me to actually look at.
6 Q. 6244. My apologies?
7 A. In this case it is signed by me. It is my report.
8 Q. Thank you. The section humanitarian?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the very last paragraph at the bottom of that page. "A
11 meeting between Praljak and BiH was scheduled but was cancelled because
12 Pasalic refused to attend."
13 A. Yes. Well, obviously at this stage, 29th of October, we very much
14 believe that it's General Praljak we need to see to get a resolution to
15 the helicopter issue. Interesting to note that it appears the HVO were
16 willing to have this meeting, but in this case General Pasalic wasn't, and
17 I guess it's an indication of how important in terms of negotiations and
18 positions hostage -- prisoner of war exchange was.
19 Q. Okay. Under Political, the first paragraph M3 had a meeting with
20 Mr. Markovic and then this meeting is reported. Do you know who
21 Mr. Markovic was?
22 A. Yes. And it states he was the mayor of Stolac.
23 Q. Mm-hmm. Did you ever meet with him?
24 A. His first name, Pero Markovic?
25 Q. Mm-hmm?
1 A. Yes, I believe I did, but not on this occasion.
2 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's 20 to 6.00. We
4 will have a 20-minute break and resume at 6.00 p.m.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.40
6 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
8 resumed. First Mr. Registrar for a list, an IC numbers.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours. The Prosecution response to the
10 exhibits tendered through Witness BC by the Accused Jadranko Prlic,
11 Defence team number 1, will become Exhibit number IC 575 under seal.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 You have the floor again, Mr. Kruger.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Sir, if we may go to Exhibit 6731. Yes, I see you want to --
17 A. Yes. This is -- this is slightly out of context, but just before
18 we start the new session I have remembered the name of the Swedish
19 monitor. It was Mr. Junhov, who I took over from when I took over as HCC
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 A. J-u-n-h-o-v.
23 Q. That doings remind me, the head of submission, the Belgian
24 ambassador, do you know how his name is spelled for the purpose of the
1 A. I hope he's not listening, I believe it is d-a [sic] in lowercase,
2 new word, B-a-e-n-s-t, da Baenst.
3 Q. Thank you very much for that. That's for purposes of the record.
4 Sir, do you have Exhibit 6731 in front of you?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. This is --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, if we're going to the trouble of
8 spelling, the -- on line 11, d-a, and Baenst, should it not rather be d-e,
9 because d-a doesn't sound right to me.
10 THE WITNESS: I agree with you. Actually it would look better
11 e-a, but I -- I -- this is why I hesitate.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. We all hesitate, but we have all the
13 options now.
14 Excuse me, Mr. Kruger.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Sir, this is a daily summary from CC Mostar for 18 November 1993.
17 Do you recognise this report?
18 A. Yes, I do. I wrote this report.
19 Q. Now, if we may look under Political, and there it says HCC.
20 That's you. "Met Slobodan Bozic for lunch. He confirmed Ante Roso as new
21 supreme commander and offered to arrange a meeting." Any comment on that?
22 A. Well, it would -- it announces the departure of General Praljak as
23 the Supreme Commander and we have a male -- we have a name of his
25 Q. Okay. And, sir, if you look at Humanitarian, paragraph 5, the
1 second paragraph first line it seems that the issue of the helicopters is
2 still not solved, and it mentions Medjugorje where the helicopters are.
3 A. Yes. I said earlier I couldn't remember. How I couldn't
4 remember, I don't know, because it should be etched on my mind. It was
6 Q. Thank you. Sir, if we -- sir, the assessment that General Praljak
7 had been -- had gone back, had been -- left his post due to health
8 reasons, as we saw in one of the earlier documents, did you share that
9 assessment or could you comment on that?
10 A. Well, I had no indications as to whether it was healthful or not.
11 It was interesting that the command had changed, and I think when I met
12 Ante Roso, I was very impressed at his military stature, and I could see
13 that we had a serious military commander in place. That is not to be
14 derogatory to General Praljak, but there was a difference in tone.
15 General Praljak had served in the military but not, I believe, as he told
16 me himself, a professional working right up through the ranks to achieve
17 that position, and Ante Roso formed -- informed me at a later meeting of
18 his background, and he had the bearing and sent signals of confidence in
19 his authority as a military commander. I -- but I did not know why
20 Mr. Praljak had -- had gone. I could speculate.
21 Q. Now, sir, if we can move on to look at Mr. Pusic. You said that
22 you had met Berislav Pusic during the latter part of 1993. Could you give
23 the Court an idea of -- from your dealings with him your view on whether
24 he held or wielded any authority regarding prisoner exchanges and the
25 office that he headed up?
1 A. Yes. Mr. Pusic was one the first leaders of the Bosnian Croats
2 that I -- I met, was introduced to by Jesus Amatriain. He was introduced
3 to me as the person that -- that controlled prisoner of war exchanges, and
4 I believe he was the minister for prisoner of war exchanges. That was
5 certainly my understanding. And all our discussions were around about --
6 well, movement of people. So it was wider than prisoners of war, because
7 it also included an interest in the movement of Bosnian Croats coming out
8 of Central Bosnia through Serb-held territory. This was something
9 Mr. Pusic was involved with.
10 Q. The -- okay. Your ECMM teams, did they monitor these movements of
11 Bosnian Croats out of Central Bosnia?
12 A. Only at the points of entry into Herzegovina. In other words,
13 they weren't trailing them or following them through Serb-held territory.
14 And I don't remember us seeing instances, for instance, in Vares which I
15 know was one of the areas that Bosnian Croats came from of them getting
16 onto buses and leaving, and certainly, yes, we tried monitor them when we
17 heard about them arriving in Celebici, as I mentioned to the north
18 earlier, and Stolac was another key point of entry.
19 Q. Was there any particular reason why the moment of these civilians
20 was of interest to the ECMM?
21 A. Well, I think broadly on a number of concerns. Firstly
22 humanitarian. We are talking about some large numbers. We mentioned
23 earlier on the movement of 5.000 people, 5.000 people leaving their homes
24 in Central Bosnia and arriving needing support in their new destination.
25 So there was the humanitarian angle. But also there was -- one could not
1 help but look at the political implications of these moves, particularly
2 when one had been discussing with certain leaders about movements of
3 population. So there was an interest in whether the Croat community was
4 being drawn into a -- a defined territory out of the more vulnerable
6 Q. Now, sir, what about access to detainees in HVO detention
7 facilities? And this is Muslim detainees. Did the ECMM also take an
8 interest in these matters?
9 A. Yes. Could I just add something further to the last question,
10 which I think would -- may be of interest? The other issue about those
11 movements of people was that it indicated that there was a network, a
12 connection, a cooperation between the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian
13 Croats, because you could not have that movement without that. So you had
14 that going on, which again was of interest. And to come specifically now
15 to your issue of access to detainees, yes, we raised this with Mr. Pusic.
16 It was consistently an issue for us and for the international community
17 in -- generally.
18 Q. Did you -- did you raise this with any -- with Jadranko Prlic at
19 any stage that you recall?
20 A. Yes, but I do remember definitively him pointing me toward
21 Mr. Pusic as somebody who should answer this.
22 Q. Okay. May I point you now or direct you now to Exhibit 5976.
23 Exhibit 05976. And this document is from CC Mostar to Zagreb HQ, daily
24 summary for 20 October 1993. Do you recognise this document?
25 A. Yes, I recognise it as an ECMM document sent from CC Mostar. It
1 says Daily Summary so it would have been going primarily to regional
2 centre Zenica. However, looking at the date, 20 October, and a number of
3 other small indications that I did not write this report.
4 Q. Okay. At the end it says regards Jesus Amatriain and Philip
5 Watkins, HCC and HCC designate Mostar.
6 A. Yes. So that would have been -- yes, as you say, Jesus Amatriain.
7 I'm not sure -- it's likely that he wrote this report. I did not.
8 Q. Okay. Very briefly the first paragraph, A, political
9 constituents, and it says HCC and HCC designate have met this afternoon
10 Mr. Culjak, and if you look at the comment a few lines down, this was only
11 to introduce yourself, Philip Watkins. Is that basically correct?
12 A. Yes, that's true.
13 Q. Now, if we turn to the next page under 5, Humanitarian Issues, and
14 we if we look at C, Activities. And there is reference to, "HCC and HCC
15 designate having arranged a meeting with Mr. Pusic on the west side of
16 Mostar. When we arrived, he was not there." And then Dr. Lugonja -- it's
17 reported what he then says. Could you comment on -- on this? Do you have
18 a recollection of this?
19 A. Yeah, it is interesting, and it may bring clarification to
20 something I said earlier. Certainly Mr. Pusic was one of the first
21 Bosnian Croats I saw. I had -- I'd remembered going with Jesus. I think
22 when I finally met Mr. Pusic I was on my own, but on this occasion, yeah,
23 I remember we went there and he was not there but, as it says, here we met
24 his deputy.
25 Q. Do you know anything about that exchange of prisoners that was
1 scheduled for that day?
2 A. No, only in -- in general terms, that there was at a -- at a high
3 level attempts by the ICRC to broker large-scale exchanges of prisoners of
4 war, but there were always local exchanges going on, some of which were
5 sanctioned by ICRC, some of them overseen by ECMM, some of them not
6 involving us at all, just discussions between the warring elements. So I
7 don't specifically know about what this particular exchange was, but the
8 fact that it was happening is -- was not an unusual event.
9 Q. While you've raised this issue now, perhaps if you could just
10 briefly give the Court an idea of what was the view from the international
11 perspective regarding the organisation of exchange of prisoners either
12 locally or at a coordinated level internationally?
13 A. Well, the view was that it was a good confidence-building measure.
14 Clearly it was -- something was always raised and are forces being held?
15 Well, if one could try and resolve an exchange of prisoners, then one
16 element of the tensions would -- would hopefully be resolved. It was
17 primarily the responsibility of the ICRC, and they had certain rules and
18 regulations about release of prisoners and where prisoners could go. For
19 instance, I believe that they were -- they found it very difficult to
20 organise exchanges where a prisoner who might come out of captivity but
21 going into an area where they would be vulnerable again was difficult for
22 them, although Bosnia was -- presented that particular organisation with
23 very difficult situation to deal with. It's -- it was, as I say, pockets.
24 So anyone being released and going -- let's say, a Bosnian Muslim being
25 released and going into Bosnian Muslim held territory was still in a
1 vulnerable area. So they had real challenges and difficulties. But they
2 felt certainly as an organisation that it was best dealt with at a senior
4 Q. Sir, if I can refer you to Exhibit 7012. Exhibit 07012. And this
5 is also a daily summary from CC Mostar, dated 2nd of December, 1993. What
6 is interesting on this is even though you're head of CC Mostar, if you
7 look at the last page it is under the name of Roger Castle. Could you
8 comment on this?
9 A. Well, I clearly wasn't there. I don't remember why. It could
10 have been a meeting. I could have been somewhere else, but Roger Castle
11 was a British monitor, part of Mike 1, and was normally based up in
12 Jablanica and covering the area of Jablanica and Konjic. So he finds
13 himself writing the daily report to -- for CC Mostar.
14 Q. Are you able to comment, if we look at page 1, the political
15 situation, and about the middle of that first paragraph it's a reference
16 to Mr. John Bryan. M3 met Mr. John Bryan, and then there's reference to,
17 "the exchange of casualties has started in Mostar and has been successful
18 so far." And then if you go a little bit further down, "Mr. Bryan is
19 hopeful that this exchange will be successful opening the way for the
20 exchange of prisoners and the release of the stranded helicopters." Are
21 you able to comment on this paragraph?
22 A. Yes. It would appear to be an initiative of the ICRC to, if you
23 like, start at that process, but you -- of prisoner exchange, with a view
24 to something larger happening. It's interesting that neither the UN or
25 the ECMM were involved in this, and that's not anything suspicious. As I
1 say, it was the ICRC's clear role and we are just getting information,
2 sharing information amongst the international communities, and on this
3 case Mr. John Bryan is informing us something which the ICRC is doing, and
4 it clearly mentions Mr. Pusic as chief or prison -- of exchange
5 commission. Yeah, that was his official title, not minister, yeah.
6 Q. The other -- the other names mentioned in -- in this, and if I
7 could ask you if both you and I could also just be a little bit slower for
8 the benefit of the interpreters.
9 If we look at the other names mentioned, apart from Mr. Pusic, it
10 also mentioned Mr. Ivo Sandrk, Tomo Sakota and Mr. Barbaric. Did you know
11 any of these people?
12 A. I don't know Ivo Sandrk. I don't know Tomo Sakota. Mr. Barbaric,
13 his name rings a bell but I don't know any more than that. I do know Mr.
14 Dziho, chief of prisoner of war exchanges from BiH.
15 Q. Sir, if we could move to the next document in the bundle, which is
16 07213. 7213.
17 A. Could I note quickly that I also know Mr. Alikadic, just on the
18 name question. Okay.
19 Q. 7213 is a document dated 16 December, a message from -- or daily
20 summary from CC Mostar to Zagreb headquarters. Do you recognise this
22 A. Yes, I do. I believe this is one of my reports.
23 Q. If we can turn to paragraph 5, humanitarian, on the second page,
24 it's on page 3 in the B/C/S version. And there it says, "Berko Pusic,
25 Croat head of PO war exchange told M9 he had received a fax from ICRC
1 saying that he would not participate in further Muslim prisoner of war
2 releases due to the shooting incident. Nevertheless the Pusic had asked
3 for SpaBat's support to move POWs from Gabela to Jablanica." Do you
4 know -- do you recall this or can you comment on this?
5 A. Well, Mike 9 is me. That's the call-sign number of the head of
6 the centre. Yes, I do remember this. The date is interesting because it
7 is after the an announcement by Mr. Mate Boban of his willingness to
8 unilaterally release prisoners of war, and clearly this has been going on.
9 There's been a specific incident that ICRC have said they will not
10 participate until that particular issue is resolved, but Mr. Pusic is keen
11 to push on and to see more prisoners of war released, and he's looking to
12 UNPROFOR rather than ICRC, and we've offered ECMM presence, I notice, in
13 the comment below.
14 So I think what is happening here is Mr. Pusic is delivering on
15 and looking to continue the -- the prisoner of war exchange and one --
16 announced by Mate Boban. I think it's an important signal being sent by
17 Mate Boban about cooperation with the international community. And also,
18 of course, if that can be done when the other side are -- are seeing --
19 being seen not to cooperate that could potentially be good from a PR point
20 of view, but that's not what's being suggested here.
21 Q. Just before checking off the document, just two paragraphs down on
22 the same page, there's a reference to Sally Becker and she has a convoy of
23 70 vehicles, et cetera. This name comes up a few times in some of the
24 documents. Could you perhaps just for the information of the Court very
25 briefly tell us what that was about?
1 A. Sally Becker was known variously as the angel of Mostar. She had
2 essentially arrived in Herzegovina with a convoy and was determined to try
3 and help evacuate casualties from Mostar east. We had failed in an
4 earlier attempt and, as unlikely as it seems, an individual coming in
5 amongst all these international organisations trying to sort something
6 out, various ingredients lined up to actually make this successful, and
7 one of those is she's arriving at a time when the Bosnian Croats are keen
8 to show cooperation. So there wasn't an issue particularly with Sally
9 Becker and Bosnian Croats, and the issue then becomes, will the Bosnian
10 Muslims allow the evacuation? And it was a successful evacuation which we
11 monitored, but at a certain distance. We didn't organise it.
12 Q. Thank you. If we can go to the next document. The very next
13 document in the binder is Exhibit 07226. 7226. And this is once again a
14 daily summary from CC Mostar dated 17 December 1993. Do you recognise
15 this document?
16 A. Yes. I wrote this document.
17 Q. Now, if we can look at the general situation at the top, it says,
18 "the release of prisoners of war in accordance with the statement made by
19 Mate Boban is a dominant issue and the report --" and then there's also
20 mention of the Sally Becker issue.
21 Let's have a look at paragraph 5, Humanitarian, on the second
22 page. And here we see that about -- well, first of all there's monitoring
23 of the release of prisoners from Heliodrom near Rodoc, but a few lines
24 down, "Mr. Berko Pusic informed M2 that there will be another release on
25 Monday, 20 December, from the POW camp in Gabela." Could you perhaps just
1 briefly comment on this?
2 A. It's a further indication of the continuing, that time,
3 implementation of Mate Boban's statement, and it also gives us a forward
4 indication of the planning behind this because it's giving us a future
5 date and a number. So there's lots of discussions going on there.
6 Q. Mr. Pusic, was he able to provide statistics beforehand of people
7 who would be released?
8 A. Well, he has on this occasion, yes. And actually, if I remember
9 rightly, on other occasions with regard to movement of populations out of
10 Central Bosnia. We had figures. We were given figures.
11 Q. Now, if we go just below that, the POWs released from Heliodrom
12 today were divided into three categories, and then it says so many going
13 to Mostar west, so many going to Mostar east, and then a number going to
14 third countries via Gabela. Could you comment on the destinations of
15 these people?
16 A. Yeah. This was -- where the prisoners went was of interest to the
17 ICRC for the reasons I stated earlier. It was also of interest to both
18 the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. If I deal with the Bosnian --
19 Bosnian Muslims, they were not happy that the released prisoners went to a
20 third country. They -- it sent the wrong signals, and that was difficult,
21 I think, for the Croats. The Croats were in a strong position wherever
22 the prisoners of war went with one exception. First of all, if they went
23 overseas, well, it sent a signal, didn't it, that these individuals didn't
24 see their future in the Muslim-held territory. If they sent them into --
25 back into the territory, particularly Mostar east, providing they weren't
1 men of military age, then it actually added to the humanitarian issues
2 that were there, but it signalled a willingness to overcome this big
3 problem of prisoners. We're releasing them and actually if some of them
4 go into that area where they're going to be an extra burden on the
5 humanitarian supplies, well, so be it so we see here there was no
6 consistent movement in POWs but some went overseas. Some went back to
7 Muslim-held territory it. What I don't see here is any indication of
8 those that went into the Muslim-held territory, whether they were of
9 military age, because that would have been a concern because obviously
10 they would have been then eligible to pick up arms and fight against the
12 Q. Now, on that, the term POW is used in this report relating to
13 people being released from Heliodrom. Is -- was that in actual fact used
14 in these reports, POW, in its full legal connotation?
15 A. What it meant was simply those detained in -- those that were
16 being held against their will. Prisoners that have -- that had been taken
17 as a result of the fighting between the factions. It may not actually
18 stand the interrogation of a legal definition, but then Bosnia threw up
19 several challenges for legal definitions and I think we get the term
20 displaced persons emerging out of the conflict because we were originally
21 calling them refugees, but unless you cross an international border one is
22 not a refugee. So if they were moving within Bosnia from wherever and
23 concentrating, they were displaced but they weren't refugees. So all we
24 mean by this is prisoners. They may be military, they may be civilians,
25 but people detained against their will by an opposing faction, and it
1 doesn't matter whether it was armija, Serb, or Croat.
2 Q. Let's look at the first page of this document under Political, the
3 very first paragraph thereof, and this is you talking to Mr. Vladislav
4 Pogarcic, and he says -- he's described as secretary to Mate Boban and
5 member of the presidential council. Then, he confirmed that this new
6 council was "an advisory body only and had no executive powers, but he did
7 say that one of key functions was to allow the CRHB," which is the
8 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, "to operate in the absence of President
10 Now, my first question on this. He confirmed that this new
11 council. The council he's referring to, is that the council that he's now
12 a member of, the presidential council?
13 A. Yes, that's correct. And it's -- it relates to that earlier
14 document we looked at where I had -- about the Presidency with supporting
15 offices forming, individuals forming around Mate Boban.
16 Q. Now, could you comment on the rest of this -- on this paragraph or
17 this piece of the report?
18 A. Well, I said it has no executive powers. We saw it as an advisory
19 body and he seemed to be confirming that, but the -- the statement that
20 its key function was to allow the CRHB to operate in the absence of Boban
21 meant to me one of two things. One, it was simply a secretariat that when
22 Mr. Boban was negotiating in Geneva or Washington or wherever, he had a
23 solid, authoritative body of advice which he could call upon. The other
24 was that perhaps we were seeing an investment now in governmental
25 structures that survive personalities. So certainly Mate Boban was a
1 major personality and had formed a power base around him. In the move
2 from the Croatian Community to the Croatian republic, it was about more
3 structured, more government structures, and government structures must
4 survive personalities. I don't know which he meant, and I don't seem to
5 have pressed him on this occasion. Or indeed if there was an
6 alternatively explanation.
7 Q. If we can look about -- just a little bit further than halfway
8 down the -- that paragraph. It says: Regarding the issue of EC
9 administration of Mostar. He said if it led to peace, injection of
10 finance, et cetera, et cetera, he would support it. Could you perhaps
11 just briefly tell the Court what this issue was of EC administration of
13 A. Yeah. We rarely received directions from Zagreb as to our
14 activity, but one of the things we did was to explore with all parties the
15 idea which was obviously emerging at an international level recognising
16 that Mostar was a particularly difficult issue. Perhaps one of the
17 elements of a resolution was that it would be administered by the European
18 Union and so I began at every meeting with everybody to explore reactions
19 to that idea.
20 Q. Just after that sentence it says: 'The bridges, however, must be
21 the last item on any rebuilding list. However, the city is not negotiable
22 in any settlement and never would be. The Muslims had Sarajevo and Zenica
23 and many more big towns. The CRBH only have one and that is Mostar."
24 Could you comment on that?
25 A. Mostar was presented to the international community as the capital
1 of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and that it was, as stated here,
2 seen as the -- the only city which they had a major control and presence
3 over, though obviously not an absolute one, and they saw this as the
4 capital and the concern was that any EU administration might dilute the
5 authority of that being seen as a capital. Yeah.
6 Q. Let's have a look at another document in regard to this topic, and
7 that is Exhibit 07356. 7356. This is a daily summary from CC Mostar
8 dated 27 December 1993. Do you recognise this document?
9 A. Yes, I wrote this document.
10 Q. Now, if we can turn right to the end of the document, paragraph 7,
11 the assessment. And it says here, "Mostar is the stated capital of the
12 CRHB and its importance to the Croats is well-known. The fact remains --
13 the fact remains the only significant city held by Bosnian Croats as often
14 expressed. Do you have anything to add to that?
15 A. No, but Drago Maric is the person I referred to earlier as a good
16 source of information for what was going on. And it was widely
17 articulated, and had been for some time, that Mostar was Bosnian Croat and
18 that it was going to be the capital of the self-styled republic.
19 Q. In that same paragraph, the fourth -- well, about five or six
20 lines from the bottom there is reference to, "it would underpin their
21 route to the sea." This is something we see in some other documents as
22 well. Could you briefly comment on this issue of route to the sea for
24 A. It was always very difficult on the ground to know what was going
25 on at an international level, but in exploring a three-state solution, it
1 was clearly identified that one land-locked element would be any armija --
2 sorry, any Muslim republic. So a route to the sea seemed to be of -- of
3 enormous importance to discussions going on above, and we know, for
4 instance, that Lord Owen had commissioned a report on Neum as -- as a
5 port, and could that be a route to the sea. There were other possible
6 routes that were looking at going through Montenegro, and occasionally we
7 were meeting these ideas and -- and passing comment, and this is one
9 Q. Okay. If we can briefly look at paragraph 5, Humanitarian. And
10 it says M9. That would be you once again.
11 A. Mm-hmm.
12 Q. "Attended the weekly humanitarian meeting and were informed by
13 ICRC and then certain statistics about the release of detainees." Is it
14 correct at this stage that the unilateral release of detainees by the HVO
15 was still ongoing?
16 A. Yes, it was. This is the meeting that was chaired by Martin
18 Q. Okay. Now, if we can look at the Political section on the first
19 page of this, and here we have -- this is Drago Maric still reporting, and
20 he -- this is in a meeting with you, HCC.
21 A. Mm-hmm.
22 Q. About halfway down, Maric provides a list of 69 house of
23 representative members, and then he says, "Dario Kordic is a member but
24 not holding office, as is Ignac Kostroman. Anto Valenta, however, is not
25 a member as previously reported." Do you report on this -- could you
1 recall this?
2 A. Yes, more sort of the indication of confusion as to what the roles
3 of those Central Bosnian leaders was going to be, and this was as late as
4 the 27th of December whereas previously we've said with some clear
5 authority that we believe that Kordic is the vice-president of the
6 Presidency and that Valenta is the vice-president of the government, and
7 Mr. Maric here is giving me indications that that -- that isn't the case.
8 But actually, I do believe that we establish very quickly afterwards that
9 this bit of information is wrong and that they were in those key
11 Q. Now, let's move on to this. This was just before the 29th of
12 December, and you mentioned earlier that you had been invited by Mr. Prlic
13 to attend the session of the parliament at which the government would be
14 approved; is that correct?
15 A. I was invited to attend the first session. I can't remember
16 whether that was the session at which it was going to be approved or
17 whether there had been any other, but I believe it was the first session,
18 and I certainly was invited by Mr. Prlic.
19 Q. Okay. Now, attending this session, did you have an interpreter
20 with you or were you able to follow the proceedings?
21 A. I had an interpreter.
22 Q. Were you actually -- or where did you sit during the session?
23 A. It was a very generous offer of Mr. Prlic, and I'm not sure when I
24 got there that everybody else thought it was such a good idea. We stood
25 out. We were dressed in white. We were internationals, and this was
1 discussions and home truths day, and I nevertheless sat quietly in amongst
2 the seating, in amongst the members, and watched with interest, indeed
3 fascination at what unfolded.
4 Q. The interpreter you had with you, did he interpret the proceedings
5 as you went on or did you -- did he tell you afterwards what had happened?
6 A. I don't remember it was a he. I think it was Mija Grubesic but I
7 could be wrong. Normally in meetings it was directs translation. In fact
8 I've just remembered to speak more slowly for the translators. But yes,
9 they would be whispering elements and telling me what was going on but
10 there were also some quite dramatic moments that didn't necessarily need
11 translation. There were interesting things happening.
12 Q. Who was -- who delivered the main speech at this -- or these
14 A. We had a main speech from Mate Boban, which was demonstrative,
15 powerful speech, and we also had a similarly powerful speech and quite a
16 dramatic entrance of lieutenant General Ante Roso, which was very well
17 received. What was of interest to me, though, was that I actually did
18 hear dissent. I heard a number of people question Mate Boban, and indeed
19 Ante Roso from the floor, which was of interest to me because it wasn't
20 quite as -- as constrained; alternative views were being offered.
21 I do remember a speaker from Tuzla, I forget the name, talking
22 about the Posavina Corridor. I do remember Ivo Lozancic from Zepce
23 speaking about uncertainty of political leadership, and I do remember
24 Mr. Roso being asked about the church's position, and I think we saw
25 previously earlier the church had made a statement. I forget what the
1 statement was but it was something obviously of interest at the time. So
2 also quite a dramatic arrival of Mr. Kostroman who was a political advisor
3 to Dario Kordic, and I remember there being some discussion about how had
4 he got out of Central Bosnia. So it was a -- a very interesting day.
5 Q. The dissenting voices that you heard that you refer to, could you
6 place them geographically regarding their dissent?
7 A. Yes. Zepce and Tuzla, and I guess it reinforces a reference I
8 made earlier that you had a different perspective if you were in Central
9 Bosnia as to -- as to what the future was and maybe you felt vulnerable.
10 Q. If we can have a look at Exhibit 07372. 7372. This is a daily
11 summary from CC Mostar, dated 29 December 1993. Do you recognise this?
12 A. Yes. I wrote this report.
13 Q. And is this essentially your report on the session that you had
15 A. Yes, it is. And I see another name there which I didn't mention
16 earlier but that Mile Akmadzic made a very interesting speech about the
17 need to send the right signals to the international community. He was
18 indeed in a position of international relations, and I remember him having
19 some authority. There was some gravitas about his presentation.
20 Q. Now, looking at that first session Political about eight or mine
21 lines down, it says, Boban stated that, "if Muslims and Serbs did not
22 accept the union of republics, then Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
23 would join Croatia." Could you comment on this?
24 A. Yes. At the 29th of December, there was no groundswell discussion
25 or indeed, in my mind, any likely suggestion of what was actually to
1 follow which was a federation of Croats and Muslims. At the time we all
2 understood that the main option on discussion was a three-republic
3 solution with the attached issues we've touched on.
4 Now, there was posturing as to how that would be achieved, and I
5 think we can then link back to some of the arrival of HV forces and how
6 that was sending signals at the international level, that if those failed
7 there would be an alternative solution, and the alternative solution was
8 a -- a formal link with -- with Croatia, and of course this was invoking
9 concepts about a Greater Croatia. What a ...
10 Q. When you heard that, was that something new to your ears?
11 A. No, it wasn't.
12 Q. Where had you heard it before or in what context?
13 A. Well, there was a lot of belief and understanding that the motives
14 of the Bosnian Serbs was to create a Greater Serbia, and that of the
15 Croats was a Greater Croatia. I think that the Bosnian Croat position was
16 probably more subtle than that, that, yes, there was to be a union with
17 Croatia, but if that could be achieved through the establishment of -- or
18 if the international community was insisting that Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 remained an integral state but allowed a republic to be set up which was
20 run by the Bosnian Croats, then that would allow -- that would satisfy
21 because ostensibly there was no border between Bosnian Croat activity and
22 Croatia. Yes, there was an international border there but in terms of
23 economic activity and movement, it was seamless.
24 Q. If I can refer you to the next page of your report very briefly.
25 Under Humanitarian, of course, you report once again further on release of
1 detainees. But just after that, 6, Other Matters, "with the arrest of the
2 HVO tank crew for the decision of the Old Bridge, Safet Dziho said it was
3 a show trial." Could you comment on that?
4 A. Yes. In November we'd had indicated to us by Mr. Budakovic who
5 was then commanding 4th Corps that the HVO forces were targeting Stari
6 Most bridge. It was subsequently destroyed, and I engaged various members
7 of both military and political about the destruction of this bridge and
8 the explanation given to me was that it had been caused by a renegade HVO
9 tank crew. The tank crew had been arrested and that they were put on
10 trial. And I do remember that one of my monitors Henri Villardsen from
11 Denmark had a legal background, and when that explanation that they were
12 going to go on trial was made, I made it his task to try and watch the
13 development of that -- of that trial. And here Safet Dziho is the
14 commander of the East Mostar brigade. So under Budakovic and, prior to
15 that, under Arif Pasalic, and also you'll note that he was named as
16 somebody who dealt with prisoner of war exchanges earlier. So we're --
17 we're mentioning this tank crew arrest and Dziho is saying it's just a
18 show trial. It's -- someone's being sacrificed.
19 Q. Were you able to monitor the trial as you had intended or ordered?
20 A. I didn't monitor it, and -- no, I don't even believe that Henri
21 Villardsen saw any more. We did see a report in the press, though; I do
22 remember that.
23 Q. Can you recall the nature of that report?
24 A. Just a statement that a trial was going on.
25 Q. Let's move on to the very next document which is Exhibit 07405.
1 7405. And this is an ECMM daily summary from CC Mostar, dated the 30th of
2 December, 1993. Do you recognise this report?
3 A. Although not signed by me I believe this is my report. I wrote
5 Q. Okay. Looking at the very first paragraph, Political, it says,
6 "HCC met Mr. Ivo Tokic and the status of Croatian republic of HB
7 President Mate Boban was discussed." And then it says, "Tokic believed
8 the EU was contributing to rumours of President Boban's replacement after
9 presenting the 14-point document."
10 First of all, do you know what this 14-point document is or was?
11 A. I don't think I ever saw this because I do remember that we -- we
12 asked for information about this, but it -- it was always rather galling
13 when people on the ground told us about EU documents, but we understand
14 that this is being -- this was an EU-generated document, probably in
15 collaboration with UN, that he was referring to; I haven't seen it. And
16 one of those was a requirement that Mate Boban was replaced as part of the
17 solution and finding a way forward.
18 Q. And could you comment on the notion of the EU approaching Franjo
19 Tudjman with regard to the replacement of Mate Boban or his removal?
20 A. Well, I don't think anyone at an international level saw the
21 solution of Bosnia-Herzegovina as something which would be found by mere
22 reference to the leadership within Bosnia-Herzegovina. It needed both
23 senior leadership of the Serbs and of the Croats to instigate a police --
24 police -- instigate a peace. So here we see the international community
25 believing that Dr. Franjo Tudjman is a conduit to the Bosnian Croats and
1 that he has the authority to quietly remove Mate Boban. And this builds
2 on what was a continual interest, which I've referred to earlier, as to
3 what was Mate Boban's future, and it had been raised by one of the
4 delegates of the meeting on the 29th of December at that Presidency, where
5 he had said that uncertainty of the leadership was -- was causing issues.
6 So we were interested, where was Mate Boban's future? Was he on the
7 ascendancy? Was he on the way out? And likewise, what was -- who was
8 replacing? Where was the power being held?
9 Q. Just about -- well, a few lines down. "Tokic informed that some
10 discussion had taken place on key office appointments," then once again we
11 find the issue of central Bosnian politicians being raised. Do you wish
12 to add anything to that?
13 A. I don't think so. I think we've explored it earlier.
14 Q. Your comment, basically, is contained there as well?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Just very briefly perhaps in the next paragraph we again see that
17 M3 has met Pero Markovic, who is now referred to as president of the
18 Executive Committee, former mayor of Capljina, "have explained about the
19 structure of the party." Could you comment on that?
20 A. Yes. I do remember that one of the elements that came out of the
21 discussion of the formation of the CRHB was the role of political parties
22 and I seem to remember that HDZ was pronounced the only political party
23 and that others like, gosh, HOS, there were a number of fragmented or
24 smaller, should I say, Bosnian Croat parties, but HDZ, if anyone was in
25 any doubt, was going to be the party and Pero Markovic was the leader of
1 the HDZ.
2 Q. Okay. Now, sir, in the few minutes remaining before our break,
3 perhaps just a few very general issues. To your mind in Herceg-Bosna or
4 Herzegovina, for the Bosnian Croats from your experience in your time
5 there, who provided the political and ideological leadership?
6 A. The ideological leadership, in my opinion, came primarily from
7 Mate Boban and, in Central Bosnia, from Dario Kordic. Their other key
8 elements and key leaders were Jadranko Prlic, clearly Pero Markovic, and
9 some of the others we've mentioned. The difference that -- I would state
10 with Mr. Prlic is I didn't see him as a ideologue. I saw him as an astute
11 survivor politician, more calculating a future, but he wasn't, if you
12 like, the voice of extremism. So a pragmatic politician but a key -- key
13 politician for sure.
14 Q. Okay. The leadership for the Bosnian community of Herceg-Bosna
15 and -- sorry, what am I talking about, the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna and later the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, where was
17 the -- the key location for that leadership?
18 A. In Grude and in Mostar, but in Herzegovina. The -- the military
19 leadership was in Citluk and then later Posusje.
20 MR. KRUGER: Okay. Your Honour, I think this may be a time to
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar,
23 tomorrow you will tell us how long the Prosecution has used.
24 Witness, a few words about tomorrow. You will come back tomorrow
25 at 9.00 a.m. Between now and tomorrow you will meet absolutely no one,
1 because you're under oath. Therefore, you are the witness of the Trial
2 Chamber and not the witness of any other parties. We will resume tomorrow
3 at 9.00 a.m.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 a.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 22nd day
6 of May, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.