Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 17752

1 Wednesday, 23 March 2005

2 [Open session]

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

4 [The accused entered court]

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

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case

8 number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir

9 Kubura.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

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

12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your

13 Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the

14 Prosecution, Stefan Waespi and Daryl Mundis, assisted by Andres Vatter,

15 our case manager.

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

17 appearances for Defence counsel. They've changed their places.

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

19 day, Your Honours. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic,

20 lead counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, our

21 legal assistant. Thank you.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances

23 for the other Defence team, please.

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

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

Page 17753

1 Mulalic, our legal assistant.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On this 201st day of the

3 hearings, I'd like to greet everyone present: The Prosecution, Defence

4 counsel, the accused, and everyone else in the courtroom. Before we call

5 the witness into the courtroom, the witness who has been waiting for 48

6 hours now, I would like to point out that the Chamber discussed the motion

7 this morning of the Prosecution -- the Prosecution's motion to reopen its

8 case and to have 50 new documents tendered into evidence.

9 The Chamber, after having deliberated and having taken into

10 consideration the Defence's concerns, is of the opinion - and this is just

11 the Chamber's opinion - that it would not be opportune to file a motion

12 for reopening the case and for admitting the documents into evidence. We

13 don't think that the motion should have these two aspects. We think that

14 there should be one single motion for reopening the case and then

15 subsequently a second motion in the case of a positive decision for the

16 documents. However, the Chamber will not issue any orders with regard to

17 the form and the contents of the motion. It is for the Prosecution to

18 file the motion that they deem appropriate. That is what we are in a

19 position to say at this point in time with regard to the motion in

20 question.

21 There's another issue that concerns the dates. This motion could

22 be filed as of the 23rd of May, which is -- will be the end of the Defence

23 case for Mr. Kubura. However, if the 23rd of May is set as the date,

24 there might be certain delays that concern the Defence's -- because of the

25 Defence's response to the motion, and all this might take some time.

Page 17754

1 We invite the Prosecution to examine the issue with the Defence

2 and to see whether it might be best if this motion were filed immediately

3 at the end of the presentation of the Defence case for General

4 Hadzihasanovic in order to allow for submissions to be made -- written

5 submissions to be made. We invite the Prosecution to consider the matter

6 together with the Defence because we believe the 23rd of May might be a

7 problematic date.

8 Mr. Mundis.

9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll be very brief in

10 order to continue with the witness.

11 If I wasn't clear yesterday, Mr. President - and we have

12 discussed this with the Defence and also in our earlier informal meeting

13 with the Chamber's legal officer - our intention, Mr. President, is

14 certainly to endeavour to file our motion prior to the close of the

15 Hadzihasanovic Defence case. That may or may not be possible due to a

16 number of other factors, including how we're proceeding with respect to

17 that, but we certainly -- if we can't file by the conclusion of the

18 Hadzihasanovic case, were intending on filing immediately before the

19 commencement of the Kubura case. Perhaps if there were to be a week

20 adjournment, we could finalise that motion. Our intention indicating the

21 date of the 23rd would be that would be perhaps an -- an opportune moment

22 for us to physically stand up, tender the documents into evidence, and

23 re-close our case in the event the Chamber allowed us to do that.

24 We also discussed with our learned colleagues the possibility

25 that if -- if we did file as early as possible and the Defence then

Page 17755

1 responded and the Chamber rendered a decision, again perhaps allowing us

2 to reopen, that would then afford the Defence an opportunity to take a

3 position with respect to whether they needed additional time in order to

4 perhaps reopen part of their case to -- to respond to what we have

5 reopened our case on. All the parties, Mr. President, are - I believe -

6 in agreement that -- that this process by which we seek to -- leave to

7 reopen our case should not unduly delay the proceedings in any way

8 whatsoever, which is why we are seeking to finalise our submissions on

9 this as quickly as possible, so that the issue can hopefully be resolved

10 during the course of the Kubura Defence case so that we could smoothly, if

11 we are allowed to reopen -- smoothly move on to that immediately upon the

12 completion of the Kubura case so that we don't have any gaps or any undue

13 delays.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think this would be -- or we

15 believe that this procedure would be the most appropriate.

16 Could Defence counsel confirm that there are no objections?

17 [Defence counsel confer]

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Bourgon.

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

20 day, Madam Judge. Good day, Your Honour.

21 Defence counsel fully agrees with the approach that the

22 Prosecution has suggested, and as of the time that the motion is filed,

23 we'll try to respond as quickly as possible. Perhaps within two day, 48

24 hours.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your cooperation,

Page 17756

1 Mr. Bourgon.

2 Mr. Dixon.

3 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honour. There's no objection from

4 our side as to that procedure as outlined by Mr. Mundis. Thank you.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That solves that

6 matter.

7 We'll now call the witness into the courtroom. And as you have

8 requested, the Judges will approach the model as soon as you believe that

9 this is necessary and useful. The trip will only be a trip that will take

10 us a few metres from here.

11 [The witness entered court]

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, General. I'd like to

13 make sure that the equipment is working.

14 Very well. I'll now give the floor to Mr. Bourgon, who will

15 continue with his examination-in-chief.

16 Mr. Bourgon.

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

18 WITNESS: Vahid Karavelic [Resumed]

19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 Examined by Mr. Bourgon: [Continued]

21 Q. Good afternoon, General. Welcome back. We will continue your

22 examination-in-chief concerning your expert report, and I would -- I will

23 begin immediately with question 2 in your statement; however, I would like

24 to ask you that -- because I've read the transcript from the first part --

25 from our first day together, and if at all possible - and I don't want to

Page 17757

1 stop you from saying everything that you would like to say - but if at all

2 possible, I would ask that you try and shorten your answers. But then

3 again, I don't want to stop you from saying things that you would like to

4 say. Do you understand this procedure?

5 A. [No audible response]

6 Q. Thank you, General.

7 I begin with question 2, which was provided to you in order to

8 prepare your expert opinion. In this question, you describe the situation

9 in which a senior officer of the Yugoslav National Army assigned to

10 command an army corps in the JNA would find himself before 1990. My first

11 question relates to paragraph 66 of your report, and I would like you to

12 look at paragraph 66 of the report.

13 A. My briefcase is locked. I apologise. I can't see without my

14 glasses, and my briefcase is locked.

15 It's fine now.

16 Which paragraph?

17 Q. 66. Now, my question is as follows: What you were asked to

18 respond to was the situation of a new army commander at the corps level

19 before 1990, one-nine-nine-zero.

20 Now, I see at paragraph 66 that you mention that in 1987 there

21 were significant reductions of the Territorial Defence, and I also note

22 that in paragraph 86 of your report you mention changes which took place

23 in the JNA in 1988. Now, my question is very short. I would just like to

24 know in what year did the changes to the JNA begin taking place.

25 A. The changes in the JNA started soon after the death of

Page 17758

1 President Tito, as far as certain minor issues are concerned. But more

2 significant changes in the JNA started after 1985, and there were radical

3 changes in 1987 or, rather, in 1990 and in 1992.

4 How were these changes manifest? First of all, I must

5 immediately emphasise the fact that the JNA was a constituent part of the

6 Armed Forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was one

7 of the parts of the armed forces together with another constituent part

8 called the Territorial Defence. These two bodies formed the armed forces.

9 The JNA was organised in one way, and the Territorial Defence was

10 organised in a completely different way. Both organisations complemented

11 each other, in terms of the way they functioned in many fields, and they

12 functioned within a certain chain of command and control, and the main

13 objective was the defence of the Socialist Federative Republic of

14 Yugoslavia. They carried out their activities within the system of All

15 People's Defence. The system called All People's Defence and Social

16 Protection. In 1987, up until that time the JNA was organised into six

17 military districts. Roughly speaking, all -- or many, not to say all the

18 military areas, fully overlapped with the territory of the -- the

19 then-Socialist Republics in Yugoslavia.

20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... now, General, most of these

21 changes are described in your report. What I would like to know precisely

22 is whether there is a link between the changes which took place between

23 1987 and the aggression, which took place in Bosnia in April 1992.

24 A. I'll try to focus on that period. In 1987, the JNA was

25 reorganised. In the military areas -- in the six military areas, there

Page 17759

1 were changes and a new organisational structure was introduced, and three

2 military areas were organised, composed of corps; whereas, previously the

3 military areas had divisions.

4 What was at stake? The following was at stake: There was a

5 desire to eliminate the military areas that more or less covered the

6 territory of the socialist republics at the time by forming three military

7 areas, the first military area in Belgrade, the second in Skopje, and the

8 third one in Zagreb. In order to ensure that the zone of responsibility

9 of those military areas overlapped with at least two or three territories

10 of the republics; that is to say, of regions. The reason was that the

11 commands of various military areas might have fall under the political

12 influence of the republican leaderships, and that would have certainly had

13 an adverse effect on the ideas that the Belgrade regime headed by Slobodan

14 Milosevic had at the time.

15 By organising these military areas, at the same time a process of

16 reducing the Territorial Defence commenced, which was the second component

17 of the Armed Forces of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.

18 How was this reflected? It was reflected in the following

19 manner: In fact, the Territorial Defence, in terms of mass defence

20 against an aggressor, was the most numerous force. So they attempted to

21 reduce the forces, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They attempted

22 to reduce the number of men within the Territorial Defence and the number

23 of units from the lowest-level units to the highest-level units. It

24 constituted the Territorial Defence.

25 In my report, I provided precise information on the numbers of

Page 17760












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Page 17761

1 men and on the numbers of units. Among other things, I provided certain

2 examples, in particular an example in Travnik, where in the last three or

3 four years, just before the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there

4 was a drastic reduction in the number of men in the Territorial Defence

5 and in the number of units, and an attempt was even made to reduce the

6 force by over 50 per cent.

7 The other reason for which the TO was reduced is as follows:

8 Contrary to the JNA as a constituent part of the forces commanded by the

9 Supreme Command in Belgrade through other subjects within the chain of

10 command -- well, contrary to this system, the Territorial Defence

11 functioned in a different way. In terms of its organisation, the

12 Territorial Defence of republics and regions weren't organised at a level

13 above republics or regions. The highest level of organisation was the

14 Republican Staff of the Territorial Defence in republics as well as in

15 regions. However, in the chain of command, in the case of war the

16 Territorial Defences of republics and regions would execute the orders and

17 decisions of the Supreme Command of the Socialist Federative Republic of

18 Yugoslavia from Belgrade, and it is evident that with the last

19 reorganisation of the Armed Forces of the SFRY and the JNA - I've

20 explained this in detail in my report - when this force was reorganised,

21 there were reduces in the TO and in the chain of command in the

22 Territorial Defence in republics and regions.

23 The Republican Territorial Defence and the Regional Territorial

24 Defence were placed under that direct command of military areas by order

25 from Belgrade, and the District Staffs in republics and regions and

Page 17762

1 lower-level TO organisations were placed under the command of lower JNA

2 bodies, in military areas, under corps command, brigade command, et

3 cetera. By virtue of this -- by doing this, Belgrade wanted to eliminate

4 the possibility for republican political bodies to exercise their

5 authority in accordance with the Constitution of the SFRY up until that

6 point in time.

7 If you also bear in mind the following fact: That at the same

8 time that the Armed Forces of the SFRY were being reorganised, the TO was

9 being reorganised and it was -- the number of its men were reduced -- if

10 you add to this fact the fact that by order from Belgrade Territorial

11 Defences in republics and regions were being totally disarmed - and I was

12 an eyewitness as a member of the JNA of this event at that point in time

13 in Ljubljana, in Slovenia - on that occasion in Bosnia and Herzegovina -

14 and this was not the case in the other republics, in Slovenia, Macedonia

15 and Croatia and Montenegro in particular - it drew the shortest straw

16 because the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, what was then

17 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- if we're talking about

18 the other two elements that formed the Territorial Defence - that was the

19 Bosniak constituent part and the Croatian constituent part of the

20 Territorial Defence of the Socialist Federative Republic of Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina - this body was disarmed 100 per cent.

22 Orders were issued from Belgrade in May 1990, and as a result the

23 JNA used force and took political measures to take all the weapons and

24 ammunition from warehouses and to place them in the locations that suited

25 them, locations in the eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the

Page 17763

1 central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, around Banja Luka and in a wider

2 area.

3 All of this together, if we look at it in the military sense, in

4 my opinion sends the very persuasive message that all this was done in

5 preparation of the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

6 Q. General, I'd like to move on to paragraphs 146 to 167 of your

7 report. In these paragraphs, you describe the situation of a senior

8 officer assuming the role of corps commander, that is, before all of the

9 changes you have just described.

10 In these paragraphs, you mention that such a corps commander

11 could benefit from the principle of All People's Defence and social

12 self-protection. You mentioned that the armed forces were part of a

13 common chain of command from the state level to the smallest unit. You

14 mentioned that there were large quantities of weapons, that weapons and

15 ammunition factories were functioning, that there was a combat resupply

16 system in place. You also cover the existence of a very detailed

17 mobilisation system. You mentioned that there were training plans and

18 contingency plans in place. You say that the corps commander would have

19 been a major general with all the necessary training and all the necessary

20 exercises. You mention that such a major general would have complete

21 information on the structure and the composition of his corps. You talk

22 about the major general receiving a specific role and a mission, that he

23 would be told exactly who his commanding officers were, and that he would

24 receive maximum support from the state, the political, and the military

25 bodies.

Page 17764

1 Now, with all of this, my question to you is the following: With

2 such support, in your opinion, I take it that it must have been easy to be

3 a corps commander at that time.

4 A. To be a commander of an operative unit, that is, a corps, for

5 instance, at the time of the Yugoslav People's Army, meant the following:

6 This corps commander, when the time comes to take over his duties as corps

7 commander, he must have held a wide range of duties from platoon commander

8 upwards to reach the level of the corps commander. To reach that

9 position, he must be of a certain age and he must have the rank that you

10 mentioned.

11 If we compare that with the 3rd Corps, the 3rd Corps commander

12 would have needed another six to eight years, according to the Rules of

13 Service in the JNA, to be appointed to that position in the army.

14 Secondly, when a corps commander is appointed in the JNA, for a

15 long period prior to that appointment he is told that he would be

16 appointed and he engages in preparations for taking over such a highly

17 responsible position. Then sufficient time is given, one month or several

18 months, for the takeover of duty, because it is prescribed that several

19 months are needed for the corps commander to fully take over his duties.

20 It's not sufficient to take your seat at your desk in an office, have a

21 cup of coffee, and sign a piece of paper.

22 What did this takeover of duty mean? It required familiarising

23 oneself with the overall structure of the corps, meeting all the senior

24 officers from the corps command staff to the brigade staff, then

25 familiarising oneself with all the plans, plans of mobilisation and

Page 17765

1 training plans; learning about all the various locations, from the

2 location of personnel to resources and everything else; the line-up of

3 units at the level of brigades, and the introduction of the corps

4 commander to the brigades; his presentation, et cetera, et cetera. When

5 all these things have been done, it is only then that a document is signed

6 whereby a new commander takes over duty from the previous commander.

7 Every corps in the Yugoslav People's Army meant the following:

8 It meant that it had the necessary organisation and structure that had

9 been fully prepared in advance, that the organisation and structure of the

10 corps from the corps command to the lowest-level soldier was up to

11 establishment in strength. Also, the corps commander appointed to that

12 duty has to have the necessary educational background, to have the

13 necessary rank and a certain number of years of experience, and this

14 applied to the lower levels as well, his -- his deputies and all the other

15 senior officers. All of them were appointed in this way, right down to

16 the lowest level, precisely as required by establishment. And the people

17 appointed to those positions had to have the professional qualifications

18 that were required for that position.

19 Furthermore, all the corps units were deployed in various

20 locations, in barracks. All the men were living together. And the

21 location of weapons and ammunition had to be close by to the personnel of

22 all those corps units, and all the legal regulations in force were valid,

23 and even before the corps commander took over his duty, they were being

24 observed. All mobilisation and training plans already are there. The

25 commander just has to familiarise himself with them. And finally, the

Page 17766

1 necessary logistics in the most general sense has been established,

2 because this is an enormous mechanism and as such it is functioning.

3 Once the commander takes over his duty, together with his corps

4 command and all his subordinates in the chain of command, simply has to

5 continue working, controlling, and commanding his units.

6 And my last comment in response to this question: If, shall we

7 say, there would be an external attack against the former Yugoslavia, such

8 a corps commander would have all this available to him, absolutely

9 everything. His duty is to control and command according to the chain of

10 command, and everything else would already be in place, would already be

11 ensured for him. The state would be functioning and the whole defensive

12 system of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would be in the

13 service of that commander. They would provide him everything he needed.

14 And in wartime conditions, needs are extensive.

15 Q. Thank you, General. If I go on with your report, in paragraphs

16 168 to 314 you describe all of the changes which took place in the

17 structure of the armed forces, as well as the initial steps which were

18 taken to defend the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And applying

19 these changes to the situation of General Hadzihasanovic, from your

20 knowledge of the evidence I would like to have your opinion on a few of

21 the issues which you raised.

22 And the first issue is at paragraph 323, where you say that the

23 corps did not exist. Can you briefly say what you mean by the fact that

24 the corps did not exist.

25 A. Because of the enormous political and military antagonisms that

Page 17767

1 developed in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1990, we are

2 more or less familiar with what happened in that period of time,

3 especially with the other republics of the former Yugoslavia.

4 I wish to point out straight away that unlike all the other

5 republics, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as one of those republics, had the most

6 specific position.

7 Q. General, maybe my question is not precise enough. I would just

8 like to know -- you mentioned --

9 A. I'll be short.

10 Q. -- at paragraph 323 that the corps did not exist when he was

11 assigned -- when General Hadzihasanovic was assigned as its commander.

12 What do you mean by "the corps did not exist"?

13 A. I'll try and be brief with -- and leave out the introduction.

14 On the 8th of April, 1992 a new Territorial Defence was

15 established as the defence force or the new internationally recognised

16 State of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

17 During the summer of 1992 -- I touched the matter the day before

18 yesterday when speaking about the situation in Sarajevo, that is, how the

19 initial period of the defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina developed during

20 those first months of aggression against it.

21 As it soon became clear that the system was not functioning - and

22 I think I explained the situation in Sarajevo well - the situation was no

23 better in the area of Central Bosnia and the decision was made to form

24 corps. The decision was made by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia

25 and Herzegovina. When talking about corps, this was just dead letter and

Page 17768

1 paper; that is, the piece of paper where the Presidency said that four

2 corps should be formed but that was rarely available. People scattered

3 all over the area of Central Bosnia, organising themselves on a

4 voluntarily basis to form all kinds of small groups and units who tried in

5 that initial period to organise the defence of their street, their

6 village, and their town.

7 In certain municipalities, there were Municipal Defence Staffs.

8 There was the District Defence Staff in Zenica as well. However, due to

9 the fact that with the beginning of the aggression, that is, in April and

10 onwards, there was a total break-up of the organisation and structure of

11 the Territorial Defence which had existed until then, and as such it could

12 not be put on its feet through any kind of mobilisation documents.

13 Suffice it to say that two-thirds of the total personnel, including the

14 Serb and Croatian population, who were also part of the system, part of

15 the defence, had left. And it was impossible to revive a system if

16 one-third of it is left only. Such a system is considered a total

17 failure, and that is what happened in this case. And when

18 General Hadzihasanovic was assigned the task to form the 3rd Corps in the

19 area of Central Bosnia, he literally had to start from scratch. He had

20 none of the things that I referred to in answer to your previous question

21 which he should have had and which he would have had had he been appointed

22 corps commander in the former JNA.

23 He didn't have organised personnel. He didn't have any plans.

24 He didn't have any officer cadres. I think that he lacked 90 per cent of

25 those things; in some cases, 100 per cent. He had no organised logistics.

Page 17769












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Page 17770

1 All he had was the order to go to Central Bosnia with a couple of men to

2 somehow find his way to organise and form the 3rd Corps, and his prime

3 task was to defend the country and liberate territory.

4 Q. Thank you, General. At paragraph 324 of your report, you go over

5 the fact that there was no existing corps command which would have allowed

6 General Hadzihasanovic to benefit from the experience of qualified

7 personnel. You also underscore the fact that only 3 per cent of the

8 Territorial Defence were professional officers coming from the JNA.

9 Now, I would like to read you a question which was asked to

10 Lieutenant General Roderick Cordy-Simpson from the United Kingdom, and I

11 would ask you to comment on his answer. The question which was asked to

12 General Cordy-Simpson was the following: "What is the advantage for a

13 commander of having a strong headquarters or a command element to perform

14 his duties?" His answer was: "Clearly the need to have a headquarters

15 that reacts quickly in a situation that is as volatile as it was in Bosnia

16 and Herzegovina is absolutely essential, having a headquarters that can

17 operate under such pressure is of paramount importance. I was very lucky.

18 I had a number of officers that I knew well, a number of soldiers that I

19 knew well from my time in the Northern Army Group who I could rely on and

20 trust and they could get the headquarters and implement my orders very

21 quickly. It allowed me to integrate the new members of the staff which

22 came from France, Canada, and Spain; in other words, the contributing

23 nations that were not in the Northern Army Group. I was allowed to get

24 them into the headquarters in a way that they quickly were able to adapt

25 to their new responsibilities; in other words, we were able to plug them

Page 17771

1 into the team rather than everyone coming in from different areas trying

2 to find out who was good, who was weak, and who was better, and who

3 wasn't."

4 Can you comment on this answer from General Cordy-Simpson?

5 A. For any senior military leader, of decisive significance is to

6 have good-quality professional team members, people who are working

7 closely with him and who constitute together with him the corps command.

8 Regardless of the quality of the corps commander, even if he -- if he is

9 the best-possible commander, if he doesn't have a good team in his

10 command, the success of his mission will depend. On the other hand, if

11 you have a good team, one can expect success. And I fully agree with

12 those comments that you have just read.

13 Q. Thank you, General. My next question deals with paragraph 328 of

14 your report, that is, three-two-eight, where you highlight the fact that

15 General Hadzihasanovic when taking over the corps did not have any

16 existing plans or existing contingency plans. How would that affect his

17 work? And can you explain a bit more what would be the impact of such a

18 situation?

19 A. As a soldier, and looking at things after so many years, many

20 steps that I myself took during that same war, I was less fearful in those

21 days. Then now, when I see how complex and the conditions and the

22 circumstances under which we worked, they make me fearful, not because of

23 the consequences but what could have happened without me as a human being

24 and as a commander being able to do anything about it. So under such

25 circumstances, as you have described, it is very difficult to expect any

Page 17772

1 serious success. I know that this sentence is so concrete and exclusive

2 and one may ask: How come then we managed to survive and defend the

3 country? Thanks exclusively to enthusiasm, personal ingenuity and

4 ability, hard work, and the struggle for survival, the survival of one's

5 family and one's own. And that was the motto. So people started from

6 nothing and went on from one day until the next waging the struggle,

7 preparing plans, and getting better and better organised as time passed,

8 until the time when the corps was formed. So it is enough to say that

9 there was no corps before that. So he couldn't have had any plans,

10 mobilisation, training, or use-of-forces plans in that initial period, and

11 this applies to 1992 and most of 1993. Things were done -- run to one

12 side, run to another, prevent the breakthrough of the enemy, try ensure

13 logistics without any real plans, et cetera.

14 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to move on to paragraph 351 of your

15 report, where you conclude as to everything that was missing to allow

16 General Hadzihasanovic to perform his duty and to exercise his command.

17 Now, instead of having you come back on your own conclusion, I

18 would like to ask you to comment on something that was said by

19 General Cordy-Simpson again. Now, the question was: "Could you provide

20 your opinion on the situation in which the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina

21 3rd Corps in Central Bosnia, what situation it was in and especially the

22 challenges faced by its commander due to the situation?"

23 His answer was: "Yes. I mean, they were a new corps of various

24 disparate units facing an enormous challenge. The first challenge, of

25 course, was a major attack from the north by the Serbs, the Bosnian Serbs,

Page 17773

1 all down from Travnik, Turbe, Jajce, and all that area there. The second

2 challenge they faced was that they were, of course, isolated in Central

3 Bosnia. The Serbs had interior lines of communication back to Belgrade to

4 keep - to Serbia - to keep themselves re-supplied. The HVO also had

5 interior lines of communications to keep themselves re-supplied from

6 Croatia with food, people, weapons, et cetera. The 3rd Corps had no such

7 advantages. In fact, they had every disadvantage. They were cut off,

8 food, ammunition. Weapons once used or lost could not be replaced.

9 Therefore, in every way they had a major military disadvantage over the

10 other two factions involved in this conflict. In addition, unlike my

11 headquarters who arrived on the ground trained, people knowing each other,

12 they had no such advantage, having not had a proper corps before." And

13 asked what kind of challenge this would place on the commander of the

14 corps, General Cordy-Simpson went on to say, "I would suggest to you it

15 placed an enormous challenge on him and I -- and one that I certainly

16 would not have liked to have placed on my shoulders."

17 Can you comment on this opinion of General Cordy-Simpson in light

18 of your own conclusion at paragraph 351 of your report.

19 A. Well, I can say that I mostly fully agree with this comment, and

20 the situation was even more complex than the situation described. With

21 regard to the 3rd Corps, reference was made to logistics at one point.

22 Within the entire defence system in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

23 in 1992 and in 1993, instead of the 3rd Corps and/or other corps receiving

24 supplies from the defence system behind which the state was, the 3rd Corps

25 had to do as best it could on its own and had to supply bodies that were

Page 17774

1 supposed to supply the corps.

2 I don't know if this might be the best and most appropriate

3 example, but in 1994 the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina asked me

4 whether we might lose the airport in Sarajevo, whether that was possible.

5 As I had to answer this question very seriously -- I had to take this

6 question very seriously, I answered in simple terms. I said, "Since I

7 know what my corps is like, if I was in Mladic's and Karadzic's position,

8 I'd take it in a few days' time." That scared him, because if that were

9 to happen, that would have been the end of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All he

10 said was, "What can we do?" And I said, "I need quite a lot of

11 anti-armour shells. I need a few anti-armour laser weapons" that were to

12 be placed on Mount Igman, that is above the airport, et cetera. And he

13 said, "Well, I can't help you with that." That shows what the situation

14 was with regard to logistics. That shows how supplies were obtained.

15 Q. Thank you, General. I would now like to show you a few annexes

16 from your report and ask you some questions on these annexes, moving on

17 briefly. And I will start with Annex 56 of your report.

18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you press the

19 third button, "Computer evidence," you'll see the annex on your screen.

20 Q. [In English] Do you see, General, Annex 56 of your screen?

21 A. I do.

22 Q. Did you briefly describe what this is.

23 A. This annex shows the territory --

24 Q. General, if I may, you can use the pencil that is on the table

25 and you may actually draw, if you want -- if you need to indicate some

Page 17775

1 things on this slide, if that is necessary. But I'd like to go quite

2 briefly, because there's quite a number of slides to go through.

3 Thank you. Please proceed.

4 A. This is Bosnia and Herzegovina. The black lines are the borders

5 of the municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the number of

6 municipalities that there were at the time. The colours used in fact show

7 the first organisational order issued by the Presidency of Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina. This order was issued and the order was issued to organise

9 the corps within the army in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

10 Five corps were established and organised in that order. The 1st

11 Corps in Sarajevo -- it had its headquarters in Sarajevo. The 2nd Corps,

12 with its headquarters in Tuzla. The 3rd Corps, with its headquarters in

13 Banja Luka -- or rather, in Zenica. The 4th Corps, with its headquarters

14 in Mostar. And the 5th Corps, with its headquarters in Bihac.

15 The 3rd Corps is depicted in green, and it shows the territory

16 covered by its zone of responsibility in the central part of Bosnia. It

17 shows how far to the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina it extends, in the

18 direction of Croatia, in the direction of the River Sava.

19 I think it's clear enough. It's not necessary to draw anything

20 on this image. That is the first time the corps in the Army of Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina were formed, in August 1993 -- or I apologise, in 1992.

22 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to move now to Annex 59. And if

23 you can explain exactly what is meant by "grouping tasks" that were given

24 to General Hadzihasanovic and what are -- what was your objective in

25 preparing this annex?

Page 17776

1 A. I wanted to use this annex to show the municipalities that were

2 then in the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. They have been

3 listed here: Zenica, Bugojno, Busovaca, and all the other municipalities,

4 Donji Vakuf, Gornji Vakuf, Novi Travnik, Vitez, Travnik, Zavidovici,

5 Zepce, Jajce, and then Breza, Ilijas, Vares, Fojnica, Kresevo, Kiseljak,

6 Hadzici, Visoko, Maglaj.

7 In the middle, where it says "municipalities," you have the

8 municipalities listed that at the time weren't under the control of the

9 3rd Corps.

10 What did I want to show by using this annex? I wanted to show -

11 and I have done so - that -- I wanted to show what was essential in all

12 the municipalities. I wanted to show which units had to be established on

13 the basis of the first idea -- the initial idea for structuring these

14 forces. All the men had to be visited, controlled. You had to deploy

15 them in certain areas. You had to regulate matters by issuing plans and

16 tasks. They all had to be placed under someone's command, within an

17 organisational entity called the 3rd Corps of the ABiH.

18 Q. General, if you would like to use the electronic pencil, there

19 are three buttons, and you can use three colours: Red, green, and blue,

20 which are at the top of your screen.

21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, for the sake of

22 everyone present in the courtroom, I'd like to point out that we have an

23 English version for all of the annexes which was distributed with the

24 report.

25 Q. [In English] Annex 61. If you can describe what Annex 61 was and

Page 17777

1 what you wanted to show with this annex.

2 A. I wanted to use this annex to show how the 3rd Corps was

3 initially to be structured, and it indicates the order issued by the

4 Supreme Command Staff and the date of the order when this structure was to

5 be established.

6 Colours have been used to indicate certain units. For example,

7 units of various kind have been indicated, and this colour shows that all

8 mechanised brigades are concerned.

9 This colour is used for mountain brigades. This colour is used

10 for motorised brigades, et cetera. And it shows the organisational

11 structure initially planned for the 3rd Corps of the ABiH.

12 The first two rows consist of brigades. In this row, in these

13 rectangles, you have the logistic bases. Then you have the Military

14 Police Battalion, anti-aircraft unit, an independent unit for

15 anti-sabotage action, a centre for training recruits, and a Municipal

16 Defence Staff in Zenica.

17 And the last row, in green shows units attached to the staff.

18 For example, an engineering company, a communications company, and a

19 company for electronic jamming.

20 Q. Thank you, General. Now, you mentioned that this is the plan as

21 of November 1992. How would you qualify this plan as of that date based

22 on the reality? Was it possible? Was it a dream? Or was it impossible?

23 What is your opinion on this?

24 A. At that point in time, when the 3rd Corps commander received the

25 order to form the corps in this manner, I don't believe he had any of

Page 17778












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 17779

1 these units indicated. Most of those units only existed on paper.

2 What was to be done? Together with his officers from his

3 command, from the corps command, and with others, he had to go into the

4 field. From the north, from Maglaj, towards the west, towards Bugojno.

5 It was necessary to keep moving and from -- and to keep going from place

6 to place. It was necessary to become familiar with the units that were in

7 the Central Bosnian area at the time. It was necessary to speak to

8 members of the units. And by way of an example: 10 or 15 companies

9 scattered around villages, towns, it was necessary to speak to them and to

10 integrate them within, for example, one of these brigades. It was

11 necessary to enlarge these units and form what has been depicted here.

12 That's an example, but that concerns all the units that have been depicted

13 here as part of the structure of the corps.

14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... now, you have described in

15 your report the changes which took place from after 1990 until 1993 but --

16 and many witnesses have also talked about these changes. Now, what I

17 would like to do is if you could look at this annex, which is 62, and

18 describe what were the relationship between the various organs as the

19 armed forces moved from the Territorial Defence to the Army of Bosnia and

20 Herzegovina. And I guess you have three annexes that speak about that.

21 This is the first one, 62. I'd like you to look at this one.

22 Maybe, General, if you can start by the top, where we see kind of

23 a yellow semicircle or a circle and say what this is and what are the

24 relationships and the different colours on this annex.

25 A. The first diagram shows the following: We can see how the

Page 17780

1 defence for the state was organised, the entire system for defence. There

2 are many bodies and various links between all these bodies.

3 At the bottom, there are two full lines: A black and red one,

4 and this is used to indicate the line of command and control; and the

5 dotted line is the line of diagonal influence and command. On the left

6 hand, it says: "The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina," which is the

7 Supreme Command. At the same time, to the right there is one large circle

8 and four smaller circles within that large circle. There's the General

9 Staff -- the Main Staff -- the General Staff which was in the process of

10 transformation from 1992 to 1994, and you have the years when it was

11 transformed from the Supreme Command Staff to the General Staff.

12 To the left, in grey, you have the Presidency, the government,

13 the Ministry of Defence, the Presidency of a canton -- or rather,

14 district, district government, district secretariats for National Defence.

15 And then we go down below, towards the municipal level we have the same at

16 the level of the municipalities. You have the organisation and the

17 structure of the authorities exercising power at that time in the Republic

18 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

19 Beneath the General Staff, the colour orange was used to indicate

20 that this was still the Territorial Defence of the Republic of Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina. There was no Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, whenever you indicate

23 or mention a body, could you put your pen on the name of the body. When

24 you say "the Presidency," could you please point to it with your pen so

25 that we can follow you.

Page 17781

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Presidency of Bosnia and

2 Herzegovina, the government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the

3 Ministry of Defence, the District -- or rather, Cantonal Presidency.

4 They're governments. The District Secretariats for National Defence, in

5 the cantons -- or rather, regions. The Presidency of municipalities,

6 municipal councils, and the Municipal Secretariat for Defence.

7 Here we have the Supreme Command Staff in 1992, then its

8 transformation into the Republican Staff of the Territorial Defence. And

9 then the Main Staff of the Supreme Command and then the General Staff of

10 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1994 to 1995. Taken all together,

11 this is the main command of the Territorial Defence -- or rather, of the

12 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

13 This entire part here, in this colour, all these units contained

14 here consist of certain units and brigades. I'm now underlining these

15 units here. These units are directly linked to the main command, the

16 General Staff.

17 Then we have subordinate units below the main command. We have

18 the District Territorial Defence Staff. Linked to these staffs, we have

19 the Municipal Territorial Defence Staffs and all these units here. Then

20 there are the Municipal Defence Staffs linked to their own units.

21 This first diagram shows that this was the Territorial Defence.

22 In the summer of 1992, there was no ABiH. We could move on to the next

23 diagram.

24 Q. Before you move on, General, to your second one, I have a very

25 short question: What is the difference between command and control and

Page 17782

1 diagonal influence and command?

2 A. First of all, let me tell you what command and control

3 means. "Command and control" is an idea that encompasses many measures,

4 activities, and steps through which one leads a military unit. Command

5 and control, we have two words here: "Command" -- or rather, "control" is

6 a more complex word. It has to do with a higher level of military units,

7 at the operative level and above.

8 If we look at command and control from the level of the state and

9 then right down to the bottom, to the lowest-level unit, then one could

10 say that control is what one sees in the work of the Supreme Command and

11 in the General Staff and in the corps command as you go down the chain of

12 command toward -- down the chain of command, command is more present and

13 control is not so present or not to the same extent. We say that in a

14 platoon or a company, there is no control; you just command. The

15 commander of a company or a platoon orders his troops to do such-and-such

16 a thing. As you go up the chain of command, then control is something one

17 encounters more frequently, since this is a wider and more complex

18 concept.

19 If I may elaborate on this. I'll try to draw a scheme -- I'll

20 just divide this rectangle in this way: At the top you have in fact the

21 Supreme Command, command number 1, the most senior command. At the

22 bottom, you have the lowest-level unit; for example, a platoon. That's

23 the lowest-level unit.

24 As you go from top to bottom, well, this would be control here.

25 From the highest command level to the lowest level. And as you go down,

Page 17783

1 as you descend, control becomes less and less present. But here, when we

2 go up from the lowest level unit, this would be command. As you go up

3 toward the Supreme Command, depending on the level, this becomes less and

4 less present.

5 Q. General, I'd just like to confirm one thing with you. And

6 because I know that I went through this discussion with an interpreter

7 before with the fact that you have -- the words "command" and "control"

8 are very similar, I would just like you to explain: The top part in your

9 diagram, is that command and then the lower part is control? Can you

10 confirm? Because in the interpretation in the transcript, it seemed to be

11 the other way around. Which one is at the top and which one is at the

12 bottom?

13 A. At the top, you have what we call "rukovodjenje," control. And

14 at the bottom, that would be "komondovanje," command.

15 Q. Thank you. We will now move on to the second slide. Can you

16 explain which changes took place between 1992 and 1993 that are

17 illustrated on this annex.

18 A. In this diagram, we have the left vertical depicted, from the

19 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina down to the

20 municipalities. It's identical to what was depicted on the previous -- in

21 the previous diagram. But -- and this part is also identical. But here

22 in blue you have the Main Staff of the Supreme Command. The colour used

23 to depict it in fact shows that the corps of the ABiH were formed and all

24 these units, and it shows how much it was necessary to transform, how many

25 units had to be transformed from the Territorial Defence into the ABiH.

Page 17784

1 That's this part that I have just encircled. These are also units

2 attached to the General Staff. Then you have the corps and all the units

3 under the corps, all the units linked to the corps.

4 Here, in the right part of the diagram, you can see what remain

5 from the previous diagram, because in the previous diagram all of this was

6 also in blue, but there's part of the Territorial Defence that has

7 remained; namely, the Regional Territorial Defence Staffs, units attached

8 to them; then the Municipal Territorial Defence Staffs, and units attached

9 to the Municipal Territorial Defence Staffs. These dotted lines indicate

10 that -- given the overall situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time

11 which body could influence certain other bodies and the extent to which it

12 was possible to influence other bodies.

13 In a normal military organisation, this is not necessary. It's

14 not necessary to have such dotted lines.

15 Q. We have a few minutes just to go quickly over the next annex, and

16 then I think we will be ready for the technical break.

17 Can you explain what the next annex, which is 64, and what has --

18 what has happened from 1993 until 1994 and what was happening to the Army

19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

20 A. The third annex follows on the previous annex, and it shows that

21 from the first annex all that has remained is -- is this, only this part

22 of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Everything else is

23 the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But the title of the

24 annex is "The end of 1993 and 1994." And during that period of time, we

25 still had this number of Territorial Defence units. It's true that they

Page 17785

1 had almost -- they had almost disappeared entirely, but they were still in

2 existence.

3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... technical difficulty.

4 Please continue.

5 A. Should I repeat what I was saying?

6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... but quickly, because we need

7 to go for the technical break.

8 A. This third annex in fact shows, if we bear in mind the first

9 annex we had, which depicted the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina at the beginning of 1992 -- here in the title of this annex,

11 it says "in 1993 and 1994." Of the Territorial Defence, this is all that

12 remained. Only these units in this colour. And afterwards, these units

13 were disbanded too, and thus the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been

14 completely reorganised and established.

15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... how important is it to

16 understand these command and control and diagonal lines of influence --

17 how is it important to understand these relationships in order to have

18 full knowledge of the position in which General Hadzihasanovic was in in

19 1993. So this will be my first question when we return from the break.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's quarter to

21 4.00 and we will resume at about ten past 4.00, quarter past 4.00.

22 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.

23 --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, you may continue.

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

Page 17786

1 Q. [In English] General, I did mention to you what my next question

2 was. Can you please look at this Annex 63 of your report. Now, looking

3 at this annex, and I'd like you to focus on the middle, where you have

4 the -- the corps of the army. Can you draw a circle around where the

5 corps of the armies are.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, can you -- from where the corps are, we see that we have a

8 direct line coming down from the Main Staff of the Supreme Command. Can

9 you also circle this, the full line.

10 A. It's this line.

11 Q. Are there any other lines that were supposed to command or to

12 issue orders to the corps?

13 A. No, there weren't any, and there shouldn't be any.

14 Q. Now, if we look at all the other lines, the dotted lines - and

15 there are various types of dotted lines - and these are coming from the

16 War Presidency, coming from the Presidency, coming from the government,

17 and also coming from other organisations which are indicated in green.

18 What would be the impact of these various lines of influence on the work

19 of the corps commander?

20 A. It can be put in one word. In the military organisation, in the

21 structure of a unit, all these other lines are unnecessary, that is, all

22 the dotted lines. Only the full lines are needed. All these other lines

23 that you have referred to indicate influence, which at a certain point in

24 time can only be harmful for the corps commander and can only be a cause

25 of problems for him. Depending on those influences and how great they are

Page 17787












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 17788

1 and with respect to which issues, they aggravate and complicate the task

2 of control and command for the corps commander, and he had very little

3 influence over them in wartime.

4 Let me give you an example, my own example from the war in 1994,

5 when a Chief of Staff in municipality Centar, Huso Kamberovic. While I

6 was on the defence line, my driver heard on the radio that he was giving

7 20.000 German marks to a deputy commander of one of my brigades in

8 Sarajevo. This is this horizontal influence or diagonal influence, which

9 is sometimes used to improve somebody's personal position and status or

10 protect that position, yet it could be the head of a municipality, the

11 president of a district, or anyone else. In this case, this municipal

12 leader wanted to have my brigade commander linked to him. And as I didn't

13 have sufficient funds or logistics and the Chief of Staff in the

14 municipality did, he is offering it directly to my brigade commander,

15 which is quite unacceptable and has absolutely no excuse, viewed from a

16 military standpoint.

17 If a municipal leader has certain needs with respect to units,

18 then he has to achieve it through the corps command and its bodies. The

19 corps commander and his bodies.

20 In wartime, what this boils down to is to the buying of people,

21 and this was widespread in Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially in 1992 and

22 1993.

23 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to move to a different topic, which

24 has to do with Annex 65 of your report, dealing with displaced persons.

25 In this annex, can you explain what you wanted to picture. Annex 65.

Page 17789

1 What you wanted to picture in this annex. And can you briefly explain for

2 the Judges what that means.

3 A. This annex shows the following: The title is "Persecution and

4 migration of the population in the area of responsibility of the 3rd

5 Corps." This is a topographic military map that has been scanned and the

6 following information has been provided on it: For example, this is the

7 municipality of Maglaj. This is Teslic, the municipality of Visoko,

8 Kiseljak, Fojnica, Tomislavgrad, et cetera. I can't see too well to be

9 able to read all the names.

10 At the same time, this annex, with the small and large circles in

11 different colours, indicate the ethnic structure of the population in the

12 area at the time.

13 There's a legend in the bottom right-hand corner. The blue are

14 the Bosniaks. The yellow is for the Croats, and the red for the Serbs.

15 On the basis of a large number of sources which can be considered

16 reliable official sources of data, and I use them, including data of the

17 International Red Cross and many other sources, as indicated in my

18 report. We see that all the municipalities outside the area of

19 responsibility of the 3rd Corps but not the first area of responsibility

20 according to which it spread up to the River Sava, but the territory that

21 was actually controlled by the 3rd Corps shows how many Bosniaks and

22 Croats had fled from neighbouring municipalities and were concentrated in

23 the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps, which it in fact controlled.

24 And all these directions indicate from where these people came and in what

25 numbers, from which municipalities these people had fled and had been

Page 17790

1 expelled, and found refuge in the territory of Central Bosnia.

2 In my report, you will see tables with the actual figures for

3 each municipality and the population on the basis of the 1991 census.

4 According to that census, the calculations were made so as to see that

5 tens of thousands of refugees had fled from neighbouring municipalities

6 and found shelter in Central Bosnia in the area of responsibility of the

7 3rd Corps, fleeing from the Serb aggressor, and later in 1993 this becomes

8 even more complicated with the outbreak of the open conflict with the HVO.

9 So things become complicated to the extreme.

10 My conclusion is that this just shows how complicated the

11 situation was and how difficult it was for the corps commander, regardless

12 of the fact that certain political and civilian entities endeavoured to do

13 something for the refugees who were pouring in, all this was very little.

14 The greatest responsibility fell on the corps commander. Why? Due to a

15 fundamental fact, and that is that all those displaced persons were close

16 or distant relatives of his soldiers. So whatever was happening during

17 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was related to family relationships between

18 soldiers and members of their families. And in view of this highly

19 complicated situation in 1992 and 1993, because a defence system was not

20 functioning fully, it was necessary to find the time, the resources, and

21 the manpower to identify the able-bodied men for military service among

22 the displaced persons, among these refugees, to register them, to call

23 them in for interviews, to assign them to units, to train them to a

24 satisfactory degree, and to send them to join units in combat activities.

25 This was a very complicated undertaking.

Page 17791

1 Q. Thank you, General. Just a question concerning your answer. You

2 mention at line 13 that the greatest responsibility fell on the corps

3 commander. Are you referring to a legal responsibility, or are you

4 referring to the fact that the refugee situation created problems for the

5 corps commander?

6 A. I mean the latter. And in what I have just said, I have tried to

7 explain that because those refugees were causing problems not through

8 their own free will but the very fact that they were so numerous and that

9 they needed to be provided with accommodation and food and the able-bodied

10 had to be found and mobilised and sent to units, all this caused vast

11 problems for the corps commander.

12 Q. Now, General, I'd like to move on to another topic, which is

13 Annex 73 of your report. But before I do so, I'd like to ask you one

14 quick question: How much did you know about the situation in Central

15 Bosnia in 1993 when you were the corps commander in Sarajevo?

16 A. I must admit that I knew very little. I personally during 1993

17 don't think I saw the 3rd Corps commander once or twice. We may have

18 spoken on the phone once. That was the reality of the situation,

19 resulting from the fact that for all of four years I was continuously day

20 and night either on the lines or in my units or on wheels. I was

21 constantly on the move. I slept wherever I could. I ate where I could.

22 When someone gave me something as the corps commander, trying to deal with

23 numerous duties I had on the move. I am saying this because it shows that

24 I didn't have time to follow the situation elsewhere. But I can't say

25 that I didn't know anything. Up to a degree I did.

Page 17792

1 Q. Thank you, General. Can you describe what is Annex 73 of your

2 report, and especially what is pictured by the red line in the middle, as

3 well as the blue part.

4 A. This annex is, again, a picture of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with

5 two areas in two different shades of blue. The darker blue area,

6 including the part in the north, actually shows the already-formed three

7 Croatian communities under the name of Herceg-Bosna, the largest,

8 consisting of 13 municipalities, formed on the 18th of November 1991, and

9 it included all of this south-east, as far as Zenica, and Zenica is here.

10 Then a second Croatian community, known as Central Bosnia,

11 consisting of four municipalities; that is to say, Maglaj, Zepce,

12 Zavidovici, and Zenica.

13 And a third Croatian community, of Posavina, Bosnian Posavina,

14 which included eight municipalities: Derventa, Bosanski Brod, and so on,

15 as far as Brcko.

16 The lighter blue colour in the central part delineated with a red

17 line is the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia

18 and Herzegovina and their effective control. And what I wanted to show

19 here was, as can be seen on this slide, that the entire area of

20 responsibility of the 3rd Corps of the BH army covered a territory which

21 the Croatian people had already proclaimed to be their own, and this was

22 the cause of all subsequent problems and conflicts between the 3rd Corps

23 and the HVO in Central Bosnia. And in these three Croatian communities in

24 Bosnia, we also see their military divisions.

25 Here in the south is the operative zone jugo istok, or

Page 17793

1 south-east; the operative zone north-west; the operative zone Central

2 Bosnia; and in the north, operative zone Posavina. And heading the

3 Central Bosnia zone was Tihomir Blaskic, and in this operative zone,

4 because they are close to the 3rd Corps zone of responsibility, the

5 commander was Stjepan Stiljek, if I'm not wrong.

6 Q. Now, General, if I understand you correctly, the complete area of

7 responsibility of the 3rd Corps was also the area of responsibility of the

8 HVO. Am I correct in saying this?

9 A. Quite so. Exactly.

10 Q. And General Hadzihasanovic, as the commander of the 3rd Corps,

11 how many operations -- operative zones of the HVO was he facing, or how

12 many HVO enemies did he have?

13 A. This thick black line shows the line of separation between the

14 operative zones in the HVO, and it follows from this that the command of

15 the 3rd Corps had to confront two operative zones of the HVO.

16 Q. And, General, if I would add to this same annex the area of

17 responsibility of the Army of Republika Srpska, the VRS, would that also

18 overlap the complete area of operations of the 3rd Corps?

19 A. If we look at another annex showing the Serbian Autonomous

20 Regions that had been formed, out of all these municipalities in

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina only seven municipalities remained for which they

22 didn't have any interest; that is, neither the Serb policies nor the

23 Croatian policies. And this is the municipality in the north-west, the

24 one of -- called Velika Kladusa; the municipality of Cazin; in Central

25 Bosnia, the municipality of Visoko; and the municipality of Breza. These

Page 17794

1 are four municipalities. And in the north-eastern part of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the municipality of Srebrenik, Tuzla, and Kalesija.

3 Only these seven municipalities were not a component part of any of the

4 Serbian Autonomous Regions nor of any of the three Croatian Communities of

5 Herceg-Bosna.

6 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to move to Annex 110. And I would

7 like you to explain what exactly this -- what is illustrated by this

8 annex.

9 Now, a number of witnesses have testified before this Trial

10 Chamber about the consequences or the strategic plan of the HVO as well as

11 of the VRS in 1992 and 1993. Can you help us understand this annex.

12 A. This annex also shows a military topographic map that has been

13 scanned, and on it we see the military situation of all three sides. As

14 stated in the heading, "The deployment of forces of the ABiH, the VRS, and

15 the HVO and of the Croatian army," because this was a time period, that

16 is, July 1993 to March 1994, which is a lengthy period of time during

17 which with brief intervals attempts were being made -- I shall now

18 encircle the places where the HVO and the Croatian army together --

19 Q. General, could you wait just for one second. We -- we lost the

20 slide show. Thank you. You may proceed.

21 A. Attempts were being made by the Croatian army and the Croatian

22 Defence Council to occupy Gornji Vakuf and Gornji Vakuf, the town itself,

23 is here, and the town of Bugojno is here. These red arrows show the axis

24 of efforts being made even before this time period to capture these areas,

25 even at the end of 1992 and in January 1993. But this man shows when the

Page 17795

1 most intensified efforts were being made, and that is the dates

2 indicating -- indicated at the top.

3 Why did the HVO want to capture Gornji Vakuf? I'm addressing

4 this purely from the military standpoint. If the HVO and the Croatian

5 army had managed succeeded in occupying Gornji Vakuf along this road

6 marked in yellow which I'm now marking in red, they would have linked up

7 with the HVO in Novi Travnik, and Novi Travnik is right here. What would

8 that mean? That would automatically mean --

9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... marking something? Because

10 we don't see the lines. So maybe there is a problem. Sorry. Go on.

11 A. Yes, I am drawing lines.

12 Where it says "3K" just above those -- that number in letter is

13 Novi Travnik. And the dotted line I'm now drawing, behind that line are

14 mountains, very high mountains which separate Travnik, Novi Travnik, and

15 Vitez from Gornji Vakuf, which is here, and Bugojno, which is here.

16 Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno actually in military terms succeeded in their

17 defence by - as I said of Sarajevo - by defending the capital of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the country was defended. But this is from the

19 standpoint of the Serb aggressor.

20 It is also stated in comparison with Sarajevo that by succeeding

21 in defending Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno, Bosnia and Herzegovina had been

22 successfully defended and its division prevented. Because had that

23 happened, Bosnia-Herzegovina would have quickly disappeared most probably.

24 Why? Because the HVO forces would have linked up in Novi Travnik, Vitez,

25 and Busovaca with other HVO forces, and then the 3rd Corps commander would

Page 17796












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13 English transcripts.













Page 17797

1 not have had a theoretical chance of defending the Bila Valley. In

2 military terms, there would have been no chance of success.

3 Shortly after that, Travnik would have fallen and the entire Bila

4 Valley, and the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna would have spread as

5 far as Zenica. After that, whether a couple of towns would succeed in

6 their defence was a matter of time. So the Croatian Defence Council

7 pursued this aim constantly, that is, to gain control of the route of

8 salvation that I have drawn, that is, militarily to capture the largest

9 part of their territory, which they considered to belong to the Croatian

10 Community, of course in cooperation and collaboration with the Army of

11 Republika Srpska, and after that they would have agreed how they would

12 have cut up Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a result of which a Greater Serbia

13 would have been formed from the east and a Greater Croatia from the west.

14 The significance of Gornji Vakuf is very great in military terms,

15 that is, defending it successfully was of the utmost importance.

16 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to move to a different aspect of

17 your report, which is covered in paragraphs 528 to 532, where you explain

18 the levels of command and control as being tactical, operative, and

19 strategic. Can you further explain the importance of dividing command and

20 control relationships in these three levels.

21 A. I believe that in all armies throughout the world, in the

22 majority of armies, we have these three levels of command and control.

23 This is how everything is structured in those armies. What does this

24 mean? At the strategic level of command and control, we have the Supreme

25 Command of the state, including the Ministry of Defence and the main army

Page 17798

1 command.

2 The operative level of command and control is, in fact, the level

3 of an operative unit that we call a corps, and everything below that level

4 involves the tactical level of planning; that is to say, of command and

5 control.

6 Q. My next question deals with the exercise of command at the

7 operative level. I would like to have your opinion as to what the focus

8 of a corps commander should be in terms of time. Is a corps commander

9 looking at the battle as it unfolds, or is he looking ahead? And if so,

10 how far ahead and why?

11 A. The term "operative command and control" is a term from which one

12 can derive a concrete military concept, that of operations. This means

13 carrying out operations, planning operations, supervising the way in which

14 an operation is carried out, et cetera. Operations are carried out by a

15 corps. In the course of 1992, 1993, and to a significant extent in 1994,

16 it was only in the middle of 1994 and in 1995 that the corps of the ABiH

17 were actually in a condition to carry out operations, and that in fact is

18 the real task of each and every corps commander.

19 Up until that time, various low-scale attacks were carried out up

20 to the level of a brigade commander. What I do mean by this? A corps

21 commander in this first case I have mentioned is a case in which he is

22 fully involved, in that he plans -- he drafts plans, forwards orders to

23 those who are to execute the plans, et cetera. In all other cases, if

24 we're talking about combat, these are activities that company commanders,

25 battalion commanders carry out, and perhaps brigade commanders. But

Page 17799

1 according to military jargon, this is up to the level of the brigade and

2 within a brigade.

3 In spite of the fact that in 1992 and 1993 there were small-scale

4 fights that -- in which a platoon or two or a company or one to two

5 battalions were engaged in at the most, in spite of this fact, one

6 couldn't say that the corps commander was not present. The corps

7 commander was present but within the chain of command.

8 The corps commander authorises certain combat actions at certain

9 levels. Since all these combat operations, all these fights, are

10 authorised by a brigade commander with the knowledge of the corps

11 commander, this also shows the extent to which he can or should be

12 involved in such matters.

13 Q. Thank you, General. I just -- I did not hear the word you used

14 in your language, but at page 43 at line 9, we see that "authorised

15 by a" -- it says here -- sorry, line 8: "Since all these combat

16 operations." Did you say "operations" or did you use another word?

17 A. Operations.

18 Q. Let me -- I'll go back, General. If you can look in the

19 transcript in front of you, page 43 at line 7. It says: "The corps

20 commander authorises certain combat actions at certain levels." And then

21 it says: "Since all of these combat operations, all these fights, are

22 authorised by a brigade commander ..." Now, are we talking about combat

23 operations or combat activities?

24 A. In military terms, you say that the brigade commander authorised

25 combat activities, and lower down the level a battalion commander

Page 17800

1 authorises combat. Because there are three levels of combat, three forms

2 of combat: You have combat, fight, and operations.

3 Q. General, I'd like to move on. I'd like to give you a -- a

4 document. I would like the usher to come and give you this document which

5 I have shown to my --

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you ask your witness to

7 clarify the distinction between a combat, fight, and operation so that we

8 can be clear about this.

9 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Certainly, Mr. President.

10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... [In English] three levels of

11 fighting as being -- you mentioned three categories. Can you explain the

12 difference between those three categories.

13 A. Boj, which would be combat, is the lowest level. And the units,

14 together with the battalions, carry this out. I said combat was the

15 lowest level of operations, carried out by units together with the

16 battalion. A platoon, a company, a battalion. A battle is the second

17 level of military activity, carried out by a brigade or a number of

18 brigades -- or rather, by divisions, because there is an establishment

19 between a brigade and a corps. Or to be even clearer, because the

20 term "operative group" has frequently been used here -- but this isn't a

21 permanent formation. Whereas operations, which is the highest level of

22 military activity, operations are something which are carried out by corps

23 and higher level operations, armies or by groups of corps.

24 Q. Thank you, General. Now, this distinction between those three

25 categories, of course it would be very important for officers who have

Page 17801

1 military education, but is it possible that the words and the concepts

2 could have been mixed up in 1993 because officers were not well trained,

3 as you mentioned?

4 A. Absolutely. If someone has no military education, it's very

5 difficult to clarify this to such a person and there would be no purpose

6 in trying to clarify such terms without having previously worked on such

7 matters at length.

8 Q. I'd like to ask you two more questions with respect to the level

9 of command of a corps commander. And my first question is: Because the

10 commander of a corps works at the operative level, how important is it for

11 him to trust the chain of command at all levels below him right down to

12 the platoon?

13 A. I also think that in all armies throughout the world the chain of

14 command is the essential component for the way in which each military unit

15 works. As a result, within the chain of command -- and why did I say

16 initially that when units are being formed it's necessary to have plans

17 for bringing units up to strength and it's necessary to assess the men and

18 officers in good time to see who shall be appointed to given posts and a

19 lot of time is always spent on assessing the individuals who should be

20 assigned to senior positions, and this is because it's necessary to have

21 confidence in such men. If there's no confidence in the men, there's no

22 chain of command; if there's no chain of command, there are no units.

23 It's impossible for missions for to be carried out.

24 Q. Thank you, General. My second question which -- I wanted to read

25 you a quote from General Cordy-Simpson, but somehow I have misplaced this

Page 17802

1 quote. But maybe I'll simply ask the exact same question which I asked

2 General Cordy-Simpson, and that was: In terms of the responsibility of

3 commanders at various levels, it has been said that the higher the level

4 of the commander, the less involvement he has directly with his

5 subordinates and that there is a big difference in how much they can

6 personally influence the actions of their subordinates, depending on the

7 level. Would you agree that -- and General Cordy-Simpson specifically

8 said that "The last level at which a commander is directly in contact with

9 his subordinate is at the battalion level."

10 A. I'm a little confused. What does he mean when he says "his

11 direct subordinates"? At each level of command, it's necessary to have

12 direct contact with one's subordinates. A battalion commander, a brigade

13 commander, a corps commander. That's the chain of command. If you then

14 replace this idea -- the general probably thought that the higher the

15 level of the commander, the less contact he had with the soldiers or the

16 troops. In that case, that's quite correct. He's absolutely right. But

17 a corps commander has his first assistants within his command who are in

18 direct contact with him. He must be in -- or he must have permanent

19 contact with them. And he is also in contact with his immediate

20 subordinate commanders of units. And the corps commander has to have

21 permanent contact with them and he has to work with them on the permanent

22 basis. Everything else is secondary. I don't know if I have been

23 sufficiently clear.

24 Q. Thank you, General. I have now found the quote, and I will now

25 ask you this, because it looks very much like your answer, but I would

Page 17803

1 like you to comment on this.

2 My question was: "I would like to know, General, if you see a

3 difference between the responsibilities of a battalion commander and the

4 responsibilities of a corps commander towards soldiers and how much of a

5 personal involvement do each of those have."

6 And General Cordy-Simpson replied: "It is my belief that

7 battalion command is the last time an officer will directly influence how

8 his soldiers perform on the battlefield. He is responsible. He is the

9 man they see. He can will them to fight better than any other person in

10 the battalion. Once you become a brigade commander or a divisional

11 commander or a corps commander, that direct influence is lost. As a

12 brigade commander, you tell your battalion commanders what you require

13 them to do but you cannot permanently influence the individual soldiers

14 within that battalion to fight harder, fight better, or anything else.

15 Certainly when you become a divisional commander, you have totally lost

16 that ability to influence the battle of how people fight. And as a corps

17 commander, you are way above that. You are directing the battle at the

18 high tactical, I would put it, level but you are not directly influencing

19 how soldiers fight on the ground at that particular moment."

20 Can you comment on this answer from General Cordy-Simpson.

21 A. This, in fact, confirms what I thought was in question. It

22 concerns the relation between the commander and soldiers. I provided you

23 with my answer. I could expand on it, but I agree with most of what the

24 general said.

25 Q. Thank you, General. I move on to a different topic, which is

Page 17804

1 that you raise at paragraph 537 of your report and that we also find in

2 Annex 38. And this deals with the principles of armed combat.

3 Now, what you see on your screen is I just took the headings out

4 of Annex 38 to make it easier for everyone in the courtroom. Now, I know

5 you read English, so maybe you can look at this Annex 38, which is on your

6 screen.

7 I'd like to know how important are these principles and why is it

8 that commanders, and especially a corps commander, should abide by these

9 principles, as you say in your report.

10 A. All senior commanders have to abide by these principles of armed

11 combat. The principles enumerated here are in a certain sense guidelines

12 that show how a unit should be led and how when combat tasks are being

13 carried out the mission assigned should be accomplished.

14 The first principle: "Constant maintenance of a high degree of

15 combat readiness," is in fact a principle that is valid for a corps

16 commander as well as for the last man in the corps and the last soldier.

17 According to this principle, everyone has his own role. Naturally,

18 responsibility is greater as you go up the chain of command towards the

19 corps commander. Naturally, it's the corps commander who has the greatest

20 responsibility. Because there are many questions that have to be dealt

21 with, that have to be borne in mind. It's necessary to plan in good time

22 and ensure that the highest degree of combat readiness is maintained

23 within units.

24 Q. General, if you -- I'd like you to -- to try and -- and focus on

25 those principles. But at paragraph 538 of your report, you mention -- you

Page 17805












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Page 17806

1 talk about the platform which was adopted by the Presidency, and you also

2 say that the three principles which would be the most important ones would

3 be determining the aim, determining the focus, and unity of armed combat.

4 Can you explain what you mean by those three principles being the most

5 important ones.

6 A. I must admit that I didn't quite understand your question. By

7 saying this, I wanted to emphasise that the platform adopted in June 1992

8 by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina - and it

9 applied to the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina - virtually all these

10 principles of armed combat emanated from that platform, but they were

11 taken over from documents of the Yugoslav People's Army, as we were the

12 successors, and I here tried to highlight these three principles:

13 Determining the aim of the struggle, determining the focus of the

14 struggle, and unity of armed struggle or combat. These are three key

15 principles for armed combat.

16 All three of these principles are fully contained in the platform

17 adopted by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 1992.

18 Determining the aim; I'll be brief. When a country enters a

19 state of war, it is essential for the Supreme Command or the Presidency or

20 the Assembly, et cetera, to pass a document, an act, determining the aim

21 of the struggle in clearest terms. If there is any vagueness or lack of

22 clarity or incompleteness regarding the state, its structure, its

23 policies, its population, et cetera, will be reflected in the aim of the

24 struggle. What I am trying to say is that -- that the political

25 leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina, without going into its relationship

Page 17807

1 with international organisations and international factors, has the duty

2 of determining the aim of combat, and in its platform these aims were

3 clearly indicated. Nevertheless, there were three new army -- armies

4 being formed: The Army of Republika Srpska, the Croatian Defence Council,

5 and Fikret Abdic's army, all of which, despite these clear aims from the

6 platform, emerged as opposition to those aims.

7 Now, why, that is a very broad issue, and we are talking about it

8 now, in fact.

9 Now, the second aim is determining the focus of combat, the focus

10 of armed struggle. In the beginning, during 1992, the focus of the armed

11 struggle of the corps of the ABiH was the struggle against the Army of

12 Republika Srpska or, rather, the JNA. And this went on throughout 1992.

13 However, for other reasons - and I am profoundly convinced that this

14 wasn't due to any shortcomings in the platform but, rather, due to

15 different interests on the part of those who did not wish to accept the

16 platform - the Croatian Defence Council was formed, and the focus of the

17 struggle had to be corrected. And then again there's Fikret Abdic and his

18 army and many other problems which affected the choice of the focus of

19 struggle in the defence of the state.

20 And third, the unity of combat -- of armed combat. What is

21 characteristic of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war is that further to the

22 platform adopted by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, after which

23 the political leadership, as well as the military leadership of the

24 country, did everything to avoid the emergence of the HVO -- or rather,

25 its direct opposition to the ABiH and also to avoid Fikret Abdic appearing

Page 17808

1 up. So there were documents signed in Zagreb to the effect that the HVO

2 would retain its name but would join in the struggle for the common goal

3 under the command of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As far as I

4 know, later in August 1992 a decree with the force of law was passed

5 instructing the HVO to place itself under the command of the ABiH in the

6 spirit of the platform and to fight against the Serb aggressor. However,

7 all this did not bear fruit. I'm just saying what efforts were made to

8 ensure unity of the armed struggle.

9 Q. Thank you, General. I would now like to move to the last section

10 of your report, which deals with, as you call it, "specific events." And

11 I will begin by the section where you -- which is entitled "The mission of

12 General Hadzihasanovic and Brigadier Kubura." And this is at paragraphs

13 598 to 618.

14 Now, you have already said that the concept of mission was very

15 important. But at paragraph 602, you mention that if the mission fails,

16 the commander will be held responsible by his superiors, and if the

17 mission is a success, the corps commander will also be considered

18 responsible.

19 My first question is the following: When we say that the

20 commander is responsible for the mission, whether it fails or it succeeds,

21 is that different from the responsibility of a commander for the conduct

22 of his subordinates?

23 A. I'm not sure that I understood your question fully.

24 Q. Thank you, General. I will say the question again. I'm

25 referring to paragraph 602 of your report. If you can look at paragraph

Page 17809

1 602, where you mention that the commander of a corps is directly

2 responsible and accountable for the accomplishment of the mission of the

3 corps pursuant to the orders issued by his superior command. If the

4 mission fails, he's responsible; if the mission succeeds, you also say

5 he's responsible. Now, I'm asking to you, as a former corps commander,

6 whether when we talk about that type of responsibility of a commander,

7 whether this is different from his responsibility which could be engaged

8 if his subordinates, for example, committed crimes.

9 A. Certainly the responsibility is different. It's different for a

10 number of reasons. The responsibility of the commander for the failure of

11 the mission generally speaking is his responsibility. But to make myself

12 quite clear, I have to use an example. Because the 3rd Corps commander

13 when forming the corps - and I think this was following the first orders

14 and directives that he received - was given the task -- was given tasks

15 for a non-existent corps to liberate the area of responsibility of the

16 corps as far as the northern border, that is, the Sava River in the north

17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then to undertake to lift the blockade

18 around Sarajevo.

19 By giving this example, I wish to say that the corps commander

20 received a mission, was allotted a mission, and he didn't execute it,

21 neither of these two, regardless of whether he received orders from his

22 superior.

23 And now we have a contradiction between his responsibility and

24 the conditions which prevented the commander from accomplishing his

25 mission, the mission assigned to him at the beginning. It's highly

Page 17810

1 questionable whether a NATO corps would be able to carry out such a

2 mission, never mind he with a non-existent corps.

3 Now, if we were to look at that legally, he did not accomplish

4 his mission and he should be held accountable. The fact that he didn't

5 have a corps, that he didn't have ammunition, he didn't have the weapons

6 and the state failed to provide him with all those things that they should

7 have at a level that would be comparable to a NATO corps to be able to

8 carry out that mission, nobody will be held responsible for that. Without

9 pre-empting anything, I'm just trying to put it in my own words.

10 However, if all the resources were not available to him -

11 personnel, equipment, weapons, logistics - and a mission is assigned to

12 him, then to the extent to which those resources were not provided, he

13 cannot be held responsible for the things that were not provided to him.

14 And, on the other hand, if a war crime is committed or a military offence,

15 an act of crime or I don't know what, that is something more direct. That

16 is something more concrete, if I can call it that. But even in that case,

17 when we're talking about the corps commander's responsibility for every

18 disciplinary violation or criminal offence, there is the chain of command.

19 So if a soldier violates discipline, he will first be punished by his

20 superior. It could be company commander or battalion commander. And this

21 is something the corps commander doesn't have to know about. But if it's

22 a criminal offence and it happened in a battalion, in a brigade, then the

23 brigade commander and battalion commander have all the possibilities of

24 instituting proceedings, as does the corps commander or the commander of

25 the operative group.

Page 17811

1 So I'm just emphasising the chain of command, and there are

2 different levels of responsibility within that chain of command.

3 Q. Thank you, General. One more question before we move to the

4 model, when we will invite the Chamber to come down and look at the model.

5 And the question is as follows: At paragraph 604, you say that "the corps

6 commander must avoid being drawn into using his resources to take on

7 activities which, although they may appear important and critical at any

8 given moment, will distract him from his mission."

9 And you also say at paragraph 607 that "At all times a corps

10 commander is expected to give priority to his obligations towards the

11 state and towards his superior; meaning that for a corps commander the

12 mission must always come first."

13 Can you further explain these two paragraphs and apply them to

14 the situation of General Hadzihasanovic from what you've seen in the

15 evidence.

16 A. The corps commander is appointed by the Supreme Command, and he's

17 appointed precisely because this is a position of a very high level and

18 rank, and this unit, through various directives from the Supreme Command,

19 is given a mission. And in wartime, in addition to many components of a

20 mission, I would like to point out two basic ones, and that is protection

21 of the territory of one's state -- or rather, defence of the territory of

22 one's state; and protection of the lives of one's soldiers and people.

23 In the execution of his mission, the corps commander is doing his

24 best for the Supreme Command and for the state. However, if in executing

25 that mission the 3rd Corps commander does not have any of the things that

Page 17812

1 he should have as a corps commander -- when I described that position in

2 the Yugoslav People's Army and one of the key issues is that of

3 logistics -- and if he has to daily spend his time, his mental efforts and

4 those of his staff to deal with logistical problems, such as fuel, food,

5 the production of ammunition and weapons, finding the manpower, which is

6 not part of his duty according to the regulations, to the extent to which

7 that has not been provided, to that extent with the quality and the degree

8 of accomplishment of the mission be reduced.

9 Q. General, we have ten minutes left before the break.

10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President --

11 [Defence counsel confer]

12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Apparently it's time for the break.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it is best to have the

14 break now, and we'll resume at 6.00.

15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.

16 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.

17 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. The

19 Judges are ready to get up if the Defence so wishes.

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

21 With due respect, I would like to ask the Chamber to be kind

22 enough to approach the model. We have made electronic devices available

23 so that you can each have headsets, and they have been set so that you can

24 hear what the expert is saying.

25 Q. [In English] General, if I can ask you -- you should have beside

Page 17813

1 you a microphone and earphones with a long wire which you can wear. And

2 you also have a pointer.

3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, may I ask whether

4 the three Judges are able to hear the interpretation in their respective

5 languages?

6 Thank you, Mr. President.

7 Q. [In English] General, this is a first, and we have the Chamber,

8 who can look at this model from close. My first question to you is: Do

9 you recognise this model, what is pictured on this model, and what is

10 indicated or illustrated by the orange wire on the model.

11 THE INTERPRETER: We can't hear -- the interpreters can't hear

12 too well.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do recognise it. This is a

14 relief of the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on this relief

15 this red string symbolically indicates the area of responsibility of the

16 3rd Corps of the ABiH.


18 Q. What I would like you to do at this time, General, is to indicate

19 for the Trial Chamber what was the strategic objectives of the HVO in

20 1992-1993, and why the area of the 3rd Corps was critical in this respect.

21 I would ask that you point clearly to any towns that you will point with

22 your pointer and that you explain exactly what you can see from this model

23 that can help the Trial Chamber in understanding the situation.

24 So the first question is the strategic objectives of the HVO in

25 1992-1993.

Page 17814












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Page 17815

1 A. I said that this is the relief of the area of Central Bosnia

2 which was the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps.

3 Let me start from the east. This is the town of Visoko, and it

4 says "Visoko" here.

5 Then the town of Kakanj. It says "Kakanj."

6 This large town here is Zenica. These towns are linked by an

7 important road, which follows the valley of the Bosna River, and that road

8 leads from Sarajevo - this is Sarajevo in the valley here --

9 Q. General, maybe you can get closer on this side so that you can

10 better explain and illustrate.

11 A. The city of Sarajevo. Then along the Bosna River Valley, the

12 town of Visoko, then the town of Kakanj, and then the town of Zenica.

13 Moving on, following the Bosna River Valley, the town of Zepce,

14 the town of Zavidovici, and the town of Maglaj, which is mentioned but it

15 is not on the relief. Later on it became part of the area of

16 responsibility of the 3rd Corps.

17 Here we have the town of Busovaca and the town of Kiseljak, and

18 these two locations are very important.

19 Then the town of Vitez -- I'm sorry, Novi Travnik. Vitez is

20 here. This is Vitez. This is Novi Travnik, and here in the valley is the

21 town of Travnik itself. And over here to the north-west of his area of

22 responsibility is Bugojno. It says "Bugojno" here. And this is Gornji

23 Vakuf. This is the town of Gornji Vakuf.

24 The area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps consists to a great

25 extent of mountainous areas, so that this whole region that I'm pointing

Page 17816

1 to consists of mountains, wooded areas, and inaccessible areas, with a

2 very low population density, a few villages but quite negligible in terms

3 of numbers.

4 The largest population concentration is along the Bosna River

5 Valley and in these towns. And here in this other valley, from Kiseljak

6 via Busovaca, Vitez, and Novi Travnik to Travnik, is another valley.

7 And a third group of towns with large populations is Bugojno and

8 Travnik.

9 In addition to this mountainous region, we also have some large

10 mountains above Zenica, which are linked to the highest mountain in these

11 parts, that is, Mount Vlasic. This is a feature that I'm sure must have

12 been mentioned frequently, and it has a dominant position above Travnik,

13 and then it separates Zenica from the rest. So the only possible

14 directions of contact between Zenica and this part here is -- that is, the

15 Bila Valley, going as far as Travnik, is a road via Ovnak. This is Ovnak

16 here, the pass called Ovnak. And another road via Lasva. And this point

17 is Lasva, a very significant crossroads here. One branch going to Konjic

18 and further on to Travnik.

19 Another large mountainous range is the one I'm showing here,

20 extremely inaccessible and with very small populations. These are just

21 scattered villages in the hills.

22 The only road going from Novi Travnik and linking it to this

23 valley, these two towns, is this road that I pointed to a moment ago, on

24 the annex, and that in fact is a road that the HVO referred to as

25 the "Road of Salvation." As the entire area of responsibility of the 3rd

Page 17817

1 Corps, as we have seen in one of the annexes, was part of the large and

2 imagined Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. The HVO had planned after

3 the events in Prozor - this is the town of Prozor, here - in October 1991,

4 when by force they took over power and expelled all the Bosniaks and then

5 after December 1991 and January 1992 -- sorry, December 1992 and January

6 1993, the attacks on Gornji Vakuf, the HVO wanted to cleanse these two

7 towns, as throughout this territory, from the Neretva River, this whole

8 part of the relief was already under the control of the HVO.

9 They wished to occupy Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf, to expel the

10 Bosniak or non-Croat population, to cleanse it ethnically, and along this

11 road to link up with Novi Travnik. And Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca and

12 Kiseljak, these four towns were held by the HVO from the very beginning of

13 the war, ever since April 1992: Kiseljak, Busovaca, Vitez, and Novi

14 Travnik.

15 If we -- if they had taken these two towns, then this whole

16 territory would automatically have become part of the Croatian Community

17 of Herceg-Bosna. By a simultaneous attack on Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno,

18 the aim was to provoke conflicts in the Bila River Valley, since here,

19 too, there is a large concentration of Bosniak population and especially

20 in the town of Travnik.

21 This point here is known as Turbe. By constant efforts in

22 cooperation with the Army of Republika Srpska operating from Mount Vlasic

23 and acting along this axis and behind these roads, along this axis, if

24 they were to capture Bugojno and Vakuf, Travnik would be almost

25 surrounded, because Novi Travnik and this junction, the point called "T,"

Page 17818

1 which was the location of checkpoints, it was constantly under the control

2 of the HVO. And it follows from this that this road along here, that one

3 could take to reach Travnik, the rest are just village roads. And by such

4 provocations, which consisted, among other things, of setting up

5 checkpoints along the roads, the aim being in this valley here to prevent

6 movement of 3rd Corps units.

7 And among other things -- and I am referring to two key

8 checkpoints that were permanently there - they are established here, in

9 Ovnak - this is the road from Zenica to Travnik -- they established these

10 checkpoints, and here in Vitez too. The only two possible directions one

11 could take were through Ovnak and through Vitez. It was possible to come

12 from Vitez to Travnik and return to Zenica from Travnik without being

13 controlled by the 3rd Corps of the ABiH of these two points -- or rather,

14 if it wasn't possible to use the roads in this zone for the corps, it

15 wasn't possible for the corps to move around. That would have prevented

16 logistic supplies, supplying the men, relieving troops. It would have

17 prevented taking the wounded out to Zenica, to the central hospital, et

18 cetera, et cetera. In fact, by imposing a long-term blockade here, this

19 area would have fallen into the hands of the HVO.

20 Q. General, if I can ask you at this point to indicate where are the

21 Serb forces compared to this area, in addition to the HVO.

22 A. The Serb forces were over here. This was where there was a link

23 between the HVO and the Serbian forces. This is where the first -- the

24 Serbian forces first appeared and they were present along this red line

25 here and as far as Zepce. In Zepce, there was again an enclave of the HVO

Page 17819

1 and they had contact with each other there. And then there were Serbian

2 forces from this point onwards, again, and they extended as far as this

3 point here, roughly speaking. And this is where the 3rd and 2nd Corps in

4 Tuzla linked up, and Tuzla is about here, where I'm standing now.

5 This part, as far as this point, in fact shows the point of

6 contact with the 1st Corps of the ABiH -- or rather, in this area towards

7 the 4th Corps of the ABiH in Mostar.

8 Q. Now, General, if I can ask you at this point to indicate, if you

9 can, on the model why there was any fighting in Dusina in January of 1993.

10 A. I pointed to Zenica. Then I pointed to Lasva. This is the Lasva

11 junction. A minute ago I said that it was of extreme importance. The

12 village of Dusina is here. I'm pointing to it right now.

13 Let's have a look at Busovaca here, the town of Busovaca, and the

14 town of Kiseljak. Both towns were under the complete control of HVO

15 forces. Kacuni is located here, the small place called Kacuni, at this

16 crossroads here. On the 25th of January, 1993 the commander of the

17 Central Bosnian Operative Zone, the commander of the HVO forces, Tihomir

18 Blaskic, together in coordination with the commander of the North-Western

19 Operations Zone, Stiljek- and these two towns were in his zone - they

20 acted together. Blaskic issued an order from his brigade to Busovaca to

21 attack in the direction of Kacuni to route the 3rd Corps forces in Kacuni

22 and to continue with the attack in the direction of Kiseljak. Kiseljak --

23 or rather, the Kiseljak Brigade was also issued an order in the same

24 document. The order was to attack from Kiseljak in the direction of

25 Brestovsko, Maljevac, and in the direction of Kacuni. And then this

Page 17820

1 brigade here, this brigade should set off to meet each other. Because in

2 this area that I'm pointing to, from Kacuni to Bilalovac, in this

3 10-kilometre stretch of territory, the 3rd Corps together with my corps

4 held the separated enclaves of the HVO in Busovaca and the HVO in Kiseljak

5 and Kresevo. This is where these forces of the HVO were separated. Their

6 main objective was to attack from Busovaca and from Kiseljak and to route

7 the 3rd Corps and 1st Corps forces here in order to link up the HVO forces

8 in Busovaca and the HVO forces in Kiseljak and in order to gain control of

9 this road.

10 At the same time, Commander Stiljek, the commander of the Western

11 Herzegovina Operative Zone, attacked Gornji Vakuf, which I pointed to in

12 the annex, so that Gornji Vakuf would fall. They would link up with these

13 towns here, Novi Travnik, Vitez, and if they managed to link up -- if

14 Busovaca and Kiseljak had managed to link up, they would have linked up

15 all the towns together with Kresevo and they would have formed a territory

16 which they called Croatian territory.

17 What was at stake? This attempt, Blaskic's efforts were not to

18 succeed, we weren't to allow him to succeed. Because if he had taken

19 Kacuni, there was an extremely important road through Central Bosnia that

20 went from Kacuni -- or through Kacuni to Sarajevo. There was no other

21 road. And he came from the central part of Bosnia, from Tuzla more or

22 less, and descended to Visoko. That's the way the road goes. And then

23 the road continues through my village, which is here. It descends down to

24 Kacuni, continues to Fojnica. From Fojnica it goes over this hill and

25 over all these hills and arrives here in Tarcin, continues over Igman to

Page 17821

1 Sarajevo and under the tunnel, under the airport, which is here, and

2 reached the town of Sarajevo. Blaskic wanted to cut this road off by

3 issuing his order.

4 I can now provide you with an example. Why did the political and

5 military leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the course of the four

6 years of war never decide to cut off the Serbian corridor from Brcko in

7 the direction of Banja Luka? We don't have the part -- this part of the

8 relief. But I assume that you can imagine a map of Bosnia and

9 Herzegovina. It's because in the central part of Bosnia, Banja Luka,

10 there was a vast stretch of territory under the control of the Serbian

11 forces and they had a link with Belgrade only via a very narrow corridor,

12 near Brcko, and the question that was always posed was: Why don't we cut

13 this corridor off? There is one military rule: Don't touch the enemy in

14 a place that would transform him into a tiger.

15 What does that mean? If they had cut off the Brcko corridor in

16 Banja Luka after a certain amount of time, there would have been either an

17 explosion and the consequences would have been far more negative - it

18 would even be impossible to describe those consequences in terms of the

19 victims - or there would have been --

20 Q. General --

21 A. -- a surrender. If that were the case, it would have been good.

22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... with respect to the Lasva

23 junction and Dusina, what were the options of General Hadzihasanovic in

24 order to prevent this from happening and what actually happened? In a few

25 words, looking at the model, please.

Page 17822

1 A. I was just going to deal with that. Blaskic's military mistake

2 was to cut off this road for the ABiH. It would have been cut off here in

3 Kacuni, so that the 3rd Corps commander could prevent the HVO in Busovaca

4 and the HVO in Kiseljak from linking up, he had to send forces from Zenica

5 by using the only road. There was no other road. This is the road he had

6 to use, the road that goes through the Bosna Valley to Lasva and then

7 continues up to here and then via the Dusina village. This was the

8 shortest road to provide Kacuni with assistance, a military-justified

9 action. The consequences are another matter. And this was the reason for

10 which the forces were present here in Dusina. It was in fact to protect

11 Dusina against an HVO attack. And also this village here, the village of

12 Merdani, which is often mentioned in the documents.

13 For General Hadzihasanovic to prevent the forces from linking up

14 and so that he could secure the only road of extreme importance to the

15 ABiH, he did what he did. This was something that was necessary to be

16 done in military terms. It was the only military way of providing

17 assistance and preventing this from happening. The only thing to be done

18 was to send units from the Zenica basin.

19 Q. Now, General, my next question deals with the situation in -- in

20 April of 1993 where we know that something took place in the village of

21 Miletici. Can you show where the village of Miletici is in April 1993 and

22 to show if there is any military objective or any reason from a military

23 point of view to have fighting in Miletici in April 1993.

24 A. I can't find it now. Is it here? Is this Miletici?

25 The village of Maline, the village of Miletici, on this slope.

Page 17823












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Page 17824

1 It says "Miletici" here. That's the village.

2 When looking at the place and location of the village, the

3 location shows that this village was not and could not be a particular

4 military objective, not for the 3rd Corps of the ABiH, nor for the HVO.

5 Q. My next question, General, deals with the situation in June of

6 1993. Can you show first where is the joint command where the deputy

7 commander of the 3rd Corps was, and that is in the post office in Travnik.

8 A. As far as I know, it was in the very centre of the town in

9 Travnik. That's where the commander was.

10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... where General Hadzihasanovic

11 is in Zenica.

12 A. It was more or less in this area that I'm pointing to now.

13 Q. And can you show where Guca Gora is as well as Velika Bukovica,

14 where the fighting began in June of 1993.

15 A. Bukovica -- it says the village of Bukovica here. It's on the

16 slopes of Mount Vlasic. And Guca Gora is over here. I'm not sure that I

17 can see it. It should be in this area here.

18 Q. Now, I take it from reading your report, General, that you are

19 familiar with the fact that there were a call for assistance from 306

20 Brigade in the Bila Valley to the 3rd Corps in Zenica, a call for

21 assistance because they were getting into fighting with the HVO. Can you

22 show what were the options at that time if General Hadzihasanovic was to

23 send assistance and what did he decide to do and why.

24 A. The command of the 306th Brigade is located here, in this zone of

25 responsibility. It was deployed in that area. According to the documents

Page 17825

1 that I had before me, it did send a request for assistance at the

2 beginning of June, just before the 8th of June, 1993.

3 After numerous incidents had occurred and after all the problems

4 that had happened in that area, in Ahmici and throughout the entire

5 valley, for the 3rd Corps commander to intervene and to send any form of

6 assistance, the only way to do that was through Ovnak, or by using this

7 road down here. I think that you can see that it's not possible to pass

8 through these features unless you pass through Divokoze. In order to send

9 assistance, in order for assistance to reach the 306th Brigade and its

10 units in the Bila Valley, there were two options that he had: Either to

11 send assistance via this route, over Ovnak, or via this route, through

12 Vitez.

13 Q. Now, General, with respect to those two possibilities, which one

14 of these would have caused more collateral damage or would have been --

15 inevitably killed more people between those two options?

16 A. If this route via Vitez had been used, this route -- road here

17 and then the one through Lasva and this entire area along this entire

18 road, well, this area is a very densely inhabited area, so the commander

19 decided to use the other route, which isn't as densely inhabited in

20 comparison to this route here.

21 Q. And, General --

22 A. In military terms, the decision was absolutely correct. If I

23 myself had been in such a situation, I would have taken the same decision.

24 That is why he decided to go via Ovnak, to reduce the number of victims

25 and the total collateral damage.

Page 17826

1 Q. May I ask, General, in respect of this choice, is this the type

2 of decision that is expected to be made by a corps commander, that is,

3 between two attacks to select the one that will produce the less

4 collateral damage? Is that an operative decision at the corps commander

5 level?

6 A. The area in question is a very small area, the zone of

7 responsibility of the 3rd Corps. We can see in this relief -- I'm

8 circling the area with this pointer. When you compare this area with the

9 entire zone of responsibility, you can see that it's not at the level of a

10 corps commander. But this doesn't exclude the possibility for a commander

11 to be involved by monitoring what subordinates are doing. This is more or

12 less the task of a brigade, including an operative group at the most.

13 Q. There may have been some problems with the interpretation, but I

14 have one last question, General, and that is: Can you show that in June

15 of 1993 at the same time as what was happening in the Bila Valley or close

16 thereafter there was other activity in the Zepce area? Can you explain

17 what was the importance of the Zepce, Maglaj, and Zavidovici area in June

18 of 1993.

19 A. In June 1993, this period was the most difficult, the most

20 critical month for the 3rd Corps of the ABiH. Why? Because of the

21 incessant attacks carried out by the HVO against Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno.

22 Their objective was to break through towards Novi Travnik. And then for a

23 certain period of time there was constant action of the HVO in the Bila

24 Valley. They wanted to place this valley under their control too. And

25 then after January 1993, the HVO was continually trying to join up with

Page 17827

1 its forces from Busovaca and Kiseljak. And in addition to all of this,

2 there was a serious problem in Zepce, where the HVO in Zepce in the course

3 of June prepared an operation to eliminate an entire 3rd Corps brigade.

4 Through the cooperation of the HVO in Zepce and the Republika Srpska army,

5 an agreement was reached that at one point in time they should surrender

6 part of the defence line that they held to the Republika Srpska army in

7 order to separate or single out some of their forces and attack the Zepce

8 Brigade of the 3rd Corps of the ABiH and to take and establish full

9 control over the entire town of Zepce.

10 On the 30th of June, 1993 - that's what it says in the

11 documents - they did this. On the 1st of July, 1993, Ivo Lozancic, the

12 top political HVO leader in Zepce, reported to the 3rd Corps commander,

13 sent him a document, and informed him that there are three and a half

14 thousand civilians that had been captured and a thousand soldiers from

15 that brigade who had surrendered. About four and a half thousand people

16 were placed in a tunnel. There's a big tunnel in the vicinity of Zepce.

17 And he asked them -- he asked General Hadzihasanovic so as not to continue

18 shelling, et cetera, he asked for an exchange to be organised as soon as

19 possible because he couldn't provide these four and a half thousand people

20 with the necessary conditions in that tunnel.

21 The brigade commander and most of the brigade members were

22 captured. Only a small part to have brigade managed to break out and join

23 other 3rd Corps brigades. When you observe this at the level of the zone

24 of responsibility of the 3rd Corps, the cooperation of the HVO and the

25 Republika Srpska army, when you bear in mind the incessant attacks on

Page 17828

1 Zenica and the fact that there was cooperation of the VRS and the HVO here

2 and incessant attacks carried out on Travnik, there were incessant

3 incidents and fighting within the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps,

4 there was the attack on Bugojno and Vakuf, on Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf.

5 There was an attack between Busovaca and Kiseljak, and then there were the

6 problems of the HVO at the beginning in Kakanj - the town of Kakanj is

7 here - this shows that the 3rd Corps of the ABiH in 1993, in the summer of

8 1993, and its commander were an impossible situation.

9 Q. Thank you very much, General.

10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know if the

11 Judges would like to ask questions now or whether we could perhaps see the

12 model next week.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

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

15 Q. [In English] Thank you, General. If we can go back. We will go

16 back and now see the same --

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

18 Q. [In English] Thank you, General. We will now look at Annex 74.

19 I would like you to explain what is Annex 74 and how we can from Annex 74

20 see the difficult situation of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a

21 whole but especially the 3rd Corps. And you may use the pencil if you

22 would like.

23 A. This annex depicts Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the legend shows

24 three different colours. Red stands for the territory of Bosnia and

25 Herzegovina in January 1993 under the control of the Army of Republika

Page 17829

1 Srpska. The yellow shows the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the

2 control of the Croatian Defence Council. And the blue shows the part of

3 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was under the control of the

4 Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

5 I shall point to the yellow enclave of Zepce. I shall encircle

6 it in red. The next enclave is Vares, and the next one is Kiseljak and

7 Kresevo. Kiseljak and Kresevo. Here they are. And this larger enclave,

8 Busovaca, is this. Vitez is here. And Novi Travnik, here.

9 Then we have the enclave of Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf, which

10 wasn't an enclave but is on the very line of conflict with the HVO.

11 Gornji Vakuf is here.

12 This part of the territory between Busovaca and Kiseljak was what

13 needed to be cut across, and I am indicating this in a thick red line.

14 This was -- would mean the main bloodstream for the Army of the Republic

15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and for anyone who wanted to come from Tuzla or

16 Zenica, to the south, or to Sarajevo, that was the route he would have to

17 use.

18 We mentioned the village of Dusina.

19 The next slide which follows on to the previous one, we see what

20 happened. We have another colour now. In the north-west of Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina, in the left-hand corner, this territory was captured by

22 Fikret Abdic and his forces, that is, the north-western part of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina. So a new enemy cropped up for the Army of the Republic of

24 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because the previous annex referred to January

25 1993, and this one, this slide, which follows on to the previous one,

Page 17830

1 reflects the state of affairs in December 1993.

2 Now we have another colour as well, and to the east, where the

3 blue indicates the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the forces of Republika

4 Srpska occupied this entire territory during 1993. So in Brcko we have a

5 part of the territory, and I am encircling it now. Then south of

6 Kalesija, also some territory. Around Srebrenica and Zepa, this whole

7 area here. Around Visegrad, again areas they occupied. What remains was

8 Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde. I am placing red dots in these three blue

9 enclaves.

10 So then the links between Gorazde and Sarajevo were cut across.

11 Then there's an area near Kladanj and Zivinice.

12 In six or seven different places forces of the Army of Republika

13 Srpska in 1993 gained control and occupied more territory. What am I

14 saying? I wish to say that the year 1993 from the strategic standpoint

15 for the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a turning

16 point. It was the most difficult year because the Croatian Defence

17 Council and the Army of Republika Srpska had agreed together with Fikret

18 Abdic, in the north-west of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and according to that

19 agreement they split up their responsibilities, so that the Army of

20 Republika Srpska said, "I will occupy the whole area along the eastern

21 border of Bosnia and Herzegovina," which they in fact did, with the

22 exception of three small enclaves: Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde, which

23 really didn't mean anything strategically.

24 The HVO was given the task within the area that had been

25 proclaimed as the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna to occupy all those

Page 17831

1 places that I pointed to on the model, and together with Fikret Abdic, who

2 managed to destroy the 5th Corps in the north-west of Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina.

4 Q. General, I have to interrupt you because we only have a ten

5 minutes left and I have a couple of slides that --

6 A. Just one more sentence, if I may.

7 Had this preconceived plan been fulfilled, all that would have

8 remained of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and all its

9 corps, only perhaps five, six, or seven small enclaves, which eventually

10 would have had to fall and surrender, capitulate. Fortunately, this did

11 not happen.

12 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to move to Annex 80 on page 2. If

13 you can quickly show what you showed on the map concerning the plan of the

14 HVO to link up Busovaca and Kiseljak. If you can indicate where Zenica

15 is.

16 A. Zenica is here.

17 Q. You also have other colours you can use. There's a black you can

18 use. Maybe it would be better. If you can indicate where Zenica is.

19 A. Zenica is here. I've just put a circle around it.

20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and where is Busovaca.

21 A. Busovaca is here.

22 Q. And where Kiseljak is, or at least the direction towards

23 Kiseljak.

24 A. Kiseljak is in the bottom right-hand corner, south of this

25 rectangle that I have drawn.

Page 17832












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Page 17833

1 Q. Where Kacuni is.

2 A. Kacuni is here.

3 Q. And the Lasva junction?

4 A. Lasva is here.

5 Q. And where the line of advance of the forces being sent to defend

6 through Dusina from Zenica to Dusina to Kacuni, what you explained

7 earlier.

8 A. I can draw a line of the route from Zenica via the Lasva junction

9 and via Dusina to assist Kacuni. This is this blue line. And it is the

10 only possible route.

11 Q. And can you just say where Dusina is.

12 A. Dusina is about here, where I've drawn the circle.

13 Q. Can you write beside "Dusina." We will try to freeze this

14 picture for later.

15 A. [Marks]

16 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move to another annex, which is Annex

17 109.

18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I can obtain ten

19 more minutes, because tomorrow we won't have this computer technology in

20 Courtroom II, so if I could use this extra time to show the three

21 remaining maps.

22 A. This annex shows the direction of attack from Busovaca towards

23 Kiseljak. This is Kiseljak. The dot I have put a circle around in red.

24 And this is Busovaca, and this is the direction of attack to Kiseljak and

25 vice versa, from Kiseljak to Busovaca, with the aim of linking up these

Page 17834

1 two enclaves. At the same time, there were constant attempts via Gornji

2 Vakuf to link up these enclaves and the enclave of Bugojno.

3 Q. [In English] I'd like to move now to Annex 111, which deals with

4 the situation in June of 1993.

5 [Defence counsel confer]

6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] It's not so much the difficulty.

7 It is that the picture is very large. The slide is -- the file is a very

8 thick one.

9 Q. [In English] General, can you please quickly describe what we see

10 on this annex.

11 A. This annex shows in red the line of the forces of Republika

12 Srpska. It goes to the north-east. The blue dotted line are the defence

13 lines of the 3rd Corps of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

14 At the same time, these roads are drawn in brown and there are a large

15 number of checkpoints along those roads. The town of Travnik I think can

16 be seen well, is here; Nova Travnik, Vitez, and Zenica. All these

17 checkpoints are not as important as the three key checkpoints, and they

18 are the following: This one, at Ovnak, that I pointed to on the relief a

19 moment ago; this checkpoint here, in Vitez, that I also pointed to on the

20 model; and this checkpoint, at the junction mentioned as "T". These three

21 checkpoints are of key significance, and it is only through them that it

22 is possible to enter the Bila Valley. All three of these checkpoints, as

23 shown by the legend, are held by the HVO.

24 The black dotted line is the border of Travnik municipality, and

25 if you look at all these checkpoints, including those held by the 3rd

Page 17835

1 Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, indicates how complicated the

2 situation in the area was.

3 Q. Thank you, General. Let's now move to Annex 112, which is the

4 before-last annex, which shows the attack on Ovnak.

5 In the meantime, General, I have one question for you, and that

6 is: The importance of linking up Vares on one side to, on the other side,

7 where we have Zepce, Maglaj, and Zavidovici, how important that was for

8 the VRS from a strategic point of view in June and July of 1993.

9 A. I didn't quite understand the question, I'm afraid.

10 Q. Then maybe, General, we will just go on this map and then I'll

11 show you the other annex. I was just trying to make some time.

12 Can you explain what is happening on this annex, which is 112.

13 A. Annex 112 shows the mutual deployment on the 8th of June, 1993.

14 Again, we have the colours. The blue stands for the forces of the Army of

15 Bosnia and Herzegovina; the red, for the VRS; the brown, for the Croatian

16 Defence Council. Actually, behind this red dotted line, this territory

17 that I'm marking is controlled by the VRS. This colour is controlled by

18 the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And this one here, by

19 the HVO.

20 Actually, the black dotted line is the border of the Travnik

21 municipality, and the blue dotted line, the 3rd Corps of the Army of the

22 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

23 This part here - and I'm going to try and circle it in blue - is

24 an enclave of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

25 Another enclave; a third here; a fourth here; and of course this area up

Page 17836

1 here was controlled by the ABiH, that is, the 3rd Corps.

2 All the territory in between, the largest percentage was

3 controlled by the HVO. Ovnak, the place we mentioned, is right here. And

4 the other point, Vitez, is about here. The commander decided to use the

5 route via Ovnak, and we tried to show this -- show the axis of

6 direction -- the axis of the attacks of the units within the newly formed

7 Tactical Group Ovnak, which was formed due to the request for assistance

8 received from the 306th Brigade. This brigade that I am putting a circle

9 round.

10 The aim of this battle was for this part here to -- that I have

11 marked with a black line, to remove the checkpoint at Ovnak, to deblock

12 the road via Ovnak, so as to provide assistance to these enclaves that I

13 am ticking off. These three, and especially the Travnik enclave. All of

14 this started on the 8th of June, 1993, and after that a completely new

15 line of separation was established between the 3rd Corps of the ABiH and

16 the HVO, which is shown in another annex.

17 Q. Thank you, General. We'll move to the last annex, which is Annex

18 74, to show the -- what was happening in the Maglaj finger. Can you

19 explain quickly, General, what was -- what happened here in terms of the

20 yellow part around Maglaj and from Vares to Zavidovici, what was the

21 interest of the VRS to link Vares and Zavidovici.

22 A. I would need a map of the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

23 However, the VRS as well had a similar interest as the HVO to link

24 Busovaca and Kiseljak, so the VRS wanted to link with its forces via Olovo

25 to the area of Zavidovici, et cetera. By linking up the forces of the VRS

Page 17837

1 from Podlug and Olovo, the Tuzla region would be totally cut off and

2 turned into an enclave. It would be physically cut off from the Zenica

3 region. As a result, the 2nd and 3rd Corps would be physically separated.

4 That's one matter. And in that respect, the interests of Zepce and Vares

5 coincide.

6 Luckily that is not what happened, because my corps fought -- had

7 heavy battles in Olovo for some three months to defend Olovo and not allow

8 Serb forces to break through via Olovo and link up with their own forces

9 and thus transforming Tuzla into an enclave.

10 However, when talking about Zepce, as I said on the 30th of

11 June -- or rather, the 1st of July, 1993, the HVO, this area marked in

12 yellow - I am ticking it off or making a circle in it - they had agreed

13 with the VRS to surrender a part to have front, some positions. And I

14 shall try to mark those positions in black. This is those -- where those

15 positions were. I'm showing it in -- with a black arrow.

16 Q. General, could you indicate --

17 A. So by agreement between the VRS and the HVO, the Army of the

18 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina had another enclave, Maglaj and Tesanj,

19 because it was cut off from the rest, which was another very difficult

20 problem as to how to fight in Tesanj and Maglaj, how to communicate with

21 them, how to supply food and resupply them with ammunition.

22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... black marker, indicate the

23 link-up between what was being tried with Vares and Olovo to link it up to

24 the other side to see what would have been the result.

25 A. I shall mark it in red. The forces of the aggressor, of the VRS,

Page 17838

1 tried together with the HVO to attack in this direction, and they also

2 attacked from this direction. And then together they wanted to physically

3 prevent contact between the 2nd and the 3rd Corps, and with me too,

4 because the 2nd Corps was physically linked to the 3rd and to my corps.

5 Then Tuzla would have become an enclave, another enclave. That's one.

6 And I want to use this map to show something else. The attempts

7 between Busovaca and Kiseljak - and I am drawing a new red line - they

8 wanted to link up here too, and this shows that the whole of the territory

9 under the control of the ABiH would be cut up into five or six enclaves,

10 which could hardly survive on their own and would disappear with time and

11 so would Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state, after which the UN would

12 probably have to pass a new resolution annulling the previous one.

13 Q. Thank you, General.

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

15 thank you for the additional time.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll adjourn for

17 today.

18 General, you will come back tomorrow. That will begin at 9.00 in

19 the morning.

20 Thank you all. And we meet again tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.

21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.15 p.m.,

22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 24th day of

23 March, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.