Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12279

1 Monday, 17th January, 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.

5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.

6 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario

7 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

9 MR. NICE: The witness today is Colonel

10 Stewart; he's here and ready to go. He would obviously

11 like to be finished today, if at all possible. We have

12 not yet had from Trial Chamber I an order releasing the

13 document that I've referred to on earlier occasions,

14 and therefore I haven't been able to show the document

15 to this witness for his comments. I'm hopeful that in

16 the course of the morning there may be notification

17 from Trial Chamber I that the document can be

18 released. If it is released, I'd ask for the witness

19 to have a short adjournment at a convenient time to

20 consider the document, and I'd ask to be allowed to

21 speak to him if there's anything he wants to say about

22 it, but of course limited to that document and nothing

23 else at that stage as he will have already started to

24 give evidence.

25 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider that in due

Page 12280

1 course.

2 MR. NICE: May the witness come in then.

3 JUDGE MAY: Well, before we do, there are

4 various formal matters. The first is this, that there

5 are only two Judges sitting today, Judge Robinson being

6 away, as is known, for urgent personal reasons. We

7 propose, therefore, to make a further order under Rule

8 15 bis because we regard it in the interests of justice

9 to get on with this case and to hear this evidence, the

10 witness being here or witnesses being here this week.

11 We propose to make the order for three days, as the

12 Rule provides, unless anybody has any submissions to

13 make.

14 MR. NICE: No.

15 MR. STEIN: No, Your Honour. Other than what

16 we've said earlier, we have none.

17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Very well. I take

18 that to be a reference to the amount of reading for

19 Judge Robinson. It is something which we covered or I

20 covered in my conversation with him which I referred to

21 last week. Accordingly, we'll make the order in the

22 interests of justice under Rule 15 bis.

23 The next matter is this, that we have had the

24 transcript of Colonel Stewart's evidence in Blaskic.

25 It's evidence which was given under oath and subject to

Page 12281

1 cross-examination, and we would propose that it be made

2 an exhibit in this case so that it's part of the

3 record. Is there any objection to that course?

4 MR. NICE: No objection.

5 MR. SAYERS: No objection, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

7 MR. KOVACIC: The same, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, Mr. Kovacic. I didn't

9 ask you about the Rule 15 bis order.

10 Since the transcript was part or is part of

11 the record and since we've had the opportunity of

12 reading it, it would be sufficient for counsel to refer

13 to passages in it on which they rely. There are more

14 references, I note, to Mr. Kordic, for instance, than

15 appear in your summary, one or two.

16 MR. NICE: Yes.

17 JUDGE MAY: But albeit, if the same points

18 are to be made, then a reference to the transcript

19 would be sufficient rather than taking the witness all

20 the way through it again, saying, "Do you agree," and

21 of course, he will say, "Yes, I agree with what I said

22 on oath three months ago," or "six months ago," and I

23 hope in that way we can speed things up.

24 You anticipated you would be about an hour,

25 Mr. Nice.

Page 12282

1 MR. NICE: Probably less.

2 JUDGE MAY: Probably less. It really would

3 be in everybody's interests so we can get through the

4 work this week and also so that the witness himself can

5 get away if we can conclude his cross-examination

6 today. I hope that's going to be possible.

7 If there are references to the witness's book

8 and his diary, again if counsel want to rely on parts

9 of it, there's no need to go over it all, we can be

10 referred to it and we can read it at our leisure.

11 Can we have the witness, please.

12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, perhaps just a

13 technical question for later work. Since the

14 transcript of this witness from his testimony in the

15 other case will be somehow, how should I say it, I'm

16 missing the technical word, tender it --

17 JUDGE MAY: Part of the record. It will be

18 part of the record in this case.

19 MR. KOVACIC: But should it then have a

20 number?

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it probably should have a

22 number.

23 MR. KOVACIC: So we know how to handle it

24 technically.

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course. A Prosecution

Page 12283

1 Exhibit, I suggest.

2 MR. NICE: Yes. Can we think of the

3 appropriate number to give it, given that we've been

4 attaching numbers with significance. We'll try and

5 find an appropriate number. Maybe transcripts should

6 start a new series at a high number, but I'll think of

7 that.

8 JUDGE MAY: If you will deal with that

9 today.

10 MR. NICE: Yes, certainly.

11 [The witness entered court]

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the

13 declaration.

14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

16 truth.

17 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a

18 seat.

19 THE WITNESS: Thank you.


21 Examined by Mr. Nice:

22 Q. Full name, please.

23 A. Robert Alexander Stewart.

24 Q. We have to leave a gap between questions and

25 answers to allow for simultaneous translation to take

Page 12284

1 place, or translation to take place.

2 Colonel Stewart, were you commanding officer

3 of the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment in Bosnia

4 October 1992 to May 1993?

5 A. I was.

6 Q. Have you reviewed now the witness statement

7 you gave, as well as the testimony you gave in the

8 Blaskic case? Do you have any comments to make by way

9 of correction of either of those documents?

10 A. I have reviewed the documents and I have no

11 amendments or adjustments to make.

12 Q. Roughly how many times did you meet Dario

13 Kordic in the course of your tour of duty?

14 A. I think about four or five times.

15 Q. Can we just confirm that you've seen a

16 summary of your evidence today? Indeed, it may be

17 before you at the moment. Is that summary something

18 with which you also agree?

19 A. It is.

20 Q. Although it may be before you, if you would

21 be so good as to try and speak directly to the Judges

22 on questions, using, as it were, the words that come to

23 you today, I would be grateful, to give vitality to

24 your evidence.

25 In forming conclusions about Kordic, I want

Page 12285

1 to check that we've listed the sources of information

2 available to you. Did those sources include the

3 personal encounters with Kordic himself?

4 A. Yes, they did, Your Honour.

5 Q. The system of reporting from your patrols,

6 how did that information reach you; directly or

7 indirectly?

8 A. It reached me directly, and often I formed my

9 own conclusions because I was out on patrol a lot, and

10 so there were various sources of information that

11 reached me as the commander.

12 Q. Before information reached you, did it pass

13 through an intelligence officer or a system of

14 intelligence handling?

15 A. The answer to that question is it depended.

16 It depended -- if it was considered to be vital, it

17 would come direct to me, unfiltered. But the normal

18 system was that all patrols were briefed and debriefed

19 both before -- they were briefed before they went on

20 patrol and they were debriefed on return from patrol by

21 what I call the intelligence section and by the

22 briefers in the intelligence section.

23 Q. Did you also receive information from ECMM

24 monitors?

25 A. Yes, I did. They were quite useful, because

Page 12286

1 they used to operate in areas that I didn't necessarily

2 patrol, and the reason why they would operate in areas

3 I didn't necessarily patrol was because they generally

4 operated in the more passive areas, whereas I wanted to

5 concentrate my efforts in the areas where there was

6 more trouble, indeed where the ECMM, who were unarmed

7 and unprotected by armour, could not operate, except

8 sometimes I lent them armour that I -- from my own

9 resources.

10 Q. Did you receive information or intelligence

11 from locally-employed staff, including interpreters?

12 A. Well, yes, I did, but in many ways the

13 information I received from the interpreters was gained

14 by the fact that they were with me or with our patrols

15 when we were operating.

16 Q. Did you receive information direct from the

17 HVO and from the BiH army?

18 A. Yes, we did, but we made sure, as a

19 principle, that we didn't pass on information we

20 received from the HVO, the BiH, to the opposition. It

21 was one of the unwritten rules that I laid down, that

22 we would not pass information given to us by one side

23 to the other. Otherwise, of course, one, we would be

24 distrusted sometimes more than we were before, and

25 equally I didn't think that was proper.

Page 12287

1 Q. Finally, did you receive information directly

2 from local inhabitants to whom you or perhaps others

3 but you certainly spoke?

4 A. This was the most important source of

5 information. As I was on the ground quite a lot, what

6 someone who lived in a house that I visited told me

7 must have been the most important raw data. The fact

8 that someone who lived there all his life was telling

9 me something gave it the greatest credibility. So in

10 my view, receiving information direct from the people

11 that lived on the ground, whether they be Bosnian

12 Croats or Bosnian Muslims, was the most important and

13 crucial information I was to receive, and for that

14 reason and that reason chiefly, I spent a lot of my

15 time actually talking to people on the ground.

16 MR. NICE: May the witness have, please, the

17 map 2781,2 for reference as he may decide. If it can

18 be left on the ELMO, I expect Colonel Stewart knows how

19 to use it, from his evidence in the other case.

20 Q. We've listed, Colonel Stewart, personal

21 encounters with Kordic to which you attach particular

22 significance, and in relation to each of those, I'd

23 like you, please, to summarise, in a couple of

24 sentences, what happened, and then to say what

25 conclusion you draw from it.

Page 12288

1 First, was there an incident at Novi Travnik

2 on the 20th of October of 1992 that you can tell us

3 about?

4 A. Yes, I can. This was at a time when my

5 battalion was not in theatre. It was during the

6 reconnaissance, when we were deciding how and where we

7 would actually position my troops in Central Bosnia.

8 I was on my own, insofar as I had a maximum

9 of about 20 people with me. We were based in the

10 school in Vitez, which was empty, actually using the

11 gymnasium to sleep in there, and what happened on the

12 20th of October was that there was serious fighting

13 which had erupted in Vitez and the surrounding area.

14 It was so serious that I thought it would terminate --

15 could possibly terminate the deployment of United

16 Nations troops into Central Bosnia, which of course

17 would destroy the mission I had been given. For that

18 reason, I took immediate action to try and sort the

19 problem.

20 I remember that on the 20th, I went into the

21 Hotel Vitez, which I had stayed at previously, to try

22 and find who was in charge. I was told by the

23 commander there that the reason why there was fighting

24 and the reason why there were roadblocks was because

25 the Muslims were causing trouble. In fact, there was

Page 12289

1 some shooting around the Vitez Hotel, which was the HVO

2 headquarters as well.

3 And having done that, I was told I ought to

4 go and see the Bosnian Muslim commander, which I did.

5 He was in a school, and I remember he was sitting, when

6 I went in to see him, in the sort of headmaster's

7 office, and the window was smashed, the result of an

8 RPG 7 or anti-tank missile hitting just below the

9 window, so which had smashed all the glass. He said

10 that had happened during the night.

11 Anyway, on return to the Hotel Vitez --

12 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Stewart, forgive me. Let

13 me interrupt you, because there's something which I

14 would like clarified.

15 You were told to go and see the Bosnian

16 Muslim commander, and you did so, and you saw him in

17 the school. That I take it to be in Vitez. Who was

18 that, please, if you remember? If you don't remember,

19 just say so.

20 A. I do remember. A guy called Sefkija. That's

21 the way I wrote it down.

22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

23 A. And I was sent to that area by Cerkez, the

24 HVO commander, as he said, in Vitez.

25 Anyway, I saw Sefkija. I returned to the

Page 12290

1 hotel. It wasn't particularly easy because there was a

2 heck of a lot of shooting, but we didn't come under

3 fire.

4 Then I went to Novi Travnik, which was

5 extremely difficult, and something like in the

6 afternoon I set up a convoy and went to Novi Travnik,

7 got stopped at a roadblock outside Novi Travnik by an

8 HVO -- by HVO personnel, and then drove into Travnik.

9 It was, to say the least, extremely hazardous. We were

10 driving Land Rovers, and it seemed to me like we were

11 walking into an ambush. I don't know why none of my

12 vehicles were hit. And we careered through Novi

13 Travnik, going initially to find the BiH headquarters,

14 apparently commanded by a man called Lendo.

15 I spoke to Lendo when we got there, an

16 unpleasant man, and told him that the fighting had to

17 stop. And apparently he had some prisoners or

18 hostages. I demanded that he give them to me

19 immediately. He refused. I said I wasn't prepared to

20 have a refusal, but he still refused. Then as I was

21 about to leave, he produced one man. This man was

22 terrified. In fact, as I recall, he didn't seem to

23 have the basics. He had a shirt on and he probably

24 had -- you know, I had the impression of shoes without

25 laces and things like that. But he was clearly a very

Page 12291

1 frightened individual.

2 Anyway, I thought one was better than none,

3 and I told Lendo that the fighting had to stop, that it

4 was disgraceful, and to that end I was going to go to

5 the HVO headquarters. Once I got some sense out of the

6 so-called HVO hostage, once he stopped being so

7 frightened, he agreed to direct me to the HVO

8 headquarters.

9 There was still some firing as we crossed

10 town and we went to a place which I think was called

11 the Cafe Grand, and inside the Cafe Grand I met Kordic

12 for the first time. It was an upstairs bar in the Cafe

13 Grand, and again my task, as I saw it, was to try and

14 get both the HVO and the BiH to stop fighting.

15 In answer to the question finally, and I'm

16 sorry it's taken so long to get there, that is the

17 first time I met Kordic.

18 Q. How was he dressed? Was he alone? If not,

19 what sort of people were with him? In a sentence or

20 so.

21 A. He was dressed in military fatigues without

22 insignia; in fact, the HVO didn't seem to carry

23 insignia at the time. He was surrounded by people who

24 were similarly dressed and he appeared to be the

25 commander.

Page 12292

1 Q. Did he speak to you and negotiate with you as

2 the commander or not?

3 A. He did.

4 Q. Did he or did anybody else identify any

5 senior HVO commander in Novi Travnik to whom you should

6 have referred at that stage, or were matters conducted

7 on the basis that Kordic was in charge?

8 A. Well, to be honest, I went there expecting to

9 find Blaskic and so I was somewhat surprised when

10 Kordic was there but Blaskic was not, because one of

11 the reasons I had come to Novi Travnik was also to

12 speak to Blaskic. Blaskic wasn't there but Kordic

13 was.

14 Q. Was there any suggestion that Kordic was

15 deferring to Blaskic or that you would have to refer to

16 Blaskic?

17 A. No, there was not. In fact, the fact of the

18 matter was I didn't really contemplate the matter at

19 all because as far as I was concerned I had one urgent

20 overriding priority, that was to stop the fighting, and

21 I'd deal with anyone who could help do that, and Kordic

22 appeared to be the man in charge at the time.

23 Q. Let's move to the next incident, but we'll

24 take "C" ahead of "B" because I think this may fit

25 chronologically.

Page 12293

1 In summary, was there an incident involving a

2 Danish soldier kidnapped by the HVO in respect of whom

3 the United Nations had been asked for help?

4 A. Yes, there was. At one stage, the Danish

5 contingent in Kiseljak had apparently lost a soldier

6 who had been along the road, on his own, I think, and

7 he was kidnapped. The fact of the matter was I knew

8 Dario Kordic.

9 I was telephoned from Kiseljak by the United

10 Nations command and asked if I could help to get this

11 soldier freed. In fact, I'd had dinner with Dario

12 Kordic either the night before or the night before that

13 in my headquarters, along with the commanders of the

14 BiH, a dinner night as we call them, and I sent Captain

15 Martin Foregrave to see Dario Kordic to ask if he could

16 use his influence to get this soldier released.

17 Apparently it had some influence because the soldier

18 was released four hours later.

19 Q. Let's move to subparagraph --

20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, can we establish a date

21 for this incident?

22 MR. NICE:

23 Q. Are you able to establish a date for this,

24 Colonel Stewart?

25 A. No, I'm not.

Page 12294

1 Q. But where do you believe it to fit in

2 relation to the next incident which I was going to deal

3 with, the 4th of February, 1993?

4 A. Before it.

5 Q. So dealing with the 4th of February in

6 Busovaca at the PTT building, and referring to the map

7 if that's going to assist us, tell us what happened and

8 what significance you saw in it particularly.

9 A. I visited the PTT building in Busovaca on the

10 4th of February. Kordic was by that time the military

11 commander of Busovaca, as I recall, still not wearing

12 military rank but certainly wearing military fatigues.

13 He was quite agitated, which I thought was unusual. He

14 was agitated, I felt, because of the advance of the BiH

15 across the hills towards Busovaca. He asked me to do

16 all I could to stop the fighting, which I took to be a

17 sign that actually the HVO might be losing this

18 particular matter.

19 I think on that date I went into the area of

20 Katici and also -- it doesn't show on your map, it has

21 to be opened out. It's still not helpful. Can I have

22 it?

23 Just to orientate, Vitez is there

24 [indicates]; Busovaca is here. This road is the valley

25 road along the Lasva Valley that goes round to Zenica.

Page 12295

1 This junction here [indicates], the T-junction is

2 strategically important because this is the dividing

3 line between going to Zenica and going down to

4 Kiseljak, and Busovaca stood here [indicates]. The PTT

5 building was obviously in the centre of Busovaca.

6 I visited the PTT building here [indicates]

7 and was told the fighting was enormous around up here

8 [indicates], and could I help. I went to Katici and

9 Medani in my armoured vehicle, and I think it was

10 getting dark at the time. Again, this was a serious

11 area of confrontation and we came under fire when we

12 did so.

13 Q. What, over all, did this encounter with the

14 agitated Dario Kordic show you about military command

15 in him at that time?

16 A. My conclusion was that Kordic had decided or

17 had been put in charge of Busovaca from his position as

18 the political director to try and get a control over

19 the situation there, and my conclusion was, and I'm

20 sure of this, that at the time he was the HVO commander

21 in Busovaca.

22 Q. I turn to the 22nd of February. Was there an

23 incident there involving a roadblock on the Zenica

24 road?

25 A. Yes. I had negotiated that this roadblock,

Page 12296

1 which, if you look at the map, would of course be a big

2 problem, it was somewhere near here [indicates] where

3 the main road came close to the river, and there was a

4 cliff and the cliff had been brought down to

5 effectively block the road with explosives -- it had

6 been brought down by explosives to block the road.

7 If you can imagine, there were only two

8 routes into Zenica; one, the easiest route along the

9 main road and the other, the valley route where there

10 were frequent roadblocks and where there was an area of

11 confrontation. To actually lose the easy access to

12 Zenica where all the international agencies tend to

13 have their headquarters and their control points was a

14 blow.

15 Q. You said the alternative was the valley

16 road. Did you mean the alternative was the mountain

17 road?

18 A. Yes. Forgive me, I meant the mountain road.

19 Q. We'll be looking at that in a few minutes, so

20 press on.

21 A. So I was very concerned to get this roadblock

22 removed, and I remember one of my company commanders, a

23 Major Jennings, was tasked by me to get it fixed. He

24 didn't really manage that, and so I put a lot of effort

25 into getting it removed. I spoke to Blaskic and he

Page 12297

1 agreed that the route could be opened. When I visited

2 Kordic, he didn't agree that the route could be opened

3 and said that Blaskic's word on this did not matter, it

4 was not to be opened.

5 Q. Was it opened or did it remain --

6 A. No, it wasn't opened then. It took a few

7 more days and required me to guarantee that I would

8 provide security on that route by having a checkpoint

9 of my soldiers permanently established there. This was

10 something I really loathed doing. I did not like

11 establishing checkpoints because it -- well, it sort of

12 implicated a lot of my soldiers in static duties and

13 took a lot of manpower, and frankly I didn't think it

14 was particularly effective.

15 Q. We've heard evidence already and, indeed,

16 seen film already of your discovery of the massacre at

17 Ahmici. That's been dealt with also in your testimony

18 in the Blaskic case, and I'm not going to take you

19 through it at all. But did you, after that discovery

20 on the 26th of April, have an encounter with Kordic,

21 where he gave an explanation to you for what had

22 happened at Ahmici?

23 A. Yes, I did. Kordic told me that the incident

24 at Ahmici had been caused by Bosnian Serbs seeking to

25 kill Muslims and blame the HVO.

Page 12298

1 Q. Your response at the time to that?

2 A. I thought it was laughable and pathetic and

3 obviously was wrong.

4 Q. Did you tell him as much?

5 A. Oh, yes.

6 Q. I turn now to your conclusions from all the

7 sources of information about Kordic. How connected was

8 he to the top of the HVO?

9 A. He was definitely connected to the top of the

10 HVO, as he told me himself. He was the Deputy

11 President, a political Deputy President or

12 Vice-President. He was proud of that, and he was

13 primarily, in my view, a political leader in Central

14 Bosnia, political in the sense, I have to add, in the

15 sense of giving direction to the military.

16 Q. I'll return to that conclusion a little

17 further on but deal with some detailed matters first.

18 How connected to Valenta?

19 A. My impression was that Valenta was almost his

20 professor, almost someone from whom he derived

21 inspiration or -- Valenta had written a book. I never

22 read it because, of course, I can't read Croatian. But

23 when he explained it to me verbally, it seemed to me

24 rather like Mein Kampf, insofar as Mein Kampf suggested

25 ethnic cleansing and so too did Valenta's book,

Page 12299

1 apparently, from what he said to me.

2 Q. Subparagraph (D), because we've dealt

3 with (C). As things developed, did you judge whether

4 Kordic's involvement in military affairs was constant

5 or diminished or grew? Tell us about that.

6 A. The answer is he started as a political

7 controller, although the incident on the 20th of

8 October, 1992, seemed to demonstrate that he was a

9 decision-maker too in the military, you know, with

10 regard to the Novi Travnik business. But he got

11 increasingly involved in the military situation,

12 witnessed by the fact that by the end of my time in

13 Bosnia, he was the commander in Busovaca.

14 He most certainly was not a military officer

15 by profession, Blaskic was, an ex-JNA officer who had

16 personal knowledge and, I suspect, some liking for

17 people like Merdan in the BiH, as Kordic's background

18 tended to be as a journalist and also someone

19 politically involved.

20 Q. Did you see some indication, from individual

21 members of the HVO, how they regarded Kordic's military

22 abilities?

23 A. Yes. I believe that the HVO soldiers who

24 were doing the fighting often didn't have much time for

25 Kordic and considered him inept in terms of being a

Page 12300

1 military commander. "Laugh behind their hands" would

2 be an English way of putting it.

3 Q. But did that necessarily find reflection in

4 their refusing to honour or to obey any orders that may

5 have come from or via him or not?

6 A. I don't think so. It was just an aside that

7 I felt. I mean the situation was always confusing. My

8 view was that Blaskic was the military commander and

9 Kordic was the political commander.

10 As someone that has studied the Soviet armed

11 forces for most of my time in the British army, there

12 was no surprise that the opponents in the Balkans would

13 be organised along the kind of Soviet-type principle

14 whereby there was a military commander and a political

15 commander side by side. That was how the JNA was

16 organised, you know, initially along Soviet lines

17 before the split with Tito, but probably continued.

18 And so therefore the experience of people who

19 had been in the armed forces was that these two

20 political/military commanders would work side by side

21 and that in normal times the military commander would

22 have to get the agreement of the political commander to

23 do anything. And so my view was and remains that

24 Blaskic was the appointed military commander for

25 Central Bosnia and that Kordic was the appointed

Page 12301

1 political commander for Central Bosnia.

2 But remember, when you say "appointed", this

3 was the HVO at a time when it was forming itself. You

4 know, I have sympathy for the fact that, you know, all

5 these things were being done at great speed, so it

6 wasn't, you know, as if they had manuals and books and

7 standard operational procedures. It was done really,

8 you know, as needs must.

9 Q. Thank you. I think we've dealt effectively

10 with subparagraphs (E), his influence at the

11 negotiations in October 1992, (F), his military command

12 in Busovaca in 1993. (G), you've really dealt with

13 his status vis-a-vis Blaskic and the fact that he

14 countermanded on overruled Blaskic on the 22nd of

15 February. I turn to (H).

16 Did you ever see Kordic personally involved

17 in war crimes?

18 A. No, I never did, and I think that's fair. I

19 never did that, and neither did I have the impression

20 that he had personally been involved in war crimes.

21 Q. As to the Ahmici attack, what amplification

22 from what's in your summary -- by the time of the

23 Ahmici attack, was there any evidence available to you

24 of the developing situation and what was happening?

25 A. Ahmici occurred on the 16th of April, 1993.

Page 12302

1 It was clear to me that the situation in Central Bosnia

2 had been deteriorating for some time with regard to the

3 relationship between the HVO and BiH.

4 The attack on Ahmici must have been

5 pre-planned. You know, as an experienced military

6 officer, you don't assemble the number of troops to do

7 that kind of operation without some pre-planning, and

8 therefore the attack on Ahmici must have been known and

9 condoned -- I mean agreed to by Mr. Kordic, because he

10 was still at that time the political -- dare I use the

11 word -- commissar for Central Bosnia.

12 I cannot see Blaskic or anyone else involved

13 in this operation carrying out such a disgusting crime

14 without political agreement. Political agreement in

15 Central Bosnia came through Kordic.

16 Q. Finally and more generally on this topic, any

17 other policies that the Chamber may find existed about,

18 for example, ethnic cleansing generally, to what degree

19 must they, in your judgement, have involved political

20 approval or contribution?

21 A. I think that the decisions on ethnic

22 cleansing stemmed from two sources. One was the

23 political strategy of the HVO, led by people like Ante

24 Valenta, and as I previously said, Kordic seemed to be

25 a disciple of these thoughts. And the other catalyst,

Page 12303

1 I'm afraid to say, was the suggestion that the area of

2 Central Bosnia would be divided under the Vance-Owen

3 Plan into certain areas which seemed to be rather

4 absurd. For example, Gornji Vakuf, largely Muslim, was

5 given to the Croats, and Novi Travnik, very much

6 Muslim, was given also to the Croats, and the Croats

7 were meant to sort of centralise in Zenica.

8 One of the reasons I think why the trouble

9 that had been brewing for some time started was to

10 quickly expedite this so-called political solution so

11 that people could, de facto, change the situation

12 before the International Community realised they got it

13 wrong, the International Community represented by

14 Vance-Owen.

15 But fundamentally, any ethnic cleansing in

16 Central Bosnia must have been agreed to by the

17 political leadership of the HVO.

18 Q. And so the setup, as you saw it, was that one

19 where political controllers could overrule military

20 commanders or where military commanders could overrule

21 political commanders?

22 MR. SAYERS: Objection to the leading nature

23 of that question, You Honour, and to the extent that it

24 calls for speculation and conjecture.

25 JUDGE MAY: I don't think it is leading. It

Page 12304

1 is open-ended, because it wants an "either/or" answer.

2 A. The answer is that I felt that political

3 always led.


5 Q. Did you see any example of Kordic's orders

6 being overruled either by the military or by anybody

7 further up any political or military chain and

8 therefore superior to him?

9 A. No, I did not.

10 Q. We know from other evidence that you required

11 investigation into Ahmici from Blaskic. At the time

12 you made that requirement and based on your experience

13 as a soldier, would written documents have existed or

14 not to show what had happened?

15 A. I think that there would have been written

16 orders to prepare for the attack on Ahmici. I suspect

17 there may have been a written debrief for what happened

18 at Ahmici. But most clearly, because of the

19 disgusting, disgraceful situation that happened in

20 Ahmici and elsewhere, such documents would have been

21 suppressed or destroyed, because they were like

22 political dynamite.

23 I want to say one more thing at this stage.

24 There were -- I found evidence that there were also

25 crimes against humanity perpetrated by the BiH, but

Page 12305

1 not, in my area, at least, in any way like the scale of

2 those that normally occurred in the Lasva Valley.

3 Q. And was any report or were any raw documents

4 ever produced to you by Blaskic or anyone else in

5 defence of the various positions they took to explain

6 Ahmici and to explain why the HVO weren't involved?

7 A. Well, there was an answer to the letter I

8 sent immediately after I discovered Ahmici, sent to me

9 by Blaskic. I saw it in the Blaskic trial. I'm quite

10 sure and I'm perfectly willing to accept it came. I'm

11 not willing to accept, though, that anything was done

12 in my time, and I departed from Central Bosnia on the

13 10th of May, 1993, that there was absolutely nothing

14 done to investigate openly, with access to anyone, what

15 had happened at the village of Ahmici on the 16th of

16 April, 1993.

17 MR. NICE: May the witness see, in order to

18 refresh the Tribunal's recollection, D64/1, as the

19 document, I think, to which he is referring. If we can

20 lay that on the ELMO.

21 Q. Is that the document you had in mind when you

22 say that there was a reply shown to you in the Blaskic

23 case?

24 A. Yes, it is.

25 MR. NICE: The Chamber will have read it

Page 12306

1 before and there's no need to reread it.

2 May we go into private session just briefly

3 because of the sensitivity of another potential

4 witness.


6 MR. NICE: And would the Chamber have to look

7 at but not to lay on the ELMO document 887.2. I'm so

8 sorry. I was going too fast.

9 [Private session]

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 12307













13 page 12307 redacted in private session













Page 12308













13 page 12308 redacted in private session













Page 12309

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 [Open session]

23 MR. NICE: We're now in public session, I

24 think.

25 Q. You've been asked --

Page 12310

1 THE WITNESS: Can I know what the difference

2 between private and public session is?

3 MR. NICE: Private session is that nothing is

4 heard by the public gallery, so that what you say can't

5 be broadcast.

6 THE WITNESS: But in private session, what I

7 say can still get out of this court; is that correct?

8 MR. NICE: The Court has powers to control

9 the dissemination of information and the Defence

10 counsel are under duties to not disseminate publicly

11 what is revealed only privately.

12 THE WITNESS: What about the defendant?

13 JUDGE MAY: Well --

14 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. I would like to

15 know this, sir, because, you know, I'm talking about

16 something that matters very much.

17 JUDGE MAY: If there's a matter which

18 troubles you about this, we'll give you leave to talk

19 to Mr. Nice during the adjournment about it and then it

20 can be explained to you, and if there is a matter which

21 should be drawn to the attention of the Court, we'll

22 deal with it.

23 THE WITNESS: Can I answer, it's nothing

24 suspicious. It's just that general military practice

25 in the British army does not necessarily identify

Page 12311

1 people who work for special operations.

2 JUDGE MAY: Of course not. But, as I say, if

3 you would like to have a word with Mr. Nice about it,

4 it can either be cleared up or we'll make some sort of

5 order if we need to.

6 THE WITNESS: I don't need to, sir, but I

7 just wanted to be clear on that because I'm concerned,

8 because normal practice is that we don't identify.

9 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

10 MR. NICE:

11 Q. With the map to hand and bearing in mind that

12 the learned Judges haven't visited the area, can you

13 just explain a little more about the mountain road, you

14 might want to unwrap it, unfold the map, and show us

15 the utility to you of the mountain road in contrast

16 with the valley road.

17 A. If I can orientate you again, Vitez is here

18 [indicates], there; there is Zenica [indicates] where

19 the international agencies tended to be based; here

20 [indicates] is my military headquarters where I tended

21 to be based. The only two routes to Zenica were as

22 follows: the valley route which went down the Lasva

23 Valley to a junction here [indicates], this road went

24 to Sarajevo; and if you turned left or kept going, you

25 went into Zenica. A good well-maintained acceptable

Page 12312

1 road for the deployment of logistic transport and

2 humanitarian aid, obviously.

3 The valley road was the best route for

4 getting heavy vehicles into Zenica. The alternative

5 route was what we always called the mountain road which

6 went high up to this point, the highest point, and then

7 all the way down this valley into Zenica. This was

8 obviously quicker as a bird would fly, but this may

9 well have been quicker by virtue of the ease of

10 transport, you didn't have to climb.

11 Personally, I would generally use the

12 mountain road if I was in a Discovery Land Rover and

13 the valley road if I was in an armoured vehicle.

14 Q. How frequently or otherwise did you use the

15 mountain road? What about at the time of Ahmici?

16 A. At the time of Ahmici, on the 16th of April,

17 I probably went in three times to Zenica in that day --

18 at least two, probably three times. You have to recall

19 that my diary was written the next day and I didn't

20 necessarily -- I was tired and I just sort of bounced

21 around and put down most things, but it wasn't a

22 blow-by-blow account.

23 Q. To make sense of that and to connect it to

24 what the Chamber's dealing with, you've been asked

25 about and do you have any recollection of any incident

Page 12313

1 where you were given assistance with the moving of

2 mines on the road?

3 A. Yes. I mean, sometimes people would help me

4 move mines on the road, any road, and sometimes I'd do

5 it on my own. Obviously we learnt relatively quickly,

6 we hoped, that all the mines were not -- the anti-tank

7 mines, vehicle mines, were not booby-trapped. They

8 generally were movable. In fact, I don't think I can

9 recall an instance even with so-called tilt switches,

10 which is rods on top of anti-tank mines, that they were

11 booby-trapped, which was normal custom in a

12 professional armed force.

13 Q. Picking up your evidence of a couple of

14 answers ago, you've looked at your diary in relation

15 to, as it were, day return trips over the mountain road

16 to Zenica, you've dealt with the 16th of April. Does

17 your diary allow the possibility of any day return trip

18 to Zenica on the 15th or not?

19 A. On the 15th I went to Zenica but I didn't

20 return. I was summoned by --

21 Q. Well, again, that's all we need. If you went

22 there and you didn't return, then it wasn't a day

23 return trip?

24 A. The 14th, no. I was in Tuzla.

25 Q. And the 15th?

Page 12314

1 A. The 15th I spent the morning in my

2 headquarters dealing with paperwork. In the early

3 afternoon I was in Novi Travnik until I was summoned to

4 go to Zenica.

5 Q. Did you regularly enough pick up people that

6 you met on the roads whether or not that accorded with

7 policy?

8 A. Sir, the official policy was that we were not

9 to take people on board our vehicles, but the official

10 policy was nonsense when I considered there to be a

11 threat to the people, and so I countermanded that

12 order, which is a United Nation's order, and gave

13 instructions to my soldiers that where people's lives

14 were at risk or they considered it to be a humanitarian

15 purpose, i.e., someone who needed to go to hospital or

16 even a soldier, I didn't consider that a soldier wasn't

17 human, if a soldier was wounded and we could help him

18 by saving his life, we were to do so.

19 So the answer to the question, I'm sorry I

20 put that in context, the answer to the question is I

21 would willingly pick up people who I felt there was a

22 need to give them a lift, whether they be Muslim,

23 Croat, or whoever.

24 Q. Thank you. Two other matters of detail and

25 then I'm done.

Page 12315

1 First, and again this is not covered in your

2 summary but I think you may want to make reference to

3 it, you saw one or more than one places used as prisons

4 in the area of Busovaca or Busovaca/Vitez.

5 A. Actually, in the area of Busovaca, two; one I

6 call Kaonik and another one which is unnamed but to the

7 south of Busovaca.

8 Q. Any significance to the fact that there were

9 two places used as prisons in the area of Busovaca?

10 A. I think it was convenience more than anything

11 else.

12 Q. Then one document only to look at, please.

13 It's Exhibit Z306 coming up. This is a milinfosum, the

14 6th of December of 1992, and it's the passage at the

15 foot of the first page where there's a reference to the

16 man called Marinko, did you know the man called

17 Marinko?

18 A. I might have done, but I can't recall his

19 name.

20 Q. Yes. We can see that as reported, Marinko

21 stated that he knew Kordic well and described Blaskic

22 and Kordic at that time, the end of December or the

23 beginning of December, as two bodies, one mind,

24 claiming that Novi Travnik was a Croat town and would

25 form part of the new State of Herceg-Bosna, being happy

Page 12316

1 that Muslims should leave for, say, Zenica. How did

2 that expression of views fit or otherwise with your

3 understanding of the position at the time?

4 A. Well, I mean this is what I understood to be

5 accurate. I think this is something that comes from

6 Valenta's book, and I think this information was

7 probably gathered by one of my liaison officers.

8 I personally didn't have either knowledge or

9 input to this military information summary. It was

10 done normally by the staff, and normally I didn't have

11 an input unless I told them to put something into it.

12 MR. NICE: Thank you. Your Honour, subject

13 to the matter that may arise if we have an appropriate

14 order from the other Trial Chamber, that's all I ask of

15 the witness.

16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

17 Yes, Mr. Sayers.

18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President, and

19 good morning, Colonel Stewart.

20 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:

21 Q. My name is Steve Sayers. I'm one of the

22 attorneys representing Dario Kordic in this case.

23 Behind me are Mr. Kovacic and Mr. Mikulicic, and they

24 represent Mario Cerkez.

25 The questions that --

Page 12317

1 A. Can I just ask, Mario Cerkez is not on trial

2 here, it's just Dario Kordic?

3 MR. SAYERS: Mario Cerkez is on trial.

4 JUDGE MAY: There are two accused.

5 A. There are two accused here, same trial?

6 JUDGE MAY: Two accused here. I'm sorry you

7 weren't told about that. Both in the same trial, yes.

8 MR. NICE: I thought he was, and indeed I

9 realise I omitted to deal with paragraph 9, which I

10 would have wanted to have dealt with, but it can be

11 dealt with, because it's all favourable, in a sense, it

12 can be dealt with now or in cross-examination later.

13 JUDGE MAY: Well, we can read paragraph 9.

14 No doubt Mr. Kovacic can ask some questions about it,

15 if he wants.

16 Yes.

17 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour.

18 Q. Colonel, for your purposes and for the Trial

19 Chamber's purposes, let me just say that I propose to

20 ask you three broad areas of questions. I hope to be

21 complete by today, but that depends on the kind of

22 progress that we make.

23 First, I want to ask you some general

24 questions about the diaries or the diary that you

25 maintained and the book you wrote, some general

Page 12318

1 questions on the HVO chain of command. I will also ask

2 you about a couple of other subjects on a general

3 matter.

4 Secondly, I would like to take you through,

5 carefully and chronologically, the events in which you

6 have personal knowledge and about which you've given

7 some testimony today, and that's going to be the

8 largest part of the cross-examination.

9 Finally, I'll ask you some questions in

10 connection with the Ahmici opinions that you've given

11 today. And I'll try to do my best to let you know when

12 the break is so that you can prepare yourself for that.

13 A. That's very decent of you. That's very

14 much. I appreciate that.

15 Q. As I understand it, you've made two

16 preliminary visits in the nature of reconnaissance

17 visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina before actually leading

18 your regiment or the 1st Battalion of your regiment to

19 their tour of duty in Central Bosnia. The first

20 reconnaissance visit was at the end of September;

21 correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And you very briefly visited the town of

24 Vitez at that time?

25 A. Umm-hmm.

Page 12319

1 Q. Is that "yes"?

2 A. Yes, I'm sorry. Yes, I did. It lasted two

3 weeks, actually. I spent some time in Serbia as well,

4 one week in Serbia and one week in Central Bosnia.

5 Q. Most of your visit, though, was spent in the

6 Tuzla region, was it not?

7 A. In the first instance, my -- most of my visit

8 in Serbia was spent trying to get to Tuzla. I never

9 got there. I got stuck in around the area of Zvornik.

10 And when I was in Central Bosnia, I did get to Tuzla

11 from the town of Vitez.

12 Q. And then your second visit lasted from, I

13 believe, October the 18th to October the 22nd, when you

14 flew back to Split; correct?

15 A. Yes. I'm not sure, without reference to --

16 but the answer is, yes, it sounds right.

17 Q. Now, you testified in the Blaskic case that

18 you were instructed to keep a contemporaneous diary

19 from Lieutenant General Sir Jeromy McKenzie. I would

20 just like to show you a copy of the diary you

21 maintained, and we'll have it marked as an exhibit,

22 with the Trial Chamber's permission.

23 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

24 D151/1.

25 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

Page 12320

1 Q. The document that was marked D151/1 and which

2 I've just had the registrar put in front of you is an

3 accurate copy of the contemporaneous diary that you

4 maintained; is that correct, sir?

5 A. Yes, it looks it.

6 Q. Well, if you just keep that by you, we'll be

7 referring to that occasionally during the course of

8 your cross-examination.

9 The second document I would like to show you

10 is a completely separate document entitled "The

11 Commander's Diary, 1 Cheshire," and I believe this is

12 the official battalion war diary, and I would just like

13 you to identify this for the record, please.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Document D152/1.


16 Q. Colonel, the document that we've just shown

17 you is the official diary of significant events that

18 was maintained by the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire

19 Regiment; correct?

20 A. Yes. This is done by my second in command.

21 Q. And that's in the nature of an official

22 record, if you like, of the doings of the battalion

23 during their tour of duty in Central Bosnia; correct?

24 A. As he saw it.

25 Q. As he saw it?

Page 12321

1 A. As he saw it.

2 Q. Very well. And your second in command

3 initially, I believe, was Major Tim Park. Correct?

4 A. That's correct, until Christmas.

5 Q. And he was replaced then by Major Brian

6 Watters or then Major Brian Watters?

7 A. Right.

8 Q. Very well. Finally along these lines,

9 Colonel, you were requested by the British army to

10 write a book about your experiences in Central Bosnia,

11 and that book was published, I believe, by Harper

12 Collins in 1993 and entitled "Broken Lives." Correct?

13 A. It was the director of public relations,

14 army, that actually suggested I write a book and told

15 me to go to an agent, and the reason why he did that

16 was because he said that it would make absolute sense

17 to do so and it would stop people pushing me.

18 Q. And the book obviously was written in the

19 same year as your tour of duty; correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 MR. SAYERS: All right. Let me just have the

22 registrar mark the various portions of the book to

23 which we'll be referring during this

24 cross-examination. Thank you.

25 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

Page 12322

1 D153/1.

2 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

3 Q. All right, Colonel. Let's just start with

4 the book "Broken Lives." That's your picture on the

5 front, I take it.

6 A. Yes.

7 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to make much

8 progress if we ask that sort of question. It's

9 obviously his picture. Let's move on.

10 MR. SAYERS: Very well, Your Honour.

11 Q. You opine, sir, on page 319 of the book, that

12 Bosnia was undergoing a classic civil war fought by

13 civilians against civilians; a civilian one minute is a

14 soldier the next. I take it, sir, that you still agree

15 with that overall view of the situation that confronted

16 you and which you endured, actually, throughout your

17 tour of duty in Central Bosnia in the first half of

18 1993 and the latter two months or the latter month --

19 two months, I suppose, of 1992; correct?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. In addition, you relate, on page 19 of the

22 book, in connection with the initial briefings that you

23 were given to prepare you to lead your men into Central

24 Bosnia, sir, that Sir Peter Inge told you on September

25 the 13th that the hatred generated between the opposing

Page 12323

1 factions was almost impossible to believe. Do you

2 recall that briefing that you were given by --

3 A. I think Inge had been to Sarajevo before

4 that, and I do recall him telling me that.

5 Q. In addition, sir, just the final question

6 along these lines, on page 6 you relate that,

7 historically, relations between Serbs, Croats and

8 Muslims had been appalling for centuries; rivalries

9 between each group had frequently led to wars and

10 massacres; the place has always been considered a

11 powder keg. I believe that that's essentially the

12 briefing that you received to prepare you for your

13 duties. Correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Actually, not the briefing that you received

16 but some of the information that was communicated to

17 you as background; correct?

18 A. It was about all I got.

19 Q. In fact, sir, you knew nothing about the

20 Balkans before your posting to Bosnia-Herzegovina; is

21 that correct?

22 A. Beyond where they were and a bit of history,

23 correct.

24 Q. All right. In connection with the

25 intelligence section that you've described in your

Page 12324

1 direct examination, Colonel, that's what you called the

2 milinfocell or military information cell; is that

3 right?

4 A. Yes. The United Nations initially told me

5 that there was no such thing as intelligence for a

6 United Nations operation, and I said that I disagreed

7 with that. I think they called -- they told me to call

8 it the information room. I refused to do such a

9 thing. I said intelligence is required in order to

10 operate as a military organisation.

11 Q. Your intelligence section, I believe, was

12 under the command of Captain Christopher Leyshon.

13 A. That is correct.

14 Q. And you always found him to be a reliable and

15 trustworthy and effective young officer, did you not?

16 A. He was effective enough.

17 Q. The Trial Chamber has heard a lot of

18 information already, Colonel, about military

19 information summaries or milinfosums and the military

20 information cell generally, but it's true, is it not,

21 that the task of the intelligence section was to

22 prepare contemporaneous reports and summaries of

23 significant happenings and events in your area of

24 operations, your AOR?

25 A. No. The task of an intelligence cell is to

Page 12325

1 prepare the soldiers that go on the ground to do their

2 job and take information from -- which they receive on

3 that patrol and investigate, collate it, so that

4 actually we are more effective next time we go on. As

5 part of its responsibilities, it has a reporting duty

6 as well, but the primary task of an intelligence

7 organisation is to assist those people that go on the

8 ground.

9 And while we're on that subject, just because

10 an intelligence cell produces an assessment doesn't

11 necessarily mean that people like myself read it.

12 Q. I understand, Colonel, but I'm just trying to

13 get an idea of how the information is put together.

14 A. I'm sorry, it was an aside. I'll answer the

15 question.

16 Q. It's true, is it not, that the commander

17 would generally hold a briefing every day, and this

18 would be attended by the representatives of the

19 milinfocell as well as by the liaison officers?

20 A. It not only was general, it happened at 5.00.

21 Q. All right. And you reported, you yourself

22 and your liaison officers, reported the results of

23 their investigation each day; correct?

24 A. The staff reported the investigations. I

25 didn't necessarily.

Page 12326

1 Q. You felt that your liaison officers, for

2 example, Captain Foregrave or Captain Dundas-Whatley,

3 were effective, and you had a high opinion of their

4 operational efficiency during your tour of duty;

5 correct?

6 A. Well, the answer to that question in the

7 book, I would say they were great, but when I actually

8 assessed them as individuals, I might give a different

9 answer.

10 Q. Just before you visited Bosnia-Herzegovina,

11 you were actually given some background information

12 about what you could expect to find from Lieutenant

13 Colonel Colin Doyle; is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And he told you, and this is recorded, I

16 believe, on pages 29 and 30 of your book and also on

17 page 280 of your book, and it's also recorded in your

18 diary, sir, on September 25th of 1992, that Lieutenant

19 Colonel Doyle told you that you should be very careful

20 to ascertain the truth, because all people in Bosnia

21 and Herzegovina were really good at twisting it;

22 correct?

23 A. Yes, I think that's right.

24 Q. Indeed, he instructed you that all parties

25 were quite prepared to attack their own people and to

Page 12327

1 blame it on someone else; correct?

2 A. He told me that, yes.

3 Q. In fact, it was your experience that it was

4 absolutely routine for the warring parties to point

5 fingers at one another when incidents occurred;

6 correct?

7 A. Absolutely.

8 Q. Let me just ask you a few questions, Colonel,

9 on the HVO chain of command.

10 You knew that the --

11 JUDGE MAY: If you're moving on to another

12 topic, I think that would be a convenient moment for

13 our break.

14 Mr. Nice, if you make your application to

15 speak to the witness, would you want to do that over

16 the longer adjournment?

17 MR. NICE: I'm not aware of any order coming

18 from Trial Chamber I in relation to the other matter.

19 I'll check with the witness whether he wants to say

20 anything, but I think his last answer was that he

21 didn't need to say anything else. But I'll have a word

22 with him, if I may.

23 JUDGE MAY: You may to ensure that nothing

24 else is to be added. But in due course you're going to

25 make an application in relation to the document if it

Page 12328

1 comes from Trial Chamber I.

2 MR. NICE: Yes.

3 JUDGE MAY: Well, you can do that before the

4 longer adjournment.

5 MR. NICE: Thank you.

6 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn for half an hour.

7 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.

8 --- On resuming at 11.36 a.m.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

10 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.

11 Q. Colonel, just before the break, I told you

12 that we were going to go over the chain of command

13 within the HVO, and I would like to address that in a

14 fairly summary way right now. These questions should

15 be fairly simple. If you need to expand on any answer,

16 just let me know.

17 First, you knew that the headquarters of the

18 HVO general staff was in Mostar; correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And that the commander in chief of the HVO

21 armed forces was Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic; correct?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. The military command of the HVO was actually

24 divided into various so-called operative zones; for

25 example, the Central Bosnia Operative Zone under the

Page 12329

1 command of Colonel Tihomir Blaskic and the Northwest

2 Herzegovina Operative Zone under the command, at least

3 during your tour of duty, of commander Zeljko Siljeg;

4 correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Each of these operative zones was commanded

7 by a separate commander who in turn reported to the

8 commander in chief of the general staff in Mostar,

9 Brigadier Petkovic; is that right?

10 A. That was my understanding.

11 Q. And insofar as the operative zones were

12 concerned, Colonel, they were actually divided into

13 municipality-based brigades; correct?

14 A. If you want to call them brigades, yes.

15 Q. Right. To the extent that they were

16 brigades, there was a brigade, for example, located in

17 Vitez, one in Novi Travnik, and another in Busovaca,

18 just as examples; correct?

19 A. As examples, yes.

20 Q. Each of the brigades was commanded by a

21 brigade commander who in turn reported to the operative

22 zone commander; correct?

23 A. As far as we could see it.

24 Can I just -- it was not -- we never had an

25 order of battle laid down, this was supposition as we

Page 12330

1 determined it, and neither were we indiscrete enough to

2 ask exactly what it was, indiscrete, I mean, from the

3 point of view that I thought it was inappropriate to

4 ask such questions and make suppositions.

5 Q. All right. So you never obviously asked

6 Colonel Blaskic what the relationship with Mr. Kordic

7 was insofar as the military chain of command was

8 concerned, did you?

9 A. No. I think I might have done actually

10 because I didn't totally comprehend -- it wasn't

11 clear-cut.

12 Q. Right.

13 A. I think I might have done, but I don't think

14 it's recorded in my diary.

15 Q. Right. You knew that, for example, Colonel

16 Blaskic had the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in

17 Busovaca under his command, did you not?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You knew that he had the ability to issue

20 orders to the 4th Battalion of the military police

21 headquartered in Vitez; correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Similarly, he had under his command so-called

24 special purpose units, such as the Vitezovi under the

25 command of Darko Kraljevic; do you recall that?

Page 12331

1 A. No.

2 Q. You do not. Very well.

3 Now, you testified in the Blaskic case that

4 there could have been a political and a military chain

5 of command, that there was suspicions along those

6 lines, but that the British remained confused as to the

7 chain of command and never actually confirmed it.

8 MR. SAYERS: For the Trial Chamber's

9 purposes, I merely refer to pages 23764 and 23749.

10 Q. And that's still your impression today, isn't

11 it, Colonel?

12 A. That is correct.

13 Q. Colonel Blaskic never once claimed to you

14 that there was any duality in the chain of command

15 whatsoever, did he?

16 A. Colonel Blaskic never once claimed to me that

17 there was duality and there was duality in the chain of

18 command, that is correct. Sorry, I am just rehearsing

19 the question again, just so I'm clear. No, I don't

20 think he did.

21 Q. All right. And you never raised the subject

22 with Mr. Kordic as to whether he had any military

23 authority at all, did you?

24 A. I don't think so.

25 Q. All right.

Page 12332

1 A. I don't think so.

2 Q. And the same is true with respect to any

3 other Bosnian Croat leader to whom you spoke, including

4 Brigadier Petkovic and Colonel Blaskic; correct?

5 A. Well, no, I think I might have talked to

6 Blaskic about it actually, you know, because he was --

7 no, I think I might have done but I can't say it's

8 fact. I've got this impression I might have done.

9 Q. Now, there was no doubt in your mind, and I

10 think you've said this in your direct examination and

11 you certainly said it in the Blaskic case but I'd just

12 like to ask you one question on this, there's no doubt

13 in your mind that Colonel Blaskic was the military

14 commander of the HVO armed forces in the Central Bosnia

15 Operative Zone; isn't that correct?

16 A. He said he was; I accepted that; he seemed to

17 be.

18 Q. All right. And you always considered him to

19 be the commander, didn't you?

20 A. Yes, I did.

21 Q. In fact, I believe you told

22 Judge Shahabuddeen, on page 8355, that in your opinion

23 Colonel Blaskic was the real commander of the HVO

24 forces in Central Bosnia and you never thought of

25 Mr. Kordic as the commander and never referred to him

Page 12333

1 as the commander. Is that correct?

2 A. Yes, that's correct, too, except with the

3 Busovaca thing.

4 Q. All right. Did you ever tell anybody that

5 you considered Mr. Kordic to be the military commander

6 in Busovaca?

7 A. I think I have said -- yes, I think I have

8 said that, yeah.

9 Q. To whom?

10 A. I don't know. It's generally -- it's what

11 appeared in my diary, what I appeared -- it appeared

12 correct at the time. And remember, going to the

13 evidence I've already given this morning, that

14 Mr. Kordic did appear to have the military command

15 decision-making in Novi Travnik on the 20th of October,

16 although I didn't think that was permanent. But I did

17 think that he was commander in Busovaca, correct, and I

18 don't know -- I've said that openly, so I don't know

19 who I've said it to. Lots of people, probably.

20 Q. Did you inform your military intelligence

21 section of that opinion, sir, do you think?

22 A. I think they knew about it. I mean sometimes

23 I would walk down and debrief -- be debriefed so that

24 we had a record of it, but to be quite honest, I didn't

25 have very much time on my hands.

Page 12334

1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Colonel

2 Stewart, sorry to interrupt you, but I have to ask if

3 Colonel Kordic had the command over the Busovaca area,

4 would that appear in military documents such as orders,

5 for example, or would that become transparent in

6 military type of relations that you entertained in

7 Busovaca? Did you have to go through him whenever you

8 dealt with some military operations in Busovaca, for

9 example? Was it possible for you to conclude from some

10 of the military operations that he really did have

11 command as far as the Busovaca area is concerned?

12 A. Well, I never called Mr. Kordic "Colonel".

13 It was the first reference I've heard to him as

14 "Colonel", which would make him equivalent rank, of

15 course, anyway. But the answer to your question, Sir,

16 I considered him to be the military commander de facto

17 in Busovaca at the time I visited him in the evidence

18 I've given, because he was the man -- you know, there

19 are indications of someone being a military commander.

20 An indication is that he sits in the operations room

21 and is surrounded by a staff. An indication is that no

22 one contradicts him. An indication is that when he

23 gives instructions, they are generally carried out. An

24 indication, indeed, is the fact he might disagree with

25 someone who was the de facto military commander of

Page 12335

1 Central Bosnia like Blaskic, and I've given evidence

2 this morning as to that fact with regard to the

3 landslide that was brought down on the Lasva Valley

4 road. I'm not sure whether that's an answer, Sir.

5 It's the best I can do at the moment.

6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.


8 Q. Colonel, in just a few minutes we'll go over

9 each of the Orbats, the orders of battle that your

10 regiment prepared in connection with the Central Bosnia

11 Operative Zone, but are you telling us that you

12 instructed your intelligence section that in your view,

13 Mr. Kordic was, in fact, the military commander in

14 Busovaca?

15 A. I'm not sure I said that to them.

16 Q. All right. Now turning to Mr. Kordic for

17 just a second --

18 A. Did you say "Kordic" or "Blaskic" then? I'm

19 sorry. Did you say that Mr. Kordic was the commander

20 in Central Bosnia?

21 Q. I asked you, sir, whether you had ever

22 informed your intelligence section in the Cheshire

23 Regiment, your milinfocell, that in your opinion

24 Mr. Kordic was, in fact, the military commander in

25 Busovaca?

Page 12336

1 A. I might have done, I might not have done. I

2 don't know.

3 Q. Very well. In connection with Mr. Kordic,

4 let me just ask you a few general questions before we

5 start going through the chronological material.

6 Were you aware that there was an entity by

7 the name of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna that

8 was in existence at the time of your tour of duty in

9 Central Bosnia, sir?

10 A. A sort of political organisation, you mean?

11 There are many phrases for it, HD -- whatever it is.

12 Yes, I realised there was a political organisation.

13 What it was called, I don't know.

14 Q. Let me just ask you this, and if you don't

15 know, you don't know, and that's a perfectly fine

16 answer. Were you aware that the HVO, the Croatia

17 Defence Council, was separate from the Croatian

18 Community of Herceg-Bosna, had a separate governance

19 than people in positions of authority, and that those

20 two entities --

21 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute. Before you start

22 putting these matters, these may be matters which are

23 in dispute and shouldn't be put as fact.

24 MR. SAYERS: I think that's fair enough, Your

25 Honour. Let me lay a foundation.

Page 12337

1 JUDGE MAY: Ask a more open-ended question,

2 if you would.

3 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Sir.

4 Q. Three entities that I would like to ask you

5 to concentrate upon, Colonel. The first is the

6 so-called HZ-HB or the Croatian Community of

7 Herceg-Bosna, which I've already discussed. Do you

8 know who the president of that entity was?

9 A. Not offhand. It was something to do with

10 Valenta, I think, and others. They are all connected.

11 This is the sort of Kordic line, yeah.

12 Q. Now, with respect to the HVO, the Croatian

13 Defence Council, do you know who the president of the

14 Croatian Defence Council was when you first arrived in

15 Bosnia in September of 1992, sir?

16 A. I haven't a clue.

17 Q. Have you ever heard the name Dr. Jadranko

18 Prlic?

19 A. I've heard of it, but beyond that --

20 Q. You don't know who it is that --

21 A. You know, this was irrelevant to me. I was

22 on the ground, trying to actually sort out a very

23 chaotic situation. Who the hell was the president of

24 an organisation which I didn't really understand, to be

25 honest, was something I couldn't have the time to even

Page 12338

1 think about. Forgive me, that sounds rude. I'm not

2 trying to be. I'm just trying to say it was very

3 difficult for me to try to concentrate on high-level

4 stuff when I had enough problems already.

5 Q. All right. Were you aware that Mr. Valenta

6 was, in fact, a vice-president of the HVO, having been

7 appointed on the 17th of October, 1992?

8 A. No, but it comes as no surprise. I thought

9 he was a vice-president of the organisation you've just

10 described or the president, but very high ranking.

11 Q. Did you know that Mr. Kordic was never a

12 vice-president or president of the HVO and that he

13 never had any formal role within that organisation

14 other than as a member of a committee on personnel?

15 JUDGE MAY: That, again, is highly

16 contentious. You're putting it as a fact. I don't

17 think that we are going to advance much further. The

18 witness has given his evidence as to what he knew about

19 Kordic at the time. Now let's move on to something

20 else.

21 MR. SAYERS: All right.

22 Q. Let me turn to the third entity that I wanted

23 to ask you some questions about, because there are

24 several references to this in the milinfosums. Did you

25 know that Mr. Kordic was one of five vice-presidents of

Page 12339

1 the political party the HDZ-BiH?

2 A. Actually, I did. That's what he told me he

3 was. Or that's what he said he was. Let's be

4 factual. That's what he said he was.

5 Q. Just a general question, sir. It would be

6 fair to say that you were not aware of the distinctions

7 between the HVO, the HZ-HB and the HDZ-BiH; correct?

8 A. The answer is I was aware that there was

9 separate organisations. I personally felt they were

10 very closely connected.

11 Q. All right. There was a speech given by

12 Mr. Kordic on November the 5th that's already been

13 exhibited, Your Honours, Exhibit 129/1A, where

14 Mr. Kordic is identified as the deputy president of

15 Herceg-Bosna. Do you recall reading that speech at

16 all?

17 A. No.

18 MR. SAYERS: All right. I'd just like the

19 usher to show you, if I may, milinfosum number 87,

20 dated January the 26th, 1993, D106/1. I have one for

21 the witness and one for the ELMO. Thank you,

22 Mr. Usher.

23 Q. Colonel, if you would just turn to page 2, I

24 would like to draw your attention to some observations

25 made by the military intelligence section of your

Page 12340

1 regiment in the middle of the page there regarding an

2 incident in which certain mines were moved. And the

3 comment is made by the military intelligence officer

4 that Dario Kordic is the local representative for the

5 HDZ, he claims to be the deputy to Mate Boban, and has

6 considerable influence in the local area. Is that your

7 understanding of what his position was as of January

8 the 26th, 1993, the local representative of the HDZ?

9 A. Sounds fine by me.

10 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, you've

11 previously stated --

12 JUDGE MAY: Are you finished with that

13 exhibit?

14 MR. SAYERS: Yes, we have.

15 JUDGE MAY: It ought to go back.


17 Q. Colonel, and I would just like to draw the

18 Trial Chamber's attention to page 23872, you told

19 Judge Rodrigues that with respect to Mr. Kordic's

20 perceived status as some sort of a military figure in

21 Busovaca, you said that that was an impression.

22 "Forgive me. That is an impression, it's not a

23 fact." And does that remain your testimony today, that

24 your impressions regarding his perceived military

25 status are just that, impressions and not facts?

Page 12341

1 A. Well, an impression was gained by me that he

2 was the commander. I didn't factually see an order of

3 battle in which he was, you know, ascribed to that

4 position. An impression was that when I went there, he

5 was in charge, when I went there, he sat in the

6 operations room, and I've outlined these impressions

7 which lead me to that assumption already.

8 Q. All right. Let me just -- as we go through

9 the military intelligence summaries for the various

10 descriptions of Mr. Kordic's positions and the things

11 that he was doing contemporaneously, let me just start

12 with the December the 14th, 1992 milinfosum, and it's

13 not actually numbered, but let's have this marked as an

14 exhibit, please. I'd like to draw one passage to your

15 attention.

16 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit is numbered

17 D154/1.

18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much.

19 Q. The portion that I'd like to review with you

20 is on page 3 of 4. Under paragraph 10, it says: "The

21 Busovaca Brigade ..."

22 A. I'm sorry. I'm lost.

23 Q. On that page that you were looking at.

24 A. I see. Page 3?

25 Q. Actually, it's page 3 of 4, up at the top

Page 12342

1 right-hand corner.

2 A. Oh, yes, I see it.

3 Q. It's true that the HVO commanders and

4 deputies are listed here, and the Busovaca Brigade

5 commander, at least in the view of the Cheshire

6 Regiment on the 14th of December, 1992, was Zoran

7 Maric; correct?

8 A. That's what it says here.

9 Q. Yes. Thank you.

10 A. It wasn't necessarily my opinion, but that's

11 what it says here.

12 Q. Very well.

13 A. In my opinion, "I don't know" is the answer.

14 Q. Thank you. I've finished with that

15 milinfosum, and the next one I would like you to review

16 is a document that has already been marked D102/1,

17 milinfosum number 75.

18 MR. SAYERS: If the usher would just place

19 page 1 of that on the ELMO, please.

20 JUDGE MAY: What's the date, please, of this

21 one?

22 MR. SAYERS: It's January the 15th, 1993,

23 Your Honour.

24 Q. The only portion I would like to draw to your

25 attention, sir, is under subparagraph B, under heading

Page 12343

1 one, "Busovaca," where it says: "The HVO brigade,

2 'Brigada Nikola Zrinjski,' is commanded by Niko

3 Jozinovic." Do you see that?

4 A. I see that.

5 Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Niko

6 Jozinovic as far as you're aware, sir?

7 A. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. I'm lost. Where

8 is it? It's 2(B)?

9 Q. It's 1(B).

10 A. It's 1(B).

11 Q. It's right at the top of the screen there, if

12 you see it. It says: "The HVO brigade, 'Brigada

13 Nikola Zrinjski' is commanded by Niko Jozinovic."

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you ever have any contact with Commander

16 Jozinovic, sir, at any time during your tour of duty,

17 as far as you can remember?

18 A. As far as I can remember, I don't know.

19 Q. Very well.

20 MR. SAYERS: Thank you. I'm through with

21 that, Mr. Usher.

22 Q. The next document that I would like to review

23 with you has been marked previously as Exhibit Z429,

24 4-2-9, Z.

25 If you would turn, sir, to page -- it looks

Page 12344

1 as if it's page 4, right on the top right-hand side,

2 where an analysis is made under paragraph 7: "HVO

3 command structure in Central (Middle) Bosnia ..."

4 MR. SAYERS: It's the earlier page,

5 Mr. Usher, the page before that. Thank you.

6 JUDGE MAY: The date again, please,

7 Mr. Sayers.

8 MR. SAYERS: The date, Your Honours, is

9 February the 1st, 1993, and this is milinfosum number

10 93.

11 Q. The observation there, sir, is made that

12 Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, under paragraph 7(A), "Colonel

13 Tihomir Blaskic commands all HVO military operations in

14 the Central Bosnia region. Central Bosnia consists of

15 three operational zones containing nine brigades." And

16 that was your understanding, was it not?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And it says that each brigade is then divided

19 into a number of manoeuvre units which in turn are

20 split into operational sectors. Is that your

21 understanding of the way that the military organisation

22 worked?

23 A. Just about. That's correct.

24 MR. SAYERS: If you would turn to the next

25 page, Mr. Usher, right at the top of that page.

Page 12345

1 Q. In the 2nd operational zone, the commander of

2 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, as of February the

3 1st of 1993, is listed as commander Niko Jozinovic;

4 correct?

5 A. It's listed as that. I wonder whether in

6 fact de facto it was.

7 Q. Very well. And the deputy commander is

8 Mr. Anto Sliskovic; correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did you ever meet or speak to Mr. Sliskovic,

11 as far as you can remember?

12 A. I don't know.

13 Q. Very well. Now, were you aware, sir --

14 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher, I'm

15 finished with that.

16 Q. Were you aware that there was actually a

17 change in command in the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade

18 that was occurring early in February of 1993, in fact,

19 at the same time that you had your February the 4th,

20 1993 meeting with Mr. Kordic?

21 A. I was not. It wouldn't surprise me.

22 MR. SAYERS: Could I ask the usher to show

23 you Exhibit 109/1.

24 Q. I wonder if you would turn, sir, to the third

25 page, and, Your Honour, this is milinfosum number 103,

Page 12346

1 February the 11th, 1993. Under item 5, it says:

2 "Busovaca. The HVO brigade in Busovaca is now

3 commanded by Dusko Grubesic."

4 Were you aware that a change in command of

5 the Busovaca Brigade had occurred in early February of

6 1993?

7 A. Well, my staff may have been. I personally

8 wasn't.

9 Q. Very well. Did you ever, during your tour of

10 duty, sir, have occasion to speak to Commander

11 Grubesic?

12 A. I don't know.

13 Q. Very well.

14 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher.

15 Q. The next document I would like you to review,

16 if I may, is document 108/1. That would be milinfosum

17 number 96, dated February the 4th of 1993, Your

18 Honours.

19 Just one question in connection with page 1

20 of this, sir. The document states that the HVO

21 commander in Busovaca, Jozinovic, stated that Mujahedin

22 had attacked the Croat village of Kula from BiH

23 positions in Dusina with artillery and support, and

24 then the milinfosum goes on to record that Commander

25 Jozinovic stated that he had been ordered to move back

Page 12347

1 to Zepce in order to command a joint headquarters

2 there.

3 Were you aware that that change in command --

4 I think you said you weren't. You know of no details

5 in connection with Commander Jozinovic's move to Zepce

6 and his replacement by Commander Grubesic; correct?

7 A. The situation is clear to me that I only

8 really concentrate -- I went there and spoke to the

9 people who were there. That was generally the way I

10 operated. This is perfectly conceivable.

11 Q. Right. In other words, you're saying that

12 when you went to Busovaca and you met Mr. Kordic there

13 in February, for example, you saw him in what you

14 determined to be the headquarters and you concluded

15 from all of the surrounding circumstances that he must

16 have been the commander; correct?

17 A. Absolutely.

18 Q. But you never asked him whether he was the

19 commander, did you?

20 A. No, I did not.

21 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Usher.

22 The last next document that I would like you

23 to look at in this series, sir, is Exhibit D128/1.

24 And this, Your Honours, is an orbat that

25 appears to be dated the 26th of February, 1993,

Page 12348

1 although frankly the date is a little difficult to

2 see. I can't say whether it's the 25th of February or

3 the 26th of February.

4 All right. Once again, sir, this was

5 prepared by your intelligence section, was it not?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And it lists the HVO commander in the Central

8 Bosnia Operative Zone as commander Tihomir Blaskic;

9 correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. It also lists the chief of police or the

12 commander of the military police as Pasko Ljubicic, I

13 believe. Did you ever meet Mr. Ljubicic, sir?

14 A. I'm probably sure I did but I don't know

15 when.

16 Q. And then the HDZ representative is listed as

17 Mr. Dario Kordic; correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And once again, sir, with respect to the

20 command structure of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade

21 in the 2nd operations zone, Commander Grubesic is in

22 command of the brigade and his deputy is listed as Anto

23 Sliskovic; correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you never -- strike that.

Page 12349

1 There's no question in your mind that Colonel

2 Blaskic had the military authority to issue military

3 orders to the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, is there?

4 A. There's no question in my mind that he had

5 the authority to issue orders to any brigade in his

6 operational area.

7 Q. All right.

8 A. Whether they were carried out is another

9 matter.

10 Q. Colonel, I've now completed the first part of

11 the cross-examination, just the general questions, and

12 what I'd like to do now is go through the chronological

13 history of your involvement in Central Bosnia during

14 your tour of duty with some care.

15 You did not meet either Colonel Blaskic or

16 Mr. Kordic during the first reconnaissance that you

17 carried out at the end of September of 1992, did you?

18 A. I'm not sure that's accurate. I think I

19 might have met Mr. Blaskic.

20 Q. Well, you said on page 23730 that you did not

21 meet Colonel Blaskic. If it's now your recollection

22 that you did, then --

23 A. What I said is, forgive me, I can't

24 remember. If I wrote that down, that's accurate, I'm

25 inaccurate here. But I seem to remember that I knew

Page 12350

1 Blaskic from very early on.

2 Q. Now, looking at the overall military

3 situation that confronted you during your tour of duty,

4 it's true that the Bosnian Serb forces were in control

5 of about 70 per cent of the territory of

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. They had launched major offensives in the

9 west, in the north, and in the east that had resulted

10 in a huge influx of refugees, unfortunately, displaced

11 persons, into Central Bosnia and Northern Herzegovina;

12 correct?

13 A. Yes. Displaced persons, not refugees.

14 Q. All right. The capital of the country,

15 Sarajevo, was surrounded, essentially besieged and cut

16 off and had been since April 1992; is that correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And that remained so throughout your tour of

19 duty, sir; right?

20 A. Yes. There was one access to it and I went

21 there once.

22 Q. All right. Now, as I understand very

23 generally the front lines in Central Bosnia, the

24 principle front line between the Serbs and the

25 Muslim/Croat alliance was located in the area of the

Page 12351

1 town of Jajce and Turbe to the northwest of your

2 headquarters in Vitez; correct?

3 A. Yes, and up to Maglaj as well.

4 Q. And on the eastern, the front lines were

5 located --

6 A. Look, you can't just say that. The front

7 lines were not like front lines you would imagine in a

8 normal war. The front lines tended to be where the

9 majority of people happened to be Serb, Croat,

10 whatever, and the front lines, which we used the word,

11 actually stretched up from -- to the west of

12 Tomislavgrad, across the mountains up to Gornji Vakuf,

13 then across, but they tended to be -- the fighting

14 tended to be concentrated around towns where the

15 majority of people happened to be of another ethnic

16 persuasion. So the front lines were -- you know, there

17 was a lot of fighting around Tomislavgrad. There was

18 fighting around Gornji Vakuf. There was fighting

19 around Novi Travnik, and then north up to Zepce and

20 Maglaj, particularly Maglaj was a ghastly place, and

21 then it swept around and went on to Tuzla. So I don't

22 think you can quite say that it was concentrated in any

23 particular area, so that's the answer.

24 Q. I appreciate that. Would it be fair to say

25 that, in your view, the fighting throughout your tour

Page 12352

1 of duty consisted of struggles essentially for the

2 control of sections of the main supply routes?

3 A. There were two halves to the fighting around

4 my -- there was the main fight where the Bosnian Croats

5 and the Bosnian Muslims were supposed to be in

6 coalition against the Bosnian Serbs, and then there was

7 the internal fighting between the Bosnian Croats and

8 the Bosnian Muslims as they fought to get sectors,

9 probably with lines of communication important to

10 them.

11 Q. Well, let's depart from the general and go

12 straight into some specific areas of testimony that you

13 gave.

14 You arrived in Central Bosnia for the second

15 time on October the 18th of 1992 in the midst of an

16 outbreak of fighting in the area of Vitez and Novi

17 Travnik; correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You met with the ABiH commander, Sefkija

20 Djidic, I think his name was, and he told you that

21 Muslim forces had actually erected roadblocks to the

22 east of Vitez in order to prevent Bosnian Croat troops

23 from, in his view, reinforcing Novi Travnik; correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. These were troops coming from the east, from

Page 12353

1 Kiseljak, Busovaca and so forth?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. At this same time, though, sir, the town of

4 Jajce was under serious attack by concentrated Bosnian

5 Serb forces; correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. All right. Now, you say that you drove into

8 Novi Travnik at, I believe, about 2.30 p.m. on the 19th

9 or 20th of October in the middle of fighting; correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You met the Muslim forces commander, Refik

12 Lendo, and asked him to release or demanded that he

13 release prisoners immediately, and his response was to

14 laugh at you, was it not?

15 A. Yeah, absolutely right.

16 Q. Now, you --

17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, there is no need to

18 go over the evidence which the witness gave in Blaskic,

19 as I've said. If there are matters you want to rely

20 on, perhaps you can go to them directly. If there are

21 matters you want to refer us to so we can read the

22 transcript, you can do it when the witness is

23 finished. But let's concentrate on matters which are

24 new.

25 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed. Thank you very

Page 12354

1 much indeed, Your Honour, and I will try to do

2 precisely that, and I'm sure if I don't, I will be told

3 to move on, which I will do smartly.

4 Q. You actually went to Vitez initially looking

5 for the HVO commander, Colonel Blaskic, did you not?

6 A. Yes, I did, sir.

7 Q. And you weren't looking for Mr. Kordic, were

8 you?

9 A. No.

10 Q. In fact, you didn't even know that Mr. Kordic

11 existed when you went to Vitez, looking for

12 Colonel Blaskic; correct?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. All right. Mr. Cerkez, I believe, told you

15 that Colonel Blaskic was in Novi Travnik, and so that's

16 where you went; correct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And you never actually met Colonel Blaskic in

19 Novi Travnik, did you?

20 A. No, I did not.

21 Q. Instead, you arrived unannounced, if you

22 like, without prior arrangement? I don't mean to

23 suggest anything other than pure coincidence.

24 A. And I don't take offence, either. No, I

25 certainly arrived unannounced.

Page 12355

1 Q. You arrived unannounced at the Cafe Grand,

2 and Mr. Kordic was there but not Colonel Blaskic;

3 right?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Was Colonel Filipovic there?

6 A. I don't think so.

7 Q. And you understood, sir, that Colonel

8 Filipovic, from your later dealings with him, actually

9 had command of the Travnik-Novi Travnik area, reporting

10 directly to Colonel Blaskic; correct?

11 A. I think that's right, but he was moved later,

12 too, I think. He was a very decent man.

13 Q. Yes, sir, and you've said so in your book.

14 You then related a conversation that occurred over the

15 telephone between Mr. Kordic and Colonel Dzemal Merdan

16 in Zenica, with Mr. Kordic, I believe, insisting upon

17 Sarajevo-level authority for ceasefire negotiations; is

18 that correct?

19 A. That is a fact. I remember that plainly.

20 Q. And you were then asked to go and pick up

21 Colonel Merdan from Zenica on the 20th of October,

22 1992; correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And that's what you did?

25 A. I did. I had never been there before, and

Page 12356

1 neither was it easy.

2 Q. And you brought Colonel Merdan back to the

3 Hotel Vitez, the HVO headquarters, and at that point

4 Colonel Blaskic and Colonel Merdan basically hammered

5 out a negotiated agreement, did they not?

6 A. No.

7 Q. They did not. What did they do?

8 A. They talked from about 2.00 until 4.00. I

9 tried to run the meeting. There was no agreement to

10 stop fighting that day. It took several days or a week

11 later, and I left that job to the officer I left in

12 command of the small detachment that was still in

13 Vitez, Captain Simon Ellis.

14 Q. But the point is, I guess, that the

15 negotiations occurred between Colonel Merdan and

16 Colonel Blaskic, with Colonel Merdan not insisting that

17 Mr. Kordic be present there and, indeed, not even

18 mentioning Mr. Kordic; isn't that correct?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. One matter of detail with respect to

21 Commander Refik Lendo is in one of the first

22 milinfosums that your battalion prepared. Let me just

23 show it to you and have it marked as an exhibit.

24 If you would just turn to the last page, sir,

25 the observation is made by Captain Leyshon that

Page 12357

1 Commander Lendo --

2 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

3 D155/1.


5 Q. -- Commander Lendo is believed to have

6 started the fighting between the HVO and the Bosnian

7 army in Novi Travnik, and that resulted in many

8 deaths. Do you see that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Was that your understanding?

11 A. I don't know.

12 Q. Is that -- do you not recall reporting that

13 to Captain Leyshon yourself?

14 A. Leyshon has written that himself. That's his

15 writing, isn't it?

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. He is the intelligence officer. He's

18 perfectly entitled, in the British army, to form his

19 own views, and I don't -- quite honestly, I don't wish

20 to throw doubt on that. It may well have happened.

21 That's not my intention.

22 Q. All right. It was quite clear to you that

23 Colonel Blaskic was the HVO commander when he was

24 negotiating with Colonel Merdan in the Hotel Vitez on

25 October the 20th; correct?

Page 12358

1 A. He was the HVO commander in Vitez, and I

2 assumed that he had -- I wouldn't have allowed it to

3 happen if I didn't assume that he was the commander and

4 had some authority to act.

5 Q. Of course. All right. Now, shortly after

6 the negotiations between Colonels Blaskic and Merdan,

7 you left, as you said, and I believe that you arrived

8 back in Central Bosnia on October the 30th of 1992. Is

9 that correct, sir?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And one day later, the town of Jajce fell to

12 a sustained military attack by Bosnian Serb forces

13 immediately to the northwest of the BritBat base at

14 Nova Bila; is that correct?

15 A. Yeah, I was quite away and it was well

16 beyond, but the answer is factually accurate.

17 Q. Yes. And that resulted in vast swarms of

18 refugees, Croat and Muslim, into your area of

19 responsibility, didn't it?

20 A. Yes. At least 10.000 passed the school I was

21 based at, and it was upsetting to see this.

22 Q. All right. At this point, there was a sort

23 of loose cooperation between the Muslim and the Croat

24 armed forces at that point; a loose alliance I think it

25 has been described as. Is that your impression?

Page 12359

1 A. Well, I was rather hoping it was rather more

2 than that, to be honest, that it was rather less loose

3 and more solid. After all, they seemed to be fighting

4 alongside one another against what was a common enemy,

5 and the fact of the matter was they seemed to be

6 working together in Travnik and up towards Turbe.

7 There was a military headquarters which at

8 least I went to with both Croats and Bosnian Muslim

9 soldiers, BiH soldiers, in Turbe itself. And later in

10 the tour, the fact that the Bosnian Croats, the HVO,

11 were pulling out of Turbe I thought was an act of, you

12 know, treachery to this alliance, because they left

13 them on their own.

14 Q. At least that's what you were told, wasn't

15 it?

16 A. Yes, that's at least -- that's what I

17 understood. But I didn't see many HVO soldiers around,

18 and I did actually work up in that area and on foot, so

19 I wasn't just driving around. I wasn't as fat then as

20 I was now -- I am now.

21 Q. The next meeting that I think that you had

22 with Mr. Kordic was on the 22nd of November, 1992, at

23 the joint headquarters that you've talked about in

24 Turbe, and I would just like to show you milinfosum

25 number 22, dated November the 22nd, 1992. I'd just

Page 12360

1 like to ask you if that jogs your memory about this

2 incident, sir. The date of this, Your Honour, is the

3 22nd of November, 1992.

4 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

5 156/1.


7 Q. If you would just turn to page 3, Colonel, I

8 think that -- and on page 2, a reference is made that

9 the CO visited the Turbe HQ, and then on page 3 there's

10 a list of or a summary of the people that were there.

11 You met there General Ante Prkacin --

12 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness get his bearings.

13 A. I'm sorry.

14 JUDGE MAY: What is it you want to ask the

15 witness about? Do you want to ask him about the visit

16 to Turbe or --

17 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

18 JUDGE MAY: -- something else? Very well. At

19 the bottom of page 2, "CO visited the Turbe HQ." Is

20 that the point you want to pick it up at?

21 MR. SAYERS: Yes. Over the next page, Your

22 Honour, the meeting is described right at the end of

23 the first paragraph.

24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness read it first.

25 A. Oh, I see. I'm sorry. Being a military

Page 12361

1 officer, I was looking at the pages as per the military

2 thing. I'm now with it. That's why I'm being so

3 silly. Yes.


5 Q. Okay. You met there Mr. Kordic, the

6 self-proclaimed deputy-president of Herzeg-Bosna, who

7 was present along with Blaskic, the HVO commander for

8 Central Bosnia, and General Ante Prkacin from Mostar;

9 correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And, sir, Mr. Kordic presumably did tell you

12 that he was the deputy-president of Herceg-Bosna;

13 right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. All right. Thank you.

16 A. And just for the record, the General was in

17 Turbe when I went there to prove they were working

18 closely together at the time. This General was the --

19 he told me he was the coordinator between the HVO and

20 the BiH.

21 Q. Very well.

22 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much. I'm

23 finished with that exhibit.

24 Q. The next item that I'd like to cover with you

25 is an incident described in your diary on December the

Page 12362

1 19th of 1992 involving one of your soldiers, one of

2 your subordinates, Sergeant Gilbert, who, I believe,

3 had been arrested in the Vares area by the commander of

4 the Bobovac Brigade in Vares, Emil Harah. Do you

5 recall that incident, sir?

6 A. I do.

7 Q. You personally intervened in that incident

8 because prior arrangements had been made to build a

9 bridge to facilitate the transportation of, amongst

10 other things, humanitarian aid, and those

11 bridge-building operations had been interrupted or

12 halted as a result of this incident involving one of

13 your subordinates; is that correct?

14 A. Yes. The whole thing was really strange,

15 this incident. This sergeant was apparently arrested

16 and somehow or another was accused of giving Serbs a

17 lift along a road or something like that. I never

18 really got to the bottom of it, but I didn't really

19 mind whether I got to the bottom of it or not. What

20 the matter was, I wanted to open the route to Tuzla so

21 that we could get aid through, and we were rebuilding,

22 I think, up to six bridges so that we could put heavy

23 lorries down there.

24 I know where you're going, so I could cut it

25 down. Yes, I did go -- I was told by the commander in

Page 12363

1 Vares that the only person who could give authority for

2 these bridges to be rebuilt was Tihomir Blaskic. I

3 went to Blaskic, Blaskic gave the order, and the

4 bridge-building recommenced.

5 Q. You absolutely forecast where I was going,

6 Colonel.

7 One final question in this regard. There was

8 not any contention that Mr. Kordic had any kind of

9 military power or influence in the Vares area, was

10 there?

11 A. Not to the best of my knowledge. Quite

12 frankly, I wouldn't have even thought of that.

13 Q. Right. All right. Let me go to the next

14 item chronologically. January the 10th, 1993, I

15 believe there was another outbreak of violence,

16 fighting, in Novi Travnik, and you went there to see

17 the HVO commander in Novi Travnik, a Major Malbasic,

18 who you described, I believe, in one of your statements

19 as a decent fellow; correct?

20 A. Mm-hmm. Yes, correct.

21 Q. You did not have any dealings at all with

22 Mr. Kordic relating to this renewed outbreak of

23 fighting in Novi Travnik, did you?

24 A. No.

25 Q. All right. The next item that I'd like to

Page 12364

1 draw your attention to is the fighting, the serious

2 outbreak of fighting, I think it was, in the Gornji

3 Vakuf area in the middle and end of January of 1993,

4 sir.

5 You say in your book, at page 205, that the

6 fighting erupted in Gornji Vakuf "and we never

7 discovered its cause," and that remains your view

8 today, doesn't it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. In your testimony in the Blaskic case,

11 Colonel, you --

12 A. Well, can I just actually qualify that, given

13 a second to think about it. Maybe it was the

14 Vance-Owen Plan that was a catalyst for this fighting,

15 I think I've actually said that somewhere. Actually,

16 in rethinking it through, the answer to your question

17 was, no, I don't know, but maybe it was this silly

18 plan.

19 Q. Very well. Just a few points of detail with

20 respect to the fighting, sir. In your testimony in the

21 Blaskic case --

22 [Trial Chamber confers]

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

24 MR. SAYERS: I'm sorry, Mr. President.

25 Q. Colonel, in the Blaskic case, you gave your

Page 12365

1 view that Gornji Vakuf was outside of Colonel Blaskic's

2 operative area, his AOR, if you like, area of

3 responsibility.

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. The Northwest Herzegovina Operative Zone was

6 actually under the commander of Colonel Zeljko Siljeg,

7 a gentleman, how shall we say, that you did not get

8 along particularly well with; is that correct?

9 A. Not the sort of chap I'd go down a road with

10 on a dark night, that's for sure.

11 Q. All right. But this gentleman, Colonel

12 Siljeg, was definitely in command of the Gornji Vakuf

13 area; correct?

14 A. Well, if he wasn't in command, I would find

15 it strange because I went to get him to bring him back

16 to meetings because he wouldn't come unless I went and

17 got him, and I took him to meetings in Gornji Vakuf,

18 and he seemed to be very firmly in command.

19 Q. Yes, sir. Throughout your entire tour of

20 duty, you never saw any evidence at all that Mr. Kordic

21 had any kind of military influence down there in Gornji

22 Vakuf, in Herzegovina, did you?

23 A. No, I did not, no.

24 Q. Now, the conflict in Gornji Vakuf was

25 actually the subject of a negotiated ceasefire

Page 12366

1 agreement that took some considerable time to

2 negotiate; correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You state in your book, sir, "Broken Lives,"

5 at page 224, that Mate Boban personally ordered the

6 ceasefire there. Did you know that Mate Boban was the

7 president of the entity that we described a few hours

8 ago, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?

9 A. Well, the reason why I stated that was

10 because I was getting no where after days. I'd lost my

11 driver, or my escort driver had been killed, probably

12 by a Muslim fighter, and I'd been there, and I was

13 getting increasingly frustrated because it seemed to me

14 I wasn't protecting the people of Gornji Vakuf. In

15 desperation, in absolute desperation, I think something

16 like a Sunday, which is unusual for the British, a

17 Sunday, I rang the foreign office in London and

18 demanded to be patched through to Lord Owen in Geneva

19 and demanded that Owen did something to effectively

20 give some orders down to stop Siljeg's continuing

21 advance into Gornji Vakuf where he was deliberately

22 using his tanks to take out, house by house, and

23 destroying it one after the other. I was frustrated

24 and that's actually what happened.

25 So Mate Boban was apparently in Geneva.

Page 12367

1 Apparently, and this is all hearsay, Owen did

2 something, and I was in a meeting when I saw Siljeg

3 change his views, or he changed his views subsequent to

4 that meeting or before the meeting, because when I went

5 in, I was about to tell him that I'd really gone right

6 to the top and he suddenly became compliant before it.

7 So it seemed to me that orders had come down from

8 somewhere for actually him to cool it, which I was

9 extremely grateful for.

10 Q. Indeed, sir, the agreement was actually

11 signed resulting in a ceasefire in the Gornji Vakuf

12 area on January the 20th of 1993, and it was signed by

13 Brigadier Petkovic for the HVO and the commander of the

14 ABiH 4th Corps, Commander Pasalic; do you recall that?

15 A. I recall the agreement signing -- being

16 signed. Well, that shows how important it was because

17 Petkovic had come to it.

18 Q. Right. Very well, sir. Let me turn on to

19 another subject which is the buildup of tension and the

20 ultimate outbreak of fighting in the town of Busovaca

21 in January of 1993.

22 Chronologically, I think, the first serious

23 incident in the Busovaca area was the erection of a

24 Muslim checkpoint on January the 20th of 1993 at the

25 town of Kacuni, just a few kilometres south of

Page 12368

1 Busovaca; is that consistent with your recollection?

2 A. That sounds about right.

3 Q. All right.

4 A. I'm so sorry. I'm sometimes not clear

5 because it's been a long time and I didn't -- I haven't

6 got a brain like a computer. So I'm inconsistent

7 sometimes but I try my best.

8 JUDGE MAY: Colonel, nobody is going to

9 criticise you for not remembering precise events seven

10 years ago. If you don't remember, simply say so.

11 THE WITNESS: I will, Your Honour, I promise

12 you. I'll do my best.


14 Q. Thank you, Colonel. It's our job to try to

15 jog your memory if it fails on any particular point.

16 A. You're doing a good job, too.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 MR. SAYERS: Let me just ask the usher to

19 show you a copy of milinfosum 103/1 -- sorry,

20 milinfosum number 81, Exhibit 103/1, and that's January

21 the 20th, 1993.

22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we've had very

23 considerable evidence about Busovaca. Unless there's

24 any specific point that you want the witness to deal

25 with, there are, of course, all the documents.

Page 12369

1 MR. SAYERS: I think that's absolutely

2 correct, Your Honour. Let me see if I can accelerate

3 our progress through this particular incident.

4 JUDGE MAY: Until, of course, you come to the

5 meeting on the 4th of February.

6 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE MAY: Then, of course, you can examine

8 about that.


10 Q. Is it your recollection, Colonel -- well,

11 let's just take a look at this milinfosum, January the

12 20th. There's a reference to a Muslim checkpoint

13 erected at Kacuni on January the 20th on page 3, under

14 item number 4, Busovaca.

15 A. Mm-hmm.

16 Q. Does that help jog your memory as to the

17 date, sir?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. All right. Good. So we've established that

20 the checkpoint was established by the Muslim forces on

21 January the 20th.

22 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher, I'm

23 through with that.

24 Q. Is it your recollection also that the 7th

25 Muslim Brigade had been reported to your military

Page 12370

1 intelligence section as having moved units just north

2 of the Kacuni area immediately prior to the outbreak of

3 fighting in Busovaca; sir?

4 A. I don't know about that. I do know about

5 Kacuni because I lost my toecap there to an HVO

6 sniper.

7 MR. SAYERS: Let's have the usher show you

8 Exhibit D61/1, and maybe that will help jog your

9 memory.

10 Q. If you turn to page 2 of this report,

11 Colonel, under note 4, it's reported to your

12 intelligence section that "Separate sources state that

13 elements of the 7th Muslimski Brigade are deployed

14 north of Kacuni. This is a mobile brigade controlled

15 directly from Zenica. Reliable information indicates

16 that at least 80 soldiers from the 7th Brigade were

17 moved to the area approximately five days ago."

18 Do you recall ever finding out that

19 information or being apprised of that information

20 yourself? And if you don't, please say so.

21 A. I think I met some of them.

22 Q. Members of the 7th Muslim Brigade?

23 A. Yes, you know, on the ground.

24 Q. Right.

25 A. I didn't read these things. I saw people,

Page 12371

1 what they were doing on the ground. Certainly, there

2 were some Muslim soldiers there.

3 And when you use the word "brigade," it's so

4 misleading that I just would like to point out that a

5 brigade in a normal military unit is normally up to

6 5.000 or 6.000 strong, and here you're referring to a

7 brigade that's 50 or 60 soldiers. It does make it

8 confusing, I have to say, for people who are military

9 as well as non-military.

10 Q. Thank you for that observation, Colonel.

11 Thank you. I'm done with that as well.

12 In connection with the fighting that

13 occurred, sir, there's no question that the spark that

14 set off the fighting was the murder of two Croats at

15 the Kacuni checkpoint, and you subsequently had

16 conversations with General Hadzihasanovic and Colonel

17 Merdan about that; correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. In fact, you told both General Hadzihasanovic

20 and Colonel Merdan, one day later, that they were at

21 least responsible for the outbreak of the fighting that

22 occurred on the 25th of January, and they both agreed,

23 did they not?

24 A. Yes, I think I certainly told them. Whether

25 they necessarily agreed, I can't remember.

Page 12372

1 Q. At page 232 of your book, "Broken Lives", you

2 record an exchange with Colonel Merdan, where you said

3 that -- well, let's just see what exactly you did say.

4 You said:

5 "I felt that this time, at least, the

6 Muslims had been responsible for causing much of the

7 trouble by killing two Croat soldiers. Did the Bosnian

8 Muslims really want a full-scale war in the Kiseljak

9 Valley? It seemed to me that they were going the right

10 way about it. If they did, it was simply not good

11 enough and something must be done. Merdan agreed,

12 apologised, and said he was ready to come himself and

13 try to sort the problem out."

14 Do you recall that?

15 A. Not in as much detail as that, but if I wrote

16 it in the book, it was much more at the time. And,

17 frankly, I have no problem with that at all, as you've

18 reminded me.

19 Q. Very well. Do you remember seeing the

20 evidence of many, many burned houses south of Kacuni,

21 sir, lots of evidence of recent destruction, as you

22 describe it on page 230 of your book?

23 A. Yeah. The whole area was ghastly, yeah.

24 Q. Did you realise that those houses were Croat

25 houses, the ones that were burned south of Kacuni, sir,

Page 12373

1 in the village --

2 A. To be honest, I didn't know.

3 Q. Very well.

4 A. You only discovered when it was a Croat house

5 or Muslim house when going into the things, because the

6 communities were so close. Generally, you would find

7 evidence of crucifixes in Croat houses.

8 Q. Without wishing to dwell on this, Your

9 Honour, I merely draw the Court's attention to Exhibit

10 D105/1, which is milinfosum 86, which describes house

11 burnings of Croats in -- burning of houses belonging to

12 Croats in the Kacuni area, the occupants having been

13 ethnically cleansed by the Bosnian army. And I don't

14 say that to say that it's right, that the same thing

15 should occur. It's just a sad state of affairs, sir,

16 that that was what was going on all the time in your

17 area of responsibility throughout the spring of 1993,

18 isn't it?

19 A. Absolutely, yeah.

20 Q. All right. Did you receive any information

21 from your soldiers or other sources of information that

22 you had at your disposal regarding massacres of Croat

23 civilians at the villages of Dusina and Lasva, sir?

24 A. I think I did, and I think I've referred to

25 them already, that sort of evidence.

Page 12374

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. Most certainly, I tried very hard to

3 investigate any reports of Croats being massacred by

4 Muslims.

5 Q. Just one question on that regard. Did you

6 ever hear of anyone being prosecuted or

7 administratively punished, removed from command, or

8 anything like that in connection with those massacres

9 at Dusina and Lasva on January the 25th and 26th, 1993,

10 sir?

11 A. I think that Merdan told me that the people

12 concerned were going to be court-martialled.

13 Q. And do you know whether they ever were?

14 A. No.

15 Q. You didn't do anything in the intervening

16 five months before your departure from the area of

17 operations to determine whether that had actually

18 occurred?

19 A. No, I probably didn't, much to my regret.

20 Q. Let's move on to one subject before we get to

21 the meeting that the Presiding Judge just mentioned.

22 The fighting in the Busovaca area, sir, was

23 resolved as a result of a negotiated ceasefire

24 agreement on January [realtime transcript read in error

25 "June"] the 30th, 1993. Do you remember that?

Page 12375

1 A. Offhand, no. Can you remind me?

2 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I wonder if the usher

3 would show you Exhibit D54/1 and Exhibit Z421,1A.

4 Q. Turning your attention first to Exhibit

5 D54/1, this is an English version of a ceasefire

6 agreement that appears to be signed by six people, and

7 if you just --

8 A. I remember it now.

9 Q. Very well. And you're one of the

10 signatories, Colonel, I believe.

11 A. Umm-hmm. I think I drafted the document.

12 Q. Yes. And Colonel Merdan, on behalf of the

13 Muslim forces, signed it, and Colonel Nakic, on behalf

14 of the HVO Croat forces, signed it; correct?

15 A. Yes, yes.

16 Q. I may have misspoken. Apparently on line 21

17 of page 94, I said "June the 30th, 1993," and it should

18 obviously have been "January the 30th."

19 A. I've got January 30th open in my diary, so I

20 understood you.

21 Q. All right. Is it your recollection, sir,

22 that Colonel Blaskic had been caught by surprise in

23 Kiseljak and couldn't actually make the trip from

24 Kiseljak to Vitez because the main supply route was

25 blocked between Kacuni and Bilalovac?

Page 12376

1 A. I don't know whether it was surprise, but he

2 certainly wasn't there. And of course with that route

3 blocked, it's difficult to move between Kiseljak and

4 Vitez. In fact, once I gave him a lift, so he could

5 make that journey, in one of my Warriors.

6 Q. No one ever suggested that Mr. Kordic had to

7 be present for these negotiations, did he, even though

8 the negotiations occurred to resolve fighting that had

9 occurred in the Busovaca area?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Colonel Merdan never insisted that it might

12 be helpful for him to be there, did he?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Never insisted that it was crucial for him to

15 be there, did he, sir?

16 A. No, he did not.

17 Q. And, similarly, you made no attempt to

18 procure Mr. Kordic's attendance at these peace

19 negotiations, did you?

20 A. No, but I would have accepted Mr. Kordic

21 there or -- what I wanted was someone who could

22 actually make a decision. Here, you see Nakic signing

23 up. I believed he had the authority. I would have

24 accepted Kordic there as well.

25 Q. You never --

Page 12377

1 A. No, of course I didn't. No, I didn't. I

2 wanted Blaskic there every time.

3 Q. Yes, sir. And, similarly, Jeremy Fleming,

4 who was the senior European Community Monitoring

5 Mission representative at the time, never suggested

6 that it might be helpful for Mr. Kordic to be present

7 at these negotiations, did he, sir?

8 A. I can't remember.

9 Q. He certainly never insisted that it was

10 critical for Mr. Kordic to be present at these

11 negotiations for them to mean anything; isn't that

12 right?

13 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.

14 Q. Very well.

15 A. But I can't speak for him. I just speak --

16 the answer to your question is, no, there was no

17 question that we needed to have Dario Kordic present

18 for these meetings.

19 Q. Right. And in connection with these

20 agreements, sir, I would just like to draw your

21 attention to paragraph 6.

22 There was an agreement with respect to a

23 simultaneous release of all detainees to be organised

24 through the ICRC, the International Committee of the

25 Red Cross. It's true, is it not, that there was no

Page 12378

1 actual agreement for the immediate release of all

2 prisoners at this time? That had to be arranged

3 subsequently by the ICRC in due course; correct?

4 A. If you notice that the ICRC delegate is

5 present, I think, on the signature block in the next

6 page, I don't know, Witter --

7 Q. Iris Witter?

8 A. Iris Witter. What I was trying to do was to

9 set it up so that it could happen, and that's why it's

10 there.

11 Q. Very well.

12 A. And I agreed to that with her in advance.

13 Q. Thank you very much. I'm through with that

14 exhibit.

15 Moving forward chronologically, sir, you gave

16 some testimony regarding a detention facility known as

17 the silos at Kacuni, which you visited along with

18 representatives of the ICRC on February the 1st, 1993.

19 Do you remember being disgusted by the detention

20 conditions?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Freezing --

23 A. But I didn't visit it with the ICRC. I

24 happened to go there when they were there.

25 Q. I'm sorry.

Page 12379

1 A. Disgusted with the conditions? Absolutely.

2 Appalling.

3 Q. And about 30 people were being detained

4 there; correct?

5 A. To the best of my knowledge, in cattle sheds.

6 Q. And following your --

7 A. I think we gave them blankets to try and keep

8 them warm.

9 Q. Following your visit to that detention

10 facility, you then visited or you then hosted, shall we

11 say, a meeting chaired by General Morillon on February

12 the 1st at your base; correct? That's recorded in your

13 diary.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Is it your recollection that Lieutenant

16 Colonel Duncan was there too?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And senior representatives of the regional

19 zone commanders on both sides were there,

20 Colonel Blaskic, General Enver Hadzihasanovic; is that

21 correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Along with representatives of UNPROFOR and

24 the entourage of Lieutenant General Morillon; is that

25 right?

Page 12380

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You were there, and also representatives of

3 the ECMM, the Red Cross, and the UNHCR; correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Mr. Kordic was not there, though, was he?

6 A. No.

7 Q. He wasn't [realtime transcript read in error

8 "was"] invited to be present at this meeting, was he,

9 sir, as far as you know?

10 A. As far as I know.

11 Q. Right. Let's turn to one of the products of

12 the peace negotiations, sir, the so-called Busovaca

13 Joint Commission, also sometimes known as the Busovaca

14 Joint Coordination Commission.

15 You stated in your book, at page 238, that

16 you said in your opinion, this was one of the best

17 ideas that you witnessed in Bosnia, and that remains

18 your view today, does it not?

19 A. Yes. There was two reasons for that. One is

20 that actually it seemed to work, and two is it took

21 that work off me. So there was self-interest in that

22 rather self-satisfied remark. But the truth of the

23 matter is it also seemed to work, because decent men

24 sat together and tried to work it out and went and

25 visited places to try and stop the fighting.

Page 12381

1 Q. As I understand it, sir, the executive

2 committee of this commission, if you like, consisted of

3 you, Mr. Fleming for the ECMM, General Hadzihasanovic

4 for the ABiH forces, and Colonel Blaskic for the HVO.

5 Is that correct?

6 A. Well, generally the de facto meeting took

7 place between myself, Fleming, Merdan, and generally,

8 and I totally understood this, Blaskic couldn't be

9 present so he would send his deputy, who was a very

10 decent man.

11 Q. That's Franjo Nakic; correct?

12 A. I think so, yes.

13 Q. And for whom you have respect?

14 A. I have respect for a lot of people on all

15 sides there.

16 Q. Is it right, Colonel, that this commission

17 met every day for several months, at least until June

18 of 1993?

19 A. I don't know whether it met every day. What

20 we did was set up an office and a house for it right

21 beside my base, and there was -- and I also supplied it

22 with food, vehicles, and its own detachment of soldiers

23 to get it around. And I'm not sure whether it met

24 every day, but it met.

25 Q. Just to be precise, Colonel, it's true, is it

Page 12382

1 not, that the commission was originally located at the

2 DutchBat base in Busovaca and then moved, in March of

3 1993, to the ECMM building just outside of your base in

4 Vitez or outside at Nova Bila; correct?

5 A. It was moved because we felt we could be more

6 effective -- it could be more effective if it was

7 closer to us.

8 MR. SAYERS: My colleague points out that

9 there's an error in the transcript which I would like

10 to have corrected, if possible, page 99, line 24, where

11 I was asking about Mr. Kordic. The transcript says "he

12 was invited." It should actually read "he was not

13 invited" to be present at the meeting.

14 Q. Along the same lines, if I may return to the

15 subject we were just discussing, Colonel, Mr. Kordic

16 never attended a single meeting of the Busovaca Joint

17 Commission or Joint Coordination Commission, as far as

18 you're aware, did he?

19 A. No, not as far as I'm aware.

20 Q. In fact, as far as you're aware, he was not

21 even asked to attend, was he?

22 A. No. We didn't need him to attend because we

23 had the military commander's representative there.

24 Q. And as far as you can remember, no one

25 suggested that his attendance would be important or

Page 12383

1 even useful; correct?

2 A. Well, no one suggested he would attend. I

3 never thought his attendance would be not useful.

4 Q. Now, let's turn to the meeting you had with

5 Mr. Kordic on February the 4th of 1993, and I wonder if

6 you would just turn to your diary in that regard, sir.

7 It says, with the page number 1441 up at the top

8 right-hand corner, that Dario Kordic wanted to see you;

9 he was in Busovaca. And so you travelled there to the

10 local HVO HQ. Kordic and you agreed that you should go

11 to Katica and Merdani, where there was serious

12 fighting. That's the sum total of what you recorded

13 contemporaneously regarding this meeting on February

14 the 4th of 1993, isn't it?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. You say that or at least you told the Court

17 that he appeared to be agitated in some respect. In

18 your view, that was out of character for Mr. Kordic,

19 wasn't it?

20 A. No, no. He's -- in my view, Mr. Kordic is a

21 highly-strung, excitable man anyway, but he was out of

22 character in this respect, insofar as he was concerned

23 about what seemed to be a threat.

24 Q. Right. He was concerned that there was a

25 significant outbreak of fighting just a few kilometres

Page 12384

1 to the north, northeast of Busovaca; correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And he asked you to try to do something about

4 it, and that's exactly what you did; is that right?

5 A. I went there to try and stop the fighting,

6 yes, by being there, and tried to talk to both sides.

7 Q. You don't have any current recollection of

8 speaking to the brigade commander at that time,

9 Mr. Jozinovic, or his replacement, Mr. Grubesic, if he

10 was installed as the brigade commander at that time, do

11 you?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Very well. And when you got to these

14 villages, Katica and Merdani, both, I think, tiny

15 villages, they looked a complete mess to you, many

16 fires and so forth; is that correct?

17 A. When I got there, it was getting dark. It

18 was very difficult to get there. I took my own

19 Warrior, my own armoured vehicle, and one other,

20 Sergeant Kudzovinski's [phoen] vehicle. It was icy.

21 It was difficult getting up embankments with 30 tons in

22 weight. I did climb the embankment, and getting along

23 there, I went along a railway line.

24 The answer was I arrived late. I went

25 straight into the middle of the battle zone. We got

Page 12385

1 shot at. I tried to go into Merdani but decided it was

2 too dangerous from the point of view of trying to take

3 the vehicles there, and I lost my second Warrior

4 returning because it somersaulted. And after

5 ascertaining people were okay, I left them there.

6 Q. Very well. And you returned to the British

7 headquarters at Nova Bila; is that right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Indeed, the very next day you convened -- or

10 Mr. Fleming chaired a meeting, and this is reflected in

11 your diary, and please feel free to consult it.

12 A. Thank you.

13 Q. It's right, isn't it, that Mr. Fleming

14 chaired a meeting to consider the state of the

15 ceasefire; correct?

16 A. Yeah.

17 Q. Present at that meeting were Colonels Blaskic

18 and Merdan; correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you were also present there along with

21 some other international NGO, if you like,

22 representatives; correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Mr. Kordic, once again, wasn't invited to

25 this meeting, was he, sir?

Page 12386

1 A. No.

2 Q. Very well. Proceeding on chronologically, do

3 you recall, sir, that joint orders were finally signed

4 in the town of Kakanj on the 13th of February, 1993 by

5 Colonel Blaskic and by General Hadzihasanovic

6 implementing commitments that were made pursuant to the

7 January the 30th, 1993 ceasefire agreement? Do you

8 have any recollection of that?

9 A. None because I was on leave.

10 Q. All right. Did you ever see the orders?

11 A. I might have done, but my second in command

12 was commanding my battalion.

13 Q. All right. In that case, we can move on.

14 JUDGE MAY: If we are moving on now to beyond

15 the witness's leave, it might be a sensible moment to

16 take the adjournment.

17 Mr. Nice, have you got any further

18 information or not?

19 MR. NICE: I suspect that it won't be

20 possible for me to have any order, or even assume one

21 is forthcoming, because a signature is required which

22 may not be available, I think, until after lunch, as I

23 understand it. Local jurisdictional problems or

24 something like this, whatever it is.

25 JUDGE MAY: Please consider what course you

Page 12387

1 want to take.

2 MR. NICE: Yes. On a different matter, can I

3 tell that you the transcript could conveniently be

4 numbered as 2791.

5 Reverting to the point that Your Honours

6 mentioned, I think if I get leave to show the document

7 to the witness, I will certainly want his assistance on

8 it, and I suspect that it would be of potential value

9 to the Chamber sufficient to justify keeping him here

10 tomorrow if he would otherwise be free to go tonight.

11 JUDGE MAY: Well, provided it's not going to

12 cause inconvenience or serious inconvenience to the

13 witness.

14 MR. NICE: I don't know whether the Chamber

15 is able today to sit a little later, were that all that

16 would be required to take care of this as a problem.

17 JUDGE MAY: Provided we can finish with the

18 witness today, yes, we can sit later.

19 Mr. Sayers, you seem to be making reasonable

20 progress, judging by the rate you're going through the

21 binder.

22 MR. SAYERS: I'm making -- frankly, Your

23 Honour, and I don't see any reason to get his

24 cooperation when that -- I hope that we can --

25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the counsel,

Page 12388

1 please.

2 MR. SAYERS: I'm making better progress than

3 I thought, Your Honour. I don't see any reason why

4 that shouldn't continue to be the case, and I hope that

5 I can be through by the end of the day.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Make every endeavour.

7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if you are trying

8 to estimate the time, I think I will need approximately

9 half an hour or so, not more than that.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

11 Mr. Nice, it may be convenient, if you wanted

12 to talk to the witness about his own arrangements, for

13 you to be able to do so.

14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'll clarify

15 this. If it helps the Court, I will stay here until

16 it's done, end of story. That stops inconveniencing

17 everyone else. I just want to help get this case

18 done. Thank you.

19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. I should say, though,

20 the Rule normally is that witnesses can't talk to

21 anybody about their evidence until it's over, that does

22 include the Prosecution; however, if you want to

23 discuss your arrangements, of course you can do that,

24 and if we give leave, if this document emerges, of

25 course you can speak to the Prosecution about that.

Page 12389

1 Thank you. We'll adjourn now until half past

2 two.

3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.























Page 12390


2 --- On resuming at 2.36 p.m.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we've now had an

5 order from Trial Chamber I. I think we're still in

6 open session so it's necessary to speak carefully.

7 That order is permissive via the exercise of judgement

8 and discretion by this Chamber of the use of a

9 particular document. I would ask that that discretion

10 be operated so as to allow this witness to look at that

11 document. It was, after all, a document he had been

12 hoping to see and had commissioned and ordered a long

13 time ago. Of all witnesses before you, he's one of

14 those most likely to be able to assess it --

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Have the Defence got a

16 copy?

17 MR. NICE: They haven't yet got a copy of the

18 document because we've only just had a copy of the

19 order. They have seen the order.

20 I'd ask that he be allowed to see it and read

21 it, obviously without the pressure of having to read it

22 in court, it's too long to do that, and that I be

23 allowed the opportunity to talk to him briefly

24 thereafter.

25 What I would respectfully suggest as a

Page 12391

1 possibility, if the Court is minded to allow us to show

2 him the document, is that we might, for example, work

3 until such time as we could take a break that would be

4 of assistance to the interpreters and to the Chamber

5 and prevail on Colonel Stewart to read and work through

6 the break so as to optimise our use of time.

7 JUDGE MAY: Let us consider the matter when

8 the cross-examination has finished, that's what we're

9 dealing with, and if necessary we'll have to go into

10 tomorrow to deal with it --

11 MR. NICE: So be it.

12 JUDGE MAY: -- if that's more convenient.

13 But let's continue with the cross-examination

14 meanwhile.

15 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.

16 Q. Colonel, as we were proceeding

17 chronologically through the incidents that occurred

18 during your tour of duty, we had reached February of

19 1993, and you gave some testimony concerning an

20 incident that occurred on February the 22nd. Actually,

21 you did not meet Mr. Kordic on the 22nd of February.

22 What you were relating to the Court was what you were,

23 in fact, told by the commanding officer of C Company,

24 Major Jennings; isn't that right? If you want to take

25 a look at your diary to refresh your memory in order to

Page 12392

1 be able to answer that question, please do so, sir.

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. All right. What you related was an incident

4 in which some roadblocks had been put up actually to

5 make a political and a humanitarian point, and that

6 point was that there had been a paucity of aid

7 deliveries to Busovaca in the recent past; do you

8 recall that?

9 A. I don't agree with it but that's possible.

10 Q. I wonder if I could show you two milinfosums

11 that may shed some light on that and help you to

12 refresh your memory, sir. These are milinfosum 115,

13 dated February the 22nd, 1993 and milinfosum 118, dated

14 three days later. Thank you.

15 THE REGISTRAR: Milinfosum number 115 will be

16 numbered D157/1 and number 118 will be numbered

17 D158/1.


19 Q. Turning your attention first, sir, to Exhibit

20 D157/1, the February the 22nd, 1993 milinfosum, if you

21 just take a look at page 2, there's a report here,

22 presumably from Major Jennings that various

23 checkpoints -- "two checkpoints were reportedly placed

24 following direct instructions from Dario Kordic, HDZ."

25 The report goes on to say that "Kordic stated

Page 12393

1 that Busovaca had only received one aid delivery in the

2 last 39 days. He had given the order to block the road

3 with a lorry to bring this point to the attention of

4 all agencies concerned."

5 Does that jog your memory as to whether this

6 incident was to make a political and a humanitarian

7 point?

8 A. Well, I don't know whether that's the case or

9 not. It jogs my memory that there was a roadblock put

10 in; it jogs my memory that Kordic had ordered that that

11 roadblock be put in.

12 Q. All right.

13 A. Well, according to you, at the time he wasn't

14 the commander, though, was he, so he wouldn't have

15 given an order to block it.

16 Q. Well, let's take a look at the next

17 milinfosum, sir, document D158/1, page 2, under item 6,

18 "Busovaca." The military intelligence gathering

19 resources in your regiment said, about halfway down:

20 "The reason for the establishment of these additional

21 CPs is unclear but is believed to be linked to an HVO

22 claim of unequal aid distribution." Do you see that?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And is that consistent with your

25 recollection?

Page 12394

1 A. No, it's not. I can't remember it and it's

2 not for any other reason that my mind's gone, but I

3 wasn't necessarily informed of this at the time.

4 Q. No problem. Turning to another incident that

5 occurred shortly around this time frame, sir, you

6 recall that a Mercedes armoured vehicle, I believe,

7 belonging to a Dutch captain was hijacked by some thugs

8 outside of Vitez, on the road between Vitez and

9 Travnik?

10 A. Yes, I remember very well.

11 Q. All right. Do you recall, sir, that you

12 actually turned up at the Hotel Vitez to complain to a

13 military police officer about this and to request his

14 assistance in arranging the return of the vehicle?

15 A. I'm sure I did.

16 Q. All right. If the usher would show you

17 D114/1, that might help.

18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I'm

19 finished with those two documents that we were

20 previously looking at. If you'd put this one on the

21 ELMO and turn to page 2, please.

22 Q. This document, sir, is a milinfosum dated

23 February the 23rd, 1993, and it's recorded here

24 that "Co. 1 Cheshire and the Vitez/Travnik LO visited

25 the HVO Vitez to request the return of the vehicle and

Page 12395

1 its contents." Do you see that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And presumably that was you and one of your

4 liaison officers.

5 A. Mm-hmm. I didn't just visit them, I visited

6 the mayor too.

7 Q. That's Ivica Santic?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Very well, sir. Then you also visited, I

10 believe --

11 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher, I'm

12 through with that.

13 Q. You visited Novi Travnik and spoke to the

14 chief of police there who, according to your diary,

15 seemed as if he was fairly switched on; correct, sir?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. All right. And then the next day you went to

18 see Colonel Filipovic in Travnik to see if he could

19 throw any light on the matter, and was he able to do

20 so?

21 A. No.

22 Q. All right. Just as an aside, you've

23 previously described that you found Colonel Filipovic

24 to be a decent man; you liked him and you found him to

25 be an impressive individual; correct?

Page 12396

1 A. Yes, I did.

2 Q. Very well, sir. Do you recall, sir, that the

3 Mercedes was actually returned to the Dutch Battalion

4 but that a local Mafia group apparently disagreed with

5 the return of that vehicle by Mr. Kordic in Busovaca?

6 A. Yes. In fact, I met the head of the Mafia as

7 part of the -- it's not in the diary. I went to see

8 this criminal.

9 Q. Right. And that was a fellow by the name of

10 Zarko Andric, also known as Juti, I believe.

11 A. I think it was. He was a very unsavoury

12 character.

13 Q. As we --

14 A. Forgive me, but I think the point was that I

15 think Mr. Kordic helped get this back, and I think that

16 the Mafia had definitely taken it, and I believe that a

17 certain amount of pressure was also put on us by the

18 Mafia; me personally putting pressure on him, not Mr.

19 Kordic, the Mafia guy.

20 Q. And you, of course, did not have any personal

21 dealings at all with Mr. Kordic in that regard. Those

22 dealings were rather arranged between Major Jennings

23 and Mr. Kordic; correct?

24 A. Yes. I think Mr. Kordic got on well with

25 some of my officers.

Page 12397

1 Q. As we go through chronologically, sir, the

2 next item I've got, and there has been some testimony

3 on this, concerns the unfortunate death of one of your

4 soldiers, Mr. Rock, I believe, Corporal Rock, who shot

5 himself while larking around with a loaded rifle; isn't

6 that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. It was an accident; correct?

9 A. I hope so.

10 Q. It wasn't a suicide, in your view, was it?

11 A. I think he was a soldier of unstable nature

12 who was drunk, and I think he played around and by

13 accident killed himself.

14 Q. I just refer the Trial Chamber's attention to

15 page 5925 on that subject.

16 The next item that I've got on my

17 chronological list, Colonel, is a high-level meeting of

18 what you referred to in your diary, I think, as

19 politicos that was arranged in Zenica by Ambassador

20 Thebault who was the chair of that meeting. Do you

21 recall attending that meeting?

22 A. Can you tell me, sir, the date?

23 Q. Yes. It's March the 25th, 1993, sir. I'm

24 sorry for not mentioning the date when I asked the

25 question.

Page 12398

1 A. Yeah, sounds like it. Seems possible. I

2 didn't see a record of it here.

3 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, let me turn to

4 the events that immediately preceded one of the main

5 topics upon which you've given testimony, the Ahmici

6 killings of civilians.

7 It's true that prior to April the 16th, there

8 had been a significant slowly-escalating build-up of

9 tension between the Croats and the Muslim forces in the

10 Lasva Valley; isn't that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. For example, in Travnik, on April the 10th, a

13 bomb had been thrown at the HVO headquarters there. Do

14 you recall that?

15 A. Not offhand. I'm not sure it's in my diary.

16 It might be in the military intelligence source

17 reports.

18 Q. Very well. Suffice it to say though, sir,

19 that you were being told by the Muslim authorities in

20 Travnik that there was simply no way that they would

21 agree to submit to Croat rule in Province 10 under the

22 Vance-Owen Plan; do you recall that?

23 A. Yes, I'm sure that was the case.

24 Q. And I believe, sir, that there was an Easter

25 party that was held at the HVO headquarters on April

Page 12399

1 the 12th of 1993, thrown by Colonel Blaskic and

2 Mr. Kordic, and you attended that, did you not?

3 A. Yes, I did.

4 Q. There was an HVO president there. I believe

5 you record in your diary that his name escapes you.

6 Have you recalled, in the intervening years, the name

7 of that gentleman or is it still --

8 A. It might have been Valenta. I don't know. I

9 can't remember.

10 Q. All right.

11 A. I use the word "HVO president" probably

12 because I wasn't sure, anyway, what he was.

13 Q. Yes. The next event --

14 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down,

15 please?

16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we're having a

17 request from the interpreter for you to slow down.

18 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour. I will.

19 Q. Not your fault, Colonel, absolutely mine.

20 I'm afraid I'm a notorious offender.

21 Were you aware that an assassination attempt

22 had been made against the life of Darko Kraljevic

23 outside Kruscica on April the 13th, 1993?

24 A. I don't think I can recall that.

25 Q. Let me turn to the next event, which is the

Page 12400

1 kidnapping of the four HVO staff officers outside of

2 Novi Travnik by Mujahedin members of the 7th Muslim

3 Brigade. You were aware of that incident, were you

4 not? Yes?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you actually complained to Ambassador

7 Thebault about what you perceived to be a bungled

8 attempt by the ECMM to try to investigate that

9 situation and resolve it; correct?

10 A. If that's the incident where I offered them

11 vehicles and they denied them and then they got lost or

12 I had to go and get them out, yes, I think it probably

13 is. In fact, I was very angry.

14 Q. In fact, in your diary, on April the 15th you

15 relate, sir, that you demanded an explanation for the

16 extraordinary behaviour of the ECMM and that you had to

17 take extensive steps in order to get these people out

18 of Novi Travnik; is that correct?

19 A. That's correct, and the extraordinary

20 behaviour was an unprofessional approach to dealing

21 with the problem.

22 Q. And they had put themselves into a situation

23 that required the intervention of the British forces,

24 and you arranged that intervention to help them and get

25 them -- extract them, if you like, from Novi Travnik;

Page 12401

1 correct?

2 A. Yes, sir.

3 Q. Isn't it true -- or let me actually -- let me

4 not be tendentious. Let me just ask you, do you

5 remember the Muslims claiming that this entire incident

6 was a contrived hoax designed to cast a negative light

7 on the Muslim forces and especially the 7th Muslim

8 Brigade?

9 A. I don't.

10 Q. I wonder if you could be shown Exhibit D70/1,

11 which is a milinfosum dated April the 14th, 1993. If I

12 could ask the usher to turn to page 2, right at the

13 bottom of the page. "The observation is made by the

14 intelligence section that the BiH claim that the whole

15 kidnapping incident is an elaborate HVO hoax designed

16 to cast a negative light on local Muslim forces,

17 particularly the 7th Muslim Brigade." Does that jog

18 your memory, sir, that those allegations were being

19 made by the Muslim forces?

20 A. No, it doesn't, but my only comment on that

21 is that I believe that these guys were taken and they

22 were taken by Mujahedin, and there was no hoax there.

23 That would be my comment. I don't know exactly.

24 Q. Very well, Colonel. I think that's

25 absolutely right. And were you aware that these

Page 12402

1 gentlemen were subsequently released in a bilateral

2 HVO-Muslim forces release about a month later on May

3 the 19th, 1993? I know that was after the termination

4 of your tour, but did you keep up with things and did

5 you learn of that?

6 A. I recall it, yes.

7 Q. Thank you.

8 JUDGE MAY: Are we finished with that?

9 MR. SAYERS: Yes, we are indeed, Your

10 Honour. Thank you.

11 Q. All right. The next incident, Colonel, I

12 believe occurred on the morning of April the 15th,

13 1993, and involved the abduction of Commander Zivko

14 Totic and the execution of his bodyguards and the

15 killing of a passerby. You do recall that incident, I

16 take it.

17 A. It wasn't an execution, it was absolute

18 murder. It was an attack to get hold of Totic, in

19 which they killed, whoever did it, killed his

20 bodyguards and hurt people around. Yes, I recall it.

21 I wasn't there.

22 Q. Did you receive any reports from any of your

23 soldiers who actually witnessed the aftermath of this

24 incident, sir?

25 A. I was deeply involved in the aftermath

Page 12403

1 myself. I was summoned by the European Community

2 Monitoring Mission ambassador, as a result of that

3 incident, to move immediately to Zenica, something I

4 didn't want to do at the time, and he rather used his

5 political might to inform me that he really needed me,

6 and I took the hint and went, which I didn't want to

7 do. And I went to try and stop it, because I knew that

8 this particular incident could well be the catalyst

9 that would actually really cause huge problems.

10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. And you've given

11 testimony about your views concerning the significance

12 of the Totic kidnapping. I just refer the Court's

13 attention to page 23798, 23826, 827, and 878, and

14 there's no point in going over it again. You've said

15 what you said, sir.

16 But you actually -- you travelled straight to

17 Zenica from Travnik, I believe, over the mountain road

18 once you had been, how shall we say, summoned there by

19 the ECMM ambassador; correct?

20 A. I don't know whether it was the mountain road

21 or the valley road, but I went a heck of a speed, in my

22 discovery.

23 Q. In your diary?

24 JUDGE MAY: There's a point which I have in

25 mind which I meant to ask earlier. Colonel, could you

Page 12404

1 help us with this? How long would it take to get from

2 Vitez to Zenica by the various routes?

3 A. I think about half an hour, Your Honour, both

4 ways, depending on the vehicle you were using, and if

5 it was a straight run through on the valley road, you

6 could probably do it slightly faster. And it depended

7 on the -- the choice depended on the situation and the

8 vehicle that you were driving in.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.


11 Q. Suffice it to say, sir, you don't recall

12 whether you travelled to Zenica on the 15th via the

13 mountain road or the valley road; correct?

14 A. I'm trying hard to think. If I was to bet, I

15 would probably say the valley road.

16 Q. The valley road; very well. Now, when you

17 got there, a conference was under way. Colonel Merdan

18 from the Muslim side was there, I believe it to be the

19 case, and you told him that you thought that this

20 abduction incident was absolutely appalling, did you

21 not?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And he denied that it was the Muslim side

24 that was to blame, did he not?

25 A. Not very well.

Page 12405

1 Q. But nonetheless, he did deny it?

2 A. He denied that it was soldiers under his

3 command.

4 Q. Right. And he actually said that this was a

5 matter for the civilian authorities and not the army;

6 correct?

7 A. Yes, he did.

8 Q. Would it be fair to say, sir, in the

9 vernacular, that you did not buy that?

10 A. That would be fair to say.

11 Q. And were you aware that Commander Totic was

12 subsequently released by the Muslim side as part of the

13 release involving the four HVO staff officers on May

14 the 19th of that year?

15 A. I was.

16 Q. All right. In your diary, sir, on the 15th

17 of April, you record your view that the fighting at the

18 end of the day or early the next morning was all to do

19 with Totic, and indeed that's what the HVO

20 representative was saying on the night of the 15th, was

21 it not?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. There had actually been an outbreak of

24 violence that evening towards the east of the Lasva

25 Valley, I believe. Is that your --

Page 12406

1 A. I can't recall that, but I would follow what

2 the HVO representatives said at that time.

3 Q. And you agree with the views that he

4 expressed, I take it.

5 A. I can't remember what views it was, but if it

6 was that this is going to cause us trouble, we're going

7 to have a bit of fighting over this, I would follow

8 along with that.

9 Q. Yes. All right, sir. Now, in your -- you

10 spent the entire evening, I believe, in Zenica

11 following the conclusion of the conference chaired by

12 the ECMM ambassador?

13 A. Umm-hmm. It was late, yes.

14 Q. And then the next day you received, I think,

15 a communication from your second in command, then Major

16 Watters, at around 5.30 a.m. that there was an

17 explosion of violence around the Lasva Valley;

18 correct?

19 A. Absolutely.

20 Q. And you made the decision then to return as

21 quickly as expedient and prudent to Vitez and proceeded

22 to do so early on the morning of the 16th.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Is it your recollection that you started out

25 from Zenica at around 7.15 or 7.30?

Page 12407

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. That would be first light?

3 A. Well, I was going to come at 5.30, but I was

4 really on my own. The serious problem I had was that I

5 might be wiped out.

6 Q. Right.

7 A. So I was going to go, but my second in

8 command gave me an order that I was not to go until

9 daylight.

10 Q. Very well, sir. And I believe that you

11 actually used the mountain road to return to Vitez,

12 following the receipt of reports of heavy fighting.

13 You related to Judge Shahabuddeen on page 23857 that

14 you were travelling fast, very fast. In fact, you were

15 trying to get back to Vitez as soon as you could;

16 correct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. There's no mention of picking up anyone on

19 the way back in your diary, sir, for April the 16th,

20 and please consult it if you wish --

21 A. No, I don't need to consult it. On the way

22 back across the mountain road, I certainly didn't pick

23 up anyone early in the morning. There were three

24 minefields to cross, several checkpoints to go through,

25 and I certainly didn't pick up anyone. In fact, I was

Page 12408

1 in fear of my life all the way.

2 Q. All right. Now, when you got to Vitez, sir,

3 that was around 9.00 a.m., I believe.

4 A. Maybe earlier.

5 Q. You came to the HVO headquarters looking for

6 Colonel Blaskic; correct?

7 A. Yes, I came looking for Colonel Blaskic

8 almost immediately.

9 Q. And you weren't able to find him, were you?

10 A. No, because he wasn't there.

11 Q. Would it be fair to say, Colonel, that you

12 never made any effort to see Mr. Kordic or to call him

13 on the telephone on April the 16th at any time?

14 A. I think that's extremely fair to say. I

15 certainly didn't.

16 Q. Very well. And then, sir, unable to find

17 Colonel Blaskic, I believe you drove along the mountain

18 road, past Ahmici where you could see houses burning

19 and bodies strewn along the road; correct?

20 A. No. I think I went on the valley road. I

21 went in on the valley -- oh, you see, that day, that

22 day I was into Zenica two or three times. When I went

23 into Vitez, I was in my Discovery and then I must have

24 driven from Vitez to Zenica almost immediately, and I

25 really have this impression that I went down the valley

Page 12409

1 and that there were a lot of bodies around as I did,

2 and I do recall that, I think, an HVO patrol fired an

3 RPG-7 at me.

4 Q. Let me see if I can just jog your memory on

5 that, sir, since you appear to be somewhat fuzzy on

6 that.

7 A. I'm trying not to be.

8 Q. That's all right. At page 23861 of your

9 testimony in Blaskic, you related driving around 10.30

10 a.m. on the 16th of April and you passed what was known

11 as the Swiss cottage. That was the building that's

12 been identified in this case as the Bungalow at

13 Nadioci; do you remember that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Does that jog your memory now, that you were

16 actually driving along the --

17 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute. Is that the

18 mountain road or the valley road?

19 A. That is the valley road, sir. So I'm right,

20 I went down the valley road.


22 Q. Very well. So it would be fair to say that

23 you actually drove right past Ahmici at around 10.30

24 a.m. on the 16th of April, 1993.

25 A. That's correct. The timing is fuzzy,

Page 12410

1 though.

2 Q. All right. Sir, you were aware that -- I

3 take it you were aware anyway that Lieutenant Wooley,

4 or then Lieutenant Wooley, and then Lieutenant Dooley

5 were present along with other of your soldiers in

6 Ahmici on the morning and afternoon of April the 16th.

7 A. Yes, I know. Not actually in the main part

8 of it, just on the edge.

9 Q. Did they tell you that they had stacked up a

10 number of dead bodies by the cemetery to the east of

11 Ahmici and had sort of shuttled wounded back and forth

12 between -- well, shuttled wounded back from Ahmici to

13 the hospital in Travnik on the 16th of April?

14 A. I recall that they were operating in the

15 area; I don't recall exactly what they told me about

16 bodies or shuttling.

17 Q. Very well. Were you aware that they had seen

18 approximately 50 dead people in the vicinity of Ahmici

19 on the 16th of April?

20 A. No, I'm not. I wasn't -- I mean, I saw

21 probably 15 or 20 myself where I went, and I wasn't

22 patrolling. They wouldn't have bothered mentioning --

23 that sounds very callous, but they wouldn't have

24 bothered mentioning it. It was irrelevant, and I don't

25 mean this in a cruel way, it was irrelevant to what we

Page 12411

1 were doing. We were just flat out. So they didn't

2 tell me, no.

3 Q. Very well, sir. Let me turn to the next

4 day. Were you aware that your second in command had

5 actually conducted ceasefire negotiations in Vitez and

6 that those negotiations involved Colonel Blaskic and

7 the ABiH local commander of the 325th Mountain Brigade,

8 Mr. Sefkija Dzidic?

9 A. I can't recall it. It's perfectly normal. I

10 always used to leave him to try and do that sort of

11 thing.

12 Q. Very well. Do you recall that two HVO

13 negotiators on the team of negotiators, Mr. Pilicic and

14 Mr. Prskalo, while they were being escorted from one of

15 your Warriors to another building in Vitez, were

16 actually shot by ABiH troops from Stari Vitez, by

17 snipers?

18 A. No. I wish I'd known that. Were they

19 killed?

20 Q. I do not believe they were killed.

21 A. Good.

22 Q. The next item chronologically is a

23 conversation I believe you had with Colonel Blaskic on

24 April the 18th of 1993. Do you recall that

25 conversation, sir?

Page 12412

1 A. Was this the Cajdras incident?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. Yes, I do recall it.

4 Q. He asked you or appealed to you to help save

5 some Croat refugees who had gathered around a village

6 on that mountain road called Cajdras; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And you went up there and saw about 1.000

9 refugees and actually addressed them with your

10 interpreter and an UNHCR representative; correct?

11 A. Yes. Well, I gave them -- I was upset to see

12 so many people who had clearly been moved out of their

13 houses, and I gave them my word that I would help them

14 if I could.

15 Q. Suffice it to say, sir, that these displaced

16 persons, in your opinion, had not left their houses

17 voluntarily, had they?

18 A. No. This was clearly done by -- well, some

19 of them might have done because they were frightened,

20 but I think a lot of them had been blown up, because I

21 went to go and see where they had come from and their

22 houses were on fire. So the answer is, I don't think

23 so.

24 Q. In your opinion, they'd actually been

25 expelled, or those had been expelled, involuntarily by

Page 12413

1 Muslim forces attacking Croat villages from Zenica;

2 correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. All right. Indeed, sir, there was a Muslim

5 force backlash after April the 16th. In fact, one

6 aspect of that backlash was that the HVO buildings, all

7 of them, in Zenica were taken over by Muslim forces;

8 correct?

9 A. Yes, that's correct.

10 Q. Both of the brigades were surrounded and

11 ultimately had to surrender, both of the HVO brigades

12 in Zenica; correct?

13 A. Well, Totic had gone, he'd disappeared, and I

14 was really concerned for his safety. The other guy's

15 brigade, yes, you're right, I think some of his guys

16 were at Cajdras too, and I was concerned for them too.

17 Q. I'd like to turn, if I may, just for a few

18 minutes, Colonel, and we're making excellent progress

19 here, to the negotiations that were held between the

20 national military commanders and the zone commanders on

21 April the 18th and thereafter.

22 You were aware, I take it, that a ceasefire

23 agreement had been reached between the highest level of

24 the Croat political administration and the Muslim

25 political administration on April the 18th, signed on

Page 12414

1 the one hand by President Boban of the Croatian

2 Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Croat leader, and on the

3 other hand by President Izetbegovic for the Muslim

4 side; is that correct?

5 A. Right at this moment I can't recall it, but

6 it seems fair.

7 MR. SAYERS: Just for the Court's

8 information, that's Exhibit D83/1.

9 Q. Following that, sir, is it your recollection

10 that an unilateral ceasefire order was issued by the

11 commander in chief of the HVO military forces,

12 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, on April the 18th, 1993?

13 A. I don't know. Always the problem was that

14 from the -- what is said at the bottom -- what is said

15 at the top doesn't percolate to the bottom, and indeed

16 I had instances of both Bosnian Croat or HVO and

17 Bosnian Muslim forces saying that they did not accept

18 orders from above when it concerned their homes, as

19 everyone in this Court might understand.

20 Q. Yes. I appreciate that, Colonel. But, in

21 fact, an attempt was made, I think, and you were

22 involved in that attempt, to make sure that the orders

23 from the top, so to speak, did percolate down to the

24 bottom by arranging for the field visits of the two

25 commanders in chief, General Halilovic for the ABiH and

Page 12415

1 Brigadier Petkovic at the end of April; is that

2 correct?

3 A. Yes, and I accompanied them myself.

4 Q. It was actually pretty effective, wasn't it,

5 in making sure that the orders finally did percolate

6 down to the lower echelons, if you like?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Let's get back on track with the chronology,

9 though. Do you recall that there were, indeed,

10 high-level negotiations held in Zenica on April the

11 20th, 1993 with Brigadier Petkovic and Colonel Blaskic

12 representing the Croat side and General Halilovic and

13 General Hadzihasanovic representing the Muslim side?

14 A. Was that with General Morillon present too?

15 Q. And Ambassador Thebault, I believe.

16 A. Yes, I do recall.

17 Q. In fact, General Brigadier Petkovic had asked

18 you, according to your diary, to get hold of Blaskic

19 and you agreed; right?

20 A. Yes, I think that's correct.

21 Q. All right. Now, would it be fair to say that

22 Mr. Kordic was at no point involved in any of these

23 negotiations?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Once again, no one asked him to attend or

Page 12416

1 thought that it was important for him to attend;

2 correct?

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. No one from the Muslim side or the Croat side

5 or any of the international organisations present or

6 military organisations contended that his presence was

7 in any way necessary; correct?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. And, indeed, sir, do you recall that the

10 formal agreement was signed by Brigadier Petkovic and

11 by General Halilovic on April the 20th?

12 A. I don't recall that. I recall that Morillon

13 was there. I recall on that day, and I was angry that

14 I'd spent most of the day trying to find General

15 Morillon, he was like the illusive Pimpernel, which is

16 a story.

17 Q. Let me just show you Exhibit D24/1.

18 MR. SAYERS: We can just put it on the ELMO.

19 I don't think there's any necessity to get the original

20 exhibit.

21 Q. I'd just like to ask you, sir, does that jog

22 your memory that the agreement was actually signed on

23 April the 20th by the people I've described and

24 actually countersigned by Lieutenant-General Morillon

25 and Ambassador Thebault? If you take a look at the

Page 12417

1 second page, the signatures actually appear there.

2 A. Yes. I have no problem with that.

3 Q. All right. In your book, at page 293, you

4 say that these two military commanders were the two

5 people who could control the fighting if anyone could,

6 the two top commanders; correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Very well.

9 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much, Mr. Usher.

10 Q. Moving on to April the 21st, I believe that

11 additional negotiations occurred at the zone level

12 between Colonel Blaskic and Colonel Merdan the next day

13 at your headquarters in Vitez; do you recall that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. All right. And there's no question, is

16 there, that --

17 A. It wasn't at my headquarters, actually. It

18 was in the ECMM building near my base, and Petkovic was

19 there.

20 Q. Right.

21 A. So was Halilovic.

22 Q. Right. These were negotiations between the

23 two zone commanders, Colonels Blaskic and Merdan, but

24 overlooking their efforts were Brigadier Petkovic for

25 the HVO and General Halilovic for the ABiH; correct?

Page 12418

1 A. Yes, correct.

2 Q. Very well, sir. Is it right that by April

3 the 21st, 1993, in the assessment of the British army,

4 the HVO was engaged by five ABiH brigades and that the

5 3rd Corps was militarily in the dominant position in

6 the Lasva Valley and to the north?

7 A. That's what I was thinking, yes.

8 Q. All right.

9 MR. SAYERS: We just refer the Court's

10 attention to Exhibit Z776, which is a milinfosum of

11 that date, April the 21st, 1993, and precisely that

12 observation is made on page 2.

13 Q. Now, sir, turning to April the 22nd and

14 beyond, would it be fair to say that the area was

15 visited in short order by a large number of people from

16 the press and from a variety of international

17 organisations and bodies?

18 A. It wasn't until after the Ahmici massacre was

19 discovered, but it was a really horrendous time and I

20 think that there was a huge number of press people

21 around anyway.

22 Q. All right. You actually conducted the

23 ambassadors of three countries represented on the

24 Security Council around the Ahmici village at some

25 point in late April; is that correct?

Page 12419

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You also met two investigators from the

3 United Nations Centre for Human Rights; correct?

4 A. Akhavan and Osario, yes.

5 Q. They had been sent, as far as you understand

6 it, in response to your request that an investigation

7 be done into the dreadful events in Ahmici; correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Would it be fair to say, sir, that in your

10 assessment, the British army itself lacked the

11 resources or experience to do a forensic investigation

12 of the type that you expected to be done?

13 A. Well, absolutely, with regard to my

14 battalion, we're a fighting battalion, we're not a

15 police unit. But within the British army, there would

16 have been that expertise, yes, but they weren't in

17 theatre.

18 Q. And so you made a request to the United

19 Nations Centre for Human Rights for assistance, and the

20 two investigators that you identified were sent along;

21 is that correct?

22 A. I'm not sure that I requested. I think they

23 just appeared.

24 Q. Now, in your first visit to Ahmici on the

25 22nd of April, do you recall -- or you actually said to

Page 12420

1 the Blaskic Trial Chamber that you recalled large

2 concentrations of ABiH soldiers in the hills

3 overlooking Ahmici; it was a dangerous environment. Do

4 you remember that?

5 A. Yes. It wasn't large concentrations. Again,

6 it was maximum-size groupings of 20. You know, "large

7 concentrations", you know, explicitly suggests, you

8 know, people of 100 plus. But there were sufficient

9 soldiers in the hills above the village of Ahmici for

10 me to reckon that was a defence line.

11 Q. Very well. I just refer the Court's

12 attention to page 23757 where you say: "At this point,

13 there were most definitely large concentrations of BiH

14 soldiers in the hills." But you've explained, I guess,

15 what you meant by that.

16 A. Yes. I think you've got me there. What I

17 mean -- exactly what I mean is there were about 20 --

18 groups of 20.

19 Q. Very well. And it was upon your return from

20 this visit to Ahmici with the -- was it with the

21 Security Council ambassadors at that point -- that you

22 wrote your letter to Colonel Blaskic?

23 A. Yes. Let me explain, because it's muddled.

24 I, Your Honour, was asked by Jean-Pierre

25 Thebault to stop the fighting. I personally was

Page 12421

1 pleaded with by him to do it myself, not send anyone

2 else. That was on the morning of the 22nd of April. I

3 was most reluctant to do this because, you know, I had

4 been away, I had a whole battalion to command, and it

5 wasn't just Vitez. It stretched to Tuzla.

6 But I did what I was bid, and I took a

7 grouping of people, some armoured vehicles sufficient

8 for protection, some light tanks, and one vehicle from

9 the press, as I was bound to do in accordance with

10 British army instructions, but I minimised the press

11 that were with me.

12 I took this convoy up the mountain road to

13 the top, to the cull at the top. En route, I already

14 negotiated two checkpoints. One was an HVO checkpoint

15 at the bottom; another was a BiH checkpoint as I neared

16 the top.

17 I then went along the ridge of the mountains

18 between Zenica and the Lasva Valley or Vitez. As I did

19 so, I stopped every time I came in contact with a large

20 concentration of troops, 20 or so. I dismounted and I

21 spoke to them all, telling them to stop fighting and

22 the fighting was to cease.

23 In fairness, and I recall now, thinking it

24 through, that there was one very aggressive Muslim

25 commander, one of the first ones I came across, and I

Page 12422

1 told him he was to shut his mouth and he was to stop

2 fighting. Forgive me for being explicit. But the

3 majority of people were just frightened.

4 But what really got me going was that some of

5 the soldiers, some of the private soldiers, were

6 shouting to me that they could not stop fighting

7 because in the village of Ahmici there were women and

8 children who had been killed by the HVO. I said to

9 them, "The HVO wouldn't do that. This is not HVO's --

10 they wouldn't do it. They are human beings." They

11 insisted that they wouldn't stop fighting until they

12 knew the truth. I said I would find the truth.

13 And so I came down from the hills through --

14 again through the lines, and I drove to the village of

15 Ahmici, a place I had never been to before because it

16 was off the main route.

17 As I drove through the village of Ahmici, it

18 was like a graveyard, really. The whole place was

19 deserted. There wasn't anyone. Practically every

20 single house had been destroyed. The mosque minaret,

21 you know, had been toppled and it looked like a sort of

22 rocket pointing into space, and there were dead dogs

23 and dead animals lying around. Now, the evidence

24 already is that people -- my soldiers had been moving

25 some of the bodies away, but I didn't see immediately

Page 12423

1 evidence of dead bodies, which I was really thankful

2 for.

3 I drove through the village, which was

4 increasingly going high up the valley. It is a linear

5 village with a single road that goes all the way. At

6 the top, I dismounted and instructed my soldiers that

7 they were to do a sweep through the village into the

8 valley to ascertain that there were not dead women and

9 children, and I walked down the road myself.

10 About one third of the way through the

11 village, some soldiers called me over. They were being

12 sick, and I don't blame them. We had discovered the

13 first house that was massacred. Actually, since I know

14 of the Ahmic house -- of course, they are all probably

15 called Ahmic in Ahmici -- there was a man -- the body

16 of a man and the body of a boy, clothes burnt off, in

17 the front entrance. But it was worse around the back,

18 because in the cellar there were clearly probably four

19 babies, the remains of two women. And the soldiers

20 were being -- just couldn't take it. It was then that

21 I realised that what the soldiers in the hills had told

22 me was correct.

23 I had the BBC with me and I had the ITV with

24 me. Martin Bell is a distinguished correspondent, now

25 a member of parliament. They filmed everything that

Page 12424

1 happened. I couldn't believe it. We then found

2 further evidence that people had been killed.

3 And that's what happened on that day, and I

4 certainly then was quite clear that whoever had done

5 this had carried out a gross crime against humanity and

6 determined that I would do everything in my power to

7 actually make sure people realised it, so I did.

8 Sorry. That was rather a long answer.

9 Q. Thank you, Colonel. One of the first things

10 that you did, when you returned to your base, was to

11 write a letter to Colonel Blaskic on April the 22nd,

12 1993; correct?

13 A. I also tried to telephone him.

14 Q. All right. And the letter has previously

15 been identified as Exhibit 63/1. There's no point in

16 showing it to you. And your testimony is that

17 Colonel Blaskic immediately wrote back to you, saying

18 that he was ready to send a joint investigative

19 commission into Ahmici; correct?

20 A. No, I can't recall that coming -- that letter

21 coming in, but I'm perfectly willing to accept that it

22 did come in the next day, the 23rd of April. I don't

23 wish to dispute that in any way.

24 Q. All right. We'll get into the exchange of

25 correspondence and what went on with respect to

Page 12425

1 investigations in the last part of my

2 cross-examination, but let me continue on

3 chronologically, sir.

4 You have previously identified Mr. Akhavan

5 and Mr. Osario as the investigators who arrived on the

6 scene from the U.N. Centre for Human Rights. They

7 actually became your main source of factual information

8 about what had happened at Ahmici; correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. In your view, they did a full criminal

11 investigation; correct?

12 A. No. In my view, they were not qualified to

13 do that or backed up to do that. They took evidence

14 from people -- they took statements from people. And

15 we were actually on the ground, still trying to find

16 out what had happened. So, for example, from their

17 evidence, we went to house number 7 in Ahmici and

18 discovered some more bodies, children's bodies, and a

19 family there. So I don't think, to my recollection,

20 they were there, you know, to start something that

21 would end up in a court. I think they were just to

22 establish and write a report. But I may be wrong.

23 Q. You know that Mr. Osario and Mr. Akhavan

24 interviewed a large number of victims from the Ahmici

25 incident in Zenica; correct?

Page 12426

1 A. Yes. So did the International Committee of

2 the Red Cross.

3 Q. And, indeed, you were informed that the names

4 of suspects had been gathered as early as May the 4th

5 of 1993, and you got a number of names from them, as

6 we've seen?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You decided not to give those names to

9 Colonel Blaskic or to the HVO; correct?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And that decision is actually recorded in

12 your contemporaneous diary on May the 4th, 1993, is it

13 not, sir?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. All right.

16 A. And the reason why was obvious.

17 Q. Yes. You concluded that Colonel Blaskic

18 could not be trusted with the information; correct?

19 A. No, I concluded that these men might just

20 disappear.

21 Q. All right. I'll just address the Court's

22 attention to page 23820 and 821.

23 This list, however, was given to the press,

24 to Mr. Damon; correct?

25 A. I don't think it was given by me. Dan Damon

Page 12427

1 of Sky News?

2 Q. Yes, sir.

3 A. Might have seen it, but I don't think I gave

4 him the names. I gave the names, as far as I'm

5 concerned, to the ECMM ambassador. Maybe Damon took it

6 or I gave it to him, but I can't recall that.

7 Q. All right. Let me turn to the meetings that

8 you had following the exchange of correspondence

9 between Colonel Blaskic and you.

10 On April the 24th, sir, you had a meeting

11 with authorities in what you refer to as the government

12 of Vitez, Mr. Santic and Mr. Skopljak. Do you recall

13 that? I think it's recorded in your --

14 A. It's in my diary, yes. It would help me to

15 look. Yes, correct.

16 Q. And the next visit that you had immediately

17 afterwards was with Colonel Blaskic? After you had met

18 the civilian political leaders, you went to see the

19 military leader in Vitez; correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And it's true, sir, is it not, that

22 Colonel Blaskic readily agreed that Ahmici was in his

23 zone of responsibility --

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. -- and that the soldiers involved in the

Page 12428

1 Ahmici operations were soldiers under his command;

2 correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. He never contended, on the 24th of April or,

5 really, thereafter, that the killings of the civilians

6 were carried out by people -- rogue elements operating

7 beyond his control; isn't that true?

8 A. I can't recall him saying that. I'm not

9 sure, on the 24th of April, that I said that he -- if

10 he was responsible, I would see him in court one day,

11 but I certainly said that to him at some stage.

12 Q. We'll get into that statement, but you did

13 tell Colonel Blaskic that in your view, after he had

14 admitted that the soldiers were his and that Ahmici was

15 in his zone of responsibility, you told him that in

16 your view, he was a war criminal, didn't you?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. All right. And then immediately after that,

19 you went to the pinfo section, the public information

20 section of the British army, and briefed them that

21 Colonel Blaskic had, in fact, agreed that Ahmici was

22 within his area of responsibility?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. You reported that he had taken operational

25 responsibility for the actions of his soldiers in the

Page 12429

1 area of Ahmici; correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. He said that to you, didn't he, sir?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And that confirmed, in your own mind, that

6 Colonel Blaskic was the operational commander for what

7 had occurred in Ahmici; correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Just stepping back a little bit, Colonel,

10 isn't it fair to say that Colonel Blaskic appeared

11 genuinely to you to be shocked to discover what had

12 actually happened in his area of responsibility?

13 A. Yeah, he did, utterly. He was really quite

14 shell-shocked, and I felt for him.

15 Q. You never reached the opinion or formed the

16 view that Colonel Blaskic deliberately ordered troops

17 to go into Ahmici and just slaughter civilians

18 willy-nilly, did you, sir?

19 A. Let me think about that.

20 JUDGE MAY: I think --

21 A. I really think that's -- the fact of the

22 matter is I thought he was the commander and his

23 soldiers did it, so I mean that's it. I mean I didn't

24 really start thinking about it beyond that, to be

25 honest. I would need to think about what that question

Page 12430

1 meant. Sorry.

2 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we've covered it as

3 far as we can.

4 MR. SAYERS: I agree entirely,

5 Mr. President. Let me move on.

6 Q. Let me touch very lightly on this, Colonel.

7 Proceeding chronologically along after your

8 meetings of April the 24th, were you aware that there

9 was a massacre of Croat civilians in the village of

10 Miletici on April the 25th of 1993 to the north of your

11 base?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. All right. The next event, as I can

14 understand, is one that you related, a meeting that you

15 said you had with Mr. Kordic on April the 26th, 1993,

16 and that is recorded in your diary, is it not?

17 A. Umm-hmm.

18 Q. Is that "yes"?

19 A. I'm just -- sorry, I'm just reading it. Yes,

20 correct.

21 JUDGE MAY: What page is this, please, of the

22 diary?

23 A. This is page 44, Your Honour. Monday, the

24 26th of April.

25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes.

Page 12431

1 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

2 Q. Now, sir, there's no reference in there to

3 the statements that you contend that Mr. Kordic made,

4 is there, about the Serbs being responsible for the

5 killings in Ahmici?

6 A. No, no, no.

7 Q. All right. So you're just operating on pure

8 recollection when you gave that testimony?

9 A. I remember it, you know.

10 Q. In fact, I think you said, and this is on

11 page 23812, you remember laughing yourself sick when

12 you heard that explanation, you thought it was

13 ridiculous, and that it all went to show that Kordic

14 was not a soldier; correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, let me ask you, sir, did you ever hear

17 Colonel Blaskic at any time make similar kinds of

18 statements to the effect that it was the Serbs who were

19 responsible for the killings of civilians in Ahmici, or

20 that it was the Muslims dressed up as HVO, or the

21 Muslims themselves?

22 A. No. He wouldn't have said something as silly

23 as that to me, because I would have laughed at him.

24 Q. And you considered, Colonel, after

25 essentially six months in the area of operations and

Page 12432

1 many, many meetings with Colonel Blaskic, that you had

2 got to know him fairly well; is that correct?

3 A. No, not at all. I don't think I got to know

4 anyone fairly well whose language I didn't speak, you

5 know, and I think, you know, I was existing on

6 impression, nothing else.

7 JUDGE MAY: Is it disputed, Mr. Sayers, so

8 that we can understand this, that Mr. Kordic stated, as

9 recorded by the witness or as mentioned by the witness

10 in his evidence, that it was the Serbs who were

11 responsible?

12 MR. SAYERS: I do not believe that that is

13 contested, Your Honour.

14 Q. Now, immediately after your meeting with

15 Mr. Kordic, you went to visit the -- I think you said

16 you went to see the Muslim offensive being mounted in

17 the village of Putis and Jelinak to the north of the

18 Koanik junction; correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. You saw evidence of people being thrown out

21 of their homes and killings there as well, did you not?

22 A. Putis and Jelinak aren't near Koanik. They

23 are actually, as I recall, northeast of Busovaca in the

24 hills.

25 I saw, when I went up that day -- I went

Page 12433

1 through the HVO lines and I went to the BiH positions,

2 and when I got there, I dismounted and tried to

3 persuade the BiH to give me the body of an HVO soldier

4 so I could take it back to Dario Kordic, which I

5 thought was at least decent. And they refused, so I

6 buried him, having taken his personal possessions.

7 Q. You recorded in your diary that you saw some

8 clear evidence of Muslims cleansing Croats by burning

9 houses.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You do remember that, do you not?

12 A. Mm-hmm.

13 Q. All right.

14 A. Let me just see where it is in the diary.

15 Whereabouts is that? Yes, there we are, I've found it,

16 the bottom of page 44.

17 Q. Yes, sir.

18 A. But it wasn't near Busovaca, it was on the

19 mountain road.

20 Q. There isn't any dispute about this. Putis

21 and Jelinak are just a few kilometres north of the

22 Kaonik junction; is that correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. All right. Now, sir, let me see if I can --

25 on April the 28th, you decided to drive through

Page 12434

1 Busovaca to check out the fighting in the area, and I

2 think you made a contemporaneous diary entry at that

3 point. You actually drove into Busovaca yourself,

4 didn't you?

5 A. Mm-hmm.

6 Q. Yes?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You don't remember that there were any

9 problems at all with UNHCR convoys being held up in

10 Busovaca on that day, the day before, or the day after,

11 do you?

12 A. I think around that time there were problems

13 on that road.

14 Q. All right. There's no record in the

15 commander's diary, sir, of any such problems. I wonder

16 if you could be -- do you have the commander's diary

17 before you?

18 A. No. I accept if there's no record, but I

19 remember -- the point is, that road between Busovaca

20 and Kiseljak was blocked quite a lot at that time, so

21 convoys couldn't get through.

22 Q. Right. But there's no mention in your diary,

23 sir, of any problem with a convoy, is there?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Just so that we have a full record here, I

Page 12435

1 wonder if you could be shown D1 -- well, let me just

2 put it to you.

3 There's no reference of any convoy problems

4 in the milinfosums on the 28th of April, 1993 or the

5 29th of April, 1993, so --

6 JUDGE MAY: I doubt the witness is going to

7 be able to answer that. You can make the comment to us

8 in due course.

9 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

10 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Sayers, we are coming to

11 a conclusion, I hope, given the time.

12 MR. SAYERS: Yes. As I said, I hope to be

13 through by 4.15, and I still hope to be through by

14 4.15, Your Honour.

15 Q. Would it be fair to say, Colonel, that you

16 yourself have no recollection at all of any specific

17 convoy problems on April the 28th, 1993; correct?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. And, indeed, you went back to Busovaca the

20 very next day, on April the 19th [sic], with General

21 Halilovic, Brigadier Petkovic and Ambassador Thebault

22 in tow; correct?

23 A. It was the 29th, yes.

24 Q. The day after the 28th, obviously.

25 A. Yes.

Page 12436

1 Q. You've never heard of any possibility of an

2 armed assault on Busovaca by British troops in this

3 time period, have you, April the 28th/29th?

4 A. Well, I don't think so. You know, every

5 single round my soldiers carried they had to come to me

6 if it was fired. So an armed assault on a position, I

7 would know about it because they'd have to replenish

8 their ammunition and I'd know who'd fired.

9 Q. And there never was any talk in your

10 battalion about such an armed assault at the end of

11 April, was there, Colonel?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Let me move on, sir. I touched upon this

14 very briefly but let me just ask a few more questions

15 on this subject.

16 Brigadier Petkovic and General Halilovic were

17 persuaded to stay in the area for about ten days to

18 make sure that the news of the ceasefire and its

19 details filtered down to the lowest level of the

20 combatants; is that fair to say?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you remember paying a visit to the village

23 of Gomionica on the 29th of April, 1993 where there

24 were ABiH troops present about one mile up the road

25 northeast of that village and to whom General Halilovic

Page 12437

1 spoke?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Do you remember, sir, that Brigadier Petkovic

4 stayed put in the armoured fighting vehicle, which you

5 thought was quite right of him to do?

6 A. Yes. Remember that at this time, roundabout

7 this time, an officer, I think a Bosnian army officer,

8 was killed in Sarajevo, when being guarded by the

9 French, by the Serbs. So I was very conscious that I

10 had responsibility for people I had in my vehicles,

11 whoever they were.

12 Q. Actually, are you referring, sir, to the

13 sniper death of Mr. Hakija Turajlic, who was actually

14 the vice-president of --

15 A. I think it might have been after this, but

16 all the time I was conscious of it.

17 Q. Very well. At each location visited by the

18 senior representatives of the armed forces, Brigadier

19 Petkovic and General Halilovic, it appeared to you that

20 the troops obeyed the orders given by these two

21 Generals and stopped fighting; correct?

22 A. I think so. I think so.

23 Q. Marching on chronologically, sir, I'd like to

24 turn your attention to a meeting that you had with

25 Mr. Anto Valenta on May the 4th of 1993.

Page 12438

1 Is it fair to say that, to your knowledge,

2 this was the first meeting that Mr. Valenta had had

3 with you?

4 A. I think that's correct.

5 Q. In fact, you were not even aware of his

6 existence essentially until this meeting with him on

7 May the 4th; would that be fair to say?

8 A. Yes, he told me -- I recall he told me that

9 he'd moved recently into the area.

10 Q. You said that you really knew nothing about

11 this character before May the 4th of 1993 in the

12 Blaskic case, and that's still your recollection; isn't

13 that correct?

14 A. Correct.

15 Q. You don't recall ever having discussed

16 Mr. Valenta with, for example, Mr. Kordic at any time

17 prior to this date, do you, sir?

18 A. Mr. Kordic might have mentioned him to me but

19 I can't recall.

20 Q. You just have no recollection on that. Very

21 well.

22 Mr. Valenta told you that he was the

23 vice-president of the HVO, did he not?

24 A. I think that's right. The HVO, I don't

25 know. Vice-president of the organisation, I don't

Page 12439

1 know. I wouldn't say HVO.

2 Q. Very well. In your first meeting with him,

3 you told him that you considered him to be at least

4 guilty of complicity in genocide along with the Vitez

5 government; correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You also told him that you had a list of

8 names that you were going to give to the ECMM; correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Mr. Valenta told you that he knew nothing

11 about the Ahmici killings until two days after they had

12 occurred; is that right, sir?

13 A. Quite possibly.

14 Q. That's what you said on page 23715 of the

15 Blaskic transcript, and I take it that that --

16 JUDGE MAY: Well, you know, we don't really

17 need to go over the Blaskic transcript again. If there

18 are matters you want to rely on, Mr. Sayers, it would

19 be sufficient to refer it to us.

20 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll

21 move on.

22 Q. One final question about this meeting,

23 though, sir. When you related to Mr. Valenta that the

24 government of Vitez was involved in complicity in

25 genocide, you recorded in your diary that by this you

Page 12440

1 meant Valenta, who said he knew nothing about Ahmici

2 until two days later, Blaskic and Skopljak; correct?

3 A. Yes, because they were all working together.

4 Q. One day later, sir, on May the 5th of 1993, I

5 believe that you visited an ABiH detention facility

6 close to the brigade headquarters of the ABiH in

7 Poculica; do you remember that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And you saw about 20 Croat prisoners being

10 held there; correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. All right. Let me draw your attention to a

13 meeting that you had with Mr. Valenta three days later

14 on May the 7th of 1993. This was your second meeting

15 in three days; correct?

16 A. Mm-hmm.

17 Q. And you actually brought Lieutenant-Colonel

18 Duncan along with you; do you remember that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. In your May the 8th diary entry, sir, you say

21 that, in your view, the HVO high command was behaving

22 like Hitler and that Valenta and Boban had given

23 instructions to carry out ethnic cleansing.

24 MR. SAYERS: That's May the 8th, Your

25 Honour.

Page 12441

1 Q. That's actually speculation on your part, is

2 it not, sir?

3 A. Well, not really. I took that from the fact

4 that Valenta gave me his theories in the book that he'd

5 written. If I quote back from my diary which is

6 written in sort of soldier's language, "Valenta gave

7 Alastair and I a long lecture about the origins of the

8 trouble, expounding his theories that each the Serbs,

9 Croats, and Muslims should have and be confined to

10 their own cantons. He gave me his book which is

11 probably much like Mein Kampf, much the same as a guide

12 for action. He stated that he had forecast what was

13 happening in his book."

14 Q. Right.

15 A. "They can say that he's putting his theories

16 into action."

17 Q. He never told you that, though, did he, sir?

18 He never said that he issued any instructions along

19 those lines.

20 A. No, he didn't, but he told me his theories.

21 Q. And you never read the book, did you? I

22 think you've already --

23 A. Totally, I didn't read the book.

24 Q. And you never saw anything that would suggest

25 that President Boban had ever issued such an

Page 12442

1 instruction; isn't that correct?

2 A. Correct. Remember, this is a private diary

3 as well.

4 Q. Yes, sir. Now, let me turn your attention to

5 the next diary entry that records a meeting that you

6 had with Blaskic on May the 9th. Your diary records

7 that on that day you tried to arrange a meeting between

8 Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan and what you termed "the

9 local hoods"; right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And is that how you viewed Colonel Blaskic as

12 of this date --

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. -- a local hood?

15 A. I mean, you're getting increasingly emotional

16 here, or I am, as I see nothing happening to actually

17 put right what I considered to be a great wrong. So if

18 you look at the words, they get increasingly -- like

19 "hoods" because these people had done nothing.

20 Q. Very well. You did, indeed, have a meeting

21 with Colonel Blaskic, and this was your last meeting

22 with him; is that correct, sir?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You had decided in advance, with

25 Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan, to be hard on him; is that

Page 12443

1 right?

2 A. Well, yes. The way we decided, I said that I

3 was going to challenge him on the matter of Ahmici, I

4 was going to be extremely robust that nothing had

5 happened, and that I was going to probably fall out in

6 a major way with Blaskic. But that was fine because I

7 was dead meat, because I was out of there the next

8 day. It would be better for the new commander to start

9 with a fresh slate.

10 Q. And you had representatives of the ICRC with

11 you because they were actually having a personnel

12 change as well, and you wanted to introduce them to

13 Colonel Blaskic; right?

14 A. No. They were already there as I arrived,

15 and I waited for this until they left because I didn't

16 want to involve them.

17 Q. So the ICRC people left, and then that's when

18 you had the confrontation with Colonel Blaskic; right?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. You specifically challenged him on the matter

21 of who was in command of the HVO troops, did you not?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And he said it was him, didn't he?

24 A. Yes, he did.

25 Q. He confirmed that he was the commander and

Page 12444

1 said that he was responsible for the actions of the

2 soldiers under his command, didn't he, sir?

3 A. He did.

4 Q. And it was on that occasion that you told him

5 that one day he would appear in court; correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. All right. And then, just as everybody was

8 about to leave, Mr. Kordic turned up on May the 9th;

9 right?

10 A. Is it there? Yes.

11 JUDGE MAY: Now, where is this in the diary?

12 MR. SAYERS: It's on May the 9th, Your

13 Honour, the first paragraph, three lines up from the

14 bottom of it.

15 JUDGE MAY: It's barely legible.

16 MR. SAYERS: It says: "Dario Kordic turned

17 up as well," or: "Just as we were about to leave,

18 Dario Kordic turned up as well and so that delayed

19 things a little, and another round of Slivovic was

20 summoned and drunk with toast." Is that right, sir?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you're quite sure, sir, that at this

23 meeting, Colonel Blaskic never said that the killings

24 of civilians in Ahmici had been done by Serbs, Muslims,

25 or Muslims dressed as HVO troops; correct?

Page 12445

1 A. To the best of my knowledge.

2 Q. Thank you, Colonel. That concludes the

3 chronological odyssey, and I would like to take up the

4 matter of Ahmici and the investigation and

5 correspondence on that with you as my final topic.

6 Your decision not to give the list or names

7 of suspects to Colonel Blaskic was as a result of

8 instructions that were received from the British

9 government; is that right?

10 A. No. I can't remember exactly. It might have

11 been I talked to the brigade headquarters. It might

12 have been I sought some kind of legal advice. But to

13 the best of my recollection, I think I just -- no. I

14 think it was a discussion, because my inclination was

15 to give him the names and I think someone persuaded me

16 not to for the reasons I've outlined.

17 Q. All right. And you discussed this decision,

18 I take it, with Mr. Osario.

19 JUDGE MAY: Well, does it matter who this

20 decision was made with?

21 MR. SAYERS: Perhaps it doesn't, Your

22 Honour. Let me move on.

23 Q. In your view, sir, the Ahmici operation was a

24 cordon sweep operation, I think is how it's described

25 in military parlance; Is that right?

Page 12446

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And with all of your experience, you believe

3 that it would only have taken about half a day to plan

4 and mount the entire operation, don't you?

5 A. Well, it could -- yes, it could take -- how

6 long is a piece of string? "Yes" is the answer. Half

7 a day would be fine.

8 Q. Now, you do not know if Colonel Blaskic ever

9 did give orders to any of the troops in Ahmici actually

10 to kill civilians, of your own personal knowledge?

11 JUDGE MAY: Well, we've been over this. The

12 witness hasn't asserted that in his evidence so far.


14 Q. There's no question, sir, that Colonel

15 Blaskic could not gain access to Zenica, which was

16 controlled by Muslim forces at this time in the latter

17 half of April while the hostilities were still going on

18 and the ceasefire was being negotiated. He had no

19 access to interview people in Zenica, did he?

20 A. I don't think so, not unless I took him.

21 Q. Right. And that's where, as far as you

22 understand, all of the eyewitnesses to the awful events

23 in Ahmici actually had been taken?

24 A. The majority of them escaped or ran away to

25 Zenica. When they were released -- about 800 people

Page 12447

1 were imprisoned by the HVO in the Vitez vicinity. I

2 mean there were about 800 people actually all up in

3 prisons, so-called prisons, like schools, in the -- and

4 just to balance it, the Muslims were doing the same in

5 Zenica. So there was quite a lot of activity.

6 Q. Right. But the concluding point that I'd

7 like to make is, as far as you were aware, the

8 eyewitnesses from Ahmici itself were located in Zenica,

9 and they are the people that actually the U.N. Centre

10 for Human Rights --

11 A. Yes.

12 MR. SAYERS: Colonel, thank you very much,

13 indeed. I have no further questions, unless the Court

14 has any for me. Thank you.

15 JUDGE MAY: No, thank you.

16 [Trial Chamber confers]

17 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Stewart, it looks

18 realistically as though you will have to come back

19 tomorrow, I'm afraid.

20 THE WITNESS: That's my military assessment

21 too.

22 JUDGE MAY: It's a legal one.

23 Mr. Kovacic, you will be about half an hour

24 in the morning, you anticipate, something like that?

25 MR. KOVACIC: Half an hour.

Page 12448

1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.

2 Mr. Nice, you can have leave to speak to the

3 witness about the document; nothing else, of course.

4 If you can, you must pass on what's said, if anything

5 is said, --

6 MR. NICE: Yes, of course.

7 JUDGE MAY: -- in the normal way. What I

8 suggest is this: that we will conclude the witness's

9 evidence on all topics and then return to the document,

10 cross-examination following upon that and limited to

11 that only.

12 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if we might be provided

13 with a copy of the document, Your Honour, and I have

14 one 15-second matter that I need to take up with the

15 Court following Colonel Stewart's exit from the court.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. There's no reason why the

17 document can't be handed over.

18 MR. NICE: No. Now that we've got release, I

19 think the Court is in a position to order its

20 production and does to the Defence.

21 JUDGE MAY: If it's required for us to make

22 such an order, we do. Yes.

23 MR. NICE: Is the Court thinking of

24 adjourning now rather than, say, using another 15

25 minutes?

Page 12449


2 MR. NICE: I make the point that we have two

3 witnesses scheduled for tomorrow and a longer witness

4 scheduled for -- probably a full-day witness for

5 Wednesday.

6 JUDGE MAY: One witness will be short, I

7 anticipate.

8 MR. NICE: Both tomorrow will, I hope, be

9 short.

10 JUDGE MAY: Is the second one here or likely

11 to be here?

12 MR. NICE: Yes. There are two here waiting

13 for tomorrow and then one coming in late tonight for

14 Wednesday.

15 JUDGE MAY: We'll start tomorrow with the

16 cross-examination.

17 [Trial Chamber confers]

18 JUDGE MAY: Judge Bennouna reminds me that we

19 have not made any protection orders in relation to the

20 document. We do so. It's not to be released to

21 anybody else at all outside the immediate members of

22 the Defence. The usual order will suffice. A written

23 order will follow tomorrow.

24 Colonel Stewart, could you be back, please,

25 at half past 9.00 tomorrow morning.

Page 12450

1 MR. NICE: I think Mr. Sayers had something

2 to raise.

3 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. If you wouldn't mind

4 going, Colonel Stewart. Thank you.

5 [The witness withdrew]

6 MR. SAYERS: This is a very minor matter,

7 Your Honour, but Mr. Stein wanted me to raise it. On

8 day 103, at page 11760, line 9, he inadvertently

9 mentioned the name of a witness whose identity has been

10 subject to protective measures, and we would appreciate

11 it if the transcript could accordingly be redacted.

12 JUDGE MAY: I think that was caught. The

13 registrar nods. If it wasn't, it can be checked and it

14 will be redacted.

15 MR. NICE: While we are in open session but

16 without the witness here, I know that both tomorrow's

17 witnesses -- I think both tomorrow's witnesses are

18 seeking protective measures; I know one is and it's

19 already been served. I hope very much that by one

20 means or another, we will be able to deal with the

21 issue of their protection and, if granted or if

22 allowed, to take their evidence tomorrow.

23 As to the first witness, I know he wants, I

24 think, full protection for reasons that are set out,

25 and at some stage tomorrow I can discuss that with the

Page 12451

1 Chamber, although the Chamber is only a Chamber of two

2 Judges. But I nevertheless hope that the matter can be

3 dealt with.

4 The first witness is, of course, a witness

5 who is here substantially as a result of the lines of

6 cross-examination taken by the Defence and, indeed,

7 he's a witness whose help they require into a matter --

8 [Trial Chamber confers]

9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we have in front of

10 us the application, in respect of the first witness

11 tomorrow, setting out the reasons. They are different

12 to the usual reasons, but they seem to be sufficient.

13 Have you any observations to make?

14 MR. SAYERS: I've only received one

15 application for protective measures, and I think it

16 related to the second witness who wished to testify in

17 closed session.

18 JUDGE MAY: Well, see overnight if you can

19 have a look at this. If you have any objections, raise

20 them, but we would be minded to grant the order.

21 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

22 JUDGE MAY: And no doubt that witness can be

23 taken fairly shortly tomorrow, the first one.

24 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE MAY: In fact, has that been served on

Page 12452

1 the Defence?

2 MR. NICE: It may have been served at this

3 stage ex parte only because of the sensitivity, but

4 perhaps I can deal with that after, if I'm allowed in

5 the exercise of my discretion to reveal the detail of

6 it to the Defence. Perhaps I can deal with it in that

7 way.

8 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Sayers, I hadn't

9 appreciated that you would have been acting in the

10 dark, but no doubt you'll be informed in due course.

11 MR. NICE: Two other points.

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted). Accordingly, at some stage,

23 although I know it's an inconvenience, I'll need to lay

24 out the material about that witness and probably to do

25 so ex parte. It's always inconvenient, I know, but for

Page 12453

1 administrative reasons, to go into an ex parte

2 hearing. Possibly, that can be dealt with on Thursday,

3 at the same time as we have the status hearing.

4 JUDGE MAY: That would be the most convenient

5 time, obviously, to deal with it.

6 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.

7 JUDGE MAY: Obviously, the two witnesses

8 tomorrow partly depend on how rapidly the Prosecution

9 can deal with them.

10 MR. NICE: Certainly.

11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

12 4.09 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

13 the 18th day of January, 2000, at

14 9.30 a.m.