1 Tuesday, 25 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
12 Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
13 Prosecution, Ms. Tecla Henry-Benjamin, Mr. Mathias Neuner, Daryl Mundis,
14 and our case manager, Mr. Andres Vatter.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And could we have
16 the appearances for the Defence. They're all present.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic,
19 Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Muriel
20 Cauvin, our legal assistant. Thank you.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
22 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
23 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to greet everyone
25 present, the Prosecution, the Defence, the accused, and everyone else in
1 the courtroom.
2 We have to render our oral decision now. I will first ask the
3 registrar to go into private session.
4 [Private session]
12 Pages 7981 to 7997 redacted, private session
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. First of
15 all, I would like to make sure that you can hear the interpretation of my
16 words into a language that you can understand. If that is the case, can
17 you please say so.
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, loud and clear.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called as a
20 Prosecution witness. You have to make a solemn declaration. Before
21 that, I have to identify you; therefore, I am kindly asking you to give
22 us your first name, your last name, the date and place of birth, and your
24 THE WITNESS: My name is Henk Morsink. I was born at 15th of
25 May, 1956. I was born in the place of Enschede. My nationality is
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see you're wearing a military
3 uniform. What is your rank in the Dutch Army?
4 THE WITNESS: My rank is colonel.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, have you ever
6 testified before either an international tribunal or a national court
7 about the events which took place in the former Yugoslavia?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. I testified twice in the court.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you remember the case in
10 which you appeared as a witness?
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do. The first case was the case of
12 Mr. Blaskic, and the second case was the case of Mr. Kordic and Cerkez.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In these two cases, were you
14 called as a Prosecution witness or as a Defence witness?
15 THE WITNESS: I was called as a Prosecution witness in both
16 cases, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993, what was your
18 position? What was your rank in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 THE WITNESS: My position was a monitor for the European Union.
20 I was not wearing my rank at that time. I was a major in the Dutch Army,
21 but I had the position of a diplomat.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you now
23 please read the solemn declaration that the usher is showing to you.
24 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
25 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.
2 WITNESS: HENDRIK MORSINK
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is your third appearance
4 before this Tribunal, so you are used to the procedure. That's why I'm
5 going to be very brief.
6 First of all, you are going to be asked questions by the
7 Prosecution, then by the Defence. The Defence is going to ask you
8 questions to check your credibility as a witness and to set the context
9 of the events which took place. After that, the Prosecution will have
10 to -- the right to re-examine you, and the Judges which are before you
11 can also put questions to you at any point in time when they deem
12 necessary to do so.
13 Please be as complete in your answers as possible, because as you
14 know, we are conducting an oral procedure here and what is important here
15 is the oral debate and your words carry a lot of weight.
16 I would like to point out two other elements: You have taken the
17 solemn declaration, which means that you will be telling the truth.
18 False testimony before this Tribunal is against the law and may be
19 punishable. In case you don't want to answer a question because the
20 answer might incriminate you, the Chamber may compel you to answer such a
21 question; however the Chamber will guarantee you a form of immunity.
22 In very general words, this is how the procedure before this
23 Tribunal is going to take place.
24 The Prosecution can also ask you questions about the documents
25 that you might have delivered to the investigators, but I leave it to the
1 Prosecution to clarify this, because we have to be really very clear on
2 the point of the documents that you have delivered.
3 Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
6 Q. Good morning, Colonel Morsink.
7 A. Morning.
8 Q. For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, can you please briefly
9 describe your military career from the time you joined the Dutch Army up
10 to the present.
11 A. I joined the Dutch Army in 1976. I joined the military academy
12 in Breda for four years, then I was appointed as a lieutenant, as a
13 platoon leader of a tank platoon. I stayed with that same battalion for
14 eight years in various functions. After that, in 1988 I was invited to
15 go to the Dutch general staff course. I completed that course. Then I
16 was appointed as a brigade operations and training officer, S3 officer,
17 for three years. At the end of that job, I was sent as a monitor to
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina within the ECMM structure. Immediately after my
19 return from Bosnia, I was invited to go to the German general staff
20 college in Hamburg for two years. I finished that course as well. After
21 that, I was appointed as a lieutenant colonel in The Hague in the Army
22 Staff for almost three years. After that, I got my own command over a
23 tank battalion for two years. I handed over command in early 2000. I
24 was appointed as the chief, present information of the Dutch Army here in
25 The Hague. And after that, I was appointed for almost two and a half
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 years as the chief cabinet of the Dutch Army Chief of Staff. And since
2 last year June, I am appointed as the chief, plans and policy in the
3 German Netherlands Corps headquarters in Munster, Germany.
4 Q. Colonel, you told us, as you've told the Chamber previously, that
5 you were part of the ECMM structure in Bosnia. When were you first given
6 that assignment?
7 A. The assignment started at the 13th of April, 1993.
8 Q. And when did that assignment conclude?
9 A. The assignment concluded exactly three months later, at the 13th
10 of July, also 1993.
11 Q. Can you please tell us what type of background briefings, if any,
12 you received prior to taking this assignment.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down for the
14 interpreters. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: The Dutch Army organised a training prior to
16 missions like monitors within the ECMM and also for observers within the
17 United Nations military observing mission. This training consisted of a
18 two weeks' training here in The Hague at the Clingendael Institute.
19 These two weeks - in fact, ten working days - included ethical
20 background, historical background, religious background, some techniques
21 about how to negotiate, how to chair things like joint commissions.
22 After these two weeks, I got some additional training, military
23 training on how to handle mines and unexploded ordnances and some
24 first-aid additional training. And upon arrival in Zagreb on the 13th of
25 April, I received approximately one and a half days information about the
1 current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, about communications used by the
2 ECMM, and in addition again about first aid.
3 MR. MUNDIS:
4 Q. Colonel, when you say you received information about the current
5 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, can you please elaborate a little bit.
6 What do you mean by "the current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina"?
7 A. In Zagreb, we -- all the new monitors attended a daily briefing
8 and we got an additional briefing on the entire situation in Croatia and
9 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I recall this was quite common. At the end of
10 that briefing, I learnt that I was to go to Zenica and I recall that
11 details about Zenica were very few.
12 Q. Can you please tell us how you got from Zagreb to Zenica.
13 A. Initially, it was planned to go by helicopter, but it appeared to
14 be unsafe or the weather might not have been okay. So in the end, in the
15 morning I learnt that I had to go by car towards Split, and we arrived
16 one day later Split and then actually flew by helicopter to Kiseljak, and
17 from Kiseljak I was picked up by an ECMM car and was brought to Zenica.
18 Q. Colonel Morsink, do you recall the date that you actually arrived
19 in Zenica and the approximate time?
20 A. The helicopter arrived in Kiseljak close before sunset, so in
21 April that must have been, I think, 1900 hours. I was picked up and
22 drove in darkness to Zenica, so I guess I arrived there maybe 2100 hours,
23 maybe half past 9.00.
24 Q. Do you recall the exact date in April 1993?
25 A. The date was the 16th of April.
1 Q. Can you please tell us about the first day, that is the 17th of
2 April, 1993, what type of additional information you received about your
3 assignment, your duties, and any briefings that you received on the 17th
4 of April, 1993.
5 A. Again, the information was very little. I expected to hear at
6 least what they -- what the leadership there expected from me. But in
7 the morning briefing - not a well-structured morning briefing, I must
8 say - I learnt that together with another monitor I was to go to Vitez
9 and we were escorted by two British armoured vehicles. And in Vitez for
10 the first time I learned exactly what was going on in that area.
11 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit about the ECMM
12 structure, chain of command, and number of monitors that were in the
13 field at the time you arrived.
14 A. The structure was that the headquarters of the ECMM was in Zagreb
15 and there was a regional centre directly in the chain of command under
16 this headquarters in Zagreb, a regional centre in Zenica, chaired by
17 Mr. Thebault, whom we addressed as the ambassador. He had a small staff,
18 a chief of staff, Mr. Bis [phoen], and a number of monitors which I think
19 was approximately 15. I'm not sure. Maybe 10 or 15 at that time. And
20 these monitors were supported by a supporting staff of drivers and
21 administrative supporters, and the regional centre had some interpreters
22 in service as well.
23 Q. Upon your arrival, what was your primary duty or responsibility?
24 A. I was sent as a team member to the Vitez area. I was informed
25 there by senior team members and by other monitors. All in total I think
1 there were four monitors in the Vitez area. And our first mission was to
2 find out about the actual situation on the ground in Vitez, to get
3 information, to try to make contact with the HVO side in Vitez, and the
4 Armija BiH side in Vitez, and finally to try to broker a cease-fire to be
5 able to coordinate humanitarian assistance.
6 Q. Colonel Morsink, you told us you were sent as a team member to
7 the Vitez area. Do you recall the names of any of the other members of
8 the team that you were a part of in this Vitez area?
9 A. Yes, I do. Mr. Erik Friis-Pedersen, a Danish monitor; he was
10 quite senior to me. Mr. Torbjorn Junhov, a Swedish monitor; and Mr. Remi
11 Landry, a Canadian monitor. And there was one Danish monitor as well
12 whom I'm not sure whether it was Allan Laustsen or maybe Lars Baggesen,
13 one of the two.
14 Q. During the three-month period that you were with ECMM in Central
15 Bosnia, did your responsibilities or the area you covered change in any
17 A. Yes, it did. Since I was a junior monitor, they gave me some
18 time to gain experience in the region. Based on the example of the
19 Busovaca Joint Commission, which was raised earlier prior to my arrival,
20 we started a similar local joint commission in the Vitez area and later
21 on we expanded this example to Busovaca, Kiseljak, and the Travnik -- the
22 larger Travnik area. So in total, I worked in four local joint
23 commissions, and after I gained some experience, I was asked to chair
24 those commissions, and I later on attended the coordinating centre in
25 Travnik as well.
1 Q. Colonel Morsink, did you receive any briefings at any time you
2 were in Central Bosnia from BritBat or did you have any contact with any
3 information or intelligence officers from BritBat?
4 A. Yes. Since we had our ECMM house fairly close to the British
5 Battalion in the small village of Bila and since we had to work fairly
6 closely together with the British officers, we exchanged information
7 almost on a daily basis and I saw the British Battalion intelligence
8 officer, the so-called S2 officer, at least once a week, sometimes more
9 often. I gave him information, my findings at those meetings, and he
10 gave me information in exchange.
11 Q. Colonel Morsink, do you recall the name of the S2 officer at
12 BritBat that you met with on these occasions?
13 A. No, I do not.
14 Q. At any point in time did this BritBat S2 officer provide you with
15 any documents?
16 A. Yes. Quite early during my stay in that region - it might have
17 been the end of the first or maybe the second week - he handed three org
18 charts to me showing the organisation of the 3rd Corps of the Armija BiH
19 with the brigades and names of brigade commanders on it and the numbers
20 of the brigade and a similar org chart of the operational zone middle
21 Bosnia of the HVO side and a somewhat more detailed one about the -- I
22 think about the Zenica organisation.
23 Q. Based on this information or the other briefings that you
24 received, what information, if any, did you have about the presence of
25 foreign fighters in Central Bosnia?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. On this org chart about the 3rd Corps Armija BiH there was a
2 brigade called the 7th Muslim Brigade and there was a note about this
3 brigade that foreign members -- foreign soldiers or foreign citizens were
4 a member of this brigade.
5 Q. During the time you were in Central Bosnia, did you ever
6 encounter or see any of these foreign fighters?
7 A. I don't recall any personal contact with foreign fighters, but I
8 was told several times by fellow monitors that they were present in that
9 area. And I was told by one of my senior fellow monitors during one of
10 the introductions - I think it was during one of the travels from Zenica
11 to Vitez - to stay away from a certain area in Zenica because there were
12 supposed to be foreign fighters or the 7th Muslim Brigade in that area
13 and it was supposed to be unsafe for monitors to go there.
14 Q. Colonel Morsink, do you have any recollection today of what area
15 in Zenica your colleague was referring to?
16 A. I could point it out on the map, but as far as I know, it is the
17 southern side of Zenica, close to the Bosna River and the road where it
18 crosses the Bosna River, if you drive to the Busovaca junction.
19 Q. On how many occasions did you ever see any of these foreign
20 soldiers or foreign citizens in Central Bosnia?
21 A. I think in very few occasions. I recall one very well, and
22 that's the exchange of prisoners. But I must say they -- I could not
23 recognise them as called the Mujahedins at that time, since they were
24 wearing sports suits.
25 Q. You've mentioned the exchange of prisoners. Do you recall the
1 approximate date or dates that you're make reference to?
2 A. The date is the middle of June. I think it was the middle of
3 May. I think the 17th of May the actual exchange took place in the
4 afternoon, in the late afternoon.
5 Q. Colonel, we'll return to that prisoner exchange a little bit
6 later. Before we do, you've made reference to a number of commissions
7 that you were involved with during the time that you were in Central
8 Bosnia as an ECMM monitor. Can you please tell us why these joint
9 commissions were established. What was their purpose?
10 A. Their purpose was to try to bring together the commanders of both
11 parties, the HVO side and the Armija BiH side, on a local level to try to
12 negotiate cease-fires if possible; to deal with violations against the
13 agreed cease-fire on higher levels; to coordinate and organise
14 humanitarian assistance, and under that I count the names of exchange of
15 prisoners, if possible, the release of prisoners, exchange of missing
16 people, trying to solve those problems of missing people, coordinating
17 the exchange of wounded people, escort them from hospital to hospital.
18 So a range of humanitarian jobs to be done in the region on the local
20 Q. Colonel, you've made reference that the fact that the
21 commission's -- one of the purposes was to bring together the commanders
22 of both parties. Do you recall the specific individuals who attended
23 these commission meetings?
24 A. Yes. I recall a number of them. In Vitez, they started with the
25 brigade commander on the HVO side, Mr. Cerkez; and on the Armija BiH side
1 the brigade concerning Vitez was split into a battalion commanded by
2 Sivro Cifet, he was located in Kruscica. And the brigade commander --
3 the actual brigade commander was Mr. Kelestura. These both commanders
4 appointed liaison officers, Mr. Jozic and Mr. Hajdarevic, and they
5 regularly attended the local joint commission Vitez.
6 In Busovaca, it was Mr. Grubisic of the HVO side and Mr. Mekic of
7 the Armija BiH side. They were almost all the time accompanied by three
8 or four local assistants. I don't recall the names. I don't recall any
9 names from Kiseljak.
10 And in the Travnik area, we had several, let's say, local
11 commissions, all called, let's say, the larger region of Travnik. One
12 was covering Nova Bila. One was covering the Han Bila and Guca Gora
13 area, and sometimes there was a meeting in Travnik itself. I don't
14 know -- I don't recall all the names. And I must say that from the top
15 level Mr. Merdan from the Armija BiH side and Mr. Nakic from the HVO side
16 were, at least in the beginning, always present to support the process of
17 setting up these local joint commissions.
18 Q. When you say, sir, that Mr. Merdan and Mr. Nakic were always
19 present at least in the beginning, at which location or locations were
20 they always present?
21 A. The first meetings in Vitez started in the ECMM house, close to
22 the British Battalion. They were present there. Mr. Merdan even spent
23 the night there sometimes. Mr. Nakic used to go home, because he lived
24 close by this facility.
25 The location in Busovaca was in the beginning the Dutch
1 transportation -- the headquarters of the Dutch transportation battalion
2 in the so-called Hotel Nunspeet [phoen]. The location in Kiseljak was at
3 the Canadian base. And the location in Han Bila was in a school, I think
4 one of the local military facilities, not being a UN or ECMM facility;
5 and the same goes for Nova Bila. This was also one of the headquarters
6 of one of the both sides.
7 Q. Colonel, you've told us that Mr. Merdan and Mr. Nakic attended
8 the meetings in Vitez. Do you recall whether they attended meetings in
9 any of the other locations you've just mentioned?
10 A. Yes. Mr. Merdan and Nakic both joined several meetings in
11 Busovaca and in Kiseljak and also in Han Bila. I don't recall any
12 presence of them in Nova Bila, but by that time the so-called joint
13 command in Travnik in the PTT building was raised and their attention and
14 their appearance in that headquarters was necessary, and the work more or
15 less accelerated on the local basis, so their presence was not always
16 needed any more.
17 Q. Colonel, can you recall approximately how many times during the
18 three-month period that you were in Central Bosnia you personally
19 attended any of these commission meetings?
20 A. This was almost on a daily basis. Sometimes even two meetings
21 took place at one day. But we had certain periods where the work didn't
22 go that well, so my estimate is that altogether maybe 50 meetings took
23 place which I attended.
24 Q. Can you please give the Trial Chamber a rough approximation as to
25 the number of meetings that Mr. Merdan and Mr. Nakic would have attended
1 out of that rough number of 50 that you attended.
2 A. If I don't count the meetings of the joint command, since they
3 are something different than the local joint commissions, I would say
4 Mr. Merdan and Mr. Nakic both attended maybe 20 meetings.
5 Q. What time period during the three-month period you were in
6 Central Bosnia were these commissions operating?
7 A. I think the first real operational joint commission started early
8 May, the beginning of May, maybe the 4th or the 5th of May, and some of
9 the commissions were still operational when I left Central Bosnia.
10 Q. I take it from your answer that some of them were still
11 operational. Does that mean that some of them were not?
12 A. That's right. We had a fallback in Vitez and we had a fallback
13 in the Han Bila area as well, sometimes due to the military situation;
14 sometimes due to what I would like to call a political interference. The
15 Vitez Joint Commission fell apart because the military was no longer
16 willing or able to join and the local politicians tried to take over but
17 didn't fully accept our role in this.
18 Q. Colonel Morsink, you just mentioned local politicians attempting
19 to take over at some point these joint commissions or commissions. In
20 the early days of the commissions, what involvement, if any, did the
21 political leaders have in these commissions?
22 A. In the early days, they had no direct interference or influence,
23 at least not that I noticed, because only officers or soldiers attended
24 the meetings. I had separate meetings or discussions with local
25 politicians in Vitez. In Busovaca, it more or less developed
1 automatically when there -- when we started to get a certain level of
2 understanding between both parties. They both suggested that the mayor
3 of both sides and especially the religious representatives of both sides,
4 so the priest and the imam, should join these meetings and try to more or
5 less ease the tension.
6 Q. What involvement, if any, did the civilian police or Ministry of
7 the Interior officials have in these joint commissions?
8 A. I don't recall any direct interference or influence of the civil
9 police. Maybe through the mayor. I'm not sure. Military police might
10 have had some influence through commanders, but they were not present
11 during the meetings.
12 Q. Do you recall the approximate time frame when the local civilian
13 authorities, the mayors, for example, in Busovaca became involved?
14 A. That must have been in the middle of May, late May.
15 Q. Other than in the Busovaca area, how much involvement did
16 civilian authorities have in the joint commissions?
17 A. They had hardly any influence, apart from Travnik. But I must
18 say that the meetings in Travnik that took place end of May, early June
19 were on a provincial level, since the ECMM tried to support the province
20 number 10 in the Vance-Owen Plan and of course a lot of politicians were
21 present at those meetings.
22 Q. Let's return now to a more general issue. I'd like to ask you
23 some questions about the state of preparedness of the parties for these
24 meetings. Do you have any general comments about how prepared the
25 parties were at the actual meetings themselves?
1 A. In the beginning, they were not prepared or badly prepared, but
2 they learnt quite quickly because there was a sense of urgency on both
3 sides. They showed the willingness to solve problems and they realised,
4 I think, that to be able to solve problems you should prepare yourself
5 for meetings. And the best example is that they had quite accurate lists
6 of detainees, accurate lists of missing people, of wounded people, what
7 people are in which hospital, et cetera, et cetera.
8 Q. Can you elaborate a little bit on the accurate -- you've said
9 "quite accurate lists of detainees." Can you elaborate on that or
10 perhaps give us some examples of what you mean by that.
11 A. A usual question during those meetings was one of the parties
12 started listing a list of missing people, and in quite some occasions
13 there was an immediate reaction from the other side stating that he knew
14 where a number of those people were. For instance, they were taken to a
15 certain prison, or they could state that they were in hospital. And that
16 left us with only a few names still missing after such a meeting.
17 Q. Do you recall whether what you've just told us applied to one
18 side to the party or to both sides? That is, were both sides equally
19 prepared or was one side more prepared than the other?
20 A. I think both sides were more or less equally prepared.
21 Q. Can you tell us, Colonel Morsink, based on what you observed,
22 what kind of records was it that the parties maintained to prepare for
23 these meetings.
24 A. Specific records were lists of missing people and lists of
1 Q. How much information was contained in these specific records, as
2 you've characterised them?
3 A. These lists normally were numbered. Every serial line was
4 numbered. They contained the names, the surnames, and the name of birth,
5 the year of birth, sometimes even the date of birth, and sometimes the
6 place of birth. And these lists were all, almost always, officially
7 stamped and signed.
8 Q. What did the parties do with these documents at the commission
10 A. Most of the times they gave a copy to the other side and a copy
11 to the ECMM, and I saved some of those copies. And then they discussed
12 the contents of the list and sometimes, if they were not complete enough
13 or questions were left, they agreed on solving those questions in the
14 next meeting.
15 Q. Can you characterise for the Trial Chamber the atmosphere or
16 ambiance at these meetings, in terms of were they agitated, calm. How
17 did the parties react these meetings?
18 A. It's hard to say. It was not a general atmosphere. It depends
19 on the situation. If there was a cease-fire during the night or the day
20 before, then they tend to be quite agitated. Both sides took the
21 opportunity to explain historical background again and again to explain
22 exactly from their point of view what happened during that cease-fire
23 violation. And then after a certain period I tend to chair the meeting
24 and to ask them exactly what they wanted to achieve during the meeting,
25 and then the exchange of information started.
1 It appeared to me that commanders knew each other from the past,
2 at least the liaison officers in the Vitez local commission knew each
3 other quite well. And I have pictures where the -- both brigade
4 commanders from the Busovaca area sit together on a couch and communicate
5 quite normally as if there wasn't any fighting at all.
6 Q. Colonel Morsink, were you aware of any communications between the
7 liaison officers or the participants in the meeting and individuals up
8 their own respective chains of command?
9 A. Yes. I'm quite sure that they had good communications
10 internally. For instance, liaison officer Mr. Refik Hajdarevic, he lived
11 in Poculica and if we made an agreement to give additional information in
12 the next meeting, then he would -- he showed himself able to get this
13 additional information and he would never have done it without good
14 communications, either by travelling personally or by calling. And the
15 same goes for the other side, although the distances were much shorter
16 for the HVO side, since the liaison officer was dropped off at the
17 headquarters of the HVO brigade in Vitez.
18 Q. Colonel Morsink, you've mentioned Refik Hajdarevic. Whom did
19 Mr. Hajdarevic represent?
20 A. He was appointed by the brigade commander of the Armija BiH
21 brigade in the Vitez area. The headquarters was in Preocica, and I think
22 his name was -- I said it earlier. It will come back to my mind again,
23 but I don't know -- I don't recall the name right now.
24 Q. Which of the warring parties did Mr. Hajdarevic belong to?
25 A. He belonged to the Armija BiH side.
1 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about -- you've mentioned that the
2 liaison officer was dropped off at the headquarters. Can you tell us a
3 little bit about any other efforts that ECMM or any other international
4 organisation provided with respect to logistics, for these meetings?
5 A. The meetings were chaired by the ECMM. They were hosted
6 sometimes by the ECMM, sometimes by the UN, either the British Battalion
7 or the Canadian or the Dutch Battalion. And the transport, if necessary,
8 was organised by the British liaison officers that took part in the
9 meetings as well, and they most of the times used British armoured
10 vehicles since representatives had to cross front lines more than once
11 and it was not safe to travel in an unsecure vehicle or even travel in
12 their own private vehicles. For the Kiseljak area, the Canadian
13 Battalion would support those meetings.
14 Q. Colonel, do you recall any specific instances where
15 transportation was provided for members of the ABiH to any of these
17 A. Yes. Mr. Merdan was picked up regularly in Zenica by a British
18 vehicle, sometimes at the headquarters of the 3rd Corps Armija BiH. The
19 representatives in Busovaca were picked up in Kacuni and had to cross the
20 front line to go to Busovaca. And Mr. Hajdarevic and Mr. Sivro Sifet
21 coming from Kruscica were picked up by British vehicles as well to be
22 able to go to the Vitez ECMM house and the same goes for the area of
24 Q. Colonel Morsink, are you aware of any instance where either of
25 the parties at any of these joint commissions were acting independently
1 of their respective chains of command?
2 A. Maybe a first reaction during a meeting might have been
3 independently. But I had the impression during all meetings that there
4 was enough back-brief between local commanders and their superiors.
5 Certainly liaison officers didn't have full authority. They had to
6 back-brief their commanders on a daily basis and to gain, let's say,
7 limited authority for the next meeting.
8 Q. What do you base this impression on? What factors led you to
9 this impression?
10 A. The results of the local commission meetings lead me to this
11 impression. And for the case of commanders, I think they were -- they
12 had the authority to make decisions of themselves, like the brigade
13 commanders in the Busovaca area. They decided at the spot on exchange of
14 people, on freedom of movement for small numbers of people. And the same
15 goes for Mr. Merdan and Nakic as well -- they showed enough authority to
16 be able to answer difficult questions, to explain situations, and to make
17 decisions on the spot.
18 Q. Do you know based on discussions you had with Mr. Merdan about
19 the extent of his ability to answer difficult questions or to explain
21 A. He explained situations, but not always he could explain things
22 right on the spot. He -- sometimes he had to come back on a certain
23 matter in the next meeting, so apparently he had to gain additional
24 information in his headquarters.
25 Q. Colonel Morsink, you mentioned earlier a prisoner exchange in
1 mid-May. Can you tell us a little bit about what role if any you played
2 in arranging that prisoner exchange.
3 A. That one prisoner exchange you mean?
4 Q. Yes, the one you referred to earlier in mid-May 1993.
5 A. I recall that I heard, let's say, first indications or rumours
6 about a large prisoner exchange dealing with an important member of the
7 HVO from one side and some other HVO soldiers and dealing with Mujahedins
8 from the other side. But detailed information I received during one of
9 the evening briefings in the ECMM headquarters in Zenica. I took note of
10 these informations. I played a minor role in it. I was one of the team
11 members to check on one of the three locations where these exchanges were
13 Q. Do you recall any of the meetings where these exchanges were
14 organised and the approximate date of any such meetings?
15 A. I was not present at the meetings prior to this exchange. Only
16 this one I just mentioned, the evening briefing in the headquarters of
17 the ECMM. And the actual exchange itself took place, I think, on the
18 17th of May.
19 Q. Do you recall the names of the individuals who were involved in
20 this exchange?
21 A. I do recall some of them, the persons I know personally.
22 Mr. Remi Landry was appointed to organise things in Zenica during the
23 exchange. I myself and Mr. Schellschmidt, a German monitor, were sent to
24 Busovaca to organise the exchange there. I recall that Mr. Merdan was as
25 a representative of the Armija BiH side, was sent to Travnik to arrange
1 things. With me in Busovaca there was Major Mike Buffini, a British
2 liaison officer. I recall that Mrs. Mary Jo Blanc from the ICRC was
3 present in Busovaca. And I know from the notes that there were more
4 people, but I don't recall their names.
5 Q. Do you recall anyone else from the ABiH other than Mr. Merdan?
6 A. Not by name, no.
7 Q. You've told us that there were three locations. Can you briefly
8 explain to the Chamber how this was going to work and what was happening
9 at each of these three locations.
10 A. I must say I only focussed on that location where I was ordered
11 to go to; that's Busovaca. And the other two locations were the regional
12 headquarters in Zenica itself, so the hotel, the ECMM hotel in the centre
13 of Zenica; and the third location was the location of the joint command
14 in Travnik, that was the PTT building at that time. At those locations a
15 certain group of people, detainees held by a certain party, were supposed
16 to be brought to by that party that held them detained. Checks had to be
17 made by a number of organisations, by the ECMM at all three locations, by
18 BritBat at all three locations, and by ICRC, and in addition to that, by
19 liaison officers or representatives of both the HVO and the Armija BiH.
20 So all in total, that is five independent checks at all three locations.
21 If these checks were okay and confirmed to be okay by everybody, then the
22 actual exchange would take part and that phase of the operation was that
23 the detainees would be taken with armoured vehicles of the British
24 Battalion to a next location and that would conclude the whole exchange
25 of prisoners.
1 Q. Colonel Morsink, can you tell us exactly what you did on the day
2 of the exchange. What was your role? Where did you go? What did you
4 A. In the morning, I had a meeting to have local Joint Commission
5 Busovaca. That's my job. And the exchange started at midday, at noon.
6 I had to report to the Mediapan factory. That's a wood processing
7 factory close to Busovaca. When I arrived there, the 13 people that were
8 supposed to be there at that location were already present. I counted
9 those people, and I recall from a picture that I have from that situation
10 that also the ICRC and the British Battalion were present with armoured
11 vehicles and their liaison vehicle. And I recall from my notes that both
12 the HVO side and the Armija BiH side were present with their
13 representatives as well.
14 So the whole thing was as planned. I counted the people. I
15 reported it together with my fellow monitor to the headquarters through
16 our own ECMM communications and so did the ICRC and the British
17 Battalion. After that, we had to wait quite long. And in the end of the
18 afternoon, the actual exchange took place in that way that the British
19 Battalion was ordered to transport the 13 persons to Zenica. I did not
20 take part in that transportation. I stayed in the Busovaca area to
21 release a number of prisoners from the Kaonik prison, which was not
22 directly linked to this exchange but it more or less set the ground for,
23 let's say, a positive opportunity to free these people as well.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. I do have one
25 question and it will complete this area of my direct examination.
1 Q. Sir, these 13 people, can you recall what they look like? Can
2 you describe their physical appearance and what they were wearing.
3 A. I recall that they sat in one of the buildings of the factory, I
4 think they sat on a pile of wood, all 13 in a group together. I do not
5 recall any uniforms. I do recall a number of sports outfits, training
6 suits of a colour that I wouldn't have chosen myself, more like a female
7 colour, not -- from my belief, not fitting to those young people. I
8 think the average age was early 20.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel Morsink.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is almost 10.30. We are
12 going to make a break, and we shall resume around five to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Colonel Morsink, I have just a couple questions concerning the
19 people, again, that you saw at the exchange. These 13 people, were they
20 local people or were they foreigners?
21 A. I don't exactly remember their faces, but I recall that some of
22 them at least looked like not European.
23 Q. You also told us that they were wearing sports outfits. Do you
24 know where those sports outfits came from?
25 A. I'm not certain. I guess they were issued.
1 Q. By whom?
2 A. Apparently by those persons that held them detained.
3 Q. I should also state, sir, that during the break I was asked by
4 the interpreters if we could both slow down and also pause between
5 question and answer. I know that that would be greatly appreciated by
6 the interpreters.
7 You told us, Colonel Morsink, that you were at meetings or a
8 large number of meetings with Mr. Merdan. Can you give us your
9 impressions of him as a military leader, based on your contact with him.
10 A. It's difficult to say something about military leadership if you
11 only meet people in meetings and not seeing them act with their
12 subordinate soldiers, but from what I learnt from Mr. Merdan was that he
13 was well aware of military structures; he had apparently a lot of
14 information on what was happening on the ground, on the battlefield; and
15 I learnt that he was quite effective in a military way in preparing
16 himself for meetings, preparing the liaison officers for meetings. And
17 he also showed a lot of authority when local commanders were not willing
18 or didn't show enough willingness to live up to the cease-fire
20 Q. Based on your attendance at these meetings and your observations,
21 did Mr. Merdan have the ultimate authority to issue orders concerning
22 prisoner exchanges?
23 A. I'm not sure whether that goes for prisoner exchanges, but I
24 don't think that he had the ultimate authority, since he was a deputy
25 commander of the corps. I don't recall that he signed official papers
1 himself. If there were official papers, then they were normally signed
2 by Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
3 Q. If you know, Colonel Morsink, what type of communications systems
4 did Mr. Merdan have, based on what you observed?
5 A. Only in a few occasions I observed actual communications by
6 Mr. Merdan or other Armija BiH corps staff members. That was in the ECMM
7 house in Vitez when they stepped aside, used small -- I think it was a
8 kind of a radio. It looked like a large cell phone. And apparently they
9 used it in their own language to call maybe their headquarters, maybe
10 somebody else, a subordinate. I'm not sure. I couldn't understand, of
12 Q. You've told us earlier, Colonel Morsink, about the joint command
13 in Travnik. Can you provide the Trial Chamber with some background and
14 information based on what you know about the joint command in Travnik.
15 A. Yes. First ideas for a joint command came to my knowledge late
16 April, when the -- I think the top level of both armies decided for a
17 cease-fire and also decided on how to work together or how to continue
18 cooperation and based on this common aim for both sides, they decided, as
19 far as I know, with support of the top politician -- political leaders,
20 they decided to establish a so-called joint command or a joint
21 operational command, and that was supposed to be in the PTT building, in
22 the cellar of the PTT building in Travnik with I think a total of five or
23 six representatives from both sides, so a total of 10 or 12 officers
24 permanently in this joint command.
25 Q. Now, Colonel, you've mentioned late April. Can you tell us what
1 year? Again, just for the record.
2 A. Late April 1993.
3 Q. On how many occasions, if at all, did you enter the basement of
4 the PTT building where this joint command headquarters was located?
5 A. Since it became operational, I think around maybe the 10th or the
6 12th of May. I visited it at least three or four times a week, certainly
7 for the first month. Later on, I think after mid-June, I don't recall
8 that I actually visited this joint command and I'm not sure whether it
9 was still operational at the time.
10 Q. You've told us that there were five or six representatives from
11 both sides. Do you recall the names or positions of any of the
12 individuals on the ABiH side at that joint command headquarters?
13 A. Mr. Merdan was -- I'm not sure whether he was a permanent member
14 of the joint command, but he -- I met him several times at the joint
15 command. Mr. Alagic was present a number of times. I don't recall
16 whether he was a permanent member or not. And I think the rest were
17 staff officers from the corps staff level.
18 Q. What was the purpose of the joint command?
19 A. The purpose as I learned it was to find, as they called it, their
20 mutual enemy. They tried to continue to hold together the front lines
21 against the Bosnian Serb army, especially in the Travnik area.
22 Q. Colonel Morsink, you've mentioned Mr. Alagic. Do you know what
23 position Mr. Alagic held at the time you were in Central Bosnia?
24 A. Yes. Mr. Alagic was the commander of the operational zone in the
25 Travnik region of the Armija BiH.
1 Q. Can you tell us, please, if you know, what an operational zone
3 A. We don't know -- or we don't use these terms in Western armies.
4 We used to refer to it as a division-type unit, a division level. And I
5 base that on the fact that he had several brigades under his command.
6 Q. Colonel Morsink, are you familiar with the term or have you heard
7 the term "operational group"?
8 A. Yes. I have. And I guess that operational zone goes more for
9 the HVO side and operational group is more applicable for the BiH side.
10 Q. Other than at the joint command headquarters, did you at any
11 other time encounter Mr. Alagic anywhere else in Central Bosnia?
12 A. Yes. I met him several times in his own headquarters in Travnik,
13 in the barracks in Travnik. I met him in the field several times. He
14 joined a small number of meetings of local joint commissions in Novi
15 Travnik and in Han Bila that was, I think. He joined me and some others
16 during a visit to Guca Gora, and I met him in the town hall in Travnik
17 several times when the politicians of the province number 10 tried to
18 start up a common provincial government.
19 Q. Colonel, you mentioned that you met Mr. Alagic in his
20 headquarters in the barracks in Travnik. Do you know which headquarters
21 that was?
22 A. I only recall one big barracks in Travnik, and it was only a few
23 hundred metres from the big hospital in Travnik and only a few hundred
24 metres from the Hotel Orient where the ECMM had their temporary
1 Q. And to your knowledge, sir, was this the operational group
2 headquarters that you referred to?
3 A. Yes, to my knowledge it was. And there were also one or two
4 military units based in that barracks.
5 Q. Colonel Morsink, during the period of time that you were in
6 Central Bosnia, can you characterise the operational tempo of combat
8 A. If I would refer to, length say, high-intensity war fighting like
9 we've been preparing for in Western Europe for a number of years, the
10 tempo in Bosnia was quite low, but in small time frames, in certain days
11 or weeks, the tempo could rise to quite high, but in a very limited area.
12 So it was local intense fighting and then very low intensity ongoing
13 fighting for the rest of the time.
14 Q. Thank you, Colonel Morsink.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further
16 questions in direct examination.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. As far as the
18 notebooks are concerned, Prosecution, has Ms. Benjamin been able to
19 inform you about the results of her research?
20 MR. MUNDIS: Indeed she has, Mr. President, and I conveyed that
21 information to the Defence at the beginning of the recess which just
22 ended. I can certainly inform the Trial Chamber or perhaps the Defence
23 can raise the issue directly with the witness. I leave it to you, Your
24 Honour. I can certainly inform you as to what I have been informed.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Very well,
1 Mr. Mundis.
2 I am giving the floor to the Defence for their cross-examination.
3 I would like to remind you that the examination-in-chief lasted exactly
4 59 minutes or 1 hour, so the Defence will have an hour and a half for
5 their cross-examination.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Mr. President, as far as the cross-examination and the duration
8 of the cross-examination, we will need one hour and 30 minutes, and I
9 believe that my colleagues will need about 15 or 20 minutes.
10 I would like to bring the Chamber's attention to the fact that I
11 have confirmed this information with the witness, the witness who is
12 today before the Trial Chamber and who has testified in two other cases.
13 The first -- in the first case, he testified for over 20 hours, and in
14 the second case he testified over 7 hours. The witness has delivered
15 more than 50 documents during the three months that he spent in Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina. I know that we have to economise on time, but in the
17 interest of justice we need to speed up the process. And even if I limit
18 my questions, I will need an hour and a half to complete my
19 cross-examination. I believe that this is necessary and reasonable
20 within the circumstances, and I can't even touch upon the documents that
21 have been drafted by the witness.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You may
24 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Bourgon:
1 Q. Good morning, Colonel. We've had the opportunity of meeting last
2 night, and I wish to begin by taking this opportunity for expressing my
3 appreciation for you in accepting to meet us last night.
4 For the record, Colonel, even though we did meet last night, I
5 would like to introduce myself and my colleagues this morning. I'm
6 accompanied by Mrs. Edina Residovic and by Mrs. Muriel Cauvin, and
7 together we represent General Hadzihasanovic.
8 Colonel, we had this discussion yesterday, and I'd like to simply
9 go back over some of the issues we covered last night. I would like to
10 begin with a few general questions. First to confirm that you were an
11 ECMM monitor for a period of three months, namely from 13th of April to
12 13th of July, 1993.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And that you were attached for the duration of this three months
15 to the Regional Centre Zenica, which was headed by Ambassador Thebault.
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And during this period, you were away from the theatre of
18 operations for a short period, from the 10th to the 16th of June, where
19 you were away on rest and recreation.
20 A. That's correct as well.
21 Q. As far as previous statement, can you confirm that you initially
22 gave a first statement to the Office of the Prosecution in December of
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And following which you testified both in the Blaskic in 1999 and
1 then in the Kordic case in the year 2000, both times as a Prosecution
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Can you confirm, Colonel, that with respect to your involvement
5 in the Blaskic case, the preparation time that you personally spent with
6 the Office of the Prosecution, in addition to the time spent by the
7 investigators, was somewhere around five to six days?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And that your testimony lasted three full days, which would
10 account for somewhat more than 20 hours of testimony?
11 A. I'm not a hundred per cent sure about that, but that's my
12 recollection, yes.
13 Q. And with respect to your involvement in the Kordic case, can you
14 confirm that the preparation time, again in addition to having provided a
15 statement, lasted for three to four days?
16 A. That's correct as well.
17 Q. And that your testimony in this case lasted a little over one
18 full day?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And one full day in those times were from morning until late in
21 the afternoon?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Now, yesterday, Colonel, we -- you showed us two small notebooks
24 as well as one large notebook that you had prepared while you were in
25 Bosnia as an ECMM monitor.
1 A. Yes. But one of the small notebooks is my private diary, and it
2 was never openly shown to anybody else.
3 Q. Can you confirm, Colonel, whether you -- to your memory and your
4 recollection, whether this material was ever provided to the
5 investigators or to the lawyers of the Office of the Prosecution?
6 A. I have shown it to the lawyers of the Prosecution earlier, during
7 the preparation of the other cases, and to my knowledge copies of these
8 books have -- of these notebooks have been taken.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
10 Now, you spent three months in Central Bosnia, and you explained
11 to me last night that this was a policy from the Netherlands that you
12 would only spend three months, whereas the military component from the
13 Netherlands would spend six months.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And would you agree with me - and we discussed this last night -
16 that in spending three months in a theatre of operations such as that
17 which was in Central Bosnia, it is very difficult to get a full
18 understanding as to what is going on in such a short period?
19 A. I think it's possible to get the understanding, but to become
20 effective in three months, that's the tough part of such a short
21 duration and that's why the Dutch government decided to prolong it to six
23 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
24 I'd like to move quickly into the exchange which was mentioned by
25 my colleague from the Prosecution. I'm talking about the exchange on the
1 17th of May. First, Colonel, can you confirm that the role of the ECMM
2 in this exchange was that of a mediator and a facilitator in liaison with
3 the British Battalion?
4 A. I see what you mean about mediator and facilitator, but I don't
5 see the liaison with the British Battalion, because the mediation and
6 facilitation was meant to mediate between HVO and Armija BiH. Both
7 sides held prisoners or detainees. And I think the British Battalion was
8 also merely facilitating in transporting and in giving communications and
9 in checking.
10 Q. Now, Colonel, you just mentioned that the ABiH was holding
11 detainees, but you have no information to that effect, do you?
12 A. I didn't personally see that or was able to confirm that. The
13 way it was presented to us by the ECMM during the 16th briefing was in --
14 let's say in the simple way, HVO side, Armija BiH side, with a number of
15 detainees from both sides or both parties to be exchanged.
16 Q. Now, you know from the information -- well, first let me go back
17 a bit and confirm that you yourself only became involved in this exchange
18 a few days before.
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And that Ambassador Thebault, as the head of the Regional Centre
21 Zenica, carried out most of the negotiations.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And that this exchange was considered by Ambassador Thebault and
24 others as being a very sensitive issue.
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. As far as the information you have on the exchange, it was all
2 provided to you as a briefing which you attended on the 16th of May.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And on that occasion this was a briefing held the night prior to
5 the exchange.
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Now, this meeting was an ECMM-only meeting. There was no one
8 else but ECMM at that meeting.
9 A. There could have been one of the British liaison officers
10 present. I'm not sure about that. But normally these meetings were only
11 ECMM meetings.
12 Q. And this meeting was convened by Ambassador Thebault or, as you
13 mentioned to me last night, could have been convened by the Chief of
14 Staff of the ECMM, a gentleman called Bis.
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Now, as far as the information -- because we went last night over
17 your statement, and you basically know that there were three areas where
18 this exchange was supposed to take place. Is that correct?
19 A. That's correct, yes.
20 Q. One of these areas was the Hotel Internacional or the regional
21 centre itself.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And a second area was the Mediapan factory, where you yourself
24 were asked to attend.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And the third area was in Travnik at the PTT building or the
2 joint headquarters.
3 A. That's correct as well.
4 Q. Now, as far as the sequence of events, you knew that at the
5 Mediapan factory the people held by the HVO were supposed to appear
6 there, you were supposed to check on them, and then they would be
7 released when all other conditions were made right.
8 A. Yes. But in that fact that the release would be the transport of
9 those 13 people with British vehicles and the actual release, you could
10 state that it's done in Busovaca or at the end when they get out of these
11 British vehicles.
12 Q. Now, I would like to confirm with you, because this is the area
13 where you were, on this one you have specific knowledge: When you
14 showed up at the Mediapan factory, which was around 12.00 that day; is
15 that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. The people who were supposed to be there - we're talking about 13
18 people - there was 11 persons of which you had the list and 2 drivers; is
19 that correct?
20 A. These two persons, the additional persons, were on the same list
21 as well, so it was a list of 13 with a special group of 11 and then 2
22 separate names, numbered as 12 and 13.
23 Q. Now, these people, you knew were detained by the HVO.
24 A. I did not see these people before as well, and I didn't meet them
25 in any prison, so it's the same impression as I had about my previous
1 statement of people being imprisoned by the Armija BiH side.
2 Q. So you don't know who exactly held these 13 people.
3 A. That's right. I based my impression on what I was told during
4 the briefing the night before and on the notes I took, to simplify,
5 prisoners from the HVO side and, to simplify, prisoners from the Armija
6 BiH side.
7 Q. The -- those persons that you met at the Mediapan factory, can
8 you confirm that you were provided a list of those people and that there
9 were countries mentioned on this list?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Now, can you also confirm that you had no information whatsoever
12 in terms of who these people were; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And you did not know when and in what circumstances they had been
16 A. That's correct. I was only told by fellow monitors that these
17 were supposed to be Mujahedins, as they called them.
18 Q. And you don't know that these persons actually were arrested as
19 soon as they entered in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 A. I don't know about that.
21 Q. And you don't know either what the purpose of these persons was
22 in coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 A. No, I don't know that.
24 Q. And you don't know if there were any previous attempts by
25 civilian authorities to have them released from whoever was detaining
2 A. No, I don't know about that.
3 Q. Now, with respect to the other sides of the exchange, you know
4 that there was a brigade commander from the HVO who was detained; is that
6 A. That's right. Mr. Totic.
7 Q. And do you know who was detaining Mr. Totic?
8 A. The same impression I had based on the briefing, that there were
9 two parties holding detainees and then apparently Mr. Totic was held by
10 the Armija BiH side.
11 Q. That was the information you had.
12 A. That's the impression I had based on the information I got the
13 night before.
14 Q. Now, the information, in terms of there were four HVO officers
15 who were also being held, and these four HVO officers were supposed to
16 show up in Travnik at the PTT building; is that right?
17 A. That's right, yes.
18 Q. And you don't know either who was holding these four people or
19 where they were being held.
20 A. No. Just the same information, based on the briefing the night
22 Q. Now, you mentioned that you yourself were accompanied by
23 Mr. Junhov who is another ECMM monitor, and you were told to proceed to
24 the Mediapan factory.
25 A. I think Mr. Junhov was with me early in the morning during the
1 joint commission meeting in Busovaca, and according to the notes I took,
2 Mr. Schellschmidt was supposed to be with me in the Mediapan factory. So
3 that's another monitor, not Mr. Junhov, according to the notes I took.
4 Q. Now, when you were at the Mediapan factory, you reported that
5 there was a significant delay before this group was actually released and
6 transported by the British Battalion to Zenica; is that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And during this delay, you -- can you confirm that you did not
9 speak at any time to any of the people present?
10 A. That's correct. I didn't speak to them. I only checked once
11 whether all 13 were present, and that's the only time I saw them. I
12 didn't speak to them.
13 Q. Now, as far as Mr. Schellschmidt, he was not with you in the
14 morning but he was with you at the Mediapan factory. Is that correct?
15 A. That's what I recall, based on my notes.
16 Q. And when the group was released from the Mediapan factory, you
17 actually went back to Kaonik to check on other detainees and
18 Mr. Schellschmidt did not accompany you.
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. So you don't know exactly where he went when the group was
22 A. No, I don't know.
23 Q. Now, when you proceeded to Kaonik, it was to arrange for some
24 release of other detainees; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Let me proceed to another area. Prior to this exchange, Colonel,
2 you heard rumours about Mujahedin, but as you mentioned earlier on, you
3 had not seen any evidence of them.
4 A. I don't recall any personal contacts with Mujahedins, although in
5 one of my reports I read last night, a report signed by me myself, that I
6 have seen some green banners at one occasion. I can't remember that any
7 more, but it's in one of my reports.
8 Q. And these green banners could have been banners of -- could have
9 been an official flag from a unit, could have been anything; right?
10 A. It could be, yes. But the green banners, from my belief, would
11 refer to the 7th Muslim Brigade and what I was told, that possible
12 Mujahedin would be members of this 7th Muslim Brigade. So from my
13 belief, there could have been a relation between green flags and
14 Mujahedins; but again, I don't recall any personal contact with any
16 Q. Thank you. Now, this, Colonel, we're talking from -- during the
17 period from 13th of April to 17th of May. So your initial six weeks you
18 were in theatre, more than half of your stay you had no contact
19 whatsoever with Mujahedin.
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Now, you mentioned in your examination-in-chief that you had been
22 given an org chart which mentioned a unit as having foreign elements in
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And am I correct in saying that this is the extent of the
1 information you possessed concerning the foreign elements in Central
3 A. No, not fully. That's part of the information, and the rest of
4 the information was given by fellow monitors that mentioned the
5 7th Muslim Brigade, that mentioned possible Mujahedins to me. So that
6 fit together with the org chart.
7 Q. Now, this incident that you mention - because I have your
8 statement here, where it says that it was mentioned to you by a fellow
9 monitor that there was a dangerous area with 7 Brigade - and if I recall
10 correctly our conversation yesterday, this was the junction where you can
11 either turn right and go to the southern part of Zenica or turn left and
12 go towards Busovaca.
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And you were basically told don't turn right and you never did
15 turn right and go to that area; is that correct?
16 A. That's right. Since Zenica was never my responsibility, there
17 was no reason for me to go to that district.
18 Q. And if I -- the information that you do possess, then, is this
19 incident that was mentioned to you by a colleague and the org chart that
20 you were given, and we discussed last night you were also -- the issue of
21 Mujahedin or foreign elements was also mentioned in meetings of local
22 commissions at which the HVO was always present.
23 A. That's correct. At several meetings of local joint commissions
24 sometimes the HVO made allegations of foreign units or sometimes they
25 even mentioned the word "Mujahedin." And they blamed atrocities
1 committed by the Mujahedins.
2 Q. Now, I -- going through, in terms of this information, can you
3 confirm that you yourself do not have any firsthand knowledge of either
4 the Mujahedin or 7 Brigade?
5 A. That's correct, no firsthand knowledge.
6 Q. On the 28th of May, in your statement you report a meeting at
7 which the SDA and the HDZ presidency it was mentioned that both the 7
8 Brigade and 17 Brigade were under control of 3rd Corps, and this was
9 mentioned to you by the politicians present and not by the military
10 members present; is that correct?
11 A. That was supposed to be the 1st of May, this meeting?
12 Q. The 28th of May.
13 A. The 28th of May. So that was the meeting in Travnik, one of the
14 preparation meetings for the provincial government.
15 Q. And this was the mayor of Travnik, Curic, who mentioned that both
16 7 and 17 Brigade were under control of the 3rd Corps.
17 A. I don't recall whether Curic said that himself, but I have it in
18 my notes and I can confirm who exactly stated this.
19 Q. Now, can you confirm that with respect to Mr. Merdan who was
20 present at that meeting, that neither Mr. Merdan or anyone else, looking
21 in your notes, ever told you that the Mujahedin were -- had anything to
22 do with the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 A. You asked me that last night as well. I checked it last night.
24 I couldn't find any evidence where Mr. Merdan or Mr. Alagic mentioned
25 Mujahedin as being part of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Q. I would like to show you, Colonel, a document.
2 MR. BOURGON: I would like the usher to please distribute this
4 Q. Colonel, I would like to draw your attention to the first
5 document in the series of documents that was just handed to you.
6 MR. BOURGON: I see my colleague is standing up.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution objects to the
9 first -- at least the first document in this bundle, and I would like to
10 address the Trial Chamber in the absence of the witness, if I might, on
11 this point.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Colonel, you will have to leave the courtroom for a few minutes,
14 and we will call you back as soon as possible. The usher will escort you
15 out of the courtroom, and I will call you back in a few minutes' time.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has previously
19 objected to this document being shown to witnesses. We renew our
20 objection based on the fact that a proper foundation hasn't necessarily
21 been laid with respect to putting this information before this witness.
22 There are references to a number of documents in this first tab of this
23 material. There's also a number of items, including numbers 5 through 8
24 of this document, that occur outside the time frame when this witness was
25 in Central Bosnia.
1 I also note for the record that as we indicated previously, issue
2 number 8 should be 1994, rather than 2004. There's also information
3 contained in this document which appears to be testimony of prior
4 witnesses, and again, the Prosecution has repeatedly objected to
5 testimony of one witness being put before another witness when the, in
6 effect, citation to the person who said that statement is included in the
7 information rather than simply being a generic statement, without
8 attribution to a particular individual.
9 Again, I -- the Prosecution would assert, as it has in the past,
10 that this document really should not be shown to witnesses, particularly
11 because of the time element involved, in terms of information outside the
12 scope of this witness's time in Central Bosnia, and also because there
13 are indications in here of what other witnesses have said, and the
14 Prosecution does not believe that's a proper way of putting these type of
15 questions to this witness. In other words, there are other ways of doing
16 this, Mr. President, which do not involve a Defence summary of the
17 evidence, if you will.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, you have heard the
19 Prosecution's objection. They have listed a number of reasons for which
20 they are making this objection. First of all, it concerns the date. The
21 witness was only in the field for three months, and this document
22 contains dates that don't fall within the period of time that he spent
24 There are references to testimony received from other
25 individuals, and the witness is not familiar with this. And the
1 Prosecution also says that it might be possible to follow a different
2 type of procedure. We could present documents from 2 to 5 and then base
3 your questions on these documents.
4 So why do you want to tender document number 1, which is a
5 document that you yourself have drafted?
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In fact,
7 it was just to save time. Mr. President, each paragraph in this document
8 refers to -- or relates to a document tendered before the Chamber. The
9 Trial Chamber could take each individual document and have the witness
10 read them out and then ask the witness questions, but this is a procedure
11 that could take more than 30 minutes.
12 We want to proceed in this manner because the witness said he had
13 information about the Mujahedin being within the 3rd Corps. If the
14 witness has information he can inform the Trial Chamber of with regard to
15 this subject, it is important for the Defence to show the witness that he
16 didn't have all the information, and this would enable him to amend or
17 change his opinion.
18 So there are two ways in which I could proceed: Either I can use
19 this document and add references to various documents and their numbers,
20 or I could just use this document - that would save time - and then my
21 colleague, if he thinks that the paragraphs in this document don't
22 accurately reflect the documents that have been tendered, in that case my
23 colleague could argue his case and make the relevant submissions.
24 Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence would like to
1 follow this procedure in order to save time: Document number 1 adopts
2 elements from document number 2, and the Defence says that the
3 Prosecution could always contest any given point in the paragraph.
4 There are two ways of proceeding: There is the lengthy procedure
5 we could follow; we would present the witness with an official document
6 and then ask the witness questions. And there is another more rapid
7 procedure, which would enable us to save time. So that is the crux of
8 the matter.
9 What is your opinion of this, Mr. Mundis? Naturally, you can
10 always keep paragraph 1 under control, because if the Prosecution
11 misrepresents anything, you can always raise an objection. You can
12 always state your position. What is your opinion?
13 MR. MUNDIS: Again, Mr. President the Prosecution would submit
14 that a quicker way to do this was to actually ask the witness questions
15 about whether he was aware of any letters from the commander of the
16 3rd Corps going up the chain of command concerning the Mujahedin or the
17 foreign fighters. In the event the witness says he's not aware of that,
18 and two or three questions would probably solve that, that would seem to
19 be the end of it.
20 We have a whole series of events, as the Defence has
21 characterised it, that this witness is most likely not going to know
22 anything about whatsoever, and by showing him this two-page document that
23 includes testimony of other witnesses, this actually, the Prosecution
24 submits, might lengthen the entire proceeding.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will withdraw
1 for a few minutes to deliberate.
2 --- Break taken at 11.47 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.49 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After having deliberated and
5 in light of the objection raised, the Trial Chamber believes that the
6 Defence should show the witness documents 2 to 5. The witness will
7 recognise these documents, because they come from the European mission
8 that he was a part of. And then on the basis of these documents you can
9 ask the witness the questions that you formulated more or less in
10 document number 1. But show him the documents, have him identify the
11 documents, and then ask the witness the questions. It will take a little
12 longer perhaps, but it would be more appropriate to proceed in this
13 manner. It will amount to the same thing, but it will take a little
15 Madam Usher, could you call the witness back into the courtroom,
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 I would just like to draw the Trial Chamber's attention to the
19 fact that the documents, which are in a bundle and which were provided to
20 the witness, are not the documents referenced in the first document.
21 These are different documents. They're new documents. The Trial Chamber
22 has never seen them and they haven't been admitted into evidence. So the
23 first document is a summary of documents that have been tendered.
24 What I suggest to do, Mr. President, is to show the witness the
25 first document and then to proceed orally.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go ahead. You may take
3 the floor.
4 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Could the usher please show the witness document DH73.
6 Q. [In English] Colonel, before you look at this document, I would
7 like to ask you a few questions and then we will move on to looking at
8 this specific document.
9 First I would like to confirm, just to come back on one of your
10 answers a little earlier concerning the information that was provided to
11 you by your colleague with respect to the fact that there might be a
12 dangerous area not to go to and not to make this right turn at the
13 Busovaca junction. Now, I read here from your statement, where it says
14 that -- it says here in your statement: "I joined RC Zenica. I was
15 warned by my colleagues to avoid a southern district of the city because
16 it was home to the 7 Muslim Brigade, which was considered to be very
17 hostile to the international community."
18 Would you agree that there is no mention of Mujahedin whatsoever
19 in the information that was provided to you by your colleague but they
20 were talking about 7 Brigade only?
21 A. It's not literally stated in that part of the testimony before,
22 but what I do recall in my memory is that my fellow -- some of my fellow
23 monitors not only told me about the 7th Muslim Brigade but also told me
24 about Mujahedins being part of -- being members of this 7th Muslim
25 Brigade. It might not be in that text. But what I recall from my memory
1 is that there was a relationship between the 7th Muslim Brigade and
2 the --
3 Q. Now, you yourself, Colonel, in terms of looking at the Mujahedin,
4 you don't know where the Mujahedin came from.
5 A. No, I don't.
6 Q. And you don't know when they arrived in Bosnia.
7 A. I don't know that.
8 Q. And you don't know where they were -- they physically were in
9 Central Bosnia.
10 A. That's right; I don't know that either.
11 Q. And you don't know either what financial resources they had and
12 where they took their money.
13 A. [No audible response]
14 Q. And you don't know, Colonel, what links, if any, they had with
15 religious leaders.
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. And you don't know what and -- what kind and how many weapons
18 they had.
19 A. [No audible response]
20 Q. And you don't know what their fighting doctrine was or any
21 fighting methods.
22 A. Not literally what the doctrine was, but based on the
23 allegations, I was told that these Mujahedins were used to threaten
24 people, to -- let's say to do limited actions.
25 Q. Now, Colonel, I need to bring you back to one of your previous
1 answers concerning the fact that what kind and how many weapons they had.
2 You had no information to that effect; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, I'd like you to go to this Exhibit Number DH73 and to please
5 take the time to read this letter.
6 Colonel, do you agree that this is a letter which appears to have
7 been written by General Hadzihasanovic to his superior headquarters
8 posing a number of questions but basically that deals with the
10 A. Can I see the bottom, please.
11 I confirm that it's a letter from the 13th of June - at least,
12 it's a typed-out letter apparently - and the name of Mr. Hadzihasanovic
13 is on the bottom.
14 Q. Now, if we look at the first paragraph of this letter, it talks
15 about the fact that in the area of Zenica since the beginning of war
16 there had been volunteers and -- as well as a group of Bosnians trained
17 by them and that these people have not entered the ranks of the Bosnian
18 army, in spite of being invited to do so.
19 A. That's what it says.
20 Q. Do you agree with this information -- not that it's the truth,
21 but that what this information actually says is that there is a group of
22 people that are foreign elements and that are not in the army.
23 A. That's what it says in this letter, yes.
24 Q. And that these people do not want -- I refer you to the end of
25 the paragraph, for the sake of time -- "wish to communicate exclusively
1 with top officials of the army staff and not with the 3rd Corps
3 A. That's that it says.
4 Q. And that they believe that the duty of the corps commander is to
5 arrange a meeting with these people and that's it. Is that what this
6 letter appears to say?
7 A. Yes, it does.
8 Q. And the second paragraph, that these people had been fighting
9 outside the usual context and lawful methods of combat and that these are
10 directly detrimental to both the state and to the army. And that it is a
11 known fact that they have links to state organs and high-ranking Muslim
12 clergymen. Do you agree that this is what this letter says?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. And would you -- if I refer you to the last paragraph, where it
15 says: "I am requesting your stances and opinions regarding the solution
16 to this problem, because these units are situated in the zone of
17 responsibility of the 3rd Corps, and I do not want to be held
18 accountable...." You had no information whatsoever about the existence
19 of this letter, did you?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. If I mention to you that this letter was actually reported into a
22 milinfosum, would that mean that you did not read the milinfosum that
24 A. It depends on if it's a UN military information summary or if
25 it's a ECMM one. Normally these ECMM information summaries were kept at
1 the regional centre headquarters, and important information from these
2 summaries normally would be briefed during -- either morning briefings or
3 evening briefings.
4 Q. Now --
5 A. I must say I did not attend all those briefings since I was not
6 every night in Zenica.
7 Q. And would it be fair to say, Colonel, that these milinfosums
8 prepared by the British Battalion, as well as the ECMM reports, they were
9 available within the Regional Centre Zenica but that you did not always
10 read them because you had lots of things to do?
11 A. That's right, yes.
12 Q. Now, yesterday I mentioned to you something about an order being
13 issued by the army headquarters to General Hadzihasanovic, and I'd like
14 to ask you if you knew any information about such an order asking
15 General Hadzihasanovic to send these foreign elements to Mount Igman to
16 work with an army asset, an independent unit which was attached directly
17 to the army and not to the 3rd Corps, and that if they refused to show
18 them no hospitality and to disarm them? Did you have any information
19 concerning this order?
20 A. No, I did not. I was informed by you last night for the first
22 Q. And if I ask you whether you have any information that upon
23 receiving this order, General Hadzihasanovic in the telephone
24 conversation which was triggered by army headquarters basically opposed
25 this order on the basis that for him he could not disarm the Mujahedin
1 using force because this would be the same as opening a third front, did
2 you have any information concerning this specific telephone conversation?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Now, I could show you many more documents, but would you agree
5 with me - because now we are entering an area where you are away from
6 Bosnia, because you left on 13th of July; right?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Would you agree that the information you had on the Mujahedin was
9 actually very scarce and that in fact you knew nothing about all the
10 measures undertaken by the 3rd Corps to try and solve the Mujahedin
12 A. That's right, yes, I knew very little of it.
13 Q. Now, if I suggest to you, Colonel - and I call now on your
14 military experience - that if I tell you that it may have appeared that
15 an option for General Hadzihasanovic would have been to disarm them with
16 force - I put this to you as a scenario - would you agree with me that if
17 we want to analyse or to second-guess the decision of
18 General Hadzihasanovic not to use force to disarm the Mujahedin, that in
19 order for anyone to be able to second-guess this decision, we would need
20 the following information: Would you agree that we would need some
21 information with respect to the resources available to
22 General Hadzihasanovic at the time?
23 A. Yeah, that sounds fair. If you want to judge or to decide about
24 something, you need more information to be able to estimate what to do.
25 Q. Would you agree that we would also need some information on
1 basically the status of play at that specific time? And namely, in this
2 case you are aware of what was the status with the front line against the
3 Serbs and what was the status of play in the conflict between the HVO and
4 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina inside the area of the 3rd Corps, and
5 that we would need to assess this to be able to know if we have the
6 luxury of taking on or disarming the Mujahedin by force.
7 A. Yeah, sounds logical. Yes.
8 Q. And would you also agree that it would be necessary - and this
9 would probably be the first thing any military analyst would do - and
10 that is to determine who the Mujahedin were in terms of their numbers,
11 their location, the weapons they have, and their resources, and that this
12 is the basics for any military commander about to launch an attack?
13 A. I agree with that, yes.
14 Q. And would you also agree that before a corps commander could
15 launch such an attack opening a third front against a different enemy, he
16 would have to obtain the consent from his superior headquarters?
17 A. If the effect would always be a third front, yes, then you need
18 the approval of the third -- of your superior commander. If it's just an
19 internal matter in your own area of responsibility, I wouldn't ask for
20 permission; I would feel myself responsible and do it.
21 Q. And it depends on the circumstances of the situation.
22 A. It does, yes.
23 Q. Now, would you agree with me, Colonel that, in order to evaluate
24 or assess the decision of General Hadzihasanovic, it is necessary to have
25 all of the information that we've just outlined?
1 A. Yes, at least to be able to estimate it you need additional
2 information and you have to thoroughly weigh this information and to
3 decide on it based on this information.
4 Q. I would like to move now to another area, Colonel, and that is
5 the issue of the joint operation headquarters. Can you confirm that the
6 joint operational headquarters was created on the 5th of May and that it
7 was located in the basement of the PTT building?
8 A. I don't recall the exact date, but it was early May. I think it
9 took some time until it was really effective, so depends on what you call
10 the creation. I think the decision was made maybe a bit earlier, but
11 becoming effective took at least a week, I think, or one and a half week,
12 and it was situated in the basement of the PTT building in Travnik.
13 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, can you -- in terms of this joint
14 operational headquarters, can you confirm that this was the result of a
15 decision taken at the highest level, namely between President Izetbegovic
16 on behalf of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and his counterpart from
17 the HVO side?
18 A. You told me last night that this is the case. I must say I was
19 not aware of the fact that Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Tudjman were dealing
20 with this personally. I was aware that high-level politicians supported
21 this decision.
22 Q. Now, I would not want, Colonel, to be -- to mislead anyone in
23 terms of providing you with information, but my question more to you is:
24 Are you aware that it is the result of a decision at the highest level?
25 A. That's right. I was aware of that, yes.
1 Q. Without me telling you anything.
2 A. Yes. I was clearly told and I knew and I experienced the --
3 let's say the top-level support for this joint command.
4 Q. Now, in terms of the joint command itself, you remember the
5 cease-fire which was agreed by both commanders, do you?
6 A. I do, yes. Late April, that was.
7 Q. And you also remember the fact that there were some communication
8 problems which led to the necessity to transport the commander around so
9 that he could address the troops personally with respect to the
11 A. That's right. And this complaint of lack of communications was
12 made in the early days of the cease-fire several times. And that led to
13 the decision of both commanders, Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Petkovic, with
14 support of the British Battalion with armoured vehicles in the company of
15 EC monitors, to visit certain hot spots at the front lines. And we did
16 so at the same day.
17 Q. Now, with respect to the cease-fire, would you agree with me that
18 this cease-fire was putting a term prayer hold -- temporary hold on the
19 operations that were following the Ahmici massacre?
20 A. Well, it was not stated in that way that it's supposed to be a
21 temporary hold. It was stated as a cease-fire, and the basis for further
22 negotiations maybe to withdraw or to set a new status quo or whatever.
23 But I didn't see it as a temporary hold. Not at that time.
24 Q. And, Colonel, would you agree with me that at this particular
25 time at the end of April the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was moving
1 back on the offensive and they were basically in a very good military
2 posture at that time the cease-fire was declared?
3 A. I think that depends on the level in which you estimate the
4 situation and it depends on the local situation. For instance, the part
5 of Old Vitez was encircled. So that was not a got situation. If you
6 look at it from the wider perspective, you could argue that the Lasva
7 Valley was encircled. So it depends on the perspective you take.
8 Q. And would you agree with me, Colonel that, there was incredible
9 restraint displayed by the commanders on the army -- on the side of the
10 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to stop their troops who were very angered
11 by the Ahmici massacre?
12 A. I agree that both sides put restraints on their local commanders,
13 and I can see that the Ahmici massacre upset a lot of people. More than
14 upset them. I can see that. But the relation is -- I can understand
15 that there is a relation, but I can't prove it.
16 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
17 I'd like to move on to another area, and that is dealing with the
18 Travnik church. Can you confirm that you did not visit the Travnik
20 A. I did not enter the Travnik church. I lived in the Hotel Orient
21 quite close to the church, so I saw the church several times. I went by
22 it. I heard the bells ringing. But I didn't enter it myself.
23 Q. And you can also attest to the fact that you had some dealings
24 nevertheless with the priest --
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. BOURGON:
2 Q. -- with the priest who was responsible for this church.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you cannot remember, Colonel, any significant damage done to
5 the church; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct. I didn't see any damage personally.
7 Q. And in your statement, it is noted that you briefly noted in your
8 notebook that probably homes and church were shot at but that there was
9 no significant damage.
10 A. It's not clear from that page what church is referred to. If it
11 is the Travnik church, I visited Travnik several times in that time frame
12 and I didn't see any damage. But there were more Catholic churches in
13 that region. The Dolac church was apparently hit by a mortar shell or an
14 artillery shell, so that had some damage.
15 Q. And do you remember saying in your statement, Colonel, that "the
16 church bell continued to call worshippers to mass throughout this period"
17 so that the church must have been able to continue functioning?
18 A. Yes. I recall the church bells ringing several times, but I
19 don't know exactly what was the last time that I heard these bells
20 ringing or what was the last time that I went by this church. So that
21 was certainly not the 13th of July when I left.
22 Q. And you also say in your statement that on the 18th of June the
23 HVO claimed that the church had been robbed and damaged and you are of
24 the understanding that someone from the ECMM did follow up this claim.
25 A. That's right. To my recollection, Mr. Watkins, Philip Watkins,
1 he even made a special report on the situation of churches in the wider
2 area of Travnik.
3 Q. If I move on to another area, Colonel, I'd like to address the
4 issue of Guca Gora. Can you confirm, Colonel, that on the night of the
5 7th to 8th of June you were -- you spent the night in Zenica?
6 A. That's right, yes.
7 Q. And that waking up at 6.30 you heard the sound of heavy fighting
8 in the Travnik area?
9 A. I'm not sure whether I heard it then already from the Travnik
10 area. I heard in Zenica the sounds of artillery in the distance. So
11 that struck me.
12 Q. And yourself and Mr. Watkins, another ECMM colleague, drove first
13 to the headquarters of the HVO in Vitez.
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. And that from what you could see from the HVO headquarters, they
16 were in a real panic and they made wild claims that Guca Gora was in
17 flames and that civilians had been massacred. Do you recall this event?
18 A. I recall that they were in a panic-like situation. I wouldn't
19 call it "wild claims." They made allegations, claims that Guca Gora was
20 in flames, set on fire.
21 Q. And you also recall that later on you drove to Nova Bila to the
22 church, where you saw many wounded people, most from the HVO, and that
23 again you heard these allegations about Guca Gora being in flames?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And would you agree with me, Colonel, that later it turned out
1 that the smoke the Croats had seen actually came from burning houses in
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, as an aside to this question, I would like you to confirm,
5 Colonel, if you can, that in the three months you spent in Central Bosnia
6 the only two towns where you saw extensive destruction beyond battle
7 damage in the area of 3 Corps are Ahmici and Bandol and no other towns.
8 A. In the Lasva Valley, that's correct. I saw more signs of this,
9 like in the area of Kiseljak, but as you explained to me yesterday,
10 that's outside the 3rd Corps area. So for the 3rd Corps area, that's
11 correct. Ahmici was the worst example, and Bandol, being a smaller
12 village, was similar, burnt and damaged like Ahmici.
13 Q. In both of these villages, all -- the extensive destruction was
14 done to Muslim property.
15 A. What I could tell from the shape of the houses, yes, I guess it
16 was Muslim property.
17 Q. And the damage you even report from the Kiseljak area, even
18 though it is not in the area of the 3rd Corps, was also damage done to
19 Muslim property.
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Now, yourself and Mr. Watkins, just to look at this specific
22 incident, because there were of course allegations, can you confirm that
23 you immediately went to the headquarters of General Alagic in Travnik to
24 inquire about the situation?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And that you asked permission to General Alagic to go to Guca
2 Gora and that not only did he agree but he decided to come along and to
3 bring two members of the HVO, as well as a priest.
4 A. That's correct. I must say the priest was, as I recall it, not
5 his initiative, but he agreed that we took the priest with us.
6 Q. And without saying the name, can you also confirm that there was
7 a representative of the UNHCR who also went along with you.
8 A. I'm not sure whether she -- whether this representative was
9 already there on the first day when we visited Guca Gora. I'm very
10 positive that this representative was there on the second day, when we
11 arranged the evacuation of the citizens from Guca Gora.
12 Q. Now, when you arrived in Guca Gora with General Alagic and the
13 other members of the delegation, you can confirm, General -- Colonel,
14 sorry, that the monastery was not on fire.
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And that you did not notice any significant damage to the houses
17 nearby the monastery.
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And you also saw that there were somewhere around 200 civilians
20 sheltering in the monastery.
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And you actually spoke to these people.
23 A. To some of them, yes.
24 Q. And these people reported damage to neighbouring villages but
25 none of them had seen any damage.
1 A. I haven't seen the damage myself. I don't recall that those
2 people didn't see the damage themselves.
3 Q. You know, however, that the British Battalion sent out a recce
4 patrol and that they found four or five bodies but no evidence of a
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. And you stayed, yourself and Mr. Watkins, for about an hour or so
8 before you returned to Zenica, but first taking a badly injured man with
10 A. That's right. And we treated him in the Nova Bila hospital.
11 Q. And the next day you once again returned to Guca Gora.
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And on that day your colleague Junhov was there as well as this
14 representative of the UNHCR, as well as the commander of the British
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And at that occasion you debated the politics of whether you
18 should or should not evacuate the civilians who were in the monastery.
19 A. We took part in this debate or discussion. It was not our first
20 responsibility. I think the UNHCR had the priority in this, and of
21 course they needed support and advice from us.
22 Q. And on that day, Colonel, General Alagic was not there but
23 Mr. Merdan was there; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct, yes.
25 Q. Can you confirm concerning General Alagic that on more than one
1 occasion he basically said that there was no reason for this, that the
2 Croats could stay, that they would be protected, and that they should be
3 able to stay where they are?
4 A. I recall that he stated that several times for the wider Travnik
5 area. I'm not sure whether he referred to Guca Gora itself, but there
6 was still at that time some 5.000 Croats living in Travnik.
7 Q. Now, you mentioned, Colonel, in your statement the name of a
8 Mr. Sipic as being a local commander of the Army of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina and that he was present when talking about the possibility to
10 evacuate the civilians.
11 A. As I recall it, Mr. Sipic was the responsible brigade commander
12 for that area.
13 Q. And you recall, Colonel, that Mr. Sipic opposed the evacuation of
14 the Croat civilians on the basis that there was no need for them to
15 depart and that he could ensure their safety.
16 A. That's correct. But in the end, he gave in and he agreed with a
17 safe evacuation of the people.
18 Q. And then those civilians were taken to Nova Bila.
19 A. Yes. First we had to organise the transport, of course. The
20 British Battalion took care of that, with a large number of Warriors,
21 armoured vehicles, some small armoured vehicles, and some trucks. We
22 escorted them along the mountain road. We were stopped on that road, had
23 to do some negotiations again, and finally brought the people to Nova
24 Bila and to -- I'm not sure what the town is called. I think Bila on the
25 main road, parallel to the Lasva River.
1 Q. Now, Colonel, can you confirm that after spending two days, not
2 full-time but two days in a row you were in Guca Gora, that other than
3 for the fact that maybe you know which unit Mr. Sipic belonged to, you do
4 not know which units were on the parting in the area in Guca Gora?
5 A. I did not see any fighting or soldiers in Guca Gora. The only,
6 let's say, soldiers on duty we encountered was at several checkpoints
7 close to Mosor, where at that time there was still fighting going on.
8 Q. And in the two days you were in Guca Gora, you never saw anyone
9 that you could describe as being a Mujahedin, did you?
10 A. No, I did not.
11 Q. I would like to refer you to the bundle of documents which was
12 provided to you, simply to look at a picture that we have in there. And
13 I would like you to -- this is the fifth document in the bundle that was
14 provided to you.
15 Do you recognise, Colonel, this picture?
16 A. I do, yes. I have the original with me. It's my picture.
17 Q. You have the original with you?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. Would you mind using the original and to put it on the ELMO,
21 Can you describe, Colonel, this picture for the benefit of the
22 Trial Chamber.
23 A. What you see here is the monastery in Guca Gora with two British
24 armoured vehicles in front of it and three British soldiers standing at
25 the back of one of the Warrior vehicles. This picture was, as I recall,
1 taken by myself with my own camera on the 8th of June.
2 Q. Now, I don't know if it's the quality of the picture, but is it
3 possible for the usher maybe to play around with the lighting, just
4 because there appears to be some -- do you see, Colonel, this, like, kind
5 of shaded area on the picture itself? Is that a true picture, or is this
6 something -- is this just the sun?
7 A. I think it's only the shining of the light on the ELMO. The
8 picture itself is quite clear.
9 Q. And last night when you showed me this picture, Colonel, you
10 indicated to me that -- I'm not sure if it's this specific picture, but
11 you could see from the distance Bandol and the smoke coming out of
13 A. That's the second picture, but I must point out that the name of
14 this representative of UNHCR is written underneath this picture.
15 Q. Underneath it?
16 A. So if you don't want show this name then you have to cover it.
17 Q. Underneath, like below?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. BOURGON: Can I ask the usher to show this picture but to
20 hide the names that on this second picture.
21 Q. Can you indicate, Colonel, what this picture is and when it was
23 A. This was taken the same day and shows the same vehicle that was
24 in the previous picture, the same Warrior vehicle. Now from the other
25 side we are looking southwards towards the mountains in the direction of
1 the Lasva Valley. And what I make of this is smoke in the background on
2 the horizon. And if you look at the map, you can make out that this must
3 be smoke coming from houses of Bandol. Standing from the back of the
4 vehicle is the liaison officer, without the helmet; there is this UNHCR
5 representative from the back, and there is facing towards me -- I think
6 it was the battalion second-in-command or maybe the company commander.
7 Q. Could you indicate with a pointer, Colonel, where you see the
8 smoke on the picture, because the picture might not be very clear.
9 A. This is a pile of smoke. This is a pile of smoke. And this is
10 some smoke over there.
11 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, regarding these two
12 photographs, we would like to tender them into evidence. However, the
13 witness wants to keep the photos, so we would like to take the photos to
14 photocopy them and to tender photocopies into evidence at that stage.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, do you have any
16 objections to the photos that the witness took himself and has recognised
17 as his own?
18 MR. MUNDIS: No, Mr. President, nor do we have any objection to
19 photocopies being substituted for the original photos so that the witness
20 can maintain his own originals.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're going to give us the
23 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
24 I am looking at the time. I still need a couple minutes and --
25 ten minutes, and after the break I'm going to finish, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to make a break.
2 It is half past 12.00. And we are going to resume at five to 1.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, you may take the
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Colonel, I just have a few more questions for you. And to begin,
9 I would like to turn to your testimony in the Blaskic case and ask you
10 whether you confirm some of the answers you provided on that occasion.
11 My first question deals with the fact that the HVO and the
12 political entities of the Bosnian Croat side used propaganda to incite
13 fear in the minds of Croats who were residing in areas held by Bosnian
14 Muslims and that that resulted in a large movement of Croat civilians
15 from those areas. And the question which was put to you in reference to
16 these facts was: "Could you explain to the Judges your views on that
17 question and can you also cite some examples." And your response was
18 initially that "The HVO used propaganda using radio and television, both
19 HDZ and also HVO." Can you confirm this?
20 A. Yes, I can.
21 Q. Now, with respect to the propaganda, there was one event where it
22 was indicated that in Zenica there had been a number of Croats killed and
23 that this proved out to be totally unfounded. Can you recall these
25 A. Yes, I can.
1 Q. And if I mention to you this quote here that comes from your
2 response, where you mention: "On the radio, on the Croatian radio it was
3 stated and explained that a large group of Croatians had been killed in
4 Zenica and that therefore these people could not return and be safe in
5 their homes. The radio also stated that it would no longer be safe for
6 these people to go to Nova Bila and to Vitez." And you add: "That's not
7 correct. It would be safer for them to go to Nova Bila and to Vitez."
8 Would you agree with me that the radio, the HVO -- sorry, the
9 Croatian radio, what the radio was actually saying is it would be safer
10 for the refugees not to return to their homes in Muslim-held territory
11 but to go to HVO-held territory?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. With respect to Guca Gora, a question was asked to you in terms
14 of -- and I quote the question:
15 "Can you tell the Judges the exact nature of the propaganda that
16 you were aware of that attempted to get the Croat population from
17 returning from their homes?"
18 And basically your answer was:
19 "It was explained to me that the propaganda consisted of stating
20 that a large number of Croatians or Croats, rather, had been
21 assassinated. This was in the Zenica region. The propaganda stated that
22 a large number of houses had been burned. It also stated that other
23 houses had been looted and that the Mujahedin had the intention to
24 exterminate the remaining Croats."
25 And a question that was put to you was:
1 "Based on the result of your investigation, that was grossly
3 Is that correct?
4 A. That's correct, yes.
5 Q. I'd like to move on, Colonel, to -- again to the bundle of
6 documents which was given to you and to document number 2 in this bundle.
7 Can you confirm that this is a document which is dated 1 June of 1993 and
8 that this is a report that was prepared by yourself, Mr. Watkins, and
9 Mr. Kinigopoulos?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. I refer you to the first paragraph of this document talking about
12 the situation in Travnik. Can you recall the incident whereby the
13 commander of the Operational Group Bosanska Krajina was in fact arrested
14 and stopped and robbed by HVO elements?
15 A. I do recall that. Although I was not present myself, I do recall
16 the incidents, since we met Mr. Alagic later on that evening, when he
17 complained about it and when he asked us to negotiate in taking measures
18 for this.
19 Q. And would you agree with me, Colonel, that an incident like this,
20 where the commander of an operational group, which is somewhat like a
21 division in your language, is a very significant event that can really
22 lead to disastrous consequences?
23 A. That's correct, yes.
24 Q. I now refer you to the document labeled as number 3 in the
25 bundle. Can you confirm that the first page of this document is dated
1 8 June 1993?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. And that the author of this document appears to be Jean-Pierre
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And you know Jean-Pierre Thebault as being Ambassador Thebault,
7 the head of RC Zenica.
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Can you by looking at the next two pages confirm that the next
10 two pages are actually your report, drafted on the 8th of June, along
11 with Mr. Watkins?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Now, if I just refer you to the first page. Do you recall
14 Ambassador Thebault putting this cover page on your report?
15 A. I don't recall the act, but I know that he did, since I have the
16 originals in my possession.
17 Q. And if I refer you to the second paragraph, where it says: "If
18 the BH -- BiH army attack is clear, it seems also to be now clear that
19 the allegations of atrocities or ethnic cleansing made by the Bosnian
20 Croats are intentionally exaggerated when not completely false. It is
21 not the less disturbing that what is presented as the reactions of a
22 panicked population was announced three days ago by the HVO officials of
23 Travnik." Is that information that you can recall, in terms of the
24 existence of this information?
25 A. Yes, I can. And I know that Mr. Thebault wrote this, addressing
1 the headquarters in -- in Zagreb, and he explained this, let's say,
2 introduction letter on the basis of information that he got from
3 Mr. Watkins and from me myself.
4 Q. I now refer you to the fourth document under -- that was provided
5 to you. Can you please confirm, Colonel, that this document dated
6 19th of June of 1993, labeled as a "Follow-up report on the Travnik
7 situation" follows the same pattern where there is a cover letter drafted
8 by Ambassador Thebault followed by a special report dated 8 June -- oh,
9 sorry, this is the same one -- 19 June. Sorry, 19 June. Yes, the 19th
10 of June. And then -- which of course includes your report 8 June once
12 A. That's correct. It's not exactly the same, this attachment,
13 since in the first attachment Watkins and me have signed and in the
14 second attachment it's Watkins and Junhov.
15 Q. Yes. Also dated the 8th of June.
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
18 I'd like you to answer a few questions with respect to
19 Mr. Alagic. In terms of -- you can confirm that in your view Mr. Alagic
20 was both a professional officer who was respected by his soldiers but he
21 was also a very proud but very fair. Would you agree with this
23 A. I do, yes.
24 Q. Would you agree with me that General Alagic always was
25 accessible, tried to be helpful in providing you with the necessary
1 authorisation, and that at no time you never had the impression that he
2 was hiding anything from you?
3 A. He was very accessible to me. I cannot state that he was always
4 accessible, but to me he was. Sometimes I had to wait for 15 minutes,
5 maybe once half an hour, if he was very busy. But he never sent us or my
6 fellow monitors away without addressing us personally, and he showed his
7 willingness in even going on the ground himself with us, accompanying us.
8 And he also accepted suggestions made by the ECMM to escort people from
9 one location to the other or to give freedom of movement to certain
10 numbers of people.
11 Q. I'd like to refer you, Colonel, to one specific example which you
12 said in the Blaskic trial, and I'd like you to confirm whether this is
13 still your views today. And it says here: "I remember that once after
14 the incident in Guca Gora, that we had to go and visit General Alagic and
15 report these accusations, saying that in the Guca Gora church several
16 weeks before, certain sacred objects had been damaged." And you go on to
17 say that "General Alagic was impressed by the accusations. He apologised
18 immediately and said to us immediately that he would have this kind of
19 activity stopped immediately and that he would attempt to track down the
20 guilty parties in order to punish them."
21 A. I recall that. It was somewhere in the second part of June, I
23 Q. And a question was also put to you in the same context in terms
24 of comparing the degree of damage done to Catholic religious sites in
25 Muslim-held territory versus the amount of damage done to Muslim
1 religious sites in HVO-held territory. Would you confirm this response
2 as still being your views today:
3 "The Catholic objects were practically never damaged. I saw one
4 minor example in a Catholic church near Busovaca. There was a little bit
5 of damage to the church. I saw many examples of mosques, minarets,
6 including others in Ahmici, where the mosque and minaret had been
7 completely destroyed. This also happened in other places. The ratio
8 between the damage to Catholic buildings as opposed to Muslim buildings
9 was something really that one cannot say was even comparable."
10 Do you recall this answer?
11 A. I recall it, and that was my experience at that time, yes.
12 Q. If I indicate to you that -- or suggest to you that in fact - and
13 you may not be aware of this information - but if I suggest to you that
14 General Alagic did in fact take numerous disciplinary measures and
15 initiated numerous criminal reports, would that be of surprise to you,
16 knowing the man?
17 A. No. Numerous sounds a bit too general to me, but I accept that
18 he -- and I would expect from him that he would take measures, yes.
19 Q. Maybe if I make my question more precise. I'm not saying there
20 was. I'm saying if there were, would that be consistent with what you
21 have seen from General Alagic?
22 A. It would be consistent, yes.
23 Q. If I move on to Mr. Merdan. You mentioned that he was a senior
24 figure within the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that you dealt
25 regularly with him because of his role in the Busovaca Joint Commission.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You said that he was professional, easy-going, and that he was
3 able to arrange free passage.
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Now, on one specific occasion on the 19th of May, you attended a
6 meeting that is reported in your statement, where you say that "during
7 the meeting Merdan told his commanders not to blame lapses on third
8 parties or uncontrollable elements and to take responsibility for their
9 actions." Do you recall this specific moment of that meeting?
10 A. Yes, I do. It was a meeting in -- I think in Han Bila where a
11 brigade and some battalion commanders of the local military units were
12 together in the joint commission, and we had met a few days before. We
13 made agreements, and Merdan quite clearly told them that they should be
14 effective and they should live up to those agreements and make it
15 possible for both the commanders themselves and for the commission to do
16 their work.
17 Q. And did Mr. Merdan on this specific occasion appear to you to be
18 sincere and true or something else?
19 A. He appeared to be sincere and true, yes.
20 Q. And in your own understanding of what he was saying, was he
21 referring to 3rd Corps policy and Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina policy?
22 A. I'm not sure about that, but he was present in the meeting before
23 and he was present when we made those arrangements, and he was a deputy
24 commander with enough authority to, I'd say, sign up officially for those
25 agreements, so he could order his subordinates to follow up these
1 agreements. So he was in the position to make comments on it.
2 Q. And, Colonel, you may not be aware of this, but once again, if I
3 suggest to you that within the 3rd Corps headquarters numerous
4 disciplinary measures were taken and numerous criminal reports were
5 filed -- again, you may not know this. But if that is the case, would
6 that be consistent with your knowledge and your perception of Mr. Merdan
7 and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole?
8 A. It would be consistent with my knowledge of Mr. Merdan, yes.
9 Q. Last question, Colonel: Would you agree with me that when
10 looking at the HVO, that they were better looking, they had better
11 uniforms, they had better equipment, but that they had also much more
12 problems with them, especially at checkpoints?
13 A. "Better looking" sounds a bit strange for soldiers. I mean, as
14 soldiers with their outfit, in that that sense, it was better military
16 It's hard to give a general conclusion about problems at
17 checkpoints. There were various checkpoints, really numerous
18 checkpoints, and some of them never gave us problems; some others
19 sometimes did when there was fighting going on. And there were other
20 checkpoints where we always had problems. I think problems at HVO
21 checkpoints occurred more than at Armija BiH checkpoints, in general.
22 Q. Now, having spent three months in Central Bosnia, can you attest
23 to the difficult situation in which the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
24 placed in, looking at, first, the extensive front line with the Serbs
25 that they have to man? Or did you witness this?
1 A. Can you explain the word "attest"?
2 Q. Could you -- well, simply confirm that they had a very long front
3 line to man against the Serbs?
4 A. There was a very large front line, but it was not only the Armija
5 BiH side. As I experienced it or as they explained it to me, it was a
6 mutual arrangement between HVO units and Armija BiH units fighting side
7 by side opposing the Serb army, the Bosnian Serb army.
8 Q. And are you aware, Colonel, that towards the early June, the HVO
9 literally walked out from the front line, leaving all of the
10 responsibility to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 A. I saw and heard reports of that by the British forces, and I
12 heard statements from Mr. Alagic himself about this.
13 Q. And that this would create necessarily big problems for any
14 commander involved with such a situation.
15 A. Yes, it did.
16 Q. You were also aware, Colonel, about the difficulty of roads being
17 blocked and that, as a matter of fact, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 being sort of in a siege, in terms of being limited to Central Bosnia.
19 A. If you take a very wide perspective, yes, they were encircled in
20 Bosnia. And I see the need for free lines of communications from a
21 military perspective.
22 Q. And in a shorter scale, you can also confirm that Zenica was
23 regularly the object of shelling.
24 A. That's correct. I experienced that myself several times, yes.
25 Q. And that the shelling can really disrupt the activity that is
1 going on in Zenica, whether it be civilian, commercial, or military.
2 A. It could, but it was not on a regular basis. Sometimes three
3 shells fell in a few minutes and sometimes several days there was no
4 shelling at all. So I do not agree that it will stop all public and
5 military life. Life has to go on, and especially military life has to go
6 on, so you won't be stopped by incidentally shelling or whatever.
7 Q. But you would agree that it is a factor that disrupts the
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, my colleague referred a question to you concerning the tempo
11 of operations. I would simply try to put an image for the Judges. Can
12 you confirm that you yourself, not being part of one of the warring
13 factions, not having to face an enemy that could kill you, and being
14 there only for three months, without having your family there being
15 endangered by the shelling, that you had not one minute to spare during
16 the three months that you were there?
17 A. I took some minutes to spare, but it was a very busy time and I
18 had to deal with eight, up to ten different commanders altogether -- with
19 my fellow monitors, of course. I didn't do the work all by myself. But
20 I must say I also -- and with me and the other monitors we had to drive
21 to be as effective as possible -- to drive to use every minute we had and
22 not to take a break, although I had a few days' break on the coastline.
23 So this busyness was also due to the drive we had to solve problems.
24 Q. Can you confirm, as a last question, Colonel, that tempo of
25 operations is one thing, but that the activities you were involved in
1 were non-stop and that when there is operations at a high tempo your
2 activities may change, but even when the tempo of operations diminishes,
3 there were other types of activities for you to do and when you were
4 every day busy, it was hectic times and we're talking 20 hours a day?
5 A. That's right, yes.
6 Q. And that this went on for all your colleagues at ECMM?
7 A. I guess it should. But I don't think everyone was as motivated,
8 so you should take it individually. The majority of the monitors were
9 very, very, very busy, and some others were not that busy.
10 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. I have no further questions.
11 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] This concludes the
12 cross-examination on behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic. Thank you,
13 Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the documents are
15 concerned, what are you requesting? With regard to number 2, 3, and 4,
16 what is your position?
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'd
18 like to tender documents 2, 3, 4, and 5 into evidence. And with the
19 assistance of the registrar, we now have a colour copy of the two
20 photographs presented by the witness.
21 So, Mr. President, I would like documents 2, 3, 4, and 5 to be
22 given an exhibit number.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness should write down
24 his name on the photographs.
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I'll ask the
1 usher to give these documents to the witness so that he can do that.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 Mr. Mundis.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 The Prosecution has no objection to these three documents and two
6 photographs being admitted into evidence.
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like to
8 point out that we have a French translation of document 2; we have a full
9 translation of this document -- I apologise, we have a full translation
10 for document number 3 and we have a partial French translation of
11 document number 4. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have
13 exhibit numbers for these documents.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the ECMM daily summary report dated
15 1st of June, 1993 gets the exhibit number DH184, and its French
16 translation gets the exhibit number DH184/F.
17 The ECMM special report on Travnik dated 8th of June, 1993 gets
18 the exhibit number DH185, and its French translation gets the exhibit
19 number DH185/F.
20 The ECMM report dated 19th of June, 1993 gets the exhibit number
21 DH186, and its French translation gets the exhibit number DH186/F.
22 The set of two photographs of Guca Gora gets the exhibit number
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the document dated
1 the 1st of June -- 184, doesn't -- we don't have a French version for it.
2 Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon, will you take the
4 floor or will your colleague do so? As you wish.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Dixon:
6 Q. Colonel Morsink, if I could refer you, first of all, to a meeting
7 that you were taken to by my learned friend Mr. Bourgon on the 28th of
8 May, 1993, where you were present and you said that at this meeting,
9 which was a joint SDA/HDZ presidency meeting in Travnik on the 28th of
10 May, 1993, that the mayor of Travnik stated that the 7th Brigade and the
11 17th Krajina Brigade were fully under control. Do you recall that?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Do you also recall, as it's something which is stated in your
14 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor, that present at the meeting
15 was General Alagic, who was then the commander of the OGBK, which was
16 part of the 3rd Corps?
17 A. Yes, I recall that.
18 Q. And do you also recall that present at the meeting was the Chief
19 of Staff of the Bosnian army, General Sefer Halilovic?
20 A. Yes. That's in my notes.
21 Q. So not only were there civilian leaders present at the meeting
22 with you there were also military leaders present, including leaders from
23 the 3rd Corps.
24 A. That's correct, yes.
25 Q. Turning to the 7th Brigade in particular. It is correct, is it
1 not, that Zenica was not within your area of responsibility; it was
2 outside of your area that you took responsibility for?
3 A. It's hard to state it that way, because my area of responsibility
4 changed now and then, but my main area of responsibility lied in Vitez,
5 Busovaca, Kiseljak, and Travnik. Occasionally I went to Tarcin, I went
6 to Grahovcici, and I went to Bugojno once.
7 Q. And those places and towns that you've mentioned now, they would
8 have been the focus of your work and what you took responsibility for; is
9 that right?
10 A. That's correct, yes.
11 Q. So it would be correct, would it not, that you had no reason to
12 and indeed you did not yourself verify or seek to check out any of the
13 allegations that were made about the 7th Brigade, which you said to us
14 today were told to you by other people?
15 A. That's correct. Normally allegations made concerning another
16 area of responsibility were reported either in the evening briefing
17 sessions in the ECMM or they were mentioned in a daily report and then
18 the staff of the ECMM used to appoint another monitor or a team of
19 monitors to check on it, or the other party - for instance, the HVO or
20 the Armija BiH - checked on it and then reported in the next meeting.
21 Q. Thank you. So in respect to the matters that were mentioned
22 about the 7th Brigade, it was not your responsibility to follow any of
23 those matters up that you heard about. Those were the responsibility of
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And likewise, you therefore had no reason and you did not at any
2 stage visit the 7th Brigade headquarters or barracks that were situated
3 in Zenica.
4 A. That's correct. I did not visit them.
5 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
6 MR. DIXON: I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, any re-examination?
8 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I have just a couple of questions for
9 the witness, if I may.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Mundis:
11 Q. Colonel Morsink, my learned colleague for the Defence asked you
12 about a meeting on the 19th of May, 1993 when Mr. Merdan told his
13 commanders to take responsibility for their actions and not to blame
14 lapses on third parties or uncontrollable elements. You remember that
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Do you know what he was referring to with respect to "third
18 parties or uncontrollable elements"?
19 A. Not that I recall now. I can look it up in the notes to refresh
20 my memory. Maybe that gives more clarity.
21 Q. I'll move on, sir.
22 The Defence also showed you a document from
23 General Hadzihasanovic to General Delic concerning, again, foreign
24 elements in the 3rd Corps AOR. Do you remember seeing that document?
25 A. I remember seeing it here in this court, yes.
1 Q. And you'd told us you'd never seen that document before.
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Do you recall at any of the commission meetings where the subject
4 of foreign fighters was raised by one of the parties?
5 A. Yes. It was raised several times, but maybe in a matter that has
6 to be explained. Sometimes foreign units were mentioned as units not
7 belonging to a certain area of responsibility, for instance, a brigade
8 belonging to the Travnik area assisting forces in the Vitez area, for
9 instance. So that could be a foreign unit. If they were addressing
10 foreign fighters or Mujahedins, that was quite clear that they meant real
11 foreigners, people from another country.
12 Q. Do you recall, sir, at any of those meetings where any commanders
13 or leaders of the 3rd Corps of the ABiH conveyed information to you that
14 was similar to that contained in the letter that the Defence showed you?
15 A. No, I don't recall that. No.
16 Q. Do you recall at any of these meetings where any of the 3rd Corps
17 or its subordinate commands, any of the leaders told you that the foreign
18 fighters or Mujahedin were not under their control?
19 A. No, I don't recall that they ever mentioned the Mujahedins
20 themselves. They mentioned the 7th Muslim Brigade, and in my
21 interpretation I see Mujahedins and the 7th Muslim Brigade as part of one
23 Q. And again, sir, did they ever at any point any leaders of the
24 ABiH 3rd Corps indicate to you that the 7th Muslim Brigade was not under
25 the 3rd Corps' command and control?
1 A. In the beginning, I recall that Mr. Merdan stated that they tried
2 to get control over this brigade and later on he stated that they had
3 full control over it.
4 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, just a brief question
9 from the Judges. To a question put to you by the Defence, you said that
10 the Croatian radio was rife with propaganda. When you -- did you listen
11 to the Croatian radio? How did you know that they broadcast propaganda?
12 A. I did not listen to the radio myself since I don't understand the
13 language. It was told to me by our own interpreters and it was told to
14 me by, amongst others, Father Stipan, a Catholic priest in Zenica, and it
15 was told by representatives in Grahovcici and some other places, where
16 they said that, "We listen to radio broadcasts and in these broadcasts
17 people were advised to go to other areas based on information," and we
18 were able to deny that information and that gave us the belief or the
19 impression that these advices given by the radio were false or not
20 correct or in fact used as propaganda.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interpreter that you had
22 with you, who did the interpreter belong to?
23 A. We had a large number of interpreters related to the ECMM
24 headquarters in Zenica. The two female interpreters I worked with most
25 were both from a Croat Catholic ethnicity, from a Croat Catholic
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was it possible for you to have
3 Muslim interpreters as well?
4 A. Yes, sir. We quite often used Muslim interpreters. Of course,
5 the female interpreters had to take a break now and then. All together I
6 worked regularly with a group of five or six interpreters out of a total
7 number of, I think, ten interpreters.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
9 I am going to ask my fellow Judges whether there are any more
10 questions from the Bench.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Any more questions from the
13 Defence? If not, Colonel, your examination is about to finish. And as
14 you can see, it didn't last for 20 hours, thanks to the Defence, who made
15 their questions brief and up to the point.
16 Thank you very much for coming to testify. You have answered the
17 questions put to you by the Prosecution, by the Defence, and by the
18 Judges. I wish you a good journey back home and a lot of success in your
19 present position.
20 I'm going to ask Madam Usher to accompany you out of the
21 courtroom. Thank you very much.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we please go
24 into private session. There's something that I need to address in
25 private session.
1 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Benjamin has not come
13 back. I hope she's not lost to this Tribunal.
14 Can you please advise us of the schedule for tomorrow and then
15 I'm going to give the floor to the Defence.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I share your hope that Mrs. Benjamin
17 is not lost.
18 The witness that is on the schedule as previously provided to The
19 Chamber and to the Defence will in fact be available to testify tomorrow.
20 There are no additional changes to the schedule for this week, as set
21 forth in the letter of last Friday.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
24 I believe that Mr. Bourgon was on his feet. Do you want to
25 intervene at this point, Mr. Bourgon? No.
1 In that case, there are no issues to raise. I would like to
2 thank everybody and I invite all of you to come back tomorrow at 9.00.
3 Thank you very much.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.40 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day of
6 May, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.