Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6992

1 Monday, 10 May 2004

2 [Open session

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The case number is IT-01-47-T,

8 the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.

11 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,

12 Your Honours. Good afternoon, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Tecla

13 Benjamin, Ekkehard Withopf, and Ruth Karper, the case manager.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And could we have the

15 appearances for the Defence, the first Defence team, please.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Good

17 day, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina

18 Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian,

19 our legal assistant. Thank you.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the second Defence team.

21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On

22 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin

23 Mulalic, our legal assistant.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

25 The Trial Chamber would like to greet everyone present, members

Page 6993

1 of the Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused, and everyone else

2 present in this courtroom.

3 This week we will be hearing a number of so-called international

4 witnesses, and on Friday the hearing will be one during which we will be

5 discussing the documents.

6 Mr. Withopf, who do we have today according to your memorandum?

7 It's Mr. Baggesen; isn't that correct?

8 WITHOPF: That's correct, Mr. President. The Prosecution

9 will call Mr. Lars Baggesen.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

11 Madam Usher, could you bring the witness into the courtroom.

12 [The witness entered court]

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day. I would like to

14 check that you are receiving the interpretation of what I am saying into

15 your language. If that is the case, please say so.

16 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, I can read you loud and clear.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've been called here as a

18 witness for the Prosecution. Before you take -- in order for you to be

19 able to take the solemn declaration, I would like you to tell me your

20 first and last name.

21 THE WITNESS: My name is Lars Baggesen.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me your date of

23 birth and place of birth.

24 THE WITNESS: I was born in Copenhagen, the 22nd of January,

25 1957.

Page 6994

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your nationality?

2 THE WITNESS: I'm Danish.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current position?

4 You're wearing a uniform. Which army are you a member of and what is your

5 rank?

6 THE WITNESS: I am a major in the Danish Army, and just now I am

7 staff officer at Danish Home Guard Command. That's on general staff

8 level. And I'm responsible for cooperation with the Baltic countries.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993, what position did you

10 hold? That's over ten years ago now.

11 THE WITNESS: I was a member of the ECMM in the period from April

12 until end June.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What rank did you hold at that

14 time?

15 THE WITNESS: In ECMM, we didn't have any ranks, but my rank in

16 Denmark in the Danish Army was captain.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified

18 before an international court?

19 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. This is the third time.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is the third time. To

21 the extent that you can remember this, can you tell us which case you

22 testified in and were you called as a witness for the Prosecution or for

23 the Defence.

24 THE WITNESS: I was called for the Prosecution in the case

25 against Colonel Blaskic, and later on in the case against Dario Kordic and

Page 6995

1 Mario Cerkez.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read the

3 solemn declaration. The usher will show the text to you.

4 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the

5 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You may sit down.

8 As this is the third time that you will be testifying before this

9 Tribunal, you are used to giving testimony; nevertheless, I would like to

10 remind you of certain factors. You will first have to answer questions

11 put to you by the Prosecution. They are to your right. They will be

12 conducting what we call their examination-in-chief.

13 Once they have completed the examination-in-chief, Defence

14 counsel, who are to your left, will conduct their cross-examination.

15 Once they have concluded their cross-examination, the Prosecution

16 may re-examine you. And the three Judges, who are sitting before you, may

17 at any time during this proceedings ask you questions either to clarify

18 some of the answers you have given or in order to obtain information about

19 certain aspects of your testimony that didn't form part of the answers to

20 the questions put to you.

21 As you are used to such hearings, you know that it is necessary

22 to answer as precisely and extensively as possible, as the Judges don't

23 have your written statement, and it is therefore your oral testimony that

24 will be contributing to the determination of the truth. If there are any

25 questions that you don't understand, ask the person putting the question

Page 6996

1 to you to rephrase it.

2 These are purely academic issues that I'm now going to mention,

3 but you have taken the solemn declaration, which means that you shouldn't

4 give false testimony. If a witness gives false testimony, a witness could

5 be punished as a result. And if a witness's testimony could at a

6 subsequent date be used against the witness, in such a case a witness may

7 refuse to answer such a question. Nevertheless, the Trial Chamber could

8 compel the witness to answer the question. In such a case, the Trial

9 Chamber guarantees a form of immunity for the witness. This is a

10 provision contained in the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

11 So this is roughly speaking how your testimony will proceed. If

12 you encounter any difficulties, please inform the Trial Chamber of this.

13 You will be testifying today, and I don't think it will be necessary for

14 you to appear in the courtroom tomorrow.

15 Without wasting any more time, I will let the Prosecution take

16 the floor. They will conduct their examination-in-chief.

17 Now, Mr. Withopf.

18 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

19 Examined by Mr. Withopf:

20 Q. Good afternoon, sir.

21 A. Good afternoon.

22 Q. Sir, can you please for the benefit of the Trial Chamber briefly

23 summarise your military career within the Danish Army with an emphasise on

24 any deployments abroad.

25 A. Yes. I started my military career in 1976, where I started with

Page 6997












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Page 6998

1 my national service in the Danish Army, and I have been in the army since

2 then.

3 I was promoted as officer in 1978, as an infantry officer. Later

4 on I was educated in the Cavalry and the Reconnaissance Unit. My time as

5 an officer has been a mix of commanding units and staff duties, and the

6 staff duties has always been as -- until my present job, has always been

7 as a -- an intelligence officer at battalion and brigade level.

8 I participated in different missions. In 1980-1981, I was

9 participating in the conflict at Cyprus, where I was a member of UNFICYP,

10 the forces in Cyprus, where I was a staff officer in the Danish Battalion.

11 In 1993, as you know, I was a member of the ECMM in Central

12 Bosnia, and in 2001 I was a G2 at the French Brigade headquarters in KFOR

13 in Kosovo.

14 Q. Thank you, sir. I know you already mentioned it, but what was

15 your military rank in 1993?

16 A. In 1993, I had a military rank as captain.

17 Q. And what's your military rank today?

18 A. Today I'm major.

19 Q. Major, you already mentioned that you got training as an

20 intelligence officer. Can you please very briefly elaborate on what sort

21 of training you received.

22 A. The sort of training we received as intelligence officer, for my

23 part it was during the Cold War, so we were trained in analysing the

24 Warsaw Pact, how their tactics was, what type of materiel they had,

25 et cetera.

Page 6999

1 Q. Major, based on this training, would it be fair to say that you

2 were trained a professional and an experienced intelligence officer and

3 military observer?

4 A. Yes, I would say so.

5 Q. You already mentioned that you had a number of commanding

6 positions over the years. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber at what

7 levels and how many troops you have commanded.

8 A. My first command was platoon commander, where I had 35 soldiers.

9 And my latest command was as a battalion commander, where I had 1.700

10 soldiers.

11 Q. Can you please briefly describe your current duties within the

12 Danish Army.

13 A. My current duties are as a staff officer in the Danish Home Guard

14 Command. That's on the general staff level. And I am responsible for the

15 cooperation with the Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. I'm

16 responsible for the cooperation and helping the three countries to build

17 up a volunteer force.

18 Q. And the last issue I wish to address in this context, Major: Do

19 you plan to go back to the area of the former Yugoslavia?

20 A. I know that the army have plans for that, and I am going back to

21 Kosovo this autumn again as a G2 at the French Brigade headquarters.

22 Q. Thank you.

23 MR. WITHOPF: I see my colleague from the Defence side on his

24 feet.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.

Page 7000

1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]

2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] In the transcript, page 7, line 9,

4 I would just like the witness to confirm the number he mentioned. The

5 number that appears in the transcript is 1.700. I would just like the

6 witness to confirm whether the number is 1.700 or 700.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Did he command a

8 battalion of 1.700 men or of 700 men?

9 Witness, you said that you were in command of a battalion

10 composed of a certain number of men. How many men exactly

11 THE WITNESS: It's correct in the transcript. It was 1.700 men.

12 And I used the -- the size of the unit as a battalion in the Home Guard,

13 called a Home Guard district. But it's normally battalion level but it's

14 a very big unit with, in this case, 17 companies, including two police

15 companies, one headquarter company, and the rest were infantry companies.

16 But it was not a battalion as you know it in the regular army but in the

17 volunteer defence in Denmark.


19 Q. Thank you very much, Major, for the clarification and

20 confirmation.

21 Let's move to a different issue, your deployment with ECMM in

22 Central Bosnia. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber when you were

23 deployed in Bosnia.

24 A. I was deployed to Bosnia the 21st of March, and I stayed in

25 Central Bosnia until end of June.

Page 7001

1 Q. And we are talking March to June 1993?

2 A. Yes, correct.

3 Q. And where in Bosnia were you deployed?

4 A. I was deployed to the regional centre in Zenica, and we had our

5 headquarters at Hotel Internacional.

6 Q. The Hotel Internacional, how far away is it from the 3rd Corps

7 Command -- or was it away from the 3rd Corps Command in 1993?

8 A. I can't remember exactly, but I would say within 1.000 metres, in

9 that environment.

10 Q. Can you please for the benefit of the Trial Chamber inform us

11 about your mission and the purpose of your mission.

12 A. As the mission for the ECMM was to -- to see -- to make

13 cease-fires, to make the two parties, the HVO and the BiH, try to have

14 them cooperating again. We had to investigate in -- in different

15 incidents, et cetera.

16 Q. What was your position between March and July 1993 within the

17 regional centre in Zenica?

18 A. In the beginning, from April and the first months, I was a member

19 of the Busovaca Joint Commission, a commission in which there were -- the

20 commission was chaired by ECMM. We were, including the chairman, three

21 members from ECMM, and then there were three members from HVO and three

22 members for army of BiH.

23 Q. And in addition to your duties connected to the Busovaca Joint

24 Commission, what else did you do?

25 A. After I was a member of the Busovaca Joint Commission, the

Page 7002

1 commission was closed and renamed and had another task. I was sent to

2 another area of Central Bosnia. I was promoted to team leader, and my new

3 area of responsibility was the area of Zepce, Zavidovici, and Maglaj. And

4 a little later I had increased my area, so I had the Kakanj and Visoko

5 area as well. And after that, in -- in June - I think it was the 10th of

6 June - I was promoted to chairman for the joint humanitarian commission,

7 that -- which task was to release all detained persons in Central Bosnia.

8 Q. All these positions, Major, were all these positions you just

9 detailed, were they all within your assignment to the ECMM regional centre

10 in Zenica?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. Who at the time was the head of the ECMM regional centre in

13 Zenica?

14 A. The head of the regional centre Zenica was Jean-Pierre Thebault,

15 from France.

16 Q. And can you please give us the names of your colleagues within

17 the regional centre in Zenica.

18 A. The centre was, as I told you, headed by Jean-Pierre Thebault,

19 and then we had in the staff if -- we had a Spanish monitor, Juan

20 Valentin; we had a Greek monitor, I think his name was Dimitrios Dagos,

21 and then we had the Busovaca Joint Commission, the members of the Busovaca

22 Joint Commission. The commission was chaired by a Danish monitor, the

23 late A.K.H. Petersen [phoen]. And we had at that time, I think, a German

24 monitor, Dieter Schellschmidt, was a member of the commission. He was a

25 member of the commission. I can't remember what time, but he was a member

Page 7003












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Page 7004

1 of the commission. And then we have different team, monitor teams

2 directly connected to the regional centre, and among those were a Canadian

3 monitor, Remi Landry; and there was later a Greek monitor called Stovos

4 Kinigopoulos; there were a Danish monitor called Allan Laustsen; and later

5 on we had a new monitor in late June, Sir Martin Garrod; and in between we

6 had a Greek monitor, and I can't recall his name. We had during my period

7 as well a Swedish monitor called Torbjorn Junhov; we had a Dutch monitor,

8 Henk Morsink. And we had another Danish monitor. His name was Bent. I

9 can't recall his last name. I think it was Faerge. And that's all I can

10 remember just now.

11 Q. Thank you very much, Major, for this comprehensive overview.

12 And can you please describe in detail the geographical area of

13 responsibility of the regional centre in Zenica. What -- which

14 municipalities were covered by the regional centre?

15 A. As far as I can remember, it was in the west we have Travnik, and

16 followed down to Novi Travnik, Bugojno area. I can't remember if

17 Tomislavgrad was a part of our regional centre, but we had Kiseljak,

18 Visoko, Kakanj, Maglaj, Zavidovici, Zepce, that area. And of course

19 Zenica, where we had our headquarters.

20 Q. Very well, Major. How would you -- how would you, sir, describe

21 the military situation whilst you were deployed in Zenica, the military

22 situation in particular in relation to the HVO-ABiH conflict.

23 A. In the first half of my -- my period in the mission, I saw that

24 HVO were the biggest part. I saw that HVO were the aggressor in the area,

25 and we were able to see that during all the conflicts we witnessed in the

Page 7005

1 Lasva Valley.

2 Later on the Army of BiH succeeded to -- to fight back, and I will

3 not call them "the aggressor" but they were able to conquer some of the

4 lost area.

5 Q. If you are making reference to the Army of BiH within the area

6 you just described, do you make reference to the 3rd Corps of the ABiH?

7 A. Yes, it was -- it was the 3rd Corps that -- they were in our area

8 of responsibility.

9 Q. Would it be fair to say following up your statement you just

10 make -- made that from about mid-May 1993 the ABiH 3rd Corps was more on

11 the attacking side, rather than on the defending side?

12 A. I can't remember the -- the exact date, but the conflict

13 escalated during the time where we had a -- a Croat massacre against the

14 Ahmici, and after that period the BiH succeeded to -- to pay back.

15 Q. "Pay back" means they fought back?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Right. Whilst you've been a member of the ECMM regional centre

18 in Zenica, Major, do you know who was the commander of the ABiH 3rd Corps?

19 A. The commander of the 3rd Corps was General Hadzihasanovic.

20 Q. And whilst you were deployed in Zenica, did you have an

21 opportunity to meet General Hadzihasanovic?

22 A. Yes. I met the general maybe five, six, up to ten times during

23 my -- those three months. Not much in the beginning, because while I was

24 a member of the Busovaca Joint Commission, the deputy or the Chief of

25 Staff of the 3rd Corps, Mr. Merdan, was normally the -- our contact to the

Page 7006

1 corps. But later on when I was assigned to the area of responsibility in

2 the Zepce, Zavidovici, Maglaj area, I often had to go to the 3rd Corps

3 Command to claim that we were not allowed to pass a checkpoint, et cetera.

4 Q. Does this mean that you had from about mid-May till end of June

5 about ten times the opportunity to meet Hadzihasanovic?

6 A. Yes. And I think ten times is the maximum.

7 Q. Where did General Hadzihasanovic at the time have his

8 headquarters?

9 A. As far as I can remember, all the times I had to -- to see the

10 general it was at his office, at his headquarters, close to the steel

11 factory.

12 Q. And did the meetings, between six to ten meetings, did they take

13 place in General Hadzihasanovic's headquarters?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. Did the meetings take place in his office?

16 A. As far as I can remember, most of them. It was only short

17 meetings, five, ten minutes normal, because we need to have things

18 clarified. But normally at his office.

19 Q. Can you please provide us with some information about his office.

20 How did it look like?

21 A. I can't remember his office like that, but I think -- I can

22 remember that we have to pass the office of his secretary before we came

23 to his office, and in his office there was the normal things you can

24 expect in an office.

25 Q. Would it be fair to say that his office was the normal office for

Page 7007

1 a commander in his position, for a corps commander?

2 A. He was only corps commander in -- in the Bosnian army, so -- I

3 have met, so I don't know what the standard were, but I think the

4 equipment there was sufficient.

5 Q. Was sufficient to exercise his duties as a corps commander?

6 A. I can't remember that I saw any radio equipment at his office,

7 but there was a normal telephone and things like that, so I think when he

8 to -- to command his troops, I don't think he was able to do that from his

9 office but maybe at a command post somewhere at the -- the headquarters,

10 but I have only seen his office.

11 Q. Major, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what was the

12 purpose of your repeated meetings with Hadzihasanovic.

13 A. Normally when we have to go to this high level, it was because

14 during our missions in our area of responsibility if we were denied access

15 to a checkpoint, we have to make a complaint. And normally we went

16 directly to -- to the general or to his Chief of Staff, if he was there,

17 trying to solve that, because ECMM had freedom of movement and of course

18 we have to complain every time we were denied this freedom of movement.

19 And there was specific one place -- I can't remember the name of the

20 checkpoint, but several times we were denied access to this checkpoint,

21 and of course we have to make complaints on that.

22 Q. After having met General Hadzihasanovic for a number of times,

23 Major, what was your impression in respect to the competence of

24 General Hadzihasanovic?

25 A. It seems to me, with my background at that time, that General

Page 7008

1 Hadzihasanovic was a very competent officer, and he seems that he had an

2 overview over the situation, and he seems to have the ability to command

3 his units. In comparison [Realtime transcript read in

4 error "cooperation"] to the opposite part, General -- then the Colonel

5 Blaskic, there was a big difference on those two commanders.

6 Q. Can you please a bit elaborate what the difference between these

7 two commanders was about.

8 A. Normally when we had meetings with General Hadzihasanovic, he

9 seems very calm and had this overview over the situation; where when you

10 have meetings with the very young Colonel Blaskic, he was more -- he was

11 not calm. He was very stressed and things like that.

12 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I see my learned friend on his feet.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.

14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

15 Again, there is a mistake in -- on line 14, "In cooperation to

16 the opposite part." And I believe that the word mentioned by the witness

17 was "comparison with the opposing party."

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Was that a

19 comparison or what was it that you said, sir? Can you please look at

20 line 14 in English. It says "in cooperation with." Was it "in

21 cooperation with" or was it "in comparison with"? What was it that you

22 said?

23 THE WITNESS: I said "compared to." If you were going to compare

24 those two officers --

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Thank you.

Page 7009












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Page 7010

1 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you, Mr. President.

2 Q. You were just saying, Major, that the very young Colonel Blaskic

3 was not calm, he was very stressed, and things like that. And in

4 comparison, you described General Hadzihasanovic as seeming to be very

5 calm and having his overview or an overview over the situation.

6 A. Yes, sir, that's correct. And I think that because the general

7 has more experience than his -- the opposite part.

8 Q. You had a number of colleagues, Major, within the regional centre

9 of ECMM in Zenica. Did other monitors, ECMM monitors in Zenica, also have

10 meetings or contact with Hadzihasanovic at the time you've been in Zenica?

11 A. Yes. We all had meetings, and some of course had meetings with

12 General Hadzihasanovic as well. I can remember once that one of my

13 Canadian colleagues were -- Remi Landry was maybe that colleague that had

14 the best knowledge of the general.

15 Q. And how did it become apparent to you that your colleague Remi

16 Landry had the best knowledge of General Hadzihasanovic? Why?

17 A. I can remember that they went fishing once, and I think that

18 during his -- Remi Landry's tour on the mission that he was the most

19 experienced monitor we had and he was very often having meetings at the

20 3rd Corps Command. So I think that therefore he had relations on a -- a

21 professional level with -- with the general.

22 Q. This relation, was it closer than anybody else's relation within

23 ECMM, the relation between Remi Landry and General Hadzihasanovic?

24 A. He was the only one that went out fishing with the general. I

25 don't know how my other colleagues, if they had any social contact with

Page 7011

1 the general.

2 Q. They went fishing. Major, can you please assist me. How was it

3 possible that General Hadzihasanovic, who was fighting a war on two front

4 lines, how was it possible that he had the time to go fishing between

5 April and June 1993?

6 A. Sometimes - and I know that myself - as a commander, you need to

7 relax, and if there are a break in the fighting, then you have to do

8 something else. And I can imagine that that's one of the reasons. And if

9 you are a commander and you have a good deputy or Chief of Staff, then he

10 can take over for a short period. So I see nothing in this that he went

11 out fishing.

12 Q. You were saying that a commander needs to relax if there are a

13 break in the fighting. During the time period you've been in Zenica, were

14 there such breaks in the fighting?

15 A. The time period were very tense, but sometimes the tension were

16 higher than other days so there were a few days with -- where it was calm,

17 without big incidents.

18 Q. Major, did you also get in contact with General Hadzihasanovic's

19 deputy?

20 A. I very often had the opportunity to have meetings with General

21 Merdan; that was the deputy or Chief of Staff of the 3rd Corps. He was a

22 high-ranking member of -- from BiH in the Busovaca Joint Commission. And

23 later on he was a member of the joint command in Travnik, and later on I

24 was working together with him in the -- in the investigation of a

25 kidnapping.

Page 7012

1 Q. Before we address the issues of -- related to the various

2 kidnappings, how close after you had a number of meetings with Mr. Merdan

3 and Mr. Hadzihasanovic, how close were the two?

4 A. I think they were working very close, and I -- I recognised

5 Merdan as a very loyal officer to General Hadzihasanovic, and every time

6 when we asked Merdan for something and asked him to bring something to the

7 general, we very often have an answer later the same day or maybe next

8 day. But -- so I think they have very good relations.

9 Q. Major, you already touched on the issues of kidnappings. Can you

10 please inform the Trial Chamber as to when and how you did become aware of

11 kidnappings.

12 A. We had a contact from Colonel Blaskic, the commander of the HVO

13 of regional zone Central Bosnia, and he told our headquarters that four of

14 his staff officers were kidnapped close to the front in the -- the Travnik

15 area. And he asked ECMM to investigate in the matter.

16 Q. And when did you receive the information about this kidnapping?

17 A. As far as I can remember, it was in -- I can't remember the exact

18 date, but it was in -- in the beginning of April, within the first week or

19 maybe the second week in April, 1993.

20 Q. In addition to this incident of kidnapping, did you become aware

21 of another or another incidents of kidnappings?

22 A. Yes. Actually, there was in total three kidnappings. There was

23 another kidnapping later on where the HVO brigade commander - I think his

24 name was Totic - were kidnapped in Zenica. This brigade commander was

25 ambushed together with his four bodyguards and the four bodyguards were

Page 7013

1 killed and an eyewitness to the situation was killed as well, and the

2 brigade commander was taken out of the vehicle.

3 Q. Major, now, you have described two kidnappings. You were saying

4 that there were in total three kidnappings. Can you please inform us

5 about the third kidnapping.

6 A. The third kidnapping that took place in -- in this period was

7 from the local radio station. I think it was called Radio CD. It was a

8 radio station, and as far as I can remember it was founded by the

9 Americans. And there were two or three persons from that radio station,

10 two journalists or technicians - I can't remember what their job were

11 there - they were kidnapped as well.

12 Q. [Microphone not activated]

13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

14 MR. WITHOPF: Sorry. I apologise.

15 Q. Major, did you receive official information in your capacity as

16 an ECMM monitor as to who was responsible for the kidnappings you just

17 described?

18 A. No, not in the beginning. In the beginning, General Blaskic

19 asked ECMM to head the investigation in this kidnapping, and a team

20 were -- with the Spanish monitor Juan Valentin and I, together with

21 Mr. Merdan, and the deputy or the Chief of Staff of the HVO, Franjo Nakic,

22 was a member of this small investigation team. And in the beginning, we

23 have -- we didn't know where to start, but Colonel Blaskic, from HVO,

24 claimed that it was the 7th Muslim Brigade that was responsible for this

25 kidnapping.

Page 7014

1 Q. How did it come that General Hadzihasanovic's deputy, Merdan, was

2 involved in this team investigating the kidnapping -- the kidnappings?

3 A. I don't know why it was Mr. Merdan, but I think that my

4 headquarters has decided that when we were going to do those

5 investigations, it was necessary to have a high-ranking officer from --

6 from HVO and a high-ranking officer from BiH. So both the two deputies

7 from the two corps levels were present in the investigation team.

8 Q. When you started the investigation, together with Mr. Merdan and

9 a representative of the HVO, what were the allegations, suspicions about

10 who was responsible for the kidnappings?

11 A. Colonel Blaskic said that it was the 7th Muslim Brigade that was

12 responsible for this. That was -- normally, every time there was some

13 incident that the BiH have done something, the normal unit that was --

14 that the HVO claims that were behind this normally was the 7th Muslim

15 Brigade. But in this specific area where the four officers were

16 kidnapped, I think it was the area of responsibility of the 4th Muslim

17 Brigade -- sorry, the 7th Muslim Brigade, though it could -- it could be

18 the 7th Muslim Brigade that was behind the kidnapping.

19 Q. Whilst you were doing the investigation, not only in respect to

20 the four kidnapped HVO officers but also in respect to the kidnapping of

21 Commander Totic, did there come a time when you received information from

22 the kidnappers?

23 A. Yes. After I used several days trying to see if we could find

24 the kidnapped officers, certainly two messengers from what we called

25 Mujahedins arrived to our headquarters with a letter claiming that the

Page 7015












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13 English transcripts.













Page 7016

1 Mujahedins, or as they called themselves, the Arabic Group, that they were

2 responsible for the kidnapping and they had the four officers. And I

3 can't remember if they mentioned Totic in the same letter, but they said

4 that they had the kidnapped persons and they want to have some of their

5 Muslim brothers who was in the custody of HVO released.

6 Q. The two messengers from what you called Mujahedins or the Arabic

7 Group, were they actually foreigners? Were they Arabs?

8 A. They were dressed in Arabic clothes, in this robe, and they -- as

9 far as -- I cannot remember if they were having an Arabic look, but I

10 think as normally when we discussed this we said it was Arabic persons

11 who -- who came with the letters. I can't remember it myself, but I can

12 remember from our discussions that it was people from -- not Bosniaks.

13 Q. Do you still recall what was written in the letter? Have you

14 seen the letter yourself?

15 A. Yes, I saw the letter -- or there were two letters, one in

16 English and one in -- in German. And the text in the two letters was

17 identical. I can remember that it was dated with the -- the Muslim date.

18 It was not April 1993 but another date. And there was a lot of praise to

19 Allah in it. They keep ECMM responsible for the exchange of prisoners.

20 And if this exchange wouldn't take place, we would be responsible for the

21 killing of the -- the hostages. And I can remember the letter was signed

22 with some Arabic signs.

23 MR. WITHOPF: With the permission of the Trial Chamber, I would

24 like to show the witness the letter, which is number 16 on the

25 Prosecution's contested exhibit list, and the letter will also appear via

Page 7017

1 Sanction on the screen in front of you.

2 Q. Major, if you could please have a look at the handwritten letter.

3 Is this the letter you were just talking about, the letter you received

4 from the Mujahedin, them claiming being responsible for the kidnappings

5 and them asking you to do something about it?

6 A. Yes, that's correct. But as far as I can remember, there was a

7 German version as well.

8 Q. Just for clarification, you received the very same letter in both

9 the English language and the German language?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Is the letter you have in front of you, is it the letter in the

12 English language?

13 A. That's correct. This is the English version of the letter.

14 Q. And to your knowledge, were the English version and the German

15 version of the letter, were they identical?

16 A. Yes, because we compared the two letters to see if there were any

17 difference in -- in the context, but there were not.

18 Q. Was somebody with you at ECMM in Zenica who spoke German, or was

19 it a German national?

20 A. We had a German monitor, Dieter Schellschmidt, who was of course

21 able to speak German. Then we were a few other persons who was able to

22 speak German as well.

23 MR. WITHOPF: Very well. Mr. President, Your Honours, the

24 Prosecution wishes to tender this handwritten letter into evidence. So

25 far it has been a contested document.

Page 7018

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What has the Defence to tell us

2 about that?

3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] We don't have any objections, Your

4 Honour. This document -- handwritten document may be tendered into

5 evidence.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon, do you have anything

7 to say to this?

8 MR. DIXON: No, Your Honours, given what the witness has now

9 testified to, we have no objection to this document being admitted into

10 evidence. Thank you, Your Honours.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you give us

12 a number.

13 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] It will be P109.

14 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

15 Q. At the time you were -- or ECMM in Zenica was dealing with the

16 issue of the kidnapped HVO officers, how often did the Mujahedin come to

17 ECMM?

18 A. I can't remember the exact number of times where we had a visit

19 from -- from the Arabic Group or the Mujahedins, because I was not

20 participating in those meetings. But they were there several times.

21 A small -- a body was created to solve this problem and to do the

22 negotiations, and among those participants were of course ECMM; as far as

23 I can remember, the International Committee of the Red Cross were

24 participating; HVO were participating.

25 I can't remember exactly if there were any participations from

Page 7019

1 BiH, but as far as I can remember they were invited to participate, and

2 during those negotiations the International Red Cross wanted the

3 permission to visit the hostages but this was denied from the Mujahedins,

4 but it was agreed to let the hostages send letters and I think a videotape

5 to their family and to their -- their commanders so they were able to see

6 that they were still alive.

7 Q. The repeated meetings you were just talking about, did they take

8 place in the Hotel Internacional in Zenica?

9 A. As far as I can remember, yes, it took place there.

10 Q. And how did the Mujahedin come to the Hotel Internacional in

11 Zenica? Did they use a car, or did they come by feet?

12 A. I can remember when the first messengers arrived, they were

13 arriving in a car, and I can remember that we later on saw or recognised

14 the same car another place. How they came to meetings other times, I

15 don't know, because I was not always present when they were there, but I

16 can remember in the beginning normally they were armed, and we didn't want

17 to have armed soldiers or mercenaries in our compound. But unfortunately,

18 the BiH civilian policeman who was trying to secure our headquarters, he

19 always disappeared when the Mujahedins arrived. So sometimes they had

20 weapons inside and other times they showed up without arms.

21 Q. What sort of weapons did they actually have?

22 A. Normally they were wearing AK-47s, the Kalashnikovs.

23 Q. Obviously an automatic rifle, isn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Let's discuss this issue with the car they used at the beginning

Page 7020

1 negotiating about the release of the Mujahedin hostages. I understand the

2 Mujahedin for the first time arrived at the Hotel Internacional, the

3 regional centre Zenica of ECMM, at about mid-April, second half of April

4 1993? Is that correct?

5 A. That's correct. It was -- there was a lot of days after we

6 started the investigations -- I can't remember how much, maybe ten days

7 after we started the investigations we had this first contact from

8 Mujahedins.

9 Q. And you were just saying a few minutes ago that, "We later on saw

10 or recognised the same car at another place." Can you please inform the

11 Trial Chamber where and, if you recall, as to when you have seen or

12 recognised the very same car.

13 A. I can remember that it was discussed later on because the same

14 car that was used by the two Mujahedins were later on observed at one of

15 the 7 Muslim Brigade's -- unit's headquarters. I can't recall if it was

16 at the headquarters or their compound at the music school in Zenica or it

17 was in the Ravno Rostovo, but one of those two places this vehicle was

18 observed in front of the -- the building.

19 Q. And can you please provide us some more detail, if you do recall,

20 as to when the very same car the Mujahedin used to come to the regional

21 centre of ECMM in Zenica to negotiate about the release of the Mujahedin

22 prisoners and the HVO hostages, do you recall as to when this issue that

23 the very same car was seen in front of the 7th Muslim Brigade headquarter

24 or command, do you recall when roughly?

25 A. I cannot recall the exact date, but I can -- can remember that we

Page 7021












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13 English transcripts.













Page 7022

1 discussed the matter because we were looking to see if we can find a link

2 between the 7th Muslim Brigade and the Mujahedins. HVO claimed that

3 Mujahedin was a part of 7th Muslim Brigade, but we didn't see any link.

4 The only link we saw was that this car has been observed in front of one

5 of their headquarters.

6 Q. Was it prior to the release of the hostages? Do you recall?

7 A. I cannot recall the exact period.

8 Q. Was it during the time you yourself have been in Zenica, meaning

9 between April and end of June, 1993?

10 A. Yes. Yes.

11 Q. Major, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what efforts, if

12 any, have been made by ECMM to get the hostage problem resolved, and if

13 so, how was it actually resolved.

14 A. After a lot of negotiations, we succeeded to -- to solve the

15 problem in -- in May. At that time, I think the situation had covered a

16 period of a month or more. And it was agreed -- as I said earlier, I was

17 not a member of this working group but I took part in the work while we

18 were going to release the hostages. And Arab group and HVO agreed to

19 release -- from the Arab group side, they released the four HVO staff

20 officers and the brigade commander, as well I think that kidnapped

21 journalist was released as well. But it was agreed that this release

22 should take place at three different places, where I was responsible for

23 the release in Travnik, where the four HVO officers should be released by

24 the Mujahedin. A Dutch colleague, Henk Morsink, I think, was possible to

25 the release of -- at a factory, a Mediapan factory or something like that.

Page 7023

1 There was a factory between Vitez and Zenica, in that area. And he was

2 responsible for release there. And then there should be a release in

3 Zenica, where all the foreigners, all the Arabic members of Mujahedin,

4 should be released.

5 And all those released should be coordinated. It had to take

6 time -- at the same time, all three places. And while I was in Travnik, I

7 was there together with an armed escort from the British Battalion in

8 Vitez, and I was there accompanied by a Mujahedin who was able to speak

9 German, so I was able to communicate with him.

10 The whole operation were delayed several times, I think. It was

11 planned that the release should take place at 12.00, but it was delayed

12 several times. I think the release took place in the -- in the afternoon.

13 Q. You were in Travnik, I understand. Who was the responsible ECMM

14 member who was responsible for the operation in Zenica?

15 A. I think that my German colleague, Dieter Schellschmidt, was one

16 of the persons who was responsible for the whole operation. And as far as

17 I can remember, he was dealing with the matter in Zenica.

18 Q. Who from the HVO side, Major, who was exchanged for the

19 Mujahedin, if you know?

20 A. Who was released from ...

21 Q. Whom did the Mujahedin release?

22 A. Yes. They released the four -- in Travnik, the four officers,

23 and I can't remember where Totic was released, if he was released in

24 Zenica or in -- in the other place at the Mediapan factory.

25 Q. What did you get to know, Major, about the release that took

Page 7024

1 place in Zenica and all the aspects surrounding this release?

2 A. Because I was in Travnik, I was not able to -- to monitor it

3 myself, but later on my German colleague, Dieter Schellschmidt, told me

4 about the situation in Zenica. He told me that a lot of Mujahedins

5 were -- came to the area in front of the hotel, and he told me that the

6 local police disappeared when the armed Mujahedins arrived. He told me

7 that there was a truck with a heavy machine-gun mounted on the truck as

8 well, and he told me that after the HVO had released all the -- the

9 detained persons, the detained persons together with the Mujahedins left

10 the area and there was a lot of happy shooting in the air.

11 Q. Do you know, Major, whether ECMM monitor Schellschmidt, your

12 colleague at the regional centre in Zenica, whether he wrote a report

13 about the operation in Zenica?

14 A. Yes, he did, because after this operation was finished, he made a

15 report where he had this chronology on -- with time scheduled for the

16 different incidents.

17 Q. Did you get a chance to read the report at the time in Zenica?

18 A. Yes. I had the opportunity to see the report and I had the

19 opportunity to have a copy of that report as well.

20 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, with the permission of the Trial

21 Chamber, I would like to show the witness Prosecution Exhibit P155, which

22 is the ECMM regional centre Zenica report of 19th of May, 1993.

23 Q. Sir, if you could please have a look at the report, and please

24 take your time.

25 Is this the report of Dieter Schellschmidt you were just

Page 7025

1 testifying about?

2 A. Yes, that's correct. The English version, the translated

3 version, is not made by ECMM, I think.

4 Q. If I may, please, draw your attention, Major, at paragraph 4 on

5 the first page, the second half of paragraph 4 reads as follows: "The

6 exchange was achieved only due to the very close cooperation between all

7 parties involved. These were: ICRC, UNPROFOR, HVO, ABiH; the Arabian

8 Group (Mujahedin) and ECMM as mediator. Representatives of all these

9 organisations were present at all three places during the exchange."

10 Is what is written in this report, to your knowledge is it

11 correct? Has Mr. Schellschmidt correctly reflected in his report what

12 took place?

13 A. As I didn't participate in all the meetings, I'm not the one to

14 tell if -- who was participating at the different meetings, but at the

15 place in Travnik where I was responsible for -- for the release, I cannot

16 remember that there were other -- that HVO or BiH or ICRC were present.

17 As far as I can remember, it was only UNPROFOR who was providing us with

18 this armed escort and the representative from the Mujahedin who was

19 present.

20 Q. Do you have any reason, Major, to disbelieve what is written in

21 Mr. Schellschmidt's report?

22 A. No. And because all our -- our reports made by ECMM is

23 countersigned. Normally our team reports have been signed by both the two

24 monitors, and that's the same with other reports, that our people who are

25 able to confirm the context in the -- in the document. But as I didn't

Page 7026

1 participate in those meetings, I'm not able to say who participated in

2 the -- in the meetings.

3 Q. That, I do understand, Major.

4 If I may draw your attention to paragraph 6 on the first page.

5 And you already testified about this particular aspect. It reads: "At

6 Zenica in front of the Hotel Internacional the Mujahedins showed up with a

7 force of at least 100 masked and heavily armed soldiers (probably members

8 of the 7th Muslim Brigade)." The last sentence in brackets.

9 In your discussions, if any, with Mr. Schellschmidt, was this

10 issue discussed or reported?

11 A. I can remember that we discussed that there was a lot of heavily

12 armed soldiers in -- in front of the hotel. I cannot remember the

13 discussion, if it was only members of the 7th Muslim Brigade. As far as I

14 can remember the discussion, there was members from the Mujahedins there

15 as well. But sometimes it could be very difficult to see the difference,

16 because sometimes members of the 7th Muslim Brigade were wearing the same

17 type of clothes as we normally observed the Mujahedins wearing, and other

18 times some Mujahedins were wearing uniform, so it could be difficult to

19 see if this was a member of 7th Muslim Brigade or he was a member of the

20 Mujahedins. Very often you had to see it on his -- maybe his face or to

21 listen to his mother tongue, to listen to his -- to his language.

22 Q. If I may, Major, if I may draw your attention to Annex B, which

23 is page 3 of the document compilation. And if I may draw your attention

24 specifically to paragraph 6, where it says: "RC Zenica informed

25 immediately HQ/ECMM, 3rd Corps ABiH and BiH civilian police," and a number

Page 7027












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13 English transcripts.













Page 7028

1 of other organisations. Do you have any reason to disbelieve that this

2 statement in the report is not correct?

3 A. No.

4 Q. If you may, please, sir, have a look at paragraph 10 of the

5 Annex B, the second in which it says: "The Mujahedin were also informed

6 by RC about the HVO proposal. This time they replied that they wanted a

7 meeting with HVO 3rd Corps ABiH, 7th Muslim Brigade, ECMM, ICRC," and a

8 number of further organisations, "to discuss the exchange and the whole

9 problem concerning the foreigners."

10 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I see my learned friend on his feet.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.

12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

13 The Defence would like to give my colleague all the necessary

14 leeway in order for him to ask questions that concern hearsay information

15 he may have obtained from others. This is a matter that has been

16 discussed before the Trial Chamber on a number of occasions. We know that

17 hearsay is a form of evidence that can be accepted under certain

18 circumstances; nevertheless, it's necessary to check the reliability of

19 the source and it's also necessary to determine whether the source is

20 available and could appear here to testify. In this case, the author of

21 the document is a witness who will be heard by the Trial Chamber, so I

22 don't see why one should ask this witness whether he believes his

23 colleague or not, given that the colleague will be appearing here and will

24 be able to tell us about the facts.

25 Thank you, Mr. President.

Page 7029

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have heard the

2 comment made by the Defence. According to the Defence, you will be able

3 to ask the author of this document these questions, so is it really

4 necessary to ask this officer to confirm what is contained in this

5 document, given that the author of this document can confirm its contents?

6 But you certainly have a good reason for asking this question. Could you

7 respond to the objection raised by the Defence.

8 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I think the Prosecution has a good

9 reason to ask this witness. We actually have a number of reasons. Number

10 one, the report is a summary in respect to the number of prisoner

11 exchanges. And Mr. Schellschmidt has wrote a summary in respect to issues

12 he was himself involved in and, in addition, in respect to facts and

13 issues others, like the witness today, was involved in.

14 The witness today already informed the Trial Chamber that he was

15 to some extent involved in the issue of receiving letters from the

16 Mujahedin; he has participated in the exchange of hostages held by the

17 Mujahedin. So this witness is certainly, in addition to the author of the

18 report, in a position to comment on whatever is written in the report.

19 Number two, the Prosecution is of the view if a witness who is

20 not the author of the report corroborates what is written in the report,

21 corroborates it to the extent possible - and I do appreciate the comment

22 made by my learned friends from the Defence that in some respects he can

23 only -- only testify about what he had heard from Mr. Schellschmidt -

24 however, the Prosecution is of the view that corroborated evidence by a

25 number of different witnesses strengthens the evidence that

Page 7030

1 Mr. Schellschmidt may give at a later point in time during these

2 proceedings, and therefore the Prosecution would like to continue to ask

3 this witness questions in relation to that report.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will give the

5 floor to Mr. Bourgon again. But in order to summarise the Prosecution's

6 position, according to the Prosecution there is a report drafted by a

7 witness who will be appearing in the future, but given that this witness

8 himself participated in the matter of prisoner exchange, the witness can

9 naturally answer questions concerning the exchange. In addition, he could

10 provide additional support for the contents of the report drafted by the

11 witness who will be appearing in the future.

12 Mr. Bourgon, before we have our break, what would you like to

13 say?

14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

15 Regard to the first issue, yes, the witness did participate in

16 this exchange and he can give an account of the facts. He can tell us

17 about what he heard, what he saw, but he cannot say whether he believes

18 his colleague.

19 As far as the second issue is concerned, corroboration means to

20 add something in order to support it. But to ask the witness whether he

21 believes the contents of the report or not doesn't allow us to support the

22 main claim. If the witness says, "I saw such and such an act committed by

23 such and such a person" - and this is something that is contained in the

24 document - that would constitute a corroboration. But asking him whether

25 he believes that what is contained in the document or not is not a

Page 7031

1 corroboration. This is just a matter of seeing whether the author,

2 Mr. Schellschmidt, is credible or not.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will resume

4 after the break. It is now quarter to 4.00. We will resume at quarter

5 past 4.00.

6 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.

7 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We resume the session.

9 The Chamber has posed a question regarding the objection put

10 forth by Mr. Bourgon. The Chamber has taken into account the importance

11 of the document. The Prosecution may ask -- put all the questions to this

12 witness with regard to the importance of this witness.

13 So, Mr. Withopf, you may proceed.

14 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Your Honours.

15 Q. Major, if I may come back to this document in front of you, and

16 this is actually the last issue I wanted to address in the context of this

17 document.

18 Prior to the break, I drew your attention already to paragraph 10

19 of Annex B, where it reads: "This time they replied that they wanted a

20 meeting with HVO 3rd Corps ABiH, 7th Muslim Brigade, ECMM, ICRC and

21 UNPROFOR to discuss the exchange and the whole problem concerning the

22 foreigners."

23 Major, do you have any reason to disbelieve what's written here

24 under paragraph 10?

25 A. No.

Page 7032

1 Q. Thank you, sir.

2 MR. WITHOPF: Can the exhibit please be removed from the witness.

3 Mr. President, Your Honours, there are three further issues I

4 wish to address, and for you and Defence counsel's information, I

5 anticipate it will take me no longer than 20 to 25 minutes.

6 Q. Major, you already earlier on mentioned that you got to know

7 about the Zenica Music School. To your knowledge, sir, which military

8 unit was based in the Zenica Music School?

9 A. At the music school in Zenica, there was a sort of a unit

10 headquarters from the 7th Muslim Brigade.

11 Q. What does it mean, "A sort of a unit headquarters from the 7th

12 Muslim Brigade"? If you could please elaborate a bit on this.

13 A. I cannot remember if it was actually the brigade headquarters or

14 maybe a battalion headquarters or something, but it was a sort of a

15 headquarter but I cannot remember the level of this headquarter.

16 Q. What did you get to know, sir -- what did you get to know about

17 the 7th Muslim Brigade?

18 A. I had the opportunity to -- to meet the brigade several times,

19 the first time during the investigation in this kidnapping incident; and

20 later on, where I was chairing this joint humanitarian commission, where I

21 had access to the music school, I had the opportunity to -- to meet

22 soldiers from that unit again.

23 Q. If I may please follow up. Where, at what places, in what areas

24 did you meet members of the 7th Muslim Brigade?

25 A. At first, during the -- the investigation in the kidnapping case

Page 7033

1 we had this meeting at the hotel in -- I'm not sure that I'm pronouncing

2 it correctly, in Ravno Rostovo, in this former ski hotel or ski motel,

3 where we had a meeting with the local commander. And when I say "the

4 local commander," everyone introduced themselves as a commander at that

5 time, so it's very difficult to -- to say if it was a battalion commander

6 or the brigade commander. But I cannot recall the name of the person, but

7 the person who was the highest rank and the commander, when we visited

8 that day, he showed us the compound. And after we have -- or Mr. Merdan

9 told him why we came, and that we would like to see the motel, to see if

10 the hostages was at that spot, and they were very polite to us, and the

11 commander showed us around and we were able to see the whole compound.

12 Q. Just for clarification, Major, was it Merdan, the ABiH 3rd Corps

13 deputy commander, who suggested to go to this place which I think - and

14 you may please confirm it - is called Ravno Rostovo? Was it Merdan who

15 suggested to go to this place where the 7th Muslim Brigade had some sort

16 of a headquarters?

17 A. Yes, that's correct.

18 Q. And this visit to Ravno Rostovo, was it in the context of

19 investigating the kidnapping of HVO officers by Mujahedin?

20 A. At that time, we didn't knew that it was Mujahedin that was

21 behind this kidnapping. We only heard the rumours from Colonel Blaskic

22 that it could be the 7th Muslim Brigade who was responsible. That's the

23 reason for us to go to this headquarters.

24 Q. In what area -- in which area, Major, is this village

25 Ravno Rostovo located? What's the closest town?

Page 7034

1 A. As I can remember the geography, it was south-west of

2 Novi Travnik, close to Bugojno.

3 Q. Did you notice at this 7th Muslim Brigade headquarters in

4 Ravno Rostovo close to Bugojno, did you notice any military flags or

5 insignia?

6 A. At first, when we arrived to the place, there were soldiers

7 outside that welcomed us with some -- they were yelling something that

8 included Allah's name. It was maybe in Arabic. And they were having a

9 lot of green banners with some Arabic signs on it, to include a flag, a

10 green flag with some Arabic signs on it as well.

11 Q. Let's briefly address -- or let's address your visit to the

12 Zenica Music School. Do you recall, even if it's roughly only, as to when

13 you visited the Zenica Music School?

14 A. My visit to the music school was not during the investigation of

15 the hostages but was when I was chairing this joint humanitarian

16 commission. We heard rumours that there should be deterred persons at the

17 music school, and at that time, before we started to release prisoners --

18 or not prisoners but detained persons, we would like to visit all the

19 spots where we have heard there were people or there were even only

20 rumours that there should be people. That's the reason for us to go to --

21 to the music school.

22 And normally we did not have access to the music school, but

23 because I was chairing this commission, I had a signed letter. I can't

24 remember who signed it, but it was signed above corps level, so I think it

25 was on general staff level, the commanding generals, they had signed this

Page 7035

1 letter. And this letter should give me access to all places in the

2 Central Bosnia.

3 Q. And who was with you when you visited the Zenica Music School?

4 A. When we visit the music school, the rest of the commission, the

5 joint humanitarian commission, were present. But as far as I can

6 remember, I was the only one who had access to go inside to see the music

7 school.

8 At first we were denied access to the music school, and I have to

9 have a contact to the 3rd Corps, and as far as I can remember, I had a

10 contact to Mr. Merdan and he mediated, so we were able -- or I was able to

11 come into the music school. The local representatives from -- from the

12 7th Muslim Brigade didn't want members from HVO to come into this music

13 school, and to try to -- to solve the problems, we agreed that I went in

14 without the rest of the commission.

15 Q. Who did deny you access to the music school?

16 A. It was the man who was the commander -- the man who was

17 responsible for the compound or for the unit that was at the school.

18 Q. For how long, Major, had you to wait before you got approval by

19 Merdan, the ABiH 3rd Corps deputy commander, to have access to the music

20 school?

21 A. As far as I can remember, I think I had to wait for one hour or

22 something like that.

23 Q. To wait to get access to a certain premises, was it a usual

24 experience you made, in respect to 3rd Corps premises?

25 A. Normally we did not have any problems with getting access to --

Page 7036

1 to units or to compounds belonging to Armija BiH. On the opposite side,

2 we had very often problems with HVO, but normally we did not have problems

3 with BiH.

4 Q. So in respect to premises or detention facilities ran by ABiH

5 3rd Corps units, would it be fair to say that this was an exceptional, if

6 not even a very exceptional, situation?

7 A. Yes. Because normally we had direct access to go to the

8 compound, but this time we were not -- we were denied access in the

9 beginning, but later on, after this one hour, we had access.

10 Q. If I may please come back to my starting question: Do you recall

11 as to when you visited the Zenica Music School, if it's only roughly?

12 A. This joint humanitarian commission started the work, I think it

13 was the 10th of June, 1993, so it has been just after that, maybe the 11th

14 or the 12th perhaps.

15 Q. Did you actually see any detainees in the Zenica Music School?

16 A. No. I was allowed to see the whole music school. There was only

17 one exception, and that was a room where they claimed that it was their

18 signal room. And normally I went -- we were visiting headquarters that

19 didn't want us to see what type of signal equipment they had. I could see

20 that through the door into this room there was running some cables, some

21 antenna cables, maybe some power supply cables, so I was not that

22 suspicious when they said, "Okay, we don't want you to go in here because

23 it is our signal room." That was very normal when we were visiting

24 headquarters. And we were very often accused to be spies, and we don't

25 want to -- to show up being spying at the headquarters, so we agreed not

Page 7037

1 to see that room.

2 Q. Was it a normal -- a usual experience, Major, that both warring

3 factions in Central Bosnia, namely, the HVO and the ABiH 3rd Corps, tried

4 to hide their communication equipment and communication abilities?

5 A. Yes, that was normal, as is normal for every army, to try to --

6 to hide this equipment.

7 Q. Just for the sake of the transcript, you have been provided

8 access to, in your view, to all rooms in the Zenica Music School but the

9 room which you describe as a communications room?

10 A. Yes. They told us it was their communications room.

11 MR. WITHOPF: Can the witness, with the permission of the Trial

12 Chamber, please be shown Prosecution Exhibit P8. And it will also appear

13 on the front of you, Major, on the screen.

14 Q. Major, have you ever seen to your recollection this room which is

15 displayed on the photograph in front of you?

16 A. It seems to be a basement, but I cannot recall to have seen this

17 specific location.

18 Q. Thank you.

19 MR. WITHOPF: Can the exhibit please be removed from the witness.

20 For the record, for the transcript, witness Lars Baggesen was

21 shown Prosecution Exhibit P8, a photograph which displays the basement of

22 the Zenica Music School, and the witness was stating that he can't recall

23 having seen this room.

24 Q. For how long, Major, have you been in the Zenica Music School at

25 that day in the second half of June 1993?

Page 7038

1 A. I cannot remember how long a time I was there, but I was shown

2 around at the school and I was able after my visits at the school to make

3 a drawing, because I was the first to our knowledge that have been at the

4 school, so we didn't have any sketch showing the school. And concerning

5 the -- the basement, we knew there was this basement, and I mentioned that

6 there was one room we didn't have access to. That was the -- the

7 communications room. And I think that if we haven't been allowed to see

8 the basement, I would have been suspicious, but I was not able to recall

9 the picture. I remember to say, "Okay, this room was the basement."

10 Q. When you visited the Zenica Music School in June 1993, did you

11 notice any foreigners in the Zenica Music School, any Mujahedin?

12 A. During our visits, there were soldiers in uniform and there were

13 soldiers in -- in Arabic clothes. We didn't have the opportunity to speak

14 with all the persons there. But I think that some of the persons there

15 could have been not -- non-Bosniaks, but it could be difficult to -- to

16 see and make the conclusion that it was an Arabic man if we hadn't been

17 speaking with him and, as I said earlier on, sometimes we were able to see

18 that he has an Arabic face or something like that, but I cannot -- I can

19 only recall that there were soldiers in uniform and there were soldiers in

20 these clothes as Arabic Group or the Mujahedin normally were wearing.

21 Q. Let's move on to the next issue, Major, and it will be very

22 briefly addressed, the communication abilities. You already testified

23 that both parties to the conflict, namely, the HVO and the ABiH 3rd Corps,

24 tried to hide their communication equipment and the communication

25 abilities to the international observers.

Page 7039

1 Two very brief questions: To your knowledge, at the time you've

2 been in Zenica who was in control of the PTT building in Zenica?

3 A. I don't know if it was the 3rd Corps who was in control of the

4 PTT building, but it was under the control of the Muslim inhabitants

5 there.

6 Q. And the second issue I wish to address in this context: Did you

7 ever get to know whether the ABiH 3rd Corps used a mobile communications

8 system?

9 A. We knew that they were using other types of communications

10 systems, because sometimes they were able to communicate in areas where we

11 knew that the normal land line were cut down. We saw not directly mobile

12 telephones, but later on I have learnt that they were in possession of

13 sophisticated communication systems, but I didn't see it at the time.

14 Q. Let's move on, Major, to the very last issue I wish to address;

15 that's the ABiH detention facility in Mehurici. Sir, did there come a

16 time when you visited the ABiH 3rd Corps detention facility in Mehurici?

17 A. Yes. I visited this facility at the -- at the school during the

18 work with the joint humanitarian commission, and our findings were that a

19 lot of civilians were detained at the school, more than 200 civilians were

20 detained. Most of them were women and children, even babies, and there

21 was a few elderly people amongst them as well.

22 Q. You were just mentioning, sir, that the about or more than 200

23 civilians, including women, children, and babies were detained in a

24 school. In what area, to your knowledge of the school, were they

25 detained?

Page 7040

1 A. They were detained in the gymnasium or in the sports hall.

2 Q. What was the purpose of you visiting the school in Mehurici?

3 A. During the work in the joint humanitarian commission, we had to

4 visit all places where we knew or where we had heard rumours that there

5 should be detained persons on the HVO side and on the BiH side. That's

6 the reason for us to go to -- to Mehurici.

7 Q. And have you been involved in negotiations about the release of

8 the civilians detained in the school in Mehurici?

9 A. Yes. After we had overall view over the detained persons on both

10 sides, we started the negotiations to release all the detained persons.

11 And it was agreed in the commission that we should have this overview

12 before we started to release prisoners -- not prisoners, detained persons.

13 And it was agreed that it should be all-for-all release but on different

14 times.

15 Q. Parties of the commission you are referring to were the HVO and

16 the ABiH?

17 A. Yes, that's correct.

18 Q. And which party made the decision in respect to the release of

19 the civilian detainees in the school in Mehurici?

20 A. This was, of course, discussed with the two BiH members in -- in

21 the commission, and they of course had the mandate from the 3rd Corps.

22 Q. Thank you very much, Major.

23 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, this concludes the

24 examination-in-chief of the Prosecution.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.

Page 7041

1 I'll now give the floor to Defence counsel. Mr. Bourgon.

2 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

3 Cross-examined by Mr. Bourgon:

4 Q. Good afternoon, Major Bagessen. We've had the pleasure of

5 meeting this morning, along with my colleague Rodney Dixon representing

6 the accused Amir Kubura. But for the record, let me introduce myself once

7 again. My name is Stephane Bourgon, and this afternoon I am accompanied

8 with Mrs. Edina Residovic and Mr. Alexis Demirdjian, and together we

9 represent the accused General Hadzihasanovic, who as you know, was the

10 commander of the 3rd Corps in Central Bosnia.

11 Major Bagessen, I would like to begin by asking you a few general

12 questions before moving on into more specific issues, such as, of course,

13 those that you have discussed with the Prosecution; namely, the

14 kidnappings, the exchange, and a couple of other issues, visits to the

15 music school and to Mehurici.

16 Before that, I would like to confirm, Major, that you testified

17 in the Blaskic case and in the Kordic case as a Prosecution witness.

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. And that the basis for both of these appearances was a statement

20 which you provided to investigators of the Prosecution in 1996. I guess

21 it was in the month of August. Do you recall this?

22 A. I recall it was in 1996, but not the month.

23 Q. And then you were again contacted by representatives of the

24 Office of the Prosecutor and you provided a further statement in February

25 of 2001, which was dealing more specifically with this case; is that

Page 7042

1 correct?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. And when you went to Bosnia, you actually spent three months in

4 Central Bosnia, and that was from the end of March till the 1st day of

5 July.

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. And at the time, you were a captain in the Danish Army, but if I

8 recall correctly, you were 36 years old, which is a bit older than the

9 average captain. Can you explain if there's a reason for this, in terms

10 of your military background.

11 A. Well, that's a normal age for a captain in the Danish Army, and

12 actually I was promoted to major at 38, and that was a young major at that

13 time in the Danish Army, so there's nothing in the age.

14 Q. So but at 36 years old, did you feel you had more experience than

15 other captains, for example, from other -- from BritBat, than you may have

16 encountered during your stay in Bosnia?

17 A. Well, at that time, in the Danish Army you had to be captain for

18 ten years before you can get -- be promoted to major. So I was -- as a

19 captain, I was experienced, an experienced captain. Compared to captains

20 from other countries, I don't know. I'm not able to be --

21 Q. Thank you very much, Major.

22 Moving on to -- during your time in Bosnia, you served, of

23 course, with the ECMM, and you were attached to the regional centre in

24 Zenica.

25 A. Correct.

Page 7043

1 Q. And would I be correct in stating the mission of the ECMM in

2 Central Bosnia as being to assist in maintaining peace and stability and

3 preventing the occurrence of possible conflict within Bosnia and

4 Herzegovina, and if a conflict nevertheless occurs, which is actually the

5 case, the Monitoring Mission will assist in establishing the facts to

6 avoid further deterioration of the situation? Would that be a fair

7 statement of your understanding of the ECMM mission?

8 A. Yes, that's correct. And that may be more correct than the

9 answer I gave earlier this day, but I could not remember all the -- the

10 fine words.

11 Q. That's perfectly understandable, Major, because I took it from a

12 document, which I would like to show you at this time, which is the

13 creation of the ECMM mission in -- for Bosnia and Herzegovina. And we

14 have enough copies to show everyone, in terms of what was the mandate or

15 the mission of the ECMM.

16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have a number of

17 documents that we would like to tender into evidence. We don't have them

18 in the accused's language. Nevertheless, we have discussed these

19 documents. We've discussed them with the accused. But our lack of

20 resources means that we're not in the position to translate all the

21 documents that were used.

22 Q. [In English] [Previous translation continues] ... where it

23 says "mandate" and simply confirm that what I just read to you is actually

24 the mandate of the European Community Monitoring Mission that you were a

25 member of?

Page 7044

1 A. Sorry, I didn't get the first part of your question.

2 Q. Sorry, I will say that again. Can you simply look at Article 1,

3 on the first page, and confirm that this refers to the mission, the

4 European Community Monitoring Mission, that you were a member of.

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Thank you very much, Major.

7 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.

9 MR. WITHOPF: It's a minor and it's a pure technical issue, and

10 it may only be related to the copy we got, but it appears that, at least

11 in the copy we got, maybe page 1 or even page 2, are missing, since the

12 document starts with: "Together herein after called the participating

13 parties," and one would expect that there's something at the beginning of

14 the document.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Bourgon.

16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as far as we know,

17 this is a document we obtained during our investigations and the document

18 starts normally. We have an introduction, followed by Articles. There's

19 Article 1, the mandate; Article 2, 3, 4, 5, and it continues up until the

20 end. We're only tendering this document into evidence in order to assist

21 the Chamber in understanding the ECMM mission. If there are any

22 objections, we'll withdraw the document.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.

24 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] We would like a document number,

25 because the witness has recognised this document as an ECMM document.

Page 7045

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, the Defence would

2 like to tender this document into evidence. It's been signed by President

3 Izetbegovic, the ambassador representing the EU, but on the other hand, I

4 don't have the signature of the Federal secretary for foreign affairs in

5 the document that I have, Mr. Budimir Loncar, there is no signature.

6 There must be a reason for this. Apparently there is an introduction in

7 this document, and it also contains 11 Articles. What is the

8 Prosecution's position with regard to this document?

9 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, there's no objection. However, I

10 wish to emphasise that obviously a part is missing, and that the document

11 is containing handwritten portions. But again, there's no objection of

12 the Prosecution to tender this document into evidence.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll mark the

14 document for identification. If the Defence provides us with a more

15 complete document at a subsequent date --

16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's the only

17 document -- the only copy we have. I wanted to assist the Chamber. But

18 if you want, we can mark this document for identification or we can

19 withdraw it.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, given the importance of

21 this document, and if you say that you don't have another copy, we'll

22 admit it.

23 Mr. Registrar, could we have a number.

24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The number for this document will

25 be DH166.

Page 7046

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

2 Please continue.


4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm showing you a further

5 document which is basically an organigramme of the organisation of the

6 ECMM. I would like you to take a look at this document and to let me know

7 whether this corresponds to the mission of the EUMM and especially the

8 part with respect to Regional Centre Zenica.

9 A. Well, as I can see, this is a mix through the period, because at

10 the time the joint humanitarian commission was established, the Busovaca

11 Joint Commission did not exist. At the time I was there, the name of the

12 mission was the European Community Monitoring Mission and not the EUMM.

13 But we had the RC Zenica and connected to RC Zenica we had in the

14 beginning the Busovaca Joint Commission. Later on we had the joint

15 humanitarian commission. But they were not established at the same time.

16 While we had the Busovaca Joint Commission we did not have the

17 CC Travnik. The CC Travnik was established later on, but we had the CC

18 Tuzla and we had the CC Mostar. CC, that's coordination centres. And in

19 connection to those coordination centres, we have the teams; namely,

20 Tango 1, Tango 2, Victor 1 to Victor 4, and Mike 1 to Mike 4. And before

21 CC Travnik were established, Victor 1 and Victor 2 was directly placed

22 under the RC Zenica.

23 Q. Thank you very much, Major. So would I be right in saying that

24 the -- if I start from the Regional Centre Zenica we could say that the

25 Busovaca Joint Commission was the first to exist and that at some point in

Page 7047

1 time it was replaced by the joint humanitarian commission? We will go

2 through specific dates --

3 A. No.

4 Q. -- later on.

5 A. The Busovaca Joint Commission was not replaced by the joint

6 humanitarian commission. The Busovaca Joint Commission was replaced by

7 the joint command in Travnik, and the joint command -- the Busovaca Joint

8 Commission were chaired by ECMM. The joint command in Travnik was a joint

9 command with HVO and BiH, and ECMM was only there as observers to monitor

10 the cooperation there. We were not members like that.

11 The joint humanitarian commission was a specific commission that

12 was established in connection to a cease-fire agreement signed in June --

13 the 10th of June, I think.

14 Q. Thank you very much, Major --

15 A. But --

16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since the witness

17 has mentioned a number of amendments, has changed certain things, I don't

18 want to tender the document. But we will introduce the document in three

19 stages. We'll present it through another witness in order to assist the

20 Trial Chamber to obtain a very precise view of the situation as far as the

21 mission is concerned.

22 Q. [In English] [Previous translation continues] ... that you

23 yourself reported directly to the Regional Centre Zenica?

24 A. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the beginning of your question because

25 you started your question before the translator has finished the ...

Page 7048

1 Q. Sorry. You are able to confirm, Major, that you reported

2 yourself directly to the Regional Centre Zenica.

3 A. Yes. And I did that while I was a member of the Busovaca Joint

4 Commission. I did that while I was team leader on the Victor 1 or

5 Victor 2, because at that time they were directly under RC Zenica and

6 later on, when I was chairing the joint humanitarian commission, I

7 reported directly to RC Zenica.

8 Q. Thank you very much, Major.

9 If I can go on to the fact that during your three months in

10 Bosnia, am I right in saying that you were away for a period of

11 approximately 10 days in May?

12 A. Yes. I had a leave and -- in May, and I can remember I was in

13 Denmark. I think it was the last, end of May I was in Denmark on leave.

14 Q. And that is the normal procedure to -- for sending states to have

15 their personnel go back to their own country at least once during their

16 tour?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And would I be right in saying that most countries at that time

19 would send their people for tours of six months but that your country

20 decided that the tours would be only three months because of the

21 exceptionally difficult circumstances of this particular mission? Would

22 that be a fair statement?

23 A. It's correct concerning that Denmark was only sending monitors

24 there for a three-month period. I cannot remember how long the other

25 countries, how long a time they were there, but at that time it was three

Page 7049

1 months for Danish monitors. Later on it was extended to -- to six months

2 as well.

3 Q. And the reason for three months at that time was due to the

4 exceptional character and the difficulty of this particular mission.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And this is -- am I right in saying, Major, that for you

7 personally this mission was a very difficult mission, both physically but

8 even more so morally, and that for this reason you completed a war diary

9 so that you could simply give your war diary to your friends, rather than

10 have to again and again explain everything, all the horrible things that

11 you had seen?

12 A. That's correct that I kept this war diary. It was a private

13 diary I kept so I was able to not make an official report but just to --

14 during the nights I have to recall some things, to work against to see,

15 because we witnessed a lot of killings and things like that. So to be a

16 whole person, you have to work with things like that. So that's why I

17 kept this diary. And when I came back to Denmark, I rewrite it on my

18 computer word for word from the -- the handwritten and word for word to my

19 computer, and then I gave a copy of this diary to members of my family,

20 friends, and colleagues, so I didn't have to tell the same stories again

21 and again. Because it was very difficult to -- to speak of all those

22 things.

23 Q. Thank you, Major.

24 Let me move on to the Busovaca Joint Commission. Are you able to

25 confirm, Major, that this commission was born on the 27th of January at a

Page 7050

1 meeting which was chaired by General Gordy Simpson from UNPROFOR and was

2 attended by Colonel Blaskic from the HVO and Mr. Merdan, from the ABiH?

3 Can you confirm this? Is this something that you know of?

4 A. I know that the Busovaca Joint Commission was established before

5 I arrived to theatre, and I know that the agreement was signed in Busovaca

6 and that's why it was named Busovaca Joint Commission. But I don't know

7 who participated in this meeting and who signed that agreement.

8 Q. Thank you, Major.

9 Now, you are aware that this commission, the Busovaca Joint

10 Commission, was meant to meet daily and to receive the complaints from

11 both sides with respect to any breaking of the cease-fire or any

12 complaints with violations that were happening on both sides?

13 A. That's correct. We had a meeting every morning. As I recall, it

14 was 7.00 or 8.00. We had a meeting in a house that ECMM has rented in

15 Vitez. And we had a meeting, of course chaired by ECMM and with

16 representatives from HVO and BiH. Mr. Merdan was the senior

17 representative from BiH, and Franjo Nakic was the senior representative

18 from HVO. And every morning we started to look at the incidents that had

19 happened the last 24 hours, and after that we had a small discussion, and

20 then we split up in some teams, and those teams consist of one monitor,

21 one interpreter, one member of the HVO, one member of BiH. And then we

22 went to spots to do some fact-finding. Very often we used time to do

23 fact-finding on rumours, and I realised that the first victim in a

24 conflict is truth.

25 So very often we went out to do fact-finding, so it was only a

Page 7051

1 rumour. There have been no killings, there have been no looting, there

2 was no burnt houses. But other times we realised that it was not a

3 rumour, it was correct, there have been lootings, there have been

4 snipering in that area, there have been inhabitants killed or similar

5 things.

6 Q. And am I right in saying, Major, that the Busovaca Joint

7 Commission reported to a Busovaca Joint Commission coordinating committee,

8 which sat approximately biweekly at a higher level and that this committee

9 would have in attendance people like General Morillon, General Petkovic,

10 General Halilovic, Ambassador Thebault from, of course, your own ECMM, and

11 Colonel Stewart, who was the commander of the BritBat?

12 A. It's correct. Colonel Stewart was commander of the BritBat at

13 that -- in the beginning of the period I was in the Busovaca Joint

14 Commission. He was replaced later on.

15 The Busovaca Joint Commission -- the ECMM part of the Busovaca

16 Joint Commission, we reported to the Regional Centre Zenica, and then

17 Regional Centre Zenica, I think, reported further up in the system. But

18 our report from the Busovaca Joint Commission went directly to the

19 RC Zenica.

20 Q. But are you able to confirm, Major, the existence of this

21 coordination committee at the higher level?

22 A. I cannot recall that there were a commission like that.

23 Q. Thank you. If we move on to the death of the Busovaca Joint

24 Commission, if I may use this expression, can you confirm that this

25 happened in April and -- because of the incidents, the most important of

Page 7052

1 which would be the attack on Ahmici?

2 A. I cannot remember the reason for the so-called death of the

3 Busovaca Joint Commission. As I remember it, we saw the new joint

4 headquarters as a step in the right direction, because it was a step

5 further than this commission chaired by ECMM. But it was a new body where

6 the two parts were able to coordinate the work for -- for peace in the

7 area. But -- and it's correct, it was after the -- the massacre in

8 Ahmici. But I cannot recall if that was the reason to make the new joint

9 command.

10 Q. But if I suggest to you, Major, that the -- in relation to Ahmici

11 or the events at that specific time in April, the fact that hostilities

12 opened again between the two parties, that was the end of the commission

13 because you can no longer cooperate. The parties could no longer

14 cooperate with one another.

15 A. I'm a little in doubt about -- about the dates. I can't remember

16 the dates when the Busovaca Joint Commission was closed down and the

17 new -- the new joint command was established. I can't remember the exact

18 dates in connection to -- to Ahmici. So I can't remember if Ahmici took

19 place during the Busovaca Joint Commission or during the period with the

20 joint command.

21 Q. Thank you. And if I suggest to you that as a member of the

22 Busovaca Joint Commission you received many complaints and that, as a

23 matter of fact, you were flooded with complaints coming in from

24 everywhere. Is that a fair statement?

25 A. That's correct.

Page 7053

1 Q. And as you mentioned, a lot of these complaints were based on

2 rumours. And would it be a fair statement to say that most of the time

3 complaints made by the HVO turned out to be rumours?

4 A. I think that the majority of the -- the rumours or the false

5 complaints were from HVO. That's correct.

6 Q. And would I -- would it be a fair statement to say that despite

7 the unbelievable tempo of operations during the time you were there, that

8 you at all times received very good cooperation from the Army of Bosnia

9 and Herzegovina and especially from Mr. Merdan?

10 A. That's correct. And it seems that, again as I said earlier

11 today, that we felt that there was a very close connection between

12 Mr. Merdan and his corps commander, and Mr. Merdan seems very competent as

13 well. So he was able to make decisions at the spot. And if he not was

14 able to make a decision at the spot, he was very quick to resolve

15 problems, to contact his headquarters, so we were able to solve that.

16 Q. Thank you, Major.

17 I'd like to move on to the kidnapping of the four HVO officers

18 which you mentioned. You did say earlier on that it was Blaskic who

19 informed that the HVO officers had been kidnapped and that they had been

20 kidnapped near the front line in Travnik.

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And am I right in saying that it was Ambassador Thebault who

23 immediately set up the joint team to investigate this incident?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. And this team consisted of Monitor Juan Valentin from, I guess,

Page 7054

1 Spain?

2 A. Spain, yes.

3 Q. Mr. Merdan, Mr. Nakic, and yourself.

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. And as you've mentioned, it was HVO which believed that 7 Brigade

6 was responsible for the kidnapping.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And the HVO even provided you with the name of the man they

9 believed was driving the vehicle which was used by the kidnappers.

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And when you checked this information, it turned out to be

12 unfounded, because this man had already been arrested by the HVO.

13 A. Yes. And later on released, but at the time where the kidnapping

14 took place this man was already in the custody of HVO.

15 Q. And, in fact, the only link with 7 Brigade at that time was

16 because the kidnapping took place near Ravno Rostovo.

17 A. Yes, I think that, and because they were operating in that area.

18 So that's the reason for -- for them to -- to say it was the 7th Muslim

19 Brigade. But it --

20 Q. And when you --

21 A. If I might add, it was very normal that every time an incident

22 took place, that HVO claimed that it was the 7th Muslim Brigade who was

23 responsible for this and this and this incident, because I think that the

24 HVO, they had -- they had respect for this unit and they -- I don't know

25 if they were afraid for this unit, but they knew this unit were maybe

Page 7055

1 better equipped, better trained than other BiH units.

2 Q. So it was the right thing to say to whenever there's a problem to

3 simply blame it on the 7 Muslim Brigade.

4 A. That was a very usual.

5 Q. Whether it was true or not, it was the right thing to say for the

6 HVO.

7 A. Yes. Yes.

8 Q. And when you drove down to Ravno Rostovo, you met the commanding

9 officer in front of the hotel; is that right?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And he was at that time dressed in civilian clothes, but they

12 were Afghan style, his clothes.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you saw the green banners flying in front of the hotel;

15 that's right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you saw that those banners were green, there was some kind of

18 Arabic script on the banners, but you never found out whether this was the

19 real flag of 7 Brigade or not.

20 A. No.

21 Q. And it could have been the real flag of 7 Brigade.

22 A. It could have been the real flag.

23 Q. And you don't know which part of 7 Brigade was in Ravno Rostovo.

24 A. No.

25 Q. Whether it was a battalion or a company or what -- what element

Page 7056

1 of 7 Brigade, you don't know.

2 A. No.

3 Q. And when you visited the hotel, you were allowed to go wherever

4 you wanted.

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. And you saw many soldiers, and most of them were in civilian

7 clothes, and many wore a beard.

8 A. Yes. But that was normal for members of the 7th Muslim Brigade

9 to show their religion by letting their beard grow, so ...

10 Q. And you did not speak to any of the soldiers inside, other than

11 the commander.

12 A. I cannot recall that we -- we spoke with -- with the soldiers.

13 Maybe some of them, because we were treated very well. We have -- invited

14 for coffee and dates and things like that. And there were some other

15 members of the brigade that participated there, so they participated, of

16 course, in the -- in the chat we had. But I cannot recall that we were

17 speaking any foreign language.

18 Q. And can you confirm what you mentioned in your statement that

19 your impression was that this unit was not trying to hide anything?

20 A. That's correct. Because they -- they showed us everything we

21 want to see.

22 Q. And from a military perspective, Major, can you confirm that this

23 exact location, Ravno Rostovo Hotel, was actually a very important feature

24 from a military perspective because it was one road leading to Bugojno and

25 one road leading to another very important area, and that it was normal

Page 7057

1 for the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to have a unit at this specific

2 location? If you can confirm.

3 A. Well, I think it were -- from that point of view, it was

4 necessary to have a unit in that area to control that area. That's

5 correct.

6 Q. And your next stop on your search for the kidnappers was in

7 Novi Travnik, when you briefed the HVO commander on the outcome of your

8 visit to Ravno Rostovo.

9 A. Yes, that's correct. Because it was, as I can recall, officers

10 from his brigade that have been kidnapped. So on our way back, we want to

11 tell him about our findings, and we told him that we have been visiting

12 this unit from the 7th Muslim Brigade and we didn't find anything.

13 Q. And it is at that point that the HVO military police came in.

14 They wanted to arrest Merdan. And you informed them that Merdan was under

15 your protection, and the result was that the three of you were actually

16 arrested by the HVO. Is that correct?

17 A. Yes. Actually, the three of us, we were at the office -- at the

18 brigade commander's office. We were there. Juan went in, our interpreter

19 and I and Mr. Nakic and Mr. Merdan. And it's correct that the commander

20 of the HVO military police, he said that the only solution was to arrest

21 Mr. Merdan, and then, as you said, we told him that Mr. Merdan were under

22 our protection, and then he said that -- then he had to arrest us as well,

23 and he did.

24 Q. And you mentioned to us this morning - because that was not in

25 your statement - that this was no fun situation and this was a very,

Page 7058

1 indeed, tense situation.

2 A. That's correct. Because there was an armed guard beside us with

3 his rifle, and he was -- he has taken -- he has armed his rifle, so he was

4 able to -- to fire with the rifle.

5 Q. Now, Major, you -- in this room today, you are the only soldier,

6 other than the two accused. But can you confirm that having a loaded rife

7 pointed at you is something that you never forget for the rest of your

8 life and that this is indeed a very serious situation?

9 A. Well, we felt that it was a serious situation.

10 Q. And am I correct in saying, Major, that when you actually

11 informed them after making phone calls that HVO would come and pick you

12 up, that you were actually threatened that if HVO -- that -- sorry, if

13 UNPROFOR comes and picks you up that they would fire at UNPROFOR?

14 A. That's correct. Because we had through our -- at that day, it

15 was possible to phone from Novi Travnik to Zenica, so we had a telephone

16 call to our headquarters and asked them to contact the British Battalion

17 in Vitez and asked them to come and get us out of this. And when we told

18 this to the military police commander, he said that if any UNPROFOR units

19 will show up in Nova Travnik, his unit would fire at those units.

20 Q. And in the end, Major, it took the intervention of Blaskic for

21 you -- for the three of you to be released.

22 A. That's correct. And even if we had the deputy of -- of Blaskic -

23 namely, Mr. Nakic; he was there as well - he was not able to command the

24 military police, so he was not able to do anything. But after Colonel

25 Blaskic had speak with the military police commander, then we were

Page 7059

1 released.

2 Q. Now, are you aware, Major, that as a result of the kidnapping of

3 the four HVO officers, the road between Travnik and Gornji Vakuf was

4 blocked off by Blaskic?

5 A. I can remember that the road was blocked, and it was a result of

6 the local Croats who -- they thought that they were to release -- to find

7 anything to have a solution was too slow, so they wanted to make this

8 blockade. And this blockade included that UNPROFOR was not able to -- to

9 use that road, that ECMM was not able to use that road. I cannot recall

10 that it was Blaskic who gave that order, but it was -- or it was on a

11 local level they made this.

12 Q. But it was a result of the kidnapping.

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. If I move on to the kidnapping of Zivko Totic. You did get this

15 information from RC Zenica that the kidnapping had just taken place. Am I

16 correct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And it is your colleague, Allan Laustsen, who was assigned to

19 look into the Totic incident, and he actually attended the crime scene.

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And that the HVO actually made a videotape of the crime scene.

22 A. Yes, that's correct. And this video was presented to me during

23 the Blaskic case.

24 Q. And you are able to confirm that throughout this investigation

25 there was very close cooperation between the civilian police of both the

Page 7060

1 HVO, the HVO side, and from the Muslim side in trying to solve this issue?

2 A. I'm not aware that there was this cooperation between those two

3 police forces. Normally both police forces were very ineffective because

4 they were not trained to do police work, and I cannot recall that there

5 was a cooperation in this case.

6 Q. Are you aware that as a result of the Totic kidnapping all exits

7 of Zenica were actually blocked off, that the army was told to go back to

8 their barracks - that's both HVO and Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina - and

9 that only the civilian police were allowed to police the town at that

10 specific moment?

11 A. I cannot recall that. And I think at that time, because there

12 were two HVO brigades in Zenica but they were disarmed, and I can't

13 remember the exact date where they were disarmed, but I think it was

14 before that incident that they were disarmed.

15 Q. And --

16 A. But I'm not sure.

17 Q. I will actually show you documents later --

18 A. Okay.

19 Q. -- that put the dates into perspective, because I understand that

20 it might be difficult for you to -- to get the exact sequence of events.

21 However, can you confirm that from a military perspective there

22 was no gain or no incentive whatsoever for the Army of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina to proceed with either the kidnapping of the four HVO officers

24 or the kidnapping of Zivko Totic?

25 A. That's correct. Because it's -- it is obvious that this was a

Page 7061

1 kidnapping where the Mujahedins wanted to have something they were able to

2 deal with. So I don't think -- and we discussed that during the

3 investigations, that we could not see why Armija BiH should make a

4 kidnapping like that.

5 Q. And it was also clear that this was terrorist activity, the same

6 as those kidnapping of if two radio journalists from Radio CD?

7 A. Yes. And I remember that we discussed - and it is mentioned

8 somewhere - that the reason for the kidnapping of those two members of

9 Radio CD should be that someone was afraid that they were able to -- using

10 the radio system, were able to make observations for the artillery or

11 something like that, because the Croats were -- from time to time they

12 were shelling Zenica and then they were afraid that those Croats sitting

13 at Radio CD were using the broadcast to -- to command the fire or to -- to

14 tell the results of the impacts and things like that.

15 Q. All right. And if I move on to the preparation leading --

16 leading to the exchange. You mentioned that on the 19th of April two

17 Mujahedin arrived at the ECMM office in Zenica and that you actually saw

18 them arriving, and that they were dressed in Afghan-style civilian

19 clothes.

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And although you did not speak to them, in your statement you

22 mentioned that they did not look like local Bosnians.

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. And you mentioned they left you with copies of a letter in both

25 English and Bosnian and that you mentioned earlier on that it was also in

Page 7062

1 German. Now, I thought I saw also a mention that there was also a French

2 version. Is that possible?

3 A. It was not in Bosnian; it was in German.

4 Q. German. Sorry.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. English and German --

7 A. Yes, and --

8 Q. Sorry, you're right. I made a mistake from reading my notes.

9 A. It's correct that there maybe were a copy in French as well.

10 Q. And --

11 A. But I haven't mentioned that, because I was in doubt. But it

12 could be in French as well.

13 Q. Now, my colleague from the Prosecution actually showed -- showed

14 you a letter earlier on, and he drew your attention to the handwritten

15 part. And that's actually the only paper you've ever seen was the

16 handwritten part.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And the typed version, or if there were any, you never saw that.

19 A. Can I have that again, please?

20 Q. You never saw the same letter put into typewriter.

21 A. No, that's correct.

22 Q. And the -- they left you a contact name at least - they left

23 maybe you or someone else within ECMM - and the contact name was someone

24 called Abu Haris, and they also gave you a phone number. Is that correct?

25 A. That's correct.

Page 7063

1 Q. And that phone number you could tell had nothing to do with any

2 number in Zenica.

3 A. I don't know, because I didn't participate in -- in the meetings

4 where they were going to have all those negotiations. But I can recall we

5 had a contact name and there was a telephone number, but I don't know if

6 this telephone number was a local number in Zenica or it was somewhere

7 else. I can't remember.

8 Q. That's perfectly okay. We have other witnesses who can --

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. -- confirm this, so I thank you for your -- for your answer.

11 Now, after you had informed the HVO of this situation as well as

12 the civilian police and the ICRC, the HVO was requested to provide the

13 names of the Mujahedin or - that's what you put in your report - of the

14 foreign citizens that they were holding in custody because the ICRC wanted

15 to go and see these people. Is that right?

16 A. That's correct. We had a list of names from the Arabic Group,

17 and we asked HVO to make a list to see who they had detained of foreign

18 persons. I can remember that we then make a compilation between those two

19 lists to see if the names from the -- the Arabic list were similar to the

20 list from -- from HVO, to see if it's correct that those people --

21 Q. That they were holding those people.

22 A. Yeah. And I can remember there was a little discussion about the

23 names of -- of the detained persons, but ...

24 Q. Now, you are able to confirm, Major, that there is a difference

25 between a foreign national citizen and the Mujahedin?

Page 7064

1 A. Yes. That's why -- it's very confusing, because sometimes we use

2 the word "Mujahedin"; sometimes we use "member of the Arabic Group";

3 sometimes we use "foreign citizens." So it's ...

4 Q. But they don't necessarily mean the same thing, and sometimes

5 those terms could be used on and on without really pinpointing a specific

6 name to a person; is that correct?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. And when the HVO did provide you with this list and when the ICRC

9 tried to gain access to see those people, the HVO accepted but the

10 Mujahedin refused.

11 A. That's correct. But I can only recall this because I have later

12 on read the report from Dieter Schellschmidt. I did not participate

13 myself in the negotiations and in the meetings, so it's difficult to --

14 for me to -- to say if it's true or not. I only have it from -- from the

15 reports.

16 Q. And you can -- you can -- because this is in your statement, you

17 can confirm that because the Mujahedin had refused, there was an exchange

18 of letters and a video which was given to ECMM.

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And in your statement, you mention that the letters for the four

21 officers were actually given to someone in Travnik, who then brought it to

22 ECMM.

23 A. That's probably correct, yes.

24 Q. And you mentioned that the letters in reference -- in relation to

25 Totic, there were two letters - that's after the initial one, of course -

Page 7065

1 two letters; one addressed to Blaskic and one addressed to Sakic, that

2 both of these letters were addressed to ECMM. They were given to ECMM.

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. And you mentioned that throughout these preparations some

5 Mujahedin and some HVO visited the ECMM office on a number of occasions.

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. And you also mentioned that on one occasion only Allan Laustsen

8 had to deal with these Mujahedin.

9 A. Yes. I can recall one meeting with one representative from the

10 Arabic Group and Allan Laustsen dealt with this guy, and I can remember

11 that -- because all ECMM monitors were having our identity card in front

12 of us on a chain around our neck, and because we were very proud to be

13 Danes, the Danish monitor, we had a Danish flag on the -- on the -- not on

14 the front side but on the other side of the identity card, ID card, and

15 suddenly Allan Laustsen's card turned round so the Mujahedin -- or the

16 Arabic, the member of the Arabic Group, he saw this Danish flag and then

17 he was able to address him in a few Danish words, saying -- translated to

18 English, "Hell, are you Danish?" But he was only able to speak a few

19 Danish words, but it shows that they were people experienced

20 [indiscernible].

21 Q. Now, Major, you did mention something earlier on. You said on

22 one hand that you did not take part in all those meetings, but you did say

23 that you were aware that when the Mujahedin showed up in front of the

24 hotel where you lived, Hotel Internacional, that the civilian BiH police

25 disappeared and that's why at times they were allowed to go into that room

Page 7066

1 with their own weapons.

2 A. That's correct. The local police, they were afraid of these

3 Mujahedins.

4 Q. And you can confirm, Major, that both the local police, as well

5 as all the population, they were very scared of these people?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. In fact, you can confirm, Major, that soldiers were afraid, as

8 well as all members of the International Community. You didn't feel good

9 if you saw one of those people around. Is that correct?

10 A. Well, we didn't feel secure when we were in -- in areas where we

11 knew that the Mujahedins were operating. And sometimes they made their

12 own checkpoints, checkpoints that had not been coordinated with the -- the

13 3rd Corps. And sometimes on those checkpoints -- it was only temporary

14 checkpoints. Sometimes they -- they had their head covered by this

15 balaclava. And we have heard rumours that when they were having this

16 balaclava on, they were on a special mission doing naughty things.

17 Q. And when you thought about those people, Major, am I right in

18 saying that the word that went through your mind at that time was the

19 word "terrorist" and not "soldier"?

20 A. We saw them not as soldiers but more like terrorists. It seemed

21 to us that the Mujahedins were out of control, that they were fighting

22 their own war in the war, and I can remember that General Hadzihasanovic

23 mentioned that, because I discussed that briefly during a meeting where he

24 said that the Mujahedins were harming the Bosnian representation, that the

25 Mujahedins were fighting, as I said, their own war within the war, and it

Page 7067

1 was difficult for the Armija BiH to control what the Mujahedins were

2 doing.

3 Q. And if I move to the exchange, Major, can you confirm that the

4 plan was, as drafted up by the ECMM, to have a simultaneous exchange in

5 Travnik, in Kaonik, and in Zenica?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. And that you mentioned that you were in Travnik and that your

8 work was to receive the four HVO officers and then to take them from the

9 Mujahedin and to take these four officers back to Blaskic?

10 A. That's correct. When they were released, we took them in the

11 vehicle from -- the armoured vehicle from BritBat and we took them to

12 Hotel Vitez, where General -- Colonel Blaskic has his headquarters.

13 Q. And when you actually gave those four officers to Colonel

14 Blaskic, he actually made a big media thing out of this and he

15 congratulated you in front of everyone, saying, "Yea, yea, yea,

16 Mr. Baggesen."

17 A. Yeah. He used it as some PR, I think.

18 Q. And Mr. Morsink, who will come and testify here, was at Kaonik.

19 You can confirm that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And in Zenica, you mentioned that Mr. Schellschmidt was there.

22 Is it possible that Mr. Landry was also in Zenica?

23 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President. Mr. President.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Withopf.

25 MR. WITHOPF: I would like -- I would like to ask my learned

Page 7068

1 friend from the Defence to not mention any names of witnesses who are

2 likely to come at a later point in time for the obvious reasons.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.

4 We are going to take a break. It is quarter to 6.00. And we

5 shall resume at five past 6.00, and we shall work until 7.00.

6 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.

7 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have another 55 minutes. I

9 hope that Mr. Bourgon will proceed rapidly, because it might be necessary

10 for others to ask questions, the Judges, the Prosecution.

11 You may continue.


13 Q. Major Bagessen, before the break, we were discussing quickly the

14 exchange in Zenica, but you confirmed that you were not in Zenica for the

15 exchange.

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And whatever you heard about this exchange concerning the

18 machine-guns and the weapons used and the people that were there, you saw

19 none of that.

20 A. No. I just heard it from -- from Dieter Schellschmidt and the

21 other colleagues that were present.

22 Q. And you don't know whether the monitor Landry was in Zenica or

23 not.

24 A. I cannot remember where he was that day.

25 Q. But you can recall that all of this issue with the exchange was

Page 7069

1 indeed a very tense exchange that monopolises all of the attention of ECMM

2 for at least the duration of that day.

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. I will move on to another topic, which is when you are appointed

5 to chair the joint humanitarian commission. And am I right in saying that

6 this commission was born on the 10th of June as part of a cease-fire

7 agreement?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. And that it is Ambassador Thebault who assigned you to chair this

10 commission?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. And that as part of this commission you visited all detention

13 facilities in that area?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Now, I'm not going to go into the music school. We've heard

16 about that. But I'd like to ask you that there were as chairman of this

17 commission allegations were communicated to you by the HVO that there was

18 another school or engineering school of some type where the Army of Bosnia

19 and Herzegovina were detaining people and that you actually went there and

20 that it was totally unfounded.

21 A. That's correct. I can't remember -- it was a sort of school. I

22 can't remember. I think it's correct that it was called the engineer

23 school or something like that. But it was -- it was a school in Zenica

24 and we went to that spot, and there was no evidence there that there have

25 been any detained persons there.

Page 7070

1 Q. And you were also informed by the HVO about people detained in

2 Mehurici, and you went there on the 23rd of June with a BritBat escort,

3 with a Warrior; is that correct?

4 A. It's correct that we went with a BritBat escort. I cannot

5 remember if it was with this vehicle called Warrior or what type of

6 vehicles we had with us, but it was some armoured vehicle.

7 Q. But you can confirm, Major, that on your way to Mehurici there

8 were two members of the -- two HVO members of your commission who were

9 caught in an ambush in HVO territory, close to Vitez, and that one of the

10 two was killed and that the other was injured? Can you confirm this

11 event?

12 A. Yes, that's correct.

13 Q. And that you were told and you believed that the Mujahedin were

14 responsible for this because it was in HVO territory.

15 A. It's correct that it was the opinion of the -- of the HVO that

16 this ambush against the commission was -- was carried out by the

17 Mujahedins.

18 Q. And when you arrived in Mehurici, you visited the school there

19 with the commanding officer of the facility, and there were a number of

20 civilians, and you mentioned in your statement that the commanding officer

21 told you that he was holding onto those civilians to protect them from the

22 Mujahedin. Is that what the commander told you?

23 A. That was what he told us, yes.

24 Q. And you knew that there were actually Mujahedin in the area of

25 Mehurici.

Page 7071

1 A. We knew that, and we later on the same day, during our visit

2 there, I had a contact from my driver, [indiscernible], and he told us

3 that he, together with the BritBat escort were surrounded by members of

4 Mujahedins and that those members of the Mujahedins were aiming their

5 anti-tank weapons, RPG 7, against our vehicles.

6 Q. And that's when -- you got this communication as you were inside

7 the school.

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. And that's when you requested the commanding officer of that

10 school to at least get you out of this trouble by speaking to the

11 Mujahedin who were pointing their anti-tank weapons as your vehicles; is

12 that correct?

13 A. That's correct. I asked him to do something to -- to solve that

14 problem.

15 Q. And again, this is not one of those make-up situations; this was

16 real life, having anti-tank weapons pointed at you, and the commander of

17 the Mehurici school had a very loud and tense argument with the leader of

18 the Mujahedin and he succeeded in getting them to leave.

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And when you asked him about who were these people, he told you

21 that these are dangerous Mujahedin and that they were not his soldiers.

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. And now, with respect to the people who were detained - because

24 you were in that school - you were able to say, and you confirmed in your

25 statement that these people were well treated.

Page 7072

1 A. "Well treated," that's maybe a big word, but during the

2 circumstances, we think that they were well treated. We spoke with them

3 and they said, "Okay, we have something to drink, we have something to

4 eat. We can have fresh air." They had problems with -- with the toilet

5 and things like that, but that was the situation everywhere where we came

6 to see detained persons, that normally they were treated well. Not --

7 they could be better, but it could be worse as well. But it seems that

8 they were maybe not in the best shape but they were in good shape.

9 Q. Now, Major, you and I will agree that of course this was not

10 Holiday Inn, but that in the circumstances you actually can attest that

11 they were treated better than could be expected under those hard and

12 difficult circumstances.

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And if I look at the responsibility of a commander with respect

15 to people who are detained, you can confirm with me that of course every

16 commander up the chain of command is responsible for people who are

17 detained.

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. And that of course the responsibility is different at different

20 levels.

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. And that a situation like you saw in Mehurici, you would not

23 expect the corps commander to take his car and drive down to Mehurici to

24 find out himself what is going on there.

25 A. No. But we would expect that the corps commander had given his

Page 7073

1 units some directive how to behave and how to behave in connection to the

2 Geneva Conventions and things like that.

3 Q. So you would expect that a commander would issue instructions to

4 abide by the Geneva Conventions and unless he gets information to the

5 contrary by his own subordinates, then you don't expect him to look out

6 whether to see if violations are committed. Am I correct?

7 A. Well, it's difficult for a commander to know things, what the

8 situation are in the area if no one tells him what the situation is. But

9 as you said, it is not necessary for the commander to -- to visit the

10 spot, but he is still responsible. He can give some directives. And he

11 can assure that someone are taken care in controlling that this directive

12 are fulfilled.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.

14 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, I object against this

15 line of questioning. My learned friend from the Defence is asking the

16 witness, who is a fact witness, questions which should be asked -- which

17 an expert should be asked. There's a huge difference between the

18 situations we had in the past that we asked a fact witness, based on his

19 knowledge and based what he had seen and experienced, to draw conclusions.

20 This time my learned friend from the Defence is asking the witness not

21 based on what he himself has seen or experienced but asks him purely

22 questions which are of a nature that only an expert can testify about.

23 Therefore, I object against this line of questioning.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber was following

25 the question put to the witness. Mr. Bourgon asked the witness, who is a

Page 7074

1 commander - don't forget that we have an officer here - he asked him about

2 the responsibilities of a commander. He is nevertheless in a position to

3 answer such a question. And, Mr. Withopf, I do not see how this could be

4 a problematic question, given that we have an officer here who mentioned

5 the Geneva Conventions himself.

6 Mr. Baggesen, you have listened to the objection. You're an

7 officer. Imagine a situation which you would have to govern a prison with

8 soldiers under your orders. In such a case, would you have given orders,

9 instructions, to your guards, to the wardens -- to your guards with

10 respect to the Geneva Conventions? This is the type of question we could

11 ask you, since you are an officer. What could you tell us about that?

12 THE WITNESS: If I should have detained persons in my custody, I

13 have to assure that the subordinates that are commanding this facility,

14 that they knew about the Geneva Conventions, that they knew how to behave.

15 And if I'm not in the position to go to a spot myself, I can ask another

16 one to -- to have this control at the facility, but I would still have the

17 responsibility because I'm the commander.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Bourgon,

19 continue.

20 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

21 Q. [In English] [Previous translation continues] ... General

22 Hadzihasanovic, of which you were a witness, that with his

23 responsibilities with respect to Mehurici, that he would still be

24 responsible but what you expect of him is different than what you expect

25 from the commanding officer that you met on the ground. Am I correct?

Page 7075

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Now, in the situation of General Hadzihasanovic, you visited the

3 detention facility KP Dom, did you?

4 A. Yes, in Zenica.

5 Q. And you understand that this was like a corps-level detention

6 facility.

7 A. I think that the prison in Zenica was a prison as well before the

8 conflict and during the conflict it was used by the local authorities, as

9 well as it was used by the 3rd Corps.

10 Q. And it would be normal in your -- based on your experience, it

11 would be normal for General Hadzihasanovic to pay more attention to KP Dom

12 because it was where all the people would be eventually transferred, if

13 there was a need to do so.

14 A. I don't know the chain of command in -- in this prison world, but

15 I could imagine that this detention facility was closer related to the

16 corps than, for example, the before-mentioned school.

17 Q. Thank you, Major.

18 I'll move on to another issue, and that is the situation on the

19 ground and relating to how difficult the situation was.

20 Now, I would like to begin by talking about the situation on 21 of

21 April. In your statement, you mentioned that there were allegations that

22 Croat villages had been attacked and that you went there with your

23 colleague Junhov and with Father Stipan Radic, and that you concluded that

24 there was little damage, although some houses had been looted and the

25 owners had left. Can you confirm this episode?

Page 7076

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Can you also confirm that at that time there were lots of rumours

3 circulating that the ABiH was planning a big operation against the Croats

4 and that rumours were everywhere about what was going to happen?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. Can you also confirm that on 25 April yourself, your colleague

7 Morsink, and again Father Stipan, visited the villages of Janjac, Susanj,

8 Stranjani, Dolac, and Konjevici, and that your conclusion was that the

9 properties were intact, although many had been looted? Can you confirm

10 this?

11 A. I can confirm that I visited a lot of villages. I cannot

12 remember sitting here the names and I cannot remember the dates, but I can

13 remember I've been visiting those -- a lot of Croat villages together with

14 Henk Morsink and -- and Father Stipan.

15 Q. Can you recall that on this specific occasion -- and I know you

16 don't recall, maybe this will bring back some memories to you -- that the

17 Muslim villagers wanted the Croats to return there and that you thought it

18 was safe enough for them to return?

19 A. Yes, that is correct. One -- the reason for us to bring Father

20 Stipan with us, because we want to use Father Stipan to be the one that

21 was doing this fact-finding together with us, so he was able to tell the

22 Croats that it was safe for them to return to the villages as well.

23 Q. And can you confirm that you saw the BiH police arresting looters

24 and that this made you feel good because it would be something that Father

25 Stipan could report back to the Croats?

Page 7077

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And can you also confirm that most of the refugees in fact

3 returned but that initially it was the HVO who tried to stop them, even by

4 firing in the air to scare them not to come back?

5 A. That's correct. In the beginning, when we were trying to take

6 all the refugees back to the villages, we went to the area together with

7 some buses from the local Red Cross. At a checkpoint the HVO took the

8 buses from us, because they were using the buses to -- to move the

9 refugees to a Croat-dominated area. And I can remember I think it was

10 almost 2.000 refugees. And we succeeded to manage the return of 1.600, I

11 think. The rest were already -- been moved by the HVO.

12 Q. And can you confirm, Major, that on 20 April you visited KP Dom

13 with your colleague Landry and that you noticed that the conditions were

14 good, that one man was released because he had some kind of surgery and

15 you thought that it was not good for him to stay there, but that overall

16 people were well treated as KP Dom? Can you confirm this?

17 A. You used the word "Holiday Inn" before. It was not Holiday Inn,

18 but they were treated as you could -- better than you could expect, and

19 it's correct that there was one older man who had been through an

20 operation for some throat cancer, in the throat, and we asked him to be

21 released, and because he was not a criminal, because we were -- we were

22 not -- if it was persons who were detained or imprisoned because they were

23 criminals, they should stay in the prison; but this man was only there

24 because he was a Croat. So he was released at the spot, without any

25 problems.

Page 7078

1 Q. And can you confirm, Major, that you went back several times to

2 KP Dom and that it was all -- the situation was always as good as what you

3 just described?

4 A. Yes, correct.

5 Q. And can you confirm, Major, that this was very different from

6 what you could see when you visited HVO prisons, such as Kaonik?

7 A. I think -- you are mentioning Kaonik. That was the worst example

8 you can -- you could take, because the detained persons in Kaonik were not

9 treated that good compared to the other places we visited.

10 Q. Can you confirm, Major, that it is from your statement, also from

11 a various of reports, that in Zenica there was shelling -- artillery

12 shelling on and off almost every other day, that this made it very

13 difficult for both the population, for yourself as a monitor, and for the

14 headquarters of the 3rd Corps?

15 A. It was very difficult working conditions to us, because we have

16 to work in that environment, and of course it was difficult for the

17 civilian population that we were shelled almost every second day, as you

18 said. Sometimes it was a shelling from HVO. This was not proved through

19 the Blaskic case but it was our findings. And later on the Bosnian Serb

20 army started to shell that area. And the Bosnian Serb army were shelling

21 Croat positions as well as at -- at BiH positions, trying to -- to make a

22 conflict between those two, because it looked like the BiH were shelling

23 HVO and it looked like the HVO were shelling the -- the BiH, but through

24 our findings we were able to tell them that it was not the opposite party

25 who was shelling them but it was the Bosnian Serb army.

Page 7079

1 Q. And can you confirm, Major, that people died as a result of this

2 shelling and more specifically on one occasion the marketplace was shelled

3 and 13 people died? Can you confirm that?

4 A. I confirm that was the first attack in April.

5 Q. Now, I'd like to move on to what was the situation on the other

6 side, if I may use this expression. In terms of what the -- what was

7 going on in Muslim villages. Did you visit any Muslim villages?

8 A. Yes, we did that as well.

9 Q. And you can confirm that if we compare the HVO and the Army of

10 Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the first case this army, was your impression -

11 and that again is from your statement - that they had decided, based on

12 the Vance Owen Peace Plan, to basically do what the plan called for by

13 force and by grabbing the land which was at that point occupied by

14 Muslims?

15 A. That's correct. It seems like HVO legalised their ethnic

16 cleansing because they want to have the Croat-dominated provinces

17 ethnically cleaned.

18 Q. So -- thank you, Major. And you are familiar with some of the

19 actions of the HVO; namely, in Ahmici, which is probably the biggest

20 massacre that took place during the time you were there.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And if I mention to you some towns -- for example, you recall

23 visiting on the 28th of April the local Red Cross in Visoko? Do you

24 recall this event?

25 A. Yes, I can remember that I visited.

Page 7080

1 Q. And in your statement provided in 1996, you mentioned that there

2 were thousands of refugees coming from the following towns: Svinjarevo,

3 Jehovac, Gromiljak, Behrici, Gomionica, Bilalovac, to name but a few. Are

4 you familiar with these names?

5 A. Yes, that's --

6 Q. And that refugees came from these towns.

7 A. That's correct. And I can remember in that report I made that we

8 had those figures so we know how many refugees there were from the

9 different communities.

10 Q. And, Major, on the 29th of April, you made a visit with Team Z1,

11 and I quote from your statement here, in terms of: "Our findings were

12 that in Polje Visnjica most of the Muslims had been burned and all the

13 Muslims had left the village, but there were still Croats families in the

14 village." Is that -- do you recall stating this in your statement?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And with respect to Hercezi, you say 14 Muslims were killed in

17 the area. Do you recall this?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And you recall that in Visnjica 40 houses were burned and five

20 Muslim men were killed in the field? Do you recall this?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And that in Gomionica you had no problems visiting the village

23 with the HVO. The village was abandoned and all the Muslim houses were

24 totally destroyed: "Yet we were not surprised when we saw Croat houses

25 without any damage in the village." Can you recall this?

Page 7081

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And can you also recall that you also saw HVO regular soldiers

3 and some snipers from the HVO pursuing your team while doing this visit?

4 A. Yes. And actually, we had -- as I recall it, Gomionica was the

5 village situated north of Kiseljak. Is that correct?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. And we had actually problems to get in there the first day,

8 because the HVO denied us access to Gomionica. We tried again the next

9 day. I was there together with an escort from the Canadian Battalion.

10 And at that time the platoon commander and I, we were shot at from HVO

11 positions, and we succeeded to -- to get out again. So it was the third

12 day we tried to get into Gomionica, where there was no problem. And at

13 that day, we saw that patrols from HVO were trying to come close to us.

14 Q. Thank you, Major. Can you recall that when you were in Central

15 Bosnia the issue of communications, and I'm talking about the PTT. You

16 report in this statement that the engineer you spoke to actually was

17 perfectly able to re-establish the telephone lines, for example, between

18 Sarajevo and Zenica or Travnik and Zenica, but that he refused to do so

19 without an order from Blaskic?

20 A. That's correct. We had a problem with the PTT line between

21 Zenica and Sarajevo, and at that time my team was ordered to try to do

22 some fact-finding to see what we can do. And we found in Kiseljak one of

23 the Croat engineers who was responsible for the PTT line, and in the

24 beginning he said it was destroyed because the PTT building in Kiseljak

25 were destroyed, but we didn't find any impacts or anything destroyed at

Page 7082

1 this PTT building. So we had a conversation with this man again. Then he

2 said that -- that the PTT line between Zenica and Sarajevo were cut down,

3 and he didn't see -- he didn't see it was necessary for the Muslims in

4 Zenica to have contact with the Muslims in Sarajevo, and the only one who

5 could order him to reopen the line were Colonel Blaskic.

6 Q. Thank you, Major.

7 One last question, and I'd like to quickly show you some

8 documents. The -- you mentioned simply spontaneously a little earlier

9 your conversation with General Hadzihasanovic concerning the Mujahedin and

10 how he felt about the Mujahedin. Can you confirm that on this occasion

11 General Hadzihasanovic also mentioned to you that the Army of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina was not strong enough to fight the Mujahedin?

13 A. I can't remember if he mentioned the whole Army of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but as far as I remember he was thinking on his own

15 corps level that he not was able to -- to control and maybe disarm the

16 Mujahedin.

17 Q. Thank you, Major.

18 I'd like to show you now some -- some documents. And I would

19 simply ask you to recognise the documents, because we don't have time to

20 go into it. But these are your own reports that you produced as a monitor

21 in Bosnia. So there are a series of reports that I would like for --

22 simply for you to identify simply as being your own reports of what you

23 talked about, what you saw during your time in Bosnia.

24 So if I go with you. There is a report dated 28th of April, and

25 this is signed "Lars Baggesen." Do you recognise this as being your

Page 7083

1 report?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And moving to the next page is also another daily report dated

4 29th of April, and at the end we see "regards, Allan Laustsen," who was

5 your colleague, and yourself; is that correct?

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. At paragraph 4 we say the team conclusion stating that: "It is

8 obvious that an ethnic cleansing had taken place in the area." Can you

9 confirm that you are talking about the HVO?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. And the next page is a report on 9th of May, 1993. And again,

12 this one is signed by yourself -- or at least, it says "Lars Baggesen."

13 And your colleague Stavros Kinigopoulos.

14 A. Yes, that's my Greek colleague. Correct.

15 Q. And this was your -- this was your investigation on the origin of

16 the shelling in Dusina.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And the next one is on the 12th of May, and again talks about the

19 situation on the ground.

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. And it talks about -- sorry, I'll move to the next one quickly.

22 On the 16th of May, the next page, and again this is signed by yourself,

23 Lars Baggesen, and Bent Faerge. I don't know who which individual is.

24 Can you confirm who this individual is?

25 A. Yes, Bent Faerge is a Danish monitor.

Page 7084

1 Q. Can you confirm at paragraph 6 of this report that Mr. Merdan and

2 Mr. Skopljak agreed to release all civilians who had been in prison in

3 Kaonik and Zenica and to release all of the members of the ABiH imprisoned

4 in Busovaca and all those of the HVO imprisoned in Zenica after May 17th.

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Can you confirm that what happened in fact is that the Army of

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina released all the Croats but that the HVO did not

8 release all of the members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Do you

9 recall this fact?

10 A. I cannot recall that fact, but ...

11 Q. And if I move on to the next report dated 18th May. This one

12 talks about Maglaj.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. It's a two-page report, and again signed by you. Now, you were

15 in Maglaj and in the Zepce-Maglaj area and Zavidovici; is that correct?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Can you confirm that this was, from the strategic point of view,

18 a very important area which should have attracted the attention of the

19 corps commander simply because if he lost that area, he would be cut off

20 from the north?

21 A. Yes, it's correct, and the situation in that area were very

22 tense, because the whole area were surrounded by the Bosnian Serb army and

23 it was under a daily attack and it was -- the Bosnian army was very close

24 to succeeding to cut off that area from the rest of the area of

25 responsibility for the corps.

Page 7085

1 Q. And can you confirm, Major, that in this specific area there was

2 initially cooperation between the HVO and the ABiH and that the big

3 problem around June was that the HVO was pulling out and there were very

4 strong sides of cooperation between the HVO and the VRS, which made the

5 situation of General Hadzihasanovic all that much more difficult?

6 A. It's correct that there was good cooperation between BiH and HVO.

7 It seems to us there was a good cooperation. And we heard about rumours

8 and we -- I think we have -- we find some facts as well that there were

9 cooperation between the HVO and the Bosnian Serb army as well. And it

10 made some tensions in the cooperation between HVO and BiH.

11 Q. And the cooperation between the Army of VRS and the HVO, you were

12 also aware of that?

13 A. I was not aware if there was cooperation between the -- what are

14 they called, the VRS?

15 Q. Yeah, between the Serbs.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And the HVO. That they were -- there were strong signs that they

18 were cooperating together, and as a matter of fact the HVO were

19 withdrawing from the line, which made the situation of General

20 Hadzihasanovic difficult.

21 A. We knew that they were replacing some of the HVO units in that

22 area were -- withdrawal, and reorganised in other places.

23 Q. And if we move to your last report on this -- in this bundle,

24 Major, the 26th of June. This is ones that part of your joint

25 humanitarian commission. Can I draw your attention to paragraph 3, in

Page 7086

1 terms of the number of prisoners released during that time. Are you able

2 to confirm that only 190 Muslims were released, as opposed to 453 Croats?

3 A. Yes, that's not the next but the next again. From the 26th of

4 June?

5 Q. Yeah.

6 A. Yeah. And the reason for that were that there were more Croats

7 detained than Muslims. I can remember we had a discussion, and actually

8 the two members -- the two members from BiH in the joint humanitarian

9 commission was -- was a little afraid of their life because they have been

10 threatened and their families have been threatened because the commission

11 was releasing more Croats and -- than Muslims, because those -- or one of

12 those members from the Armija BiH were Croat by birth, he was threatened

13 by the locals.

14 Q. And, Major, one last question on this document: The last

15 paragraph of the first page, where it is mentioned that a Mr. Stjepan

16 Siber from the ABiH, that because they were both Croats --

17 A. They were both Croats.

18 Q. -- the HVO rep was a Croat and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina

19 representative was also a Croat, and that for this reason Mr. Siber wanted

20 to release all the Croats, and that is also a reason why there were more

21 Croats released. Can you confirm this?

22 A. No. I think the reason that there were more Croats released than

23 Muslims were because there were more detained persons by -- of Croat --

24 Q. Thank you very much, Major.

25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to

Page 7087

1 tender a series of documents under one number. The witness has identified

2 these documents.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, about the

4 witness's report?

5 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, there is no objection

6 of the Prosecution; however, I wish to note that my learned friend has

7 forgotten the document of the 23rd of June, 1993, and in order to not make

8 things complicated, the Prosecution is not objecting against tendering

9 this document as well.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.

11 Mr. Registrar, can you give me a number, please.

12 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] It is going to be DH167.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, we have another

14 quarter of an hour.

15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I have finished.

16 [In English] [Previous translation continues] ... Thank you very

17 much, Major Bagessen.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon, do you have any

19 questions.

20 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours.

21 Cross-examined by Mr. Dixon:

22 Q. Major Bagessen, only a few questions on behalf of Mr. Kubura.

23 It's correct that you cannot recall whether you ever had the

24 opportunity to meet Mr. Kubura, who was the acting commander of the

25 7th Brigade at the time you were there?

Page 7088

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. You did meet some soldiers from the 7th Brigade you said in your

3 evidence in chief in the music school; is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. But you also said in your evidence that none of these soldiers

6 spoke a foreign language, Arabic in particular.

7 A. We were only speaking with -- with people who were speaking the

8 Bosnian language.

9 Q. So you never heard any Arabic spoken in the music school; is that

10 correct?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. The soldiers there allowed you to inspect the entire music

13 school, with the exception of one room you said, where they said there

14 were communications.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And you saw some cables going into that room.

17 A. Right.

18 Q. Once you -- you heard that and saw those cables, would it be

19 correct that you understood to some extent why there had been some

20 difficulty in getting access to the music school in the first place,

21 because of the communications that were there?

22 A. No, I don't think that was the reason that we were denied access.

23 I simply think that -- that the local commander did not have the -- the

24 guards or the responsibility to -- to let us in and he needs an order for

25 higher level -- for higher level, despite the fact that I have had this

Page 7089

1 piece of paper telling him that -- telling them that I have access to all

2 compounds in Bosnia. But I think he needs to have this confirmed.

3 Q. So he wanted to make sure, the soldier who you spoke to there.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. But you can confirm that communications and where they were

6 located was a sensitive matter for both sides in the armed conflict.

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. You said in your evidence in chief that you would have been

9 suspicious if you were not shown a particular room, with the exception of

10 the communications room.

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. And that you therefore presume that you saw all the rooms in the

13 music school, from the basement all the way up through all the floors.

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. It wouldn't surprise you, would it, Major Bagessen, that the

16 music school was not in fact the headquarters of the 7th Brigade; the

17 headquarters were elsewhere in a place called Bilmiste?

18 A. It would not surprise me, because it was normal when we were

19 having meetings with people that if we had a meeting with someone from --

20 from the 7th Muslim Brigade or from another brigade, everyone was, as I

21 said before, calling themselves commander. But you can be a commander on

22 different levels, and commanders on different levels have their

23 headquarters. So when we are referring to that there was a headquarter

24 from 7th Muslim Brigade at the music school, it -- it's not necessarily a

25 big headquarters. It could maybe be a company headquarter or -- I know

Page 7090

1 that a platoon don't have a headquarter like that --

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. -- but it could be their post.

4 Q. But did you know that the brigade headquarters were at Bilmiste

5 at the time?

6 A. I cannot recall the -- the position of the brigade headquarters.

7 Q. You never had any reason to go to that place to meet with the 7th

8 Brigade, did you?

9 A. I didn't have any reason to do that, and I don't know if any of

10 my colleagues went to the brigade headquarters.

11 Q. You never met any commanders of the 7th Brigade at the brigade

12 headquarters in Bilmiste, did you?

13 A. I have never been at that headquarters, but I did meet some other

14 commanders on a different level, maybe battalion commanders, but I cannot

15 recall their names or anything.

16 Q. At the music school, once you had searched through the -- the

17 whole building, you did not find any detainees kept at the music school

18 when you were there, did you?

19 A. No.

20 Q. The 7th Brigade units, in your view, were some of the most

21 disciplined forces operating in Central Bosnia; is that right?

22 A. To my opinion, yes.

23 Q. The HVO, however, you say, claimed that there was a link between

24 these forces and the Mujahedin and the kidnappings that you've testified

25 about today; is that right?

Page 7091

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. But in your evidence in chief, you have said that you didn't see

3 any link between the 7th Brigade and the Mujahedin.

4 A. No. The only link we saw was the discussion about this vehicle

5 that the messengers have been used. Later on it was observed in front of

6 one of the 7 Muslim Brigade's compounds. I will not use now the

7 word "headquarters." But it was observed. And I can't remember if it was

8 in front of the music school or in front of the compound in Ravno Rostovo.

9 Q. This was a vehicle that you yourself didn't see, but it was a

10 discussion that you had with your colleagues about the matter.

11 A. I cannot remember if I saw the vehicle myself, but I can remember

12 the discussion. But I cannot remember if I saw it myself.

13 Q. And even though it's just one small story about what was

14 happening at the time, it's not a matter that you can confirm in your

15 evidence today firsthand; you didn't see the vehicle in these different

16 places that you've mentioned.

17 A. As far as I can recall, we had a discussion about this vehicle,

18 that it has been observed the two places, but I cannot recall if I saw it

19 myself. I just heard it from the discussion.

20 Q. Continuing with this allegation of this link. I'm not sure if

21 you're aware, but Mr. Totic himself testified in this trial in public

22 session about the kidnappings. Did you on any occasion interview him

23 after the incident?

24 A. I didn't.

25 Q. From what you knew at the time and from the documents that we've

Page 7092

1 seen today, it would be correct to say, would it not, that the Mujahedin

2 were the force that ran the entire show when it came to these exchanges?

3 They were the ones making the demands; they were the ones drawing up the

4 lists of their people to be exchanged; they were the ones involved in the

5 meetings and the negotiations and indeed the exchanges themselves in May.

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. You were referred earlier on by my learned friend for the

8 Prosecution to a report prepared by Mr. Schellschmidt. And in paragraph

9 10 of that report, which he took you to - I'm not going to give it to you

10 again - but you did confirm that it was in fact the Mujahedin who demanded

11 a meeting with the HVO, the 7th Brigade, and a number of other

12 organisations in -- in Zenica.

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. So the allegations that were made by the HVO, then, would you

15 agree with me that they proved to be wholly incorrect and in fact the

16 7th Brigade was not involved at all in the perpetration of these

17 kidnappings?

18 A. We didn't see any link between the 7th Muslim Brigade and the

19 kidnappings.

20 MR. DIXON: Thank you very much, Major Bagessen. I have no

21 further questions.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, any re-examination

23 on your part?

24 MR. WITHOPF: Yes, Mr. President, Your Honours. I have a number

25 of issues to address which result from the cross-examination.

Page 7093

1 And I'm aware of the time that has passed by. I don't know

2 whether it deems appropriate to start the re-examination now and to

3 continue tomorrow or to leave it for tomorrow morning.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We may continue today, but how

5 much time will you need all together?

6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I have five distinct areas to

7 address, and I anticipate that I may need some 20 minutes.

8 [Trial Chamber confers]

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall then

10 continue tomorrow, because if you take 20 minutes, there may be some

11 additional questions on the part of the Defence.

12 Major, unfortunately, you will have to spend the night in

13 The Hague and come back tomorrow, because the Judges will also have some

14 questions to put to you. We were not able to finish your testimony today.

15 I would kindly ask you to come back tomorrow morning at 9.00.

16 I'm now going to ask Madam Registrar [as interpreted] to

17 accompany you out of the courtroom, and I would like to finish by asking

18 you not to have any contacts with any of the parties.

19 Mr. Withopf, you have the floor.

20 [The witness stands down]

21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, you last week asked

22 the parties -- you last week asked the parties to discuss the issue of the

23 documents which were shown by Defence to the military expert and which the

24 Prosecution wishes to be tendered as Prosecution exhibits. The parties

25 have discussed this issue, and the parties are in agreement that these

Page 7094

1 documents should be tendered into evidence, should be tendered now, but

2 should be tendered as Defence exhibits, Defence exhibits for the accused

3 Hadzihasanovic.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.

5 Mr. Bourgon, that was DH153 and -- to 164 [as interpreted].

6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, it was DH154 [as interpreted]

7 which was in class A in English until DH163.

8 In any case, there are two corrections that we have to make before

9 we tender these documents. In the Exhibit Number 156, one document has to

10 be withdrawn. It has already been admitted as document number 66, DH66.

11 The date is 8 June 1993, and the number of the document is

12 19-8/02-230-150. The document was addressed to the district military

13 prosecutor and it was admitted during the testimony of witness Ivkic on 18

14 March 2004. We would like to withdraw this document in English, number 3.

15 As far as the document DH163 is concerned -- I'm sorry. I

16 apologise. There is an additional document which doesn't have a number

17 yet which is in English 11 class 8 -- English 11, binder A. There is a

18 series of documents there which have already been admitted through

19 Mr. Ivkic's testimony. But there is one additional document in English;

20 the date is 11 March 1993. The title is, "The request for information on

21 criminal charges." The centre was the 3rd Corps, and it was sent to all

22 the units. This document bears the number 04/739-1. This document -- we

23 need an additional number for this document in order to be able to tender

24 this document into evidence.

25 And finally, Mr. President, I would like to say that there were

Page 7095

1 documents that were tendered without prejudice to the Defence concerning

2 the arguments that we are going to present about the admissibility of

3 documents. We propose to propose [as interpreted] certain documents into

4 evidence, but now we don't have any objections to the admission of these

5 documents.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With regard to the

7 documents that have been marked for identification, agreement was reached

8 and the documents can be admitted into evidence, with the exception of the

9 document that must be withdrawn, DH66. It has already been admitted.

10 In English number 11, there is a document dated the 11th of

11 March, 1993, and you would like this document to be provided with an

12 additional number. The number will therefore be DH165.

13 Mr. Registrar, is that correct? What will the exhibit number be

14 for the additional document?

15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the number will be

16 DH168.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The number will be

18 168. And the others, marked for identification, will be admitted and

19 given definitive exhibit numbers.

20 Tomorrow we will continue with the hearing of this witness, and

21 we also have another witness available for tomorrow.

22 There is a slight problem as far as the premises are concerned.

23 We should be in Courtroom II tomorrow, and that's where we should be

24 throughout the week. Does this cause the Defence any problems, given the

25 model?

Page 7096

1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we won't be using

2 the model with the witness who will be appearing here on Thursday, but we

3 do want to use the map, so it would be better if possible to be in

4 Courtroom III or even in Courtroom I, in order to be able to use the map.

5 Thank you, Mr. President.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have no problems

7 as far as tomorrow is concerned, but I'll ask the registrar whether it

8 might be possible to have a hearing in Courtroom III, although we are

9 scheduled to be in Courtroom II. But you will see what the situation is.

10 I think that Blagojevic is supposed to be in that courtroom, but that is

11 something that you should look into.

12 If there are no other questions, I would like to invite everyone

13 to appear for the hearing that will start tomorrow at 9.00.

14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,

15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of

16 May, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.