Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 17409

1 Friday, 14th April 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.


8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Cont'd]

10 Q. Brigadier, would you accept that so far as

11 the military action by the HVO in the spring of 1993 is

12 concerned, the three military men with the best access

13 to information about that are Blaskic, Filipovic, and

14 you?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So far as other materials are concerned, the

17 best documentary material would be the archive, if it's

18 ever available; do you accept that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Filipovic's diary would be a valuable

21 document, if it were available, wouldn't it?

22 A. Perhaps, could be.

23 Q. Do you know where that diary is?

24 A. No.

25 Q. And your diary would be an object of great

Page 17410

1 value, if it were available?

2 A. It would for me.

3 Q. Can you think of any reason why that diary

4 might have assisted Blaskic in his case? What material

5 could there be in it to assist him?

6 A. I don't know whether it would assist him, but

7 it certainly wouldn't do any disservice to him, because

8 there are exact dates of things, an account that

9 happened in chronological order.

10 Q. But as you understand it, destroyed by

11 someone on Blaskic's behalf?

12 A. I wouldn't know that. I couldn't say. I did

13 not go into the matter.

14 Q. I'm going to respectfully suggest to you,

15 Brigadier, that that is a ridiculous position for you

16 to take. If your very own diary --

17 JUDGE MAY: No. Why are you interrupting?

18 MR. SAYERS: I was just about to register an

19 objection to the disrespectful tone of that question.

20 JUDGE MAY: It's not disrespectful. It's

21 perfectly reasonable to say something is ridiculous.

22 It's not disrespect for the witness.

23 MR. NICE:

24 Q. I respectfully suggest to you, Brigadier,

25 that it is a ridiculous position to take that you don't

Page 17411

1 know what happened to your diary. If somebody destroys

2 your military record of an event of this importance,

3 surely you were furious, weren't you?

4 A. I'm never furious with friends.

5 Q. Is it really your case that you have made no

6 single inquiry, beyond simply being told, "Your diary

7 has been destroyed"; is that really your case?

8 A. Yes, that is so. I did know into the

9 matter. I was told that the diary was gone, and I

10 accepted that. I'm sorry, but I accepted that.

11 Q. I'm going to suggest to you that your diary

12 was obtained from you in order that its damaging

13 potential could be destroyed. Do you think that's

14 possibly true?

15 A. It is not true. It was taken to check the

16 dates, that was all, and I gave it of my own free will.

17 Q. Dzemal Merdan has been recorded as saying he

18 really liked you and thought you were responsible and

19 trustworthy. You would, of course, accept those

20 reflections of Dzemal Merdan, wouldn't you?

21 MR. MIKULICIC: There's no Croat

22 translations, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE MAY: May we have translation, please.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel perhaps

25 repeat the question?

Page 17412

1 MR. NICE: Of course.

2 Q. Dzemal Merdan has been recorded as saying he

3 really liked you, thought you were responsible. Those

4 are reflections of Dzemal Merdan that you would accept,

5 wouldn't you?

6 A. I appreciate that, and I should like to thank

7 him for his nice opinion of me. And I also have a nice

8 opinion of him.

9 Q. Was his view to be that you were frustrated

10 by the disagreements and by the tragedies that

11 occurred, would you accept that view of you, that you

12 were frustrated by what had happened?

13 A. I was really frustrated with the events that

14 happened, and to this day I'm very sorry. And I do

15 deplore all the misfortunes, all the unhappy things

16 that happened, but not in other cases. What you tell

17 me he said is his opinion.

18 Q. Let me make it quite plain today so you

19 understand what the position is going to be. The

20 suggestion to you is this: that you did have a sincere

21 desire for peace, which you showed in the commissions,

22 and that masked the sad reality that you actually knew

23 what had happened about the attacks in April. It

24 masked your knowledge from the international observers;

25 true or false?

Page 17413

1 A. I don't understand this question. Could you

2 repeat it, please.

3 Q. Yes. I'm suggesting to you that you, in

4 fact, knew full well about the attacks in April 1993,

5 even though you never told the international observers

6 what you knew about them.

7 A. Not true. I shall say whatever I know.

8 Q. So if Filipovic knew nothing about the

9 attacks and you know nothing about the attacks, is it

10 your evidence that Blaskic must have acted entirely

11 alone in this?

12 A. I already said that between the 14th of April

13 until the 21st of April I was absent, that no plans

14 were being prepared to attack the BH army, and that we

15 were only defending ourselves, and that -- know nothing

16 of the incidents that happened during that period. I

17 do know about things which happened in my village.

18 That is, where I was.

19 Q. I'll come back to that period of time later,

20 but just help me with this. The man, Mehmed Alagic, is

21 he a friend of yours or a man with whom you had

22 friendly relations?

23 A. Mehmed Alagic was an officer of the BH army.

24 I appreciated all the officers of the BH army like the

25 officers of the HVO even though they were on the

Page 17414

1 opposite side. So he was not my friend but our

2 discussions, when we met, were close.

3 Q. Yes. You trusted the man.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And in war, when you meet on the terms you

6 did, somebody on the other side, you can sometimes

7 trust them with your inner feelings, can't you?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Mr. Alagic is a man who is listed as a

10 Defence witness, and he may help the Court with issues

11 of evacuation and allowing the use of civilians in

12 Stari Vitez to be used as a bargaining chip, matters of

13 that sort. So he may be a person who the Tribunal will

14 see. He, so far as you know, is a man of honour and

15 reliability; correct?

16 A. Yes. Yes, I could, but I always kept a

17 degree of caution.

18 Q. Let's return now to the events in

19 chronological order, returning swiftly but not

20 immediately to what I was asking you about yesterday.

21 I just want to stay with January 1993.

22 Do you remember a visit of a general called

23 General Maars of, I think, the Dutch army, to the area?

24 A. No.

25 Q. If there was a roadblock problem faced by

Page 17415

1 such a military officer, can you imagine why it would

2 be necessary for Kordic to solve the problem as he had,

3 himself, no military function?

4 A. I don't know about that, so I cannot discuss

5 it.

6 Q. Brigadier, you were there; you are a military

7 man; you know about roadblocks. If somebody is being

8 refused permission to pass a roadblock, who has the

9 power to free the passage, a military person for a

10 politician?

11 A. Well, if it was on the road, it could have

12 been the military police.

13 Q. Yes. And --

14 A. But I do not know about those roadblocks.

15 Personally, I do not know anything about them.

16 Q. You cannot give any explanation for a

17 politician, a mere politician or person who was merely

18 a politician, let me put it that way, being able to

19 direct soldiers to free the passage at a roadblock, can

20 you?

21 A. I can't. I can't.

22 Q. We've heard evidence of Cerkez threatening

23 the Muslims, that they had to surrender control to the

24 HVO in January of 1993 in Vitez. You were there. Is

25 that the sort of thing Cerkez was doing?

Page 17416

1 A. The first time --

2 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, objection. It is

3 a misleading question. There was no testimony on

4 Cerkez in January or at least then the Prosecutor

5 should say what testimony exactly.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Would you deal with that,

7 please?

8 MR. NICE: Kajmovic.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the evidence of Kajmovic.

10 Put it, would you, what he said.

11 MR. NICE:

12 Q. In synthesis, it's this: That if the Muslims

13 didn't surrender, Cerkez would have them shelled. What

14 do you say to that? Is that the sort of thing that

15 Cerkez was doing, as I understand it, in January?

16 A. I don't think he would do such a thing.

17 Q. Or indeed at any time during the early spring

18 or late winter?

19 A. No. He wouldn't have done it.

20 MR. NICE: Yes. Can we have a quick look,

21 please, at Exhibit 355.2.

22 Q. I'm afraid, Brigadier, there's no Croatian

23 version of this. It will be laid on the ELMO, and the

24 short passage I want your comment on I will read slowly

25 so that you may hear it in translation. This is a

Page 17417

1 milinfosum document from the Cheshire Regiment, dated

2 the 11th of January.

3 In mid-January, you were in the area, weren't

4 you?

5 I didn't record an answer. I think you said,

6 "Yes."

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And we see, and I'll read this, we see this

9 recorded for Vitez: "A local source claimed that a

10 group of approximately 150 to 200 soldiers arrived in

11 Vitez on Friday, the 8th of January. The soldiers wore

12 a green maple leaf badge with a red sword in the

13 centre. The force was believed to have come from the

14 Mostar area. However, it has not been established

15 whether they were Croats or Muslims. A local Muslim

16 restaurant in the centre of town was badly damaged

17 yesterday, and this group of soldiers were believed to

18 be responsible. The source stated that these forces

19 from Herzegovina were under the control of the HVO.

20 They were relatively young men, the majority of whom

21 were well-armed with new weapons," and then there's a

22 comment.

23 Do you accept the accuracy of that report?

24 A. Yes. A group came, I know that, but it

25 wasn't that large. There were 60 of them. Thirty were

Page 17418

1 accommodated in Novi Travnik and 30 at the elementary

2 school in Dubravica, Vitez.

3 Q. Was this the Bruno Busic Brigade?

4 A. It was 60 men from Herzegovina.

5 Q. What were they doing being allowed to attack

6 a local Muslim restaurant, please, Brigadier, at this

7 time in Vitez's history?

8 A. I don't know at whose summons they came, even

9 though I was with the staff, but I know they brought a

10 document showing they were being attached to the

11 command of the Operative Zone. I know they were

12 accommodated in two places, in the hotel in Novi

13 Travnik and others in the elementary school in

14 Dubravica. I don't know why they came, I repeat. I

15 know they caused a lot of damage both for the Croats

16 and the Muslims in Novi Travnik. They left in a --

17 after a very short period of time.

18 Q. Who would have the authority to send them,

19 Petkovic or anybody beneath him?

20 A. I said I did not know who called them in, who

21 invited them, or who sent them.

22 Q. That's not an answer to the question. Who

23 had the authority to allow --

24 A. They were communicated with Colonel Blaskic,

25 so that I was not abreast of these events. Those 60

Page 17419













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Page 17420

1 men, that is how many of them came.

2 Q. I will now come again to the arrest -- not of

3 the arrest, the incident of the checkpoint on the 20th,

4 or sometimes recorded as the 21st, but the 20th of

5 January of which we were dealing with yesterday

6 afternoon.

7 You were dealing, when we closed, with the

8 nature of the document you received. There was some

9 dispute as to what the evidence had been. I asked you,

10 of that document, "Did it report an incident or did it

11 seek some assistance?" You said, "He informed this and

12 said that in Zenica, strings ought to be pulled for

13 this individual to be released," and you then named the

14 individual as Kostroman. So you were telling us that

15 the document you received requested assistance in the

16 pulling of strings. Is that still your evidence today?

17 A. I don't think I put it that way. I did not

18 mention Zenica. I did not mention any pulling of

19 strings. I said it was a report notifying us that at

20 the checkpoint at Kacuni, Ignac Kostroman had been

21 captured with two of his men and that something should

22 be done. That was said to the Security Service,

23 because they were responsible for matters of this kind,

24 and I know nothing else about that.

25 Q. Let's just go back to what you were telling

Page 17421

1 us yesterday about how it was that you learned of the

2 absence from the scene of Blaskic and Kordic. Just

3 tell us again, how was it that this matter was dealt

4 with?

5 A. It said that Blaskic was not there and that

6 Kordic was absent in Vitez and Busovaca, not on the

7 spot, who should probably assist.

8 Q. My mistake, Brigadier, maybe, but please

9 explain why a document should volunteer the absence of

10 a politician from an incident of this kind or the

11 absence of a military man from an incident of this

12 kind. Why should the document deal with that? I don't

13 understand.

14 A. I don't know, either, why the author of the

15 report sent it in this manner. I'm at a loss myself.

16 Q. You're really telling us that all these years

17 later, you can remember the report saying: "Kordic

18 isn't here, Blaskic isn't here, Kostroman was

19 arrested"?

20 A. The report was that Kostroman had been

21 arrested and that Blaskic and Kordic were not not there

22 but that they were not in their domicile places and

23 they had not been notified about this, and the report

24 was sent to the operations centre in the command of the

25 Operative Zone.

Page 17422

1 Q. In any event, it made it clear, did it, that

2 Kostroman had been arrested and taken away and detained

3 somewhere?

4 A. I don't know where he was detained. I did

5 not go into that. There is the Security Service which

6 is responsible for that, and the Security Service was

7 not under my jurisdiction.

8 Q. And that's all that happened, was it, that he

9 was arrested? No other little detail that you can

10 remember of the arrest being set out in the document?

11 A. Well, I wasn't really interest -- I was not

12 really interested. He was a politician, and he had his

13 own affairs to deal with, and I had my business and I

14 dealt with that.

15 Q. And you simply passed the message on?

16 A. Yes. The message was not -- not I but the

17 person on duty in the Operative Zone, and I was merely

18 informed.

19 Q. Was Blaskic there at the time, working on the

20 ground in his operational headquarters, or not?

21 A. He was not in Vitez at that time, in the

22 Operative Zone. I don't remember where he was.

23 Q. You see, what you've described, Brigadier, is

24 an arrest. It's not the disarming of an individual, is

25 it?

Page 17423

1 A. I do not know what was going on. From this

2 one sentence, I told you what it said, but I do not

3 know and I did not investigate the matter because it

4 was not my business. It is the business of the

5 assistant for security, and he's responsible for all

6 the incidents, for all the things of that nature

7 happening in Central Bosnia.

8 If I had to do all that, then I would have

9 hardly been able to do any of my other business, and my

10 business at the headquarters was, to repeat, to form

11 the staff, to form the formations of the HVO. And I

12 repeat that unfortunately I did not form them, really.

13 All these operative matters that were done on

14 the ground, other people did that, assistants did that,

15 or heads did that, those who were in the command of the

16 headquarters. But each one had his own task, and he

17 was responsible for that task. I was tasked with the

18 Joint Command, Joint Commissions, that I was all the

19 time there, and I worked there as I was under orders to

20 do.

21 Q. So we're going to find, are we, Brigadier --

22 I won't say that.

23 The next question on this topic is this:

24 That document, because of the way Blaskic kept his

25 office, that document should still exist in the

Page 17424

1 archives, shouldn't it?

2 A. Quite likely.

3 Q. And I have to suggest to you that what you've

4 been telling this Tribunal about this is simply untrue,

5 because you know that there was an unpleasant incident

6 at a checkpoint and that shortly following that a man

7 was murdered, and that that led maybe to very

8 unpleasant incidents in Busovaca. Now, do you know

9 anything about the murder of the man Delija?

10 A. I accept that that is your view, that I'm not

11 telling the truth. But I swore that I would speak the

12 truth, and I am saying what I know. I cannot really

13 say what others know, what others said. All I'm saying

14 is something that I know. I'm not saying anything

15 else, because I simply don't know.

16 Q. My last question on this topic: Is it really

17 the case that you can remember the detail of the

18 document but that you have no recollection of this

19 first killing in January 1993 of someone in Busovaca;

20 is that really the state of your recollection,

21 Brigadier?

22 A. That is the state of my recollection and my

23 knowledge. I know nothing else.

24 Q. There could be no justification, on the 20th

25 of January or thereabouts of 1993, for prominent Muslim

Page 17425

1 citizens and sometimes described as intellectuals of

2 Busovaca to be arrested, could there?

3 A. I never heard of them being arrested.

4 Q. Not at the time, nor since?

5 A. Not at the time and not since.

6 Q. You were engaged in what sort of duties at

7 about that time, please?

8 A. At that time, I was the Chief of Staff, and I

9 worked on the organisation of the staff and the

10 establishment of the HVO.

11 Q. So you had a general brief which incorporated

12 Busovaca and, indeed, obliged you to keep yourself

13 informed of what was going on, didn't it?

14 A. I was supposed to be informed, but I was not

15 informed because I was engaged in these activities, and

16 others were engaged in cases when somebody was

17 arrested. And let me repeat again, it was the task of

18 the Security Service. If the Chief of Staff were to be

19 involved in that, where would he end up?

20 Q. Very well, then. Let's have a look at

21 Exhibit 384 and 384A, please.

22 Travnik was in your area of responsibility,

23 Brigadier?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. This is a document from the Department of

Page 17426

1 Interior, Travnik Police Administration, the Department

2 of the Interior, Mostar, and it records, at a meeting

3 of the 20th of January in Fojnica, how various people

4 were present, including a man called Tuka and Kordic.

5 It reads:

6 "The above mentioned were told that

7 Mr. Dragan Tole would be replaced because since

8 September 1992 he had not sent a single Croat to the

9 Travnik police administration, and he himself had

10 refused to work at the Travnik police administration.

11 "With certain other comments, a proposal was

12 put forward by Kordic and Kostroman to appoint Perica

13 as commander of the Fojnica police station, who would

14 be able, in these war conditions, to carry out the task

15 and implement the policy of the Croatian Community of

16 Herceg-Bosna and the Croatian people in the Fojnica

17 municipality."

18 First, on that paragraph, does what we hear

19 being discussed at this meeting fit with your

20 experience of life on the ground or was there anything

21 in that that you find a little surprising, Brigadier?

22 A. I have never seen this document, and this is

23 a civilian police matter in Travnik. I have not heard

24 of any of these meetings or who attended it, so I don't

25 think I can discuss it at all, because I don't know

Page 17427

1 this document at all, and I have only heard of the name

2 "Tuka," no one else. When I arrived, I did not have

3 the time to meet anybody in Fojnica or Kiseljak.

4 Q. I want to read the last paragraph as well:

5 "All those present resented the proposal and

6 rejected it as crazy. In their opinion, anyone who

7 came up with such a proposal must also be crazy. They

8 said if the proposal were implemented, there would be

9 an immediate confrontation between the Croats and

10 Muslims in Fojnica."

11 Well, you were on the ground, Brigadier.

12 Does that seem to be a sensible comment from your

13 understanding of the tensions existing at the time?

14 A. I cannot comment. I don't know the

15 document. I don't know about the situation which

16 existed in Fojnica, so I cannot make any comments on

17 it. These are documents that I can not speak to at

18 all.

19 Q. And there then followed comments on Kostroman

20 and Kordic behaving in an authoritarian or Stalinist

21 fashion.

22 Do you accept that these views on what Kordic

23 and Kostroman were doing at that time were current in

24 the area for which you had responsibility, Brigadier?

25 A. Again, I don't know what was going on in

Page 17428

1 Fojnica. I don't know the people there. I don't know

2 their mentality, what their views were. I don't know

3 whether these positions, the way they were described,

4 of Kostroman and Kordic, whether they were Stalinist,

5 were true. So I really cannot discuss it, and, please,

6 I would like to refrain from any comment.

7 Q. The Travnik police administration isn't the

8 local police administration, it's a rather wider body,

9 isn't it?

10 A. Yes, for the wider area. This is the

11 civilian police.

12 Q. On the -- this same day, the 21st of January,

13 1993, in Vitez where you were working, the Muslim bank

14 was destroyed. Can you explain why?

15 MR. NICE: Can we have Exhibit 385, please?

16 Q. This is another milinfosum from the British

17 Battalion, about who you've already expressed an

18 opinion, and on the third page, under "Vitez," it

19 records:

20 "The commercial bank of Sarajevo, a Muslim

21 bank in Vitez, was severely damaged by some form of

22 explosion." It goes on to note: "On the following

23 day, the bank of Zagreb opened a new branch in Vitez,"

24 and comments: "There is continuing evidence of

25 deteriorating Muslim-Croat relations in the town.

Page 17429

1 Vitez, with a pre-war population, is 47 per cent Croat,

2 41 per cent Muslim."

3 You were there. Why was the bank destroyed?

4 A. First of all, there were two banks in Vitez.

5 So this document is not -- there was a bank -- there

6 were a Sarajevan bank and a Croatian bank. The

7 Croatian bank had the name "Croatian Bank." It wasn't

8 a Croat bank. Privredna Banka, which was the other

9 bank, was my bank. So who says that it was a Muslim

10 bank? They cannot appropriate it. There was no Muslim

11 bank or Croat bank.

12 JUDGE MAY: Was the bank of whatever sort,

13 was it destroyed and damaged as this document says,

14 Brigadier?

15 THE WITNESS: I heard that it was

16 destroyed -- actually, damaged, that the entrance door

17 was damaged.

18 MR. NICE:

19 Q. By the HVO?

20 A. No, by an individual. I don't know who did

21 it. I did not investigate.

22 Q. So something on your own territory, possibly

23 military, possibly an individual, again, you know

24 nothing?

25 A. Please, at the time, in the town of Vitez,

Page 17430













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Page 17431

1 half of the population was Croat and the other half

2 Muslim. Both the HVO and the ABiH members walked about

3 freely. So it is up to the investigating bodies to

4 determine who it was, because there was free movement

5 in Vitez at the time. There was no conflict in Vitez

6 at the time. And there were incidents and I condemned

7 them, and whoever committed this act should be

8 punished. But one cannot say that it was the HVO.

9 Whether it was the Privredna Bank, or the Hrvatska Bank

10 or Croatian Bank, they were both our banks.

11 Q. Was Blaskic in Vitez at this time, late

12 January 1993?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Tell us, please, about the circumstances in

15 which the orders were given to attack Merdani, Kacuni,

16 and Strane on or about the 25th of January. Were you

17 with Blaskic when he gave the orders to attack?

18 A. I don't know of any orders to attack. There

19 were orders to defend, because our sources said an

20 attack was imminent by the 333rd and other brigades

21 with the objective to cut off communications at Kaonik

22 and Kacuni, because the road

23 Travnik-Vitez-Busovaca-Kiseljak was open.

24 Q. Are you saying then that there was an attack

25 but it was, by nature, pre-empted? Is that what you're

Page 17432

1 saying?

2 A. There was no attack, there was just the

3 defence of Croat villages in that area.

4 Q. Did that include the deployment of HVO forces

5 by Blaskic? Did those forces fire?

6 A. There was no deployment of forces. There

7 were troops there which were guarding Croat villages.

8 Q. You were with Blaskic on this occasion, were

9 you, when he made this decision and gave the orders?

10 A. I don't recall that Blaskic took such a

11 decision and issued such an order.

12 MR. NICE: Exhibit 391, please.

13 Q. Now, it's still your case, isn't it, your

14 evidence, that Kordic had no military role in this

15 area; correct?

16 A. According to me, he had no military role. I

17 never heard Mr. Kordic issue any orders. I never

18 received any; I never transmitted any.

19 Q. You had no need to communicate with him over

20 military matters. In fact, you barely -- well, is that

21 correct?

22 A. I almost never communicated with him about

23 military matters. We would just meet each other and

24 greet each other.

25 MR. NICE: If they can't find it, I can hand

Page 17433

1 the document in to save time. I'm very sorry that I

2 haven't been in a position to give the Registry advance

3 notice of every exhibit I will be referring to, but

4 I've only recently been able to complete my list.

5 Q. Now, this, Brigadier, is a document of your

6 very own, isn't it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. It's the same date, as I've suggested to you

9 there was the attack on Merdani, the 25th of January.

10 So you were in the office, in the headquarters. Yes?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. It's addressed -- well, let's look at the

13 topic first: "We would like to inform you that

14 Colonel Stewart of UNPROFOR has requested to meet

15 Colonel Blaskic today at 10.00."

16 A. That is correct. And I informed

17 Colonel Blaskic about it.

18 Q. Why did you write to Kordic as well?

19 A. Well, I probably wrote it -- I don't know

20 myself. I think it was a bit stupid.

21 Q. You think it was a bit stupid? Try and think

22 back. It's a long time --

23 A. I think --

24 Q. Yes? Go on. You wanted to say something.

25 A. Yes. It looks to me stupid now.

Page 17434

1 Q. Did you have a typist or did you type your

2 own letters?

3 A. We had a typist.

4 Q. Can we look at the document and see whether

5 this was typed by the typist or yourself? You may be

6 able to work it out from seeing how it's formatted and

7 so on. Was it typed by the typist or was it typed by

8 yourself?

9 A. This was typed by the operations officer and

10 I just signed it, the duty operations officer. In

11 fact, he prepared it, the typist typed it up.

12 Q. Did you tell him then or must you have told

13 him, "Can you please send a letter to Blaskic and

14 Kordic, informing them that Colonel Stewart wants to

15 meet Blaskic"? Is that what happened?

16 A. No. Probably the signals officer came to the

17 duty officer and transmitted this request, and then the

18 duty officer in the operations room wrote it up and I

19 signed it.

20 Q. There are two possibilities here, and I would

21 like you to consider them.

22 First of all, the possibility is that in fact

23 you gave the instructions and you included in those

24 instructions, "Send a letter, please, to

25 Colonel Blaskic and to Colonel Kordic." That's

Page 17435

1 possibility number 1. Now, did that happen?

2 A. It probably did not. I just signed the

3 document, because from the contents I could say that I

4 would not have put it that way. But I signed it.

5 Q. The other possibility that you might like to

6 consider is this, if you're saying that some official

7 in the department simply prepared the letter: that

8 this document was prepared addressed to Colonel Blaskic

9 and Colonel Kordic because all such documents of a

10 military nature would be sent to both people. Now,

11 what do you say to that possibility, please, Brigadier?

12 A. This was written up by either the duty

13 officer or the operative, the person who was on duty

14 that day, and I signed it.

15 Q. You're not dealing with the point, I'm

16 afraid, and I'm going to press you on it.

17 If you're saying an operative prepared this

18 document addressed to Blaskic and Kordic and, in doing

19 so, made a mistake or didn't reflect your desires, then

20 he would have done it simply because it was the norm,

21 the normal thing to do, to send correspondence to

22 Blaskic and Kordic. I want you to consider that

23 possibility, please. Is that what may have happened?

24 A. This letter was a regular type of information

25 which reflects that a request was made. I did not

Page 17436

1 consider it specially, unless there was something

2 particular that I needed to do. This was just a

3 regular type of information, that Colonel Stewart

4 requested a meeting of Colonel Blaskic. It has no

5 other significance.

6 Q. Why should such material -- and this is my

7 last question on this particular letter, although I may

8 have one other letter to show you -- why should such

9 material routinely be sent to Kordic, if that's what

10 was going on?

11 A. It was routine it was sent -- people sent

12 things to Mr. Blaskic and Mr. Kordic.

13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,

14 Mr. Nice. I should like to ask the witness:

15 Brigadier, you are telling us that it was a routine.

16 Does that mean that Mr. Dario Kordic was automatically

17 informed about the most important things that were

18 happening, about principal things that would be

19 happening at the level of the Main Staff, at the level

20 of the command of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia;

21 is that what it means? Do I understand you well that

22 Mr. Kordic was automatically informed about all the

23 important things that were happening at the level of

24 the command of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone; is

25 that it?

Page 17437

1 A. I did not see many documents which were sent

2 for Mr. Kordic's information. I can speak for myself,

3 for the documents for which I was responsible, that I

4 always avoided -- and my commander was Colonel Blaskic,

5 and Colonel Blaskic could -- I had no influence over

6 this. It wasn't my place, as a subordinate, to

7 influence Blaskic, but I informed Mr. Blaskic regularly

8 on everything that happened. This is operative

9 information, and most probably the duty officer sent

10 this routinely to Mr. Kordic.

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] But,

12 Brigadier, does that mean if the duty officer, as you

13 say, did that, he transmits information to his

14 superior, it addresses -- and it is up to that superior

15 to decide on who the copies will be sent to? So the

16 duty officer must have had some instructions from

17 General Blaskic, perhaps, to automatically notify

18 Mr. Dario Kordic, didn't he; that is, to automatically

19 send the same material, to disseminate this also to

20 Dario Kordic, didn't he?

21 A. I don't know whether it came from Dr.

22 [as interpreted] Blaskic, but for me, he did not.

23 I have another objection to this document. I

24 was looking more closely at the document. I don't

25 recognise the signature. And it says, "For Franjo

Page 17438

1 Nakic," so it could have been Slavko Marin. So the

2 signature is not mine. There's a blot which covers the

3 word "For", because I -- I think it's "S. Marin". I

4 looked at it more closely, and I made an oversight. I

5 didn't see that this was not my signature. And I think

6 that this word "For" was intentionally crossed out.


8 Q. Intentionally crossed out, please, Brigadier,

9 and if so, by whom?

10 A. I don't know who delivered these documents.

11 Q. Returning to His Honour's question, which I

12 don't think you've answered, why should documents of

13 this kind be routinely forwarded to Kordic?

14 A. These are simple information type of

15 documents, notifications on meetings.

16 Q. Why? These are military matters. Why send

17 them to Kordic? Please grasp the question and deal

18 with it.

19 A. Why? I don't know why they were sent to

20 Kordic. I don't know why they were sent to Kordic.

21 But this was just simple information on a meeting.

22 Q. You see, there is another document. Perhaps

23 you would like to look at this one as well. I think

24 it's a new exhibit, and if it could be made available

25 in the appropriate numbers and marked as 391.1.

Page 17439

1 This one, you will see, is not -- well, I

2 don't know who it's signed by. It's got somebody's

3 signature. Have a look at it. Who is --

4 A. This is my signature, this is my signature.

5 This here, this last part, this is my signature, and

6 you see that it's different from the other one.

7 Q. This goes to Colonel Stewart and says:

8 "Further to your request, we would like to inform you

9 that Colonel Blaskic will meet General Simpson

10 regarding this matter today at 0930 hours." Can you

11 comment on that? It says "Simpson", but it must mean

12 "Stewart".

13 A. No. Simpson was in Kiseljak.

14 Q. It's addressed to Colonel Stewart, isn't it?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is this not the follow-on document, do you

17 not think? There was a request for a 10.00 meeting.

18 There's a reply as to a 9.30 meeting, same day.

19 A. The answer was sent to the Colonel that

20 General Blaskic would be meeting Simpson. The meeting

21 took place, and Blaskic was in Kiseljak.

22 Q. Indeed, he was in Kiseljak for some time,

23 wasn't he? We've heard some evidence on a tape about

24 that. He was in Kiseljak for how long?

25 A. A month almost, perhaps even longer. But he

Page 17440

1 must have been there for at least a month, because when

2 the road was cut off, he couldn't return.

3 Q. And starting when was that period of a

4 month? Let's just get this detail.

5 A. I believe it was on the 24th, 25th. I don't

6 know exactly when he left; 24th perhaps. I don't

7 know. I know it was a Saturday.

8 Q. You had to report, to the most senior

9 politician in the area, matters of this importance,

10 didn't you, Brigadier, meetings between BritBat and

11 Blaskic?

12 A. We informed politicians from time to time.

13 Why not?

14 Q. The reason you informed them is because they

15 were actually making important decisions on conducting

16 this war. That's the truth, isn't it, and you know it?

17 A. That is not true. The truth is that we

18 informed them, because we wanted to inform them because

19 everybody hoped that what happened would not happen.

20 And we were expecting help from UNPROFOR and the

21 International Community to avoid a conflict between

22 Croats and Muslims in that area, because it would have

23 been the greatest mistake of all and it should not be

24 repeated.

25 Q. Evidence has been given, Brigadier, that when

Page 17441













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14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17442

1 Blaskic was away from Vitez, you periodically went to

2 Tisovac. Will you explain why?

3 A. No, I did not go to Tisovac.

4 Q. Never?

5 A. I never went for consultations in Tisovac. I

6 received orders from General Blaskic while we had the

7 communication after that. I received my orders through

8 the packet arrangement from General -- that is,

9 Colonel Blaskic.

10 Q. Let's break it into two parts. You say you

11 never went to Tisovac for consultations. I repeat,

12 evidence has been given that you went there

13 periodically when Blaskic wasn't around. Did you go

14 there periodically when Blaskic was not around?

15 A. During those 30 days, I never went to

16 Tisovac.

17 Q. On other occasions when Blaskic was out of

18 town, did you go to Tisovac, please?

19 A. I've never been in Tisovac. I don't even

20 know where that building is, because I wasn't

21 interested. I knew that the civilian political bodies

22 were accommodated there, but I did not go there.

23 After the war, I went to tour those mountain

24 regions, and I saw the restaurant. Although,

25 unfortunately, this restaurant was quite a nice place

Page 17443

1 even before the war, I had never been there.

2 Q. Well, Blaskic was still away on the 26th of

3 January, the 27th, and the 28th, but by that time,

4 Kaonik was being used to store prisoners, wasn't it, to

5 hold prisoners?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. That was a military matter, holding

8 prisoners?

9 A. Civilian prisoners were there. I don't know

10 about the military ones. With Dzemal Merdan I was

11 there, and apart from seven Mujahedin, I didn't find a

12 single Muslim there; that is, when I visited the prison

13 with him, there were about ten Croats, and six, seven

14 Mujahedin.

15 Q. When did you visit it?

16 A. Well, it was sometime in early February. I

17 can't remember exactly. We went there twice, I, Dzemal

18 Merdan, and our commissions to visit the prison, to see

19 who was there. I have never been to the prison before

20 or after.

21 Q. And in Blaskic's absence, and this being

22 something of which you had no responsibility at the

23 time, who on the military side was responsible for any

24 military activities at or from Kaonik? Who should we

25 turn to, documentarily or otherwise for

Page 17444

1 responsibility?

2 A. Well, the Security Service, assistant for

3 security. Colonel Blaskic's assistant for security.

4 Q. Who would that be?

5 A. Anto Sliskovic.

6 Q. So if 13 prisoners from Kaonik were taken to

7 Strane on the 26th or 27th as human shields, and if

8 those same prisoners were taken to Merdani the

9 following day under threat of death if Merdani didn't

10 surrender, that's whose responsibility, in your

11 judgement?

12 A. With ECMM and UNPROFOR, I was at Strane. I

13 was also in Merdani. And you see, I do not know about

14 that incident. I know they were persuading people to

15 stay there, not to go, that nothing would happen to

16 them. If some excesses happened, they must have been

17 committed by individuals, and I can't go into that.

18 Individual people may have done that.

19 I'm sorry and I don't justify it, but I

20 conducted very constructive discussions with the

21 representatives of the Muslim people at Strane and in

22 Merdani, telling them that they should stay in the

23 area, that nothing would happen to them, and they

24 could -- How shall I put it? -- that they may lynch

25 anyone if anyone did something against them, but that

Page 17445

1 nothing would happen to them. But ECMM can confirm it,

2 and Merdan can confirm that, and people that I had

3 coffee with in those Muslim villages, where I shared my

4 lunch, my breakfast with them.

5 I was really talking to people, trying to

6 prevail upon them, and they accepted my argument. But

7 of course, I cannot deny that individuals did not do

8 it, but they did not do it under anyone's, anyone's

9 orders, because I fought against people who committed

10 such misdeeds and I really insisted that all the orders

11 be in this period of the conventions that we had

12 signed.

13 Q. Back to the question, and it may help you if

14 I ask it another way. If these things, these excesses

15 happened, are you telling the Tribunal that it's

16 Sliskovic who's responsible?

17 A. If it happened, then the Security Service

18 absolutely had to know, could not but know about that

19 and had to put -- and had to conduct the investigation

20 to establish who that individual might have been, but I

21 did not investigate those matters.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, in the

23 interpretation, I'm reading that he told them that they

24 should stay in the area, and then further down: "That

25 nothing would happen to them and that they could -- How

Page 17446

1 shall I put it? -- that they may lynch anyone if anyone

2 did anything against them."

3 Could you clarify that? I'm not sure what

4 that is intended to mean, whether it means that he told

5 them that they could lynch anyone if anything happened

6 to them or whether it's a problem of interpretation.

7 A. I said if an individual comes there, that

8 they can -- that they may lynch him, any individual.

9 That they may lynch any individual freely, any

10 individual, the inhabitants of that village, because I

11 knew those people there in Strane, in Merdani. I knew

12 them personally. I had worked with those people at the

13 railway for many years because many of them were

14 employed with the railway.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: It's still not very clear

16 to me. You mean that it was possible that they could

17 be lynched, as distinct from what you were suggesting

18 that they be lynched?

19 A. I suggested -- I said that it wasn't the army

20 which was doing it and that it could be done only by

21 individuals, and said that if any such individual came,

22 that they could lynch him because they had weapons,

23 they had guards, they had people there, they had a unit

24 which guarded the village.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

Page 17447


2 Q. You're saying that if an individual Croat

3 arrived, you said people would be free to lynch him?

4 Is that what you're saying, to clarify things?

5 A. Well, I didn't say Croat only; anyone.

6 Q. And what would this person or these people

7 have to be doing to justify their being lynched,

8 please?

9 A. Well, to steal something, to evict him from

10 his home, if it is an individual. And they had units

11 in the village and, of course, they could cope with

12 such an individual if any such thing came to pass.

13 I keep repeating that I was in that village

14 and at that time, nothing like that happened; that we

15 visited prisons and that there were no people in

16 prisons. Witnesses, if they are saying something else,

17 I cannot go into that, but I'm telling you what I

18 know.

19 Q. And you're actually saying that you said

20 these very words effectively, "You can lynch them"?

21 That is your evidence, is it?

22 A. Yes. Whoever came to the village like that,

23 yes. Yes, they may. If anyone comes to the village to

24 loot, to plunder, to throw them out of their houses,

25 yes, that is what I told them. "Yes, you are quite

Page 17448

1 free to lynch him. Don't forgive him." Because it was

2 difficult to control individuals.

3 Q. Before we move from the Kaonik prisoners, I

4 know you're reluctant -- you may be reluctant to use

5 names, but shall we just get this name sorted out?

6 Sliskovic was Blaskic's security chief in his

7 Operational Zone; correct?

8 A. Assistant for security in the Operative

9 Zone. Colonel Blaskic's assistant for security in the

10 Operative Zone.

11 Q. Answering for all matters to Blaskic?

12 A. All security-related matters, yes.

13 Q. Are you trying to say that he may not have

14 answered for all matters to Blaskic? If so, please be

15 specific. My question was quite clear.

16 A. I say that I don't know if he reported about

17 other things. These reports did not come to me and

18 were not in my field of competence, but assistance

19 where accountable to General Blaskic or, rather,

20 Colonel Blaskic at the time, and he listened to their

21 reports. The staff, nor the Chief of Staff went into

22 these matters. This is not within my field of

23 competence. The assistants did that and they accounted

24 to him.

25 Q. You're pretty high up the military chain of

Page 17449

1 command. You're the Chief of Staff of Blaskic. You're

2 effectively going to be in charge, aren't you, when

3 Blaskic is away? You must know who was answering to

4 whom and for what at this level. That's correct, isn't

5 it? You knew --

6 A. Well, I said so. I said so.

7 Q. Now, Sliskovic was a subordinate of Blaskic's

8 in all things. There's no other chain of command to

9 Anto Sliskovic, is there?

10 A. He was Blaskic's subordinate.

11 Q. In all matters.

12 A. In security matters.

13 Q. And when we see the letters "SIS", shall we

14 equate that with Sliskovic?

15 A. Yes, but with assistant. Perhaps with

16 assistant for logistics, Franjo Sliskovic, his

17 assistant for logistical matters.

18 Q. Your visit to Kaonik was when? What day in

19 February, if you can remember?

20 A. I don't know the date. I cannot recall it.

21 I've forgotten it.

22 Q. You may have mentioned a period of February.

23 Was it early February, your first visit to Kaonik with

24 Merdan?

25 A. Thereabouts, yes. Early, before the 10th or

Page 17450

1 the 15th. I wouldn't know exactly, but that was --

2 yes, that period of time. I don't know. I just can't

3 recall the dates. It was a long time ago.

4 Q. People were being taken from Kaonik trench

5 digging, weren't they?

6 A. When I heard that and a matter that was

7 discussed at meetings at the commission, together with

8 Merdan and ECMM and UNPROFOR members, I visited the

9 lines and I never found any Muslim digging trenches on

10 the lines except for the Croats who were kept in the

11 prison there, except for the Croats. I repeat that:

12 Except for the Croats. Whether anything happened in

13 the meantime, I cannot say that, because I did not see

14 it. I'm telling you what I saw.

15 Q. It was certainly complained of, that Muslims

16 were being forced to go trench digging.

17 A. But these complaints did not reach me. And

18 there were such complaints at meetings, but when we

19 tried to verify, we could not do that. As I said, we

20 did not find those people. We went to villages, we

21 talked to people. Whoever we talked to, everybody said

22 that they had never been forced to dig trenches, that

23 they were living in such-and-such village normally as

24 they lived, but, of course, some were fearful, some

25 were apprehensive. And the same thing in Croat

Page 17451

1 villages. They also lived there fearful and --

2 somewhat fearful and apprehensive.

3 Q. Trench digging, being an essentially military

4 matter, required a military input, didn't it, if it

5 happened?

6 A. The army dug the trenches, the army that was

7 along the lines. To a degree, it was also done by the

8 civilian defence if it was in places where such a

9 defence was organised, but they did it very poorly. So

10 it was mostly the troops. The troops, the soldiers who

11 were on those lines dug trenches for themselves or dug

12 the dugouts for them and everything else for the

13 defence. I repeat: For the defence of the area in

14 which they and their families lived.

15 Q. Would it accord with your experience that

16 decisions about who should be taken from Kaonik to do

17 trench digging, if it happened, that decisions about

18 that could only be made with the consent of, say, Anto

19 Sliskovic?

20 A. I don't know if any people were taken to dig

21 trenches. I don't know who could have been to

22 authorise the prison warden. If he was familiar with

23 the Geneva Conventions and Geneva regulations and

24 somebody went out, then he should have done something

25 about it. As I say, there may have been such cases,

Page 17452













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Page 17453













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14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17454

1 but I don't know about that. I or, rather, we,

2 whenever we tried to establish that, whenever we tried

3 to find facts, we never did so.

4 Q. Evidence has been given of trench digging

5 between the 25th of January, I think, and the 8th of

6 February. That would have required the permission of

7 one of two men, one of them being Sliskovic. Please,

8 do you accept that that is a possibility?

9 A. No, I do not accept that it could have been

10 required of Sliskovic. But if it did happen, it was

11 his duty to investigate the matter. I do not know

12 anything about that.

13 Q. And the other person named was Kordic. What

14 do you say to that? Was his permission necessary for

15 the use of people for trench digging?

16 A. I don't believe that. Knowing Mr. Kordic, I

17 do not think that he would be capable of doing

18 something like that.

19 Q. In this same period of time, there was an

20 officer called Foregrave in the area. You met him?

21 A. I met quite a number of British, Dutch,

22 Canadian, Norwegian officers. Believe me, it was so

23 difficult. I might have cooperated with a hundred

24 officers. It was very difficult for me to remember all

25 these officers. Besides, it was a very long time ago.

Page 17455

1 A long time ago for me. It was seven or eight years

2 ago, and believe me, I cannot simply recall all the

3 officers. There are two or three who stuck in my

4 memory, with whom I struck friendship, yes, I remember

5 them, but others, no, really. But of course, if I saw

6 them, then I would recognise them, but only then I

7 could tell you. As it is, I really cannot say.

8 Q. That officer has given evidence of a

9 roadblock that he faced late in January and that he

10 could only have cleared or that he had cleared on the

11 assistance or with the assistance of Kordic.

12 Now, Kordic was there for the politicians,

13 you were there for the army, and Blaskic was away.

14 What do you say of that evidence, that Kordic was able

15 to free a roadblock to an officer called Foregrave?

16 A. To begin with, I do not know of a roadblock.

17 And if Mr. Kordic freed that, then he will say so when

18 he's given the floor, whether, why, and what he did.

19 And I don't know about that, and I don't know if Kordic

20 did that or did not do that.

21 So it is such that roadblocks may have

22 happened and they may have been resolved, but the

23 operative command was not informed about this because

24 it happened out of the blue and that it was resolved

25 like that. But whether that particular incident did

Page 17456

1 happen, I just don't know. You have to ask somebody

2 who was on the spot.

3 Q. Brigadier, roadblocks were a military matter,

4 and in the absence of Blaskic, you were presumably

5 effectively in charge of them; isn't that right?

6 A. In the absence of Blaskic from the command in

7 Vitez. But that does not mean the end of his command

8 over units. So I did not take over the role of the

9 commander of the army. I continued to work as the

10 Chief of Staff and performed my duties. And the

11 orders, as long as we had telephone communication,

12 subsequently by the packet system which went through

13 Herzegovina, but Blaskic was always the one who issued

14 orders to the units.

15 Q. You're still not answering the question.

16 These are military things, roadblocks, people under the

17 command of Blaskic, and you at the top of that

18 command. Please tell the Judges, if you can, how a

19 politician was able to command soldiers.

20 A. To begin with, it is not in my powers, all

21 these roadblocks. That is the Security Service. I

22 repeat. How a politician -- ask him, ask Mr. Kordic

23 why and how. I do not know why, and I do not know

24 about that incident.

25 Q. Are you saying, just to finish this topic,

Page 17457

1 that roadblocks are the Security Service, they are back

2 to Anto Sliskovic?

3 A. It is a security matter.

4 Q. You said, several answers ago, that you

5 rejected the possibility of Kordic dealing with trench

6 digging, knowing him as you did. I thought your

7 evidence was that you didn't know him very well. Just

8 tell us, did you know him well or not?

9 A. I'd only met him now and then. When I said

10 that Kordic could not have done this or ordered this,

11 this is the product of our few meetings, because I

12 indeed saw him as a man who was just, who was loyal,

13 who I believed truly worked in accordance -- in line

14 with the Geneva Conventions and would not have done

15 otherwise, as far as I knew him. That was my opinion

16 so far as I knew him, and I knew him because we used to

17 meet in passing and would talk about our health and

18 nothing else, because he was always concerned about my

19 health. I'm quite an elderly man, and I'm not of

20 particularly good health.

21 Q. What particular part of the Geneva

22 Conventions so affected a politician that he was able

23 to and did comply with them, please?

24 A. Every citizen should know that, and the

25 politicians should, of course, know about the Geneva

Page 17458

1 Conventions, what they are, what needs to be done to

2 prevent something from happening. So I assumed that

3 Kordic, as a schooled man, as an accomplished man, was

4 familiar with those conventions and that he would have

5 opposed their violation.

6 Q. I can only deal with your words, Brigadier,

7 and you said, "I believe truly worked in accordance

8 with the Geneva Conventions." And I would still like

9 you to answer, if you feel you can, what particular

10 actions of a politician might have been in

11 contravention of the Geneva Conventions, or can't you

12 name any?

13 A. I have just said what I did, and I don't want

14 to change the sentence.

15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it's 11.00 and time for

16 the break. How much longer do you anticipate being,

17 because if possible, we need to get another witness

18 in.

19 MR. NICE: I'm afraid there's still a lot

20 that I must deal with with this witness, and I think

21 this is the last witness who is likely to be coming

22 that is going to be covering this whole territory. I'm

23 quite sure I'll go until the break at lunchtime, and

24 I'll try and be finished then.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, it looks unlikely

Page 17459

1 that we're going to get your other witness in.

2 MR. SAYERS: We have a fairly short witness

3 whose evidence I would not anticipate would take longer

4 than an hour, with cross-examination, not more than

5 half an hour in direct.

6 JUDGE MAY: And he can be dealt with in the

7 afternoon?

8 MR. SAYERS: Yes, sir.

9 MR. NICE: Do we know who it is?

10 MR. SAYERS: Colonel Vukovic.

11 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if it is a matter

12 of planning, I don't think I will have more than 40

13 minutes -- half an hour, 40 minutes maximum -- with the

14 same witness.

15 MR. SAYERS: In that case, Your Honour --

16 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure how helpful that

17 is. Perhaps you can talk amongst yourselves to decide

18 whether it's possible to get him in. Obviously, if we

19 can get him in, we should, but we can't sit very late

20 tonight, not beyond 4.00. We've got a meeting.

21 MR. KOVACIC: Of course, you understand I'm

22 giving a worst forecast, so I'm sure I'm able to finish

23 within that time.

24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.

25 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.

Page 17460

1 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

3 MR. NICE: Exhibit 395.1 in due course.

4 Q. Before we actually look at this, Brigadier;

5 while Blaskic was out of area, how did you communicate

6 with him? Packet communication, was it?

7 A. At first -- for the first two, three days, it

8 was by telephone. Following that by packet

9 communications.

10 Q. Which enabled you to send documents down to

11 him in Kiseljak?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In his absence, who was really running the

14 office? You, I suppose.

15 A. I worked in my staff, the activities that I

16 was tasked with.

17 Q. If something important came in from

18 General Petkovic, Brigadier Petkovic as he then was, if

19 something important came in, would you deal with it? I

20 suppose you would, wouldn't you?

21 A. I would look at it and then forward it to

22 Colonel Blaskic.

23 Q. Let's look at this document then, 395.1,

24 please.

25 JUDGE MAY: Before you do, is this a new

Page 17461

1 document?

2 MR. NICE: No. It's an outstanding exhibit.

3 JUDGE MAY: It's an outstanding exhibit.

4 Thank you.


6 Q. This is a document that comes from Petkovic

7 when Blaskic was away on the 26th of January. If we

8 look at the content of it, it's about the lines of

9 defence to the Chetniks, saving ammunition. "We have

10 addressed the Republic of Croatia by telegram about

11 this, which you'll receive." We will come back to that

12 in a minute. "Conduct for mobilisation, set defensive

13 accent to resistance points if necessary, turn to

14 UNPROFOR for profession and inform Morillon, all HVO

15 units to be in full combat readiness, units on the

16 defence lines to be informed, no shifts."

17 This communication is completely and

18 exclusively military in its content; correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. This doesn't come from your office where your

21 staff may have got into a habit of sending things to

22 Kordic by mistake, this comes from Petkovic, and he

23 would be sending this from Mostar. It's a document of

24 great importance, isn't it? You must have seen it.

25 A. Yes, I saw this document.

Page 17462

1 Q. Therefore, when you were instructed or when

2 there was an instruction to deliver to Dario Kordic,

3 your office must have executed the instruction.

4 A. I know that we forwarded this order to

5 Colonel Blaskic.

6 Q. Brigadier, what rank were you then, colonel?

7 If a brigadier tells you to do something, you do it.

8 So may I take it that you also delivered it to Kordic?

9 A. I will not say that this was not delivered to

10 Kordic, because the operations centre could have

11 forwarded it directly without my knowledge.

12 Q. What do we mean by the "operations centre,"

13 please? Is that the next door room to yours?

14 A. Operations centre is the duty operations

15 officer with the operations officers who are tasked

16 with certain duties. So the duty officer who is

17 carrying out his duties in the operations room, and

18 specifically, the operations officer was Slavko Marin.

19 Q. All in the same small area as you were

20 working in?

21 A. This is a somewhat larger area, about double

22 in size.

23 Q. How did you take communications of this kind

24 to Kordic? Did a soldier get into a vehicle and drive

25 there? Did you drive there yourself? Tell us.

Page 17463

1 A. I don't know how it was delivered to Kordic.

2 If it was delivered, then it was probably done by

3 courier to Busovaca, but I don't know whether it was

4 delivered to him. There was a courier service.

5 Q. Forgive my asking you this, Brigadier, but

6 from your answers this morning, there are a whole range

7 of activities going on in that office and on the ground

8 of which you were ignorant, it appears. What exactly

9 were you doing? You don't seem to have known what was

10 going on in several areas. What were you doing all

11 day?

12 A. I worked in the headquarters, I worked on the

13 establishment, I looked for replenishment of people.

14 That was in these months. Compiling formations, plans

15 for various units. This was done by commanders. I did

16 not involve myself in that. This happened after the

17 activities of the ABiH, and this is what we then

18 forwarded on to Colonel Blaskic.

19 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice, I

20 should like to ask the witness: From what we can read

21 and his evidence, he was Chief of Staff, which means he

22 was the head of the office, head of office. I believe

23 he was the head of office of Colonel Blaskic's. Is

24 that it?

25 A. I was the Chief of Staff, which, in a sense,

Page 17464













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14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17465

1 would mean that the -- I was in charge of the operative

2 and mobilisation tasks. So anything that concerned

3 other matters, such as logistics, security,

4 indoctrination, ideological stuff, that was not

5 something that my office would know about.

6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes, but

7 then it means, General Nakic, that as the Chief of

8 Staff, all these documents, including the document

9 which is being submitted and which involve military

10 problems and which deal also with mobilisation, they

11 would be forwarded to whomever, have to go through your

12 office, because the function of the Chief of Staff, the

13 head of office, at least as we know it, is that

14 somebody is sending some information to somebody but it

15 goes through him, and he then is responsible, that is,

16 the Chief of Staff is responsible then to distribute it

17 or, rather, to forward it to persons concerned.

18 So this is a kind of coordinating office,

19 providing the link between different offices and the

20 information and his superiors and other persons he

21 accounts to. That is the function of the Chief of

22 Staff. So the information such as being communicated

23 cannot but go through the head of office, that is, the

24 Chief of Staff.

25 Could you answer my question?

Page 17466

1 A. Yes. That would be in the conditions when

2 the command structures would be organised, when all the

3 units were ready for operations, but in the case where

4 we were, where there was nothing prepared, it could

5 happen that not everything would come to my desk. But

6 I know that this one did come, and I know that we

7 forwarded it to Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, but it could

8 have gone on to Mr. Kordic without my being aware of

9 it.

10 MR. NICE:

11 Q. Following on His Honour Judge Bennouna's

12 question, could you tell us, please, very quickly, who

13 were the senior staff working for Blaskic? There was

14 you, Anto Sliskovic, and who else? And give us their

15 jobs.

16 A. When I arrived, I found 11 people on the

17 staff, when I arrived at the Operative Zone. There

18 were Mr. Blaskic, Mr. Sliskovic, that is, Anto

19 Sliskovic, then Mr. Franjo Sliskovic, Mr. Ljubo Jurcic,

20 Mr. Zoran Pilicic, and then there were two typists and

21 Colonel Blaskic's escort. But I cannot recall all the

22 names. I just mentioned the principals.

23 Q. And are you saying that those people, the

24 typists apart, are the only senior members of the staff

25 right the way through until the end of 1993?

Page 17467

1 A. Yes, other people joined. We had staffing of

2 the command with people we did not have, such as the

3 artillery person, the staff --

4 Q. [No interpretation]

5 A. You mean the operations officer? That was

6 Slavko Marin.

7 Q. Slavko Marin. Who else became a senior

8 official in the headquarters? There's a man called

9 Vukovic?

10 A. When I arrived, Vukovic was not there. He

11 was the chief of the military police.

12 Q. And I really don't want to take time, as

13 we're under pressure of time, but have you named now

14 all the senior staff who ever worked at the

15 headquarters of Blaskic? There was Filipovic as well.

16 Anybody else?

17 A. Filipovic was deputy commander. He was

18 appointed by Colonel Blaskic -- that is, Milivoj

19 Petkovic. We made recommendations. In the staff, it

20 was myself, Slavko Marin, Mr. Batinic --

21 Q. I'm going to cut you short because time is

22 limited. I may be able to come back, if I've got time,

23 and get the job functions of all those people. I may

24 not. I may have to deal with it with someone else.

25 But staying with this document that you've

Page 17468

1 been asked about, just one other question before we

2 move on -- two other questions. Can you think of any

3 reason why Petkovic would send a document of this

4 military nature to Kordic, please?

5 A. I don't know why he sent it to Kordic.

6 Q. Paragraph 2, turning to defence, saving

7 ammunition, supply difficult, "We've addressed the

8 Republic of Croatia." Croatia was supplying

9 ammunition, wasn't it?

10 A. I don't know about that. Croatia did not

11 supply Central Bosnia.

12 Q. Well, can you think of any reason why this

13 reference to ammunition supply being the subject of a

14 telegram to Croatia?

15 A. I don't know, but I think that we would have

16 asked the devil himself for ammunition, given the

17 difficult situation we were in.

18 Q. Following the ceasefire on the 30th --

19 JUDGE MAY: Just let me ask this: This

20 document is described as "Military Secret, Strictly

21 Confidential," and it's delivered, it says, to Colonel

22 Kordic and Colonel Blaskic. Would you interpret that

23 as a command to Kordic and Blaskic?

24 A. I interpret this as a command to Blaskic,

25 because only Blaskic could have issued commands and

Page 17469

1 only he was responsible. He was the commander.

2 JUDGE MAY: Why, then, does Kordic's name

3 appear above Blaskic's, in your view?

4 A. That, I don't know. You would need to ask

5 Milivoj Petkovic this. I really don't know why he used

6 it.


8 Q. I've just got one other question. It's not a

9 frivolous question and follows on from your answer

10 about you would get ammunition from the devil himself.

11 Does that include the Serbs? Would you have been

12 prepared to get and did you get ammunition from the

13 Serbs in the course of this conflict?

14 A. In Central Bosnia, we did not receive

15 ammunition from anyone. We just tried to be

16 resourceful. Thankfully, there was military industry

17 before the war in Vitez, so we improvised different

18 armaments and other contraptions in order to defend

19 ourselves first against the Serbs and then later on

20 even from the Muslims. But had we had the

21 opportunities, we would have asked anyone to help us.

22 I can give you a number of examples where, at

23 the front lines, I collected the dead and there was not

24 a single bullet left in their weapons or anywhere. So

25 we had to make our own weapons in workshops at the SPS.

Page 17470

1 Q. Yes. The next exhibit, please, is 424, a

2 fresh exhibit. It's a milinfosum from the 31st of

3 January of 1993. The third page is all I'm interested

4 in, please, the third page, usher, on the ELMO.

5 The British Battalion reported, on the 31st

6 of January, this: that they visited the HVO

7 headquarters in Busovaca and spoke at some length with

8 Dario Kordic. Might you have been there?

9 A. I don't recall being present there with him.

10 I believe I was not.

11 Q. HDZ, Central Bosnia: "Kordic expressed

12 concern that a number of parties involved in the

13 current ceasefire agreement were slightly biased in

14 favour of 3rd Corps and the Muslim position. He

15 further stated that the HVO would abide by the

16 agreement and would not return fire if shelled by BiH

17 artillery positions. However, he stressed that the HVO

18 reserved the right to defend themselves if subject to a

19 BiH ground force infantry attack," and then claimed to

20 have obtained intelligence that the BiH had requested a

21 resupply of ammunition and detonators.

22 It wasn't Kordic's position to be saying any

23 of these things, was it, Brigadier?

24 A. If they visited him, as a representative of

25 the HDZ, and if he said this, I'm not going to now

Page 17471

1 debate whether he should have said this or not. But,

2 in any event, we defended ourselves over there in this

3 area, and we never attacked --

4 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... for

5 wont of time, reserving the right to fire, if shelled

6 upon, that's a military matter, and it was no part of

7 Mr. Kordic's to be saying it, was it?

8 A. I don't know that he said this. Because this

9 is a report of UNPROFOR, I cannot speak to it.

10 Q. Do you remember I asked you yesterday whether

11 you had any reason, really, not to trust the

12 reliability and impartiality of UNPROFOR? You didn't

13 have any yesterday. Do you have any today?

14 A. I don't have today either, but I don't know.

15 I never saw this. I never heard of it. I didn't know

16 that these meetings took place, so I cannot comment on

17 this. And I will say again that I had very good

18 cooperation with the British Battalion and with the

19 British officers.

20 MR. NICE: I'm going to refer very briefly to

21 an Exhibit, 431A, which was a broadcast interview of

22 Kordic, I think on the 1st of February. It can go on

23 the ELMO.

24 Q. From time to time, you saw broadcasts of and

25 heard broadcasts of Kordic, did you?

Page 17472

1 A. Occasionally I watched him on television,

2 that is, when there was power in Vitez.

3 Q. If we look at the last -- I hope it's fair to

4 do it in this way to save time -- to the last

5 paragraph, we have him expressing these words and I'll

6 read them slowly: "However, I have to express my

7 personal suspicions as regards the Muslim forces. I'm

8 not certain that the Muslim forces will not attempt to

9 play the same scenario, if not in Busovaca then in some

10 other area, within the next 10 to 15 days. The reason

11 is that apparently they have chosen a war option by

12 refusing to negotiate in Geneva under the given

13 conditions. They want to seize as much territory as

14 possible, to the detriment of the Croat population,

15 because they realise they failed to seize the territory

16 from the Serb aggressor. They believe it is easier

17 with the Croats and that it's feasible.

18 "To their deep regret, I am once again

19 warning the Muslim population, do not play with fire.

20 If you attack other municipalities, not only that there

21 will be no Bosnia and Herzegovina, there will be no

22 Muslims left."

23 Two things -- three things; did you hear that

24 broadcast?

25 A. No, I did not hear it.

Page 17473

1 Q. On your understanding of Kordic's role,

2 should he have been expressing himself in that way at

3 all?

4 A. I believe that as a politician, he should

5 have said it so -- except for that thing that there

6 will be no Muslims left.

7 Q. But as he makes clear by his use of the word

8 "I," describing what "I" or in this case he is going

9 to do, it's quite clear, isn't it Brigadier, that

10 Kordic was effectively running this war and you know

11 that?

12 A. According to me, he did not. According to

13 me, Colonel Blaskic was the person responsible, the

14 person in charge in the Operative Zones, and Milivoj

15 Petkovic in the main headquarters.

16 Q. Would you --

17 MR. NICE: Rather than waste any more time,

18 I'll move on to the next point. 433, please, Exhibit

19 433. No. To save time, I'll abandon that one as

20 well. I want to get through things. Sorry. I'll

21 abandon that one.

22 Q. On the 3rd of February -- I apologise. On

23 the 3rd of February, Brigadier, three days after the

24 ceasefire, an officer called Jennings has given

25 evidence that Kordic said he would delay the exchange

Page 17474

1 of prisoners who were otherwise, it might be, to be

2 exchanged pursuant to the ceasefire. The delay of

3 prisoner exchange and prisoner exchange itself was a

4 military matter, wasn't it?

5 A. Yes, it was a military matter.

6 Q. It was covered by the ceasefire that you and

7 others had signed?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. It would not have been right for Kordic to

10 attempt to overrule the ceasefire by holding up the

11 exchange of prisoners?

12 A. I took part in those meetings in which that

13 gentleman that you mentioned participated, but I do not

14 remember and I do not know that it was ever said that

15 Kordic questioned it. That did not arise during the

16 meetings, that it was being disputed. All the tasks

17 that we had put on paper or, rather, shown to the two

18 sides were implemented, one after the other, according

19 to plan and programme. Of course, there may have been

20 some individual exceptions, but we resolved them very,

21 very successfully indeed as we went along. I do not

22 think that he ever meddled in this. And did he speak

23 about that? I don't know. I cannot speak about things

24 that I did not see or hear.

25 Q. I take it then that if Kordic said these

Page 17475













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14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17476

1 things to Jennings, who I think relied -- spoke from

2 notes that he made at the time or relied on notes that

3 he made at the time, if Kordic said these things to

4 Jennings, he hadn't even discussed them with you

5 first?

6 A. No, never.

7 Q. The same officer -- no. The next thing is

8 the 5th of February. On the 5th of February, an

9 officer called Foregrave came to the PTT building. Who

10 should he have found in the PTT building in the

11 beginning of February, in the basement there?

12 A. Dusko Grubesic and his command.

13 Q. In fact, he met Kordic there. Can you

14 explain that?

15 A. Perhaps Kordic dropped by.

16 Q. Or did he use that as his base for military

17 purposes?

18 A. No, not there. Not there. We -- I and

19 Merdan and ECMM representatives often went there, and I

20 saw Kordic only once or, rather, he came as we were

21 there and he came then. I never saw him again there.

22 During 45 days in Busovaca, we did not meet but that

23 one time.

24 Q. The officer, Jennings, two days later, faced

25 a booby-trapped -- a roadblock of booby-trapped

Page 17477

1 lorries. Do you remember anything about that?

2 A. No. I was with a group of ECMM

3 representatives, and the technical services were

4 rendered by UNPROFOR, rather, the ones that were there,

5 that is, the BritBat, and members of the ECMM group

6 which chaired the meeting together with us, and the

7 observers and services were provided by UNPROFOR. I do

8 not know where the officer got all this information.

9 If he collected it in himself, that is another matter,

10 but it was not raised at the meeting. I do not

11 remember that.

12 Q. What I want your help with is this: On that

13 day, the 7th of February, the officer has told this

14 Court that he was able to have the roadblock cleared

15 but only after obtaining Kordic's agreement. Can you

16 explain, as the man on the ground or one of the men on

17 the ground with senior military status, how was he able

18 to do that via Kordic, not via you, for example?

19 A. If he went through Kordic, then he took the

20 wrong road. He should have done it through the

21 commission. Why it was not done through the

22 commission, that is something that I don't know.

23 Q. Is this because the soldiers on the ground,

24 to your knowledge, would only ever respond to Kordic's

25 instructions?

Page 17478

1 A. I don't know that. They also responded to

2 ours if an order was signed by the commander.

3 Q. I played you a tape yesterday, and it was

4 entirely my error, through an inability to follow your

5 language, for which I apologise, and I cut it off at

6 just the place where I think we should have started

7 it.

8 MR. NICE. So if people can take again,

9 please, Exhibit 2801.1, 2801 itself, and I'll give the

10 proper page references. The tape is already in the

11 booth.

12 Now, in the English, I'm advised, it's on

13 page 31. In the B/C/S, it's on page 30. I think it

14 starts at the foot of page 31 in the English. If

15 everybody has found what is I hope the right place, on

16 30 it is, I think, in the middle of the page, and at 31

17 in the English it's at the foot of the page.

18 If it is, as it may well be, not possible for

19 the interpreters to provide anything independent of

20 what is on the printed page, which I trust they have --

21 they do. Then we may be able to follow it without

22 interpretation and seek assistance afterwards, but I'm

23 in their hands.

24 Could the tape now, please, be played.

25 [Audiotape played].

Page 17479

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, this goes on for a

2 period of time?

3 MR. NICE: Yes. Can we stop it briefly?

4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

5 MR. NICE: Sorry. Can we stop it briefly?

6 Q. Brigadier, these voices, please?

7 A. I recognise Colonel Blaskic's voice. Other

8 voices, I do not know. At that time, I was with the

9 Joint Commission. Somebody called from Vitez, and I

10 don't know who it was. But Colonel Blaskic's voice,

11 yes. And we discussed this particular incident at the

12 commission.

13 Q. The other voice, Franjo, who could that be?

14 A. Well, not me, that is for certain. It is not

15 my voice and I did not communicate with them, because I

16 was in Busovaca at the time. Franjo, the logistics

17 man, hardly. But his name was also Franjo, assistant

18 for logistics, but I'm not recognising it as his voice.

19 Q. But you recognise Blaskic's voice, certainly?

20 A. Yes, yes, I did recognise his voice.

21 Q. The topic was the flags. Tell us about that,

22 just briefly.

23 A. I was informed, through the commission,

24 because conflicts had begun in Busovaca, where the

25 factory was, and it was in the area of the Croat

Page 17480

1 people. And Haskic entered the factory. He did not

2 work at the factory, but somehow he entered and put up

3 the Muslim flag on the stack which is the tallest

4 there. And the Croat people were indignant, why the

5 Muslim flag on that particular stack. And his village

6 was above that factory.

7 That man was a schizophrenic, and even the

8 Muslims themselves got rid of him. They killed him in

9 Novi Travnik very simply because he inflicted evil on

10 them even more than the Croats, and --

11 Q. I'm going to stop you there. It would

12 appear, then, from what you heard of that tape, it may

13 be an entirely accurate recording of a conversation.

14 The content fits with what you knew of events on the

15 ground at the time?

16 A. Yes, what we discussed in the commission; not

17 in the town, but we talked about in the commission.

18 Q. Thank you. Moving forward, we come to -- I'm

19 going to go straight now to April. But when we change,

20 as it were, from March to April, using that as a point

21 in time, there's no change in the way that the chain of

22 command operated between March and April, is there?

23 It's the same before as after?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And everyone in the area, all military

Page 17481

1 personnel in the area, are under the control of

2 Blaskic?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Because one can't help but notice in

5 paragraph 35 of your proof or your summary that you

6 make a reference to the control of the Ministry of

7 Defence or chief of the Main Staff. You better explain

8 that a little more. What was this all about?

9 A. All HVO units which were, so to speak, Home

10 Guard Units that we had formed in the Operative Zone of

11 Central Bosnia were under the direct command of

12 General Blaskic. Special-purpose units, which were

13 under contract with the ministry, were directly

14 responsible and under the command of the chief of the

15 Main Staff or, rather, the Ministry of Defence.

16 The military police under the office at

17 Ljubusko, as of the 4th of June, all units were placed

18 under the command of General Blaskic, but it was only

19 after the 4th of June. Prior to that, one had to seek

20 the consent of the Main Staff, if one was to use them,

21 or again the head of the Ljubusko office.

22 Q. This is all an account that's trying to

23 create some distance from the Ahmici massacre from the

24 people in Vitez and thereabouts, isn't it, this

25 account?

Page 17482

1 A. I don't understand the question.

2 Q. What you're telling us is not true; you're

3 telling us this as part of a plan to try and create

4 some break in responsibility between certain units and

5 the people in Vitez on the ground giving military

6 instruction?

7 A. Your Honours, I'm recounting as it was, not

8 as some other people said. I'm saying what happened as

9 it happened.

10 Q. So that, for example, the Vitezovi, until

11 June, weren't under the control of Blaskic; is that

12 what you're saying?

13 A. They were not.

14 Q. Just give the Judges, please, an explanation

15 of how this dual chain of command operates for these

16 special units. First of all, they are based in your

17 area. I'm so sorry.

18 A. There were those two units. They had

19 professional contracts with the Ministry of Defence and

20 they were commanded by the Main Staff. The Main Staff

21 could attach them, but did so only as an exception.

22 However, as of the 4th of June, they were subordinated

23 or were placed under the command of Colonel Blaskic.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

25 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry. I hadn't

Page 17483

1 appreciated Your Honours were conferring. But the

2 witness's last answer has spoken of professional

3 contracts with the Ministry of Defence, who commanded

4 them by the Main Staff.

5 Q. Explain that to me, please. How does a

6 Ministry of Defence -- based where, in Mostar --

7 command troops on the ground by a Main Staff? Just

8 explain it to us. We're not military men and you

9 better talk us through it.

10 A. Vitezovi was a unit which had its command.

11 The head of that command was Colonel Kraljevic. Until

12 June, he was not responsible or subordinated to

13 Colonel Blaskic but to the Main Staff. The Main Staff

14 could, through its commands, and I do not know that any

15 one of them arrived, I'm telling you that I was with

16 the commission at that time so I wasn't at the staff,

17 whether such a command came, whether anything was done,

18 I don't know. But it could order that a unit be

19 attached to the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia.

20 All I know is that if Colonel Blaskic needed

21 that unit, he always -- we always said, "You had to

22 call the relevant command," that is, the Main Staff,

23 and only then one gets the consent, the authorisation

24 to use a particular unit in a specific area.

25 Q. Well, help me with the picture. Do we have

Page 17484

1 these various groups on Colonel Blaskic's ground, and

2 every time he has to get them to move or do anything,

3 he has to ring up and ask permission? Is that really

4 what you're telling us, Brigadier?

5 A. Yes. If he wanted to use them, then he had

6 to seek permission. Vitezovi or Tvrtko units existed

7 before Blaskic. They were the first units which were

8 formed to fight against the Serb troops which, to put

9 it that way, disarmed the barracks in Central Bosnia.

10 Those that fought against shelling, those were the

11 initial units, and they were directly linked -- there

12 was a direct link between them and the Main Staff.

13 They existed even before Blaskic arrived.

14 Q. So if Blaskic hadn't picked up the phone and

15 got permission and asked to do something with these

16 troops, they would just sit in their barracks doing

17 nothing; is that right?

18 A. Well, they had their orders, their plans.

19 They had their own life, and they pursued their own

20 plan. Specifically, I never meddled in special-purpose

21 units because I knew they were not subordinated to us,

22 so that I never had any dealings with them.

23 Q. Are you really telling us, Brigadier, that in

24 Blaskic's area of operation, wholly unknown to him,

25 some units could be going and taking some steps that

Page 17485

1 might be entirely inconsistent with his plans; is that

2 what you're really trying to tell us?

3 A. As I see it, it shouldn't have happened,

4 because Colonel Blaskic was responsible for the area.

5 But I am trying to tell you -- I'm repeating -- that

6 what happened is that those units were under the direct

7 command of the Main Staff. For their use, one had to

8 seek permission. And it was obtained on the 4th of

9 June, and from then until the end of the war, they were

10 under Blaskic's control or, rather, Blaskic commanded

11 them, and there was no more resistance then.

12 Q. Well, let's find out from you whether you had

13 any experience of these troops acting independently and

14 inconsistently with Blaskic's orders and operations.

15 Did you?

16 A. I did not work with those troops, I did not

17 cooperate with them, I have no experience with them.

18 As of the 3rd of February until the 4th of June or,

19 rather, the 6th of June, I was not at the

20 headquarters. And I worked for the Joint Commission,

21 Joint Command, so that at that time --

22 Q. I'll cut you short to save time. Is your

23 answer to my question that you personally had no

24 experience with these special-purpose units ever acting

25 inconsistently with Blaskic's overall policy and

Page 17486













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14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17487

1 direction? You had no such experience yourself?

2 A. None.

3 Q. And you can't point, by what you heard from

4 anyone else, to any such examples yourself, can you?

5 A. I don't know. I did not hear and I do not

6 know that example.

7 Q. Would it surprise you, if it be the case, to

8 know that Filipovic has said that they were all under

9 Blaskic's command at this time? Would that surprise

10 you?

11 A. I'm saying only what I know. Administrative

12 matters that went through the headquarters, I don't

13 know what Filipovic said. Filipovic was at the --

14 excuse me, at the headquarters, but he was absent more

15 frequently than he was present there. Filipovic held

16 the lines against the Serbs, and he commanded that

17 Operative Group. He was in Herzegovina, in Mostar, in

18 Vitez, and all over.

19 MR. NICE: 661, please, and 661A.

20 Q. What you've been telling this Court,

21 Brigadier, is untrue, and you've told it because you

22 think it may assist one of the interests that you're

23 here to serve.

24 MR. NICE: 661, please.

25 Q. Please look at the original document first.

Page 17488

1 It's got a stamp on it; it's got a signature on it. If

2 you want to express any doubts as to its genuineness,

3 please do so.

4 MR. NICE: The English version can go on the

5 ELMO, please.

6 Q. Does this appear to you, Brigadier, to be a

7 genuine document?

8 A. I'm looking at it. I believe so.

9 Q. Shall we then go through it? It's dated the

10 15th of April, Vitezovi Knights Special Purpose Unit,

11 and it is a protest. It's to be delivered, we see from

12 the end of the document, to the Vitez Territorial

13 Defence and others, and it reads: "In this past week

14 of April 1993, members of the Vitezovi PPN were

15 mistreated on several occasions in various ways. The

16 Vitezovi unit is, as the name indicates, a special unit

17 which is in the unified system of command and control

18 in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone and is also

19 responsible to its superior command for its actions,"

20 and it sets out its complaint.

21 Would you like to reconsider your answers

22 about these special units, Brigadier?

23 A. From this protest, as far as I can see, one

24 can literally see the protest is addressed to the staff

25 of the Vitez TO, the staff of the Muslim army, the

Page 17489

1 command 325. It is nowhere being addressed to the

2 Operative Zone, and it is clearly seen that they were

3 independent and that they did it independently.

4 Had he been under the command of the

5 Operative Zone, he would have addressed it to the

6 Operative Zone, and it would then, in its turn, be

7 addressed to the BH army, but that is not the case. So

8 this document is yet another proof that he,

9 Mr. Kraljevic, and the Vitezovi, were directly -- that

10 they were not under Blaskic, or else he would have

11 addressed -- he would have gone through Blaskic.

12 Q. Did you follow me when I read the paragraph

13 to you that I did, the second paragraph? Were you

14 listening?

15 A. I was listening. I'm looking for it.

16 Q. It speaks of being in the unified -- the

17 unified system of command and control in the Central

18 Bosnia Operative Zone. That's what I was asking you to

19 deal with.

20 A. Yes. The unified system but of the Main

21 Staff. Look, there is an "and." PPN, Vitezovi, and

22 Operative Zone are both under the Main Staff. They are

23 both parts of a unified system.

24 Q. Let's conclude this topic, Brigadier. If

25 what you're saying is true about any independence of

Page 17490

1 these units or any need to have authority for these

2 units, presumably the authorities will be documented

3 whenever they were given, and they will exist in the

4 archive.

5 A. I suppose so. I don't know.

6 Q. Before we come to Ahmici, you gave an answer

7 yesterday that I would like your help with. You were

8 asked about whether there was any policy to persecute

9 in the area with which we are concerned and --

10 A. I said no.

11 Q. But before you said no and in the course of

12 saying no, you gave the following answers as

13 translated: Asked whether there were orders to harass

14 or persecute people of Muslim ethnicity, as it came

15 out, the answer was: "I wrote those orders but not to

16 persecute. Such orders never existed. My operations

17 staff wrote up those orders, but there never were any

18 signed by Mr. Blaskic." And then you went on to say

19 that the only ones he signed were ones that did not

20 persecute.

21 I just want your help. Were you saying that

22 orders of an improper type were at some stages drafted

23 although not signed?

24 A. Never. Not even -- we never even conceived

25 of these things among myself and my colleagues. We

Page 17491

1 just tried to survive. We only enter the war in order

2 to save our own lives and those of our families.

3 That's why we entered into it.

4 Q. On the 13th of April, Dzemal Merdan

5 complained about the gathering of excessive HVO troops

6 in Vitez, in particular, about a large number of

7 soldiers outside a restaurant, the Sunce. I'm not sure

8 that's the way to pronounce it. Did you agree with

9 Merdan that there was an excessive gathering of

10 soldiers in Vitez?

11 A. On the 13th, Dzemal Merdan was together with

12 me in the house in Bila with the ECMM mission. We were

13 working together. He never mentioned this case to me.

14 In addition, the restaurant Sunce is not in

15 Vitez, it's in Busovaca municipality in Kaonik. If

16 there was any gathering, perhaps there was a shift of

17 people either going to the front line or coming back

18 from the front line, because at that time, that is what

19 we had.

20 Q. Or was there a gathering of troops for

21 actions that were to come?

22 A. No, certainly not.

23 Q. Your --

24 A. We did not create any plan. At least I did

25 not have any information, so far as I had information

Page 17492

1 about some potential plans for an attack.

2 Q. When you went off with Merdan on the 14th of

3 April to inquire into the arrest of the HVO soldiers,

4 you were with an officer called Baggesen, weren't you?

5 A. Yes. That was the other officer in addition

6 to Valentin, who was Spanish, but I do not remember

7 him.

8 Q. Well, here's a picture of him. It might help

9 you remember him.

10 MR. NICE: Put it on the ELMO, please.

11 Q. That's to jog your memory. That's the

12 officer. Do you remember that man?

13 A. No.

14 Q. And when all of you were detained, you were

15 unable to effect your release because these were

16 military policemen who were detaining you. That's

17 correct, isn't it?

18 A. Yes, absolutely correct.

19 Q. Baggesen effected your release by going

20 through Blaskic, who was able to do the job?

21 A. Baggesen, if this is the man, I find it hard

22 to recognise him. I don't know the colour of his

23 uniform here, blue or black, but those two monitors

24 were wearing white clothing. So I cannot even

25 recognise the face. Perhaps I just forgot it. But I

Page 17493

1 remember the Spanish gentleman, Valentin.

2 He did speak to Colonel Blaskic, but I mostly

3 talked to Colonel Blaskic, and this went on for two and

4 a half hours. Colonel Blaskic had to plead with

5 Mr. Bavrka, because he did not have any authority over

6 the military police.

7 Q. Didn't he. Right. You were only kept for a

8 few hours and then you went where?

9 A. Two and a half hours.

10 Q. And then where did you go?

11 A. We went to the house which was within the

12 UNPROFOR compound. This is where we held a meeting and

13 talked things through. Then I went and reported to my

14 colonel, and then he said that I could go and take some

15 rest. He said that I was too exhausted to be able to

16 do anything. I thanked him and went home.

17 Q. You were sent home -- Is this right? -- by

18 Blaskic on the night of the 14th or the 15th?

19 A. Blaskic gave me a day off because I had not

20 slept for two nights.

21 Q. Or is the position that you were sent home

22 and really told to stay home for the next few days?

23 A. No, just one day to rest up and come back.

24 Q. What was it that stopped your coming back?

25 A. I was supposed to come back on the 16th in

Page 17494

1 the morning. When I started out, there were roadblocks

2 erected by the ABiH down from the UNPROFOR complex. I

3 couldn't pass through, and since -- I couldn't find a

4 way out. I called up Blaskic, and he told me to stay

5 in my village and just stay there until the situation

6 became satisfactory again. So I turned around and went

7 back to my village.

8 Q. You were found there, at some stage on the

9 18th of April, by a man called Landry. Do you remember

10 him?

11 A. Yes, a Canadian man, Landry.

12 Q. And he found you and spoke to you?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Would it surprise you that he formed the view

15 you'd been removed from your appointment for the time

16 being?

17 A. If that was his view, it was mistaken. I was

18 given a day off, and I was not told that I was removed

19 from my duty. Why would they have called me again on

20 the 21st when the road reopened and when I was able to

21 come back to Vitez?

22 Q. It's not for me to answer questions, but I'll

23 come to it in due course. You know that the

24 Prosecution case in this case, as indeed in the Blaskic

25 case, is that what happened on the 16th was planned and

Page 17495

1 involved a large number of troops and the use of

2 various armaments. You know that, don't you?

3 A. According to me, no plan existed. I believe

4 that that plan could not have been made within a day,

5 when I was absent, and I believe that no plan existed.

6 There was no plan. There was a defence plan, a plan of

7 defence, that was all.

8 Q. You have the point. A plan would have taken

9 some days, and you were around, and I must suggest to

10 you that you must have known that plans were afoot.

11 A. It's another matter what you want to say, but

12 I say that I did not know.

13 Q. Would it surprise you to know that, I think

14 it's Landry, but certainly one of the last two officers

15 that I'm speaking of, formed the view that you were a

16 moderate man, that you were not in any sense an

17 extremist? Would that surprise you, or would you think

18 that was a correct reflection of your general attitude

19 at the time?

20 A. I don't know what Mr. Landry thought. I want

21 to thank him for his view of me as a moderate person.

22 But I would be surprised. There was no reason for

23 those plans, so I cannot say what they thought, and I

24 don't know what they thought. But I know what I know,

25 and what I know is what I am saying here, and I stand

Page 17496

1 by it. If they think otherwise, they can affirm it,

2 and even if it is Mr. Landry, he should do it.

3 Q. Because by virtue of your being away, for

4 whatever reason, from the headquarters for those days,

5 you're going to say you know nothing, I suppose, of the

6 detail of what happened at Ahmici; is that correct?

7 A. I don't know them. I subsequently heard, and

8 this was after it was all over, that these crimes

9 happened.

10 I condemn any crime on any side, and those

11 responsible should be brought to justice. But if

12 someone did not order those crimes, they should not

13 answer for them. The real perpetrator should be

14 found.

15 I took part later on in the commission, and I

16 can say that we never discussed Ahmici and the incident

17 that happened there. In the sessions of the

18 commissions, we never mentioned Ahmici. We discussed

19 other things. Only after the end of the war, Ahmici

20 emerged, and we learned about it only after the

21 indictments were issued.

22 Q. Are you really telling us that it wasn't even

23 a topic of conversation in Blaskic's headquarters; is

24 that really what you're telling us?

25 A. I was not in the headquarters, and it was not

Page 17497













13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the

14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17498

1 a topic of conversation in the commission. I was not

2 there until the 4th or the 6th of June, in the

3 headquarters.

4 Q. Just before we move on to the commission and

5 why you were involved in that, can we look at Exhibit

6 678 briefly for your comment, which is another

7 outstanding exhibit, 678.

8 At some stage, then, you learned something of

9 Ahmici. This is a document -- have the original,

10 please, the English copy on the ELMO -- dated the very

11 16th of April, apparently, coming from Pasko Ljubicic.

12 You see that it's stamped and signed, and the report

13 says: "Muslim armed --" well, first of all the report

14 says: "Acting in accordance with an order," which is

15 numbered and which will, no doubt, exist in the archive

16 if it's genuine.

17 But the report says: "Muslim armed forces

18 attempted to launch an attack on the military police

19 units located in the Bungalow in the early morning

20 hours. The attack met with response and combat

21 procedures, and actions were undertaken to expel the

22 same. Muslim armed forces barricaded themselves in a

23 mosque in Ahmici and in a primary school, from where

24 they have been firing from small-arms weapons and

25 snipers. They have been opening light fire from the

Page 17499

1 direction of the villages of Vrhovine and Pirici, and

2 snipers have been constantly firing from the woods and

3 clearings above the villages. So far, three policemen

4 have been killed and three were wounded, one

5 seriously."

6 You've seen that document before, have you?

7 A. I never saw this document.

8 Q. If that document in any way seeks to explain

9 what happened at Ahmici, it's a work of fiction, isn't

10 it? Isn't it?

11 A. If they were attacked, this document was

12 accurate, the one sent to the Operative Zone.

13 Q. Can you think of any reason why, if it be the

14 case that this is a fictional account, can you think of

15 any reason why, on the very 16th of April, such

16 document should have been prepared?

17 JUDGE MAY: I think we've probably dealt with

18 this as far as we can.

19 MR. NICE: Very good.

20 Q. Then you delegated your job until the middle

21 of June or the 8th of June to Slavko Marin. Why?

22 A. I was absent, and with my departure, he

23 stepped into my position. We were constantly in

24 session. We were constantly working with Dzemal Merdan

25 and with the international representatives.

Page 17500

1 Q. And even if it came as a surprise to Landry

2 that you were -- to the officer Landry that you were

3 used on the commission, the reason you were used is

4 exactly because you were a man of moderation and this

5 would look good to the International Community at a

6 time when Ahmici had been revealed. That's why you got

7 involved in the commission, isn't it?

8 A. No, you're wrong. I was appointed because

9 somebody who is the second or third in command was

10 supposed to be representing our side, somebody, and

11 this was to be a counterpart to Dzemal Merdan. It

12 couldn't have been Enver Hadzihasanovic, who was the

13 commander, and so this is why I was elected as a

14 counterpart to Dzemal Merdan.

15 Q. Can we now come back to Mehmed Alagic, the

16 man I asked you about at the beginning this morning.

17 He's an honest man, in your judgement?

18 A. Yes, but a wise commander and commander of

19 the army.

20 Q. You made the point that Ahmici wasn't

21 discussed on the commission. That may well be right,

22 because it may be that talking about past mistakes

23 wasn't going to do anybody any good and it was best, on

24 the commission, put behind you. But you did have one

25 conversation with Alagic about Ahmici, didn't you, when

Page 17501

1 he asked you what on earth you, meaning the HVO, had

2 been doing at Ahmici? Do you remember him asking you

3 that?

4 A. I don't think that I had any kind of

5 conversation in that regard with Alagic. No, I don't

6 remember, and I think that I did not.

7 Q. I must suggest to you that you did and that

8 you explained to Alagic, in terms, that you were

9 actually against the attacks but that you had to follow

10 your own side's position. Now, think back. Did you

11 say that to him or anything like that?

12 A. I believe that this is not true. We did not

13 discuss that topic with Alagic. Alagic and I did not

14 discuss this topic. And there were no plans, and I

15 could not have discussed them with him. And if I

16 talked to him, I expressed my regrets that these had

17 happened and that it shouldn't have happened, and that

18 was the only thing that I could have discussed with

19 him.

20 Q. Before I move on, I'm going to suggest it's

21 all of a piece, you see, it all fits. You knew of the

22 plans, you were against them, and you were at home

23 between the 14th and the 18th. And then a moderate man

24 of peace, maybe, you were used on the commission.

25 That's what happened, isn't it?

Page 17502

1 A. I did not take part only in that commission.

2 I was also in the commission which was formed on the

3 30th -- that is, 28th, when Colonel Blaskic sent me to

4 those discussions. I worked in those commissions for

5 five months, and that I was sent there by this

6 seniority so that I would be equal to Dzemal Merdan, so

7 that we could come to agreements and sign documents.

8 No other person in the operative staff could do it. I

9 was the senior one. And those were the equals -- those

10 were the counterparts from two sides who could engage

11 in this.

12 Q. Do you say the Vitez truck bomb was a proper

13 act of war against a legitimate military target or do

14 you accept that that was an act of terrorism?

15 A. I did not say that. You said this.

16 Q. That's how it's been described by others. I

17 want you to tell us what your view is. Is your view

18 that sending those tons of explosives, causing the

19 damage it did, was that a legitimate act of war or

20 something else, and the something else it might be was

21 an act of terrorism?

22 A. I did not say that. And now I say, as a

23 soldier, that this is a terrorist act, but I never

24 spoke about it before. But now I say that to me, in my

25 view, this was a terrorist act.

Page 17503

1 Q. Very well. You knew about it, of course, at

2 the time. Nobody could have missed it?

3 A. I knew after it happened, because we

4 discussed it in the commission.

5 Q. Very well. A terrorist act requires

6 identification of the offenders, a proper inquiry, and

7 proper discipline. What did you do; nothing?

8 A. I personally did nothing. What should I do?

9 There are other people, assistants who were with

10 Colonel Blaskic. We, in the commission, registered the

11 incident, made an agreement, and we forwarded our

12 report to the International Community. Why should I

13 pursue it? I was in the Joint Commission and I was in

14 the staff working on the plans for fighting against the

15 Serbs. I was in Travnik, not in Vitez.

16 Q. You know that nobody in the HVO did anything

17 about disciplining this act of terrorism, did they?

18 A. Measures were asked for, but I don't know

19 what the result was.

20 MR. NICE: Exhibit 769, but very briefly,

21 please. This is a document that we've looked at before

22 with --

23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

24 MR. NICE: Thank you.

25 Q. This a document we looked at before,

Page 17504

1 Brigadier, with another witness, so I don't need your

2 help on the content of it. There is one question I

3 would like, however, for you to help us with.

4 It's a document from the HZ HB forward

5 command post, Vitez. It's dealing with a meeting where

6 we can see who was present, Thebault, Petkovic, Blaskic

7 and so on, and it comes from Blaskic himself. Can you

8 explain why this document is sent not just to

9 Mr. Kordic but also to Mr. Kostroman and to the chief

10 of the Military Intelligence Service? Why would such a

11 document have been sent to three such people? And what

12 I'm going to ask you is: Does this in some way reflect

13 the true nature of the command of this war, politicians

14 and military intelligence?

15 A. I don't know why it was sent. Perhaps

16 information needed to be sent to the politicians to let

17 them know what happened in the meeting. And it was

18 sent to Kostroman, who at that time, as far as I know,

19 was the HDZ secretary and Ivica Zeko was head of VRS.

20 Perhaps to notify him of what had happened. But I

21 cannot speak to this document. It was a document sent

22 by Colonel Blaskic, and I don't have any right to

23 interpret it. I was not in this meeting. My name is

24 not there.

25 Q. Perhaps my last question at this stage would

Page 17505

1 be this: Was there a pattern of Blaskic sending

2 documents to politicians and to the intelligence

3 service in this way? You were there. Was there a

4 pattern of him sending documents like that or to those

5 people?

6 A. No. In my view, no.

7 MR. NICE: I will abbreviate what is

8 remaining.

9 JUDGE MAY: Well, Brigadier Nakic, will you

10 be back, please, at half past 2.00 to conclude your

11 evidence.

12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.














Page 17506

1 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.


4 Q. Brigadier, on the 28th of April of 1993, an

5 UNHCR convoy of food was hijacked on its way to Zenica,

6 and as we have heard in this court, neither

7 Colonel Blaskic, nor General Petkovic was able to free

8 the convoy up. The brigade commander blocking the

9 convoy claimed to have orders from Kordic, and he would

10 not release the convoy save on Kordic's instructions.

11 Now, on the 28th of April, where were you?

12 A. On that day --

13 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, this is beyond

14 the scope of the direct-examination. We didn't ask any

15 questions about this particular subject, and if we're

16 going to get on today, I think it would be a good idea

17 if the Prosecution could keep within the scope of

18 direct, with all due respect.

19 JUDGE MAY: Well, is there anything relevant

20 as far as this witness is concerned about that convoy?

21 MR. NICE: He's dealt with the Convoy of Joy,

22 and the Prosecution's case is that there are

23 similarities between the two.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, perhaps you could

25 deal with it briefly.

Page 17507

1 MR. NICE: Thank you.

2 Q. Where were you on the 28th of April?

3 A. I don't remember where I was on the 28th of

4 April. I suppose I was with the joint commission in

5 Travnik.

6 Q. Can you think of any reason why a convoy, an

7 UNHCR convoy, should be blocked in its passage by

8 Mr. Kordic?

9 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think that's a matter

10 which we're going to have to decide.

11 MR. NICE: Very well.

12 Q. Let's move on to the 24th of May and

13 Exhibit 966.2. Thank you very much. A milinfosum of

14 that date, the 24th of May. If it's laid on the ELMO,

15 I'll read it and seek your comments, Brigadier.

16 In respect to Vitez: "The situation in Vitez

17 is once again deteriorating, with heavy exchanges

18 reported in the area of Kruscica, and Mario Cerkez,

19 brigade commander, threatening action against

20 Kruscica. The old town and the Muslim-held hill

21 feature centred on," and the reference is given.

22 "Cerkez told the Vitez liaison officer that he had

23 ordered that an AA piece be used against sniper

24 positions in Kruscica and this equipment was later

25 observed moving out of the area."

Page 17508













13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the

14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17509

1 Do you have any recollection of this?

2 A. I was never informed about this event, so I

3 can't say anything. I can tell you only where I was at

4 that moment, and that was at the joint command.

5 Q. Whereabouts was the joint command?

6 A. The joint command was in the PTT building in

7 Travnik. We were there all the time. We were drawing

8 up the plans for the struggle against the Serbs.

9 Q. Let's read on: "The ECMM liaison officer

10 confirms the growing problems of Vitez by reporting

11 that the meeting of the local commission was the most

12 unproductive yet." That's your commission. "At the

13 meeting, Mario Cerkez stated that Marijan Skopljak, the

14 mayor, had recommended that he stop attending the joint

15 commission as it was clearly not working."

16 Just pausing there. Do you recollect Cerkez

17 saying that?

18 A. That was not the local commission. We were

19 not the local commission. The local commission was at

20 the level of the 325th Army Brigade and the Vitez

21 Brigade; so that was that commission that this is

22 about, not our commission. At that time it was not the

23 commission. There was the joint command then.

24 Q. Very well. It goes on: "Comment: That the

25 HDZ controls the actions of the HVO is becoming

Page 17510

1 increasingly apparent. The liaison officer also noted

2 that Mensud Kelestura, commander of the 325th BiH

3 Brigade was clearly totally uninterested in the

4 proceedings, threatening to walk out at regular

5 intervals."

6 Did you ever hear anything of that?

7 A. No.

8 Q. "Furthermore, there were no BiH

9 representatives from Kruscica, owing to the fact that

10 Croat women and children form a human wall, preventing

11 all access to the village."

12 Any evidence of that coming to you?

13 A. No.

14 Q. The meeting is reported as being: "Extremely

15 rancourous, with accusation and counter-accusation.

16 The theme, Merdan accused Cerkez of wanting to finish

17 the job started at Ahmici with reference to Kruscica

18 and the old town. Cerkez accused Merdan of reinforcing

19 Kruscica with troops from Novi Travnik."

20 Do you have any experience, in your contacts

21 with Merdan or Cerkez, of these accusations and

22 counter-accusations?

23 A. At that time, I was not seeing Mr. Cerkez at

24 all.

25 Q. "Our liaison officer reports that Merdan did

Page 17511

1 not deny this.

2 "Comment: While Kruscica is technically cut

3 off, it is possible for troops, if not heavy equipment,

4 to be moved across the mountains to the south."

5 Comment ends.

6 "The meeting concluded with nothing agreed

7 and both sides threatening a resumption of outright

8 hostilities.

9 "Comment: During the meeting, Cerkez

10 corroborated our own assessment by noting that the

11 Vitez HVO's military position seen in the wider

12 perspective of the Lasva Valley was not good. That he

13 should be threatening the action in light of this fact

14 merely demonstrates the level of tension at present.

15 He also threatened to shell Zenica should battle

16 recommence, which would undoubtedly escalate any

17 conflict beyond Vitez."

18 Were you aware of any threats to shell Zenica

19 about this time?

20 A. Please, I am repeating that I was not present

21 at that meeting. I did not hear that. I was busy at

22 the joint command in Travnik. This meeting was at a

23 lower level. I'm repeating that I was not present; I

24 did not attend it; I am not informed about this. This

25 is a local commission at a lower level, and I was not

Page 17512

1 there, and during that month, month and a half, I

2 simply did not meet with Mr. Mario Cerkez.

3 Q. And as to the judgement of the officer that

4 the HDZ was controlling the HVO, I suppose you would

5 disagree with that, would you?

6 A. The gentleman from UNPROFOR seemed to confuse

7 the HVO and the HDZ; however, they were not one in the

8 same thing. They simply did not care if somebody was a

9 member of the HVO, he called them HDZ or called the

10 members of the HDZ members of the HVO, but that was not

11 the same.

12 Q. When did you next return to Blaskic's

13 headquarters, roughly?

14 A. On the 6th of June.

15 Q. Did he tell you anything, just "yes" or "no"

16 at this stage, please, about receiving any report on

17 Ahmici?

18 A. When I returned, there was a fierce or

19 forceful offensive of the Armija forces against all

20 areas in Central Bosnia, and I was --

21 Q. I'm sorry. For reasons that have nothing to

22 do with you but to do with the general security of

23 these proceedings, I would be grateful if you could, on

24 this occasion, answer the question just "yes" or "no".

25 When you returned to Blaskic's headquarters

Page 17513

1 and thereafter, did he tell you anything at any stage

2 about receiving a report from one of his own staff on

3 Ahmici and the killings there? Just "yes" or "no",

4 please.

5 A. No.

6 Q. I think you can confirm that there was no

7 evidence coming to you of MOS soldiers infiltrating

8 Ahmici before the disaster there. You can confirm

9 that, can't you?

10 A. I have no information about that.

11 Q. You never heard of HOS being involved in

12 Ahmici, did you?

13 A. No. We never discussed Ahmici. We did not

14 take part in the discussion about Ahmici. We were busy

15 with other things. For a month and a half, we were

16 preparing plans for the struggle against the Serbs, and

17 all our efforts went in that direction.

18 Q. And, finally, nobody has ever suggested to

19 you and you've never seen any documentary material to

20 suggest that MOS soldiers kept the Muslim population

21 locked in Ahmici for the purposes of media and

22 propaganda?

23 A. The first material of Ahmici I saw, was when

24 the Detment [phoen] was published. I didn't have time

25 for anything else.

Page 17514

1 Q. I'll take that as a negative. On the 9th of

2 June, there was the Convoy of Joy, so you were now back

3 with Blaskic. Can you explain to the Judges, please,

4 how it is that Petkovic was unable to sort this problem

5 out, if that's what the evidence shows?

6 A. On the 6th of June, the BH army launched a

7 general offensive on Central Bosnia, and the order was

8 signed by Blaskic for the passage of the convoy towards

9 Zenica, that is, Tuzla. However, the situation -- in

10 view of the situation, a large number of refugees in

11 Bila, Nova Bila, Travnik, Novi Travnik, 20.000 refugees

12 from the municipality of Travnik, descended on that

13 area, and nobody could protect that convoy from the

14 people who wanted food, who wanted to eat something, to

15 have a drink of something, because a very large number

16 of refugees had indeed arrived. The convoy,

17 unfortunately, was made up of civilian population, and

18 it was simply impossible to protect it against such a

19 mass to do what it did.

20 From the command of the Operative Zone, we

21 were all on the ground because there was fierce

22 fighting going on, and that offensive lasted until the

23 8th and the 9th, and it never stopped, to stop the BH

24 army at individual places, to collect our dead, and we

25 had no time --

Page 17515

1 Q. The question remains, please, and it's quite

2 a simple question: The convoy was stopped by people,

3 whether orchestrated or not. How come Petkovic

4 couldn't solve the problem and Kordic did, please? You

5 were the Chief of Staff. We'll look at what the Chief

6 of Staff's functions were in a minute.

7 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think the witness really

8 cannot answer that. He's given his answer. Anything

9 else is by way of comment.

10 MR. NICE: Very well.

11 Q. On the 17th of June -- this requires another

12 exhibit. It's 1077. I beg your pardon. I'll come

13 back to that.

14 You remember this incident shortly before the

15 Convoy of Joy. On the 2nd of June, the man Zuti we

16 heard about yesterday, or his men, stole the car of

17 your fellow commission member, Alagic. Do you remember

18 that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. The witness Morsink dealt with it, and you

21 were able to assist in its return?

22 A. Yes, I helped, and it was returned.

23 Q. And Zuti had been involved in its theft?

24 A. I don't know if it was Zuti, but it was one

25 of his men. Whether Zuti himself, no, I don't know

Page 17516

1 that.

2 Q. It was certainly one of Zuti's men?

3 A. I guess so, I suppose so, because I went to

4 see Zuti. Zuti helped us to get it back. And the

5 present gentleman and I returned it all the next day at

6 1.00; not all the things, not the musical instruments

7 and things like that, but the car itself, we did bring

8 back, and certain other things.

9 Q. This group of Zuti's had been clearly engaged

10 in a simple act of theft or looting?

11 A. I can't -- I cannot say that.

12 Q. 1077, please. It's an outstanding exhibit.

13 We can see, if you look at the original, with

14 the English version on the screen, we can see that on

15 the 17th of June, Blaskic was sending orders to various

16 brigades, including the Vitezovi and other

17 special-purpose units, including Zuti, ordering to

18 prevent the arrests of civilians during combat

19 activities, the taking of hostages, and then to prevent

20 the torching and, item 3, to prevent all thefts and

21 removal of property. It says commanders of brigades

22 are responsible to him for implementation of the order.

23 Well, Zuti never did anything about the theft

24 of the car, did he?

25 A. Zuti perhaps did not. One of his men

Page 17517

1 probably did, and Zuti helped with these gentlemen. I

2 looked for Zuti. Zuti then helped to get it back.

3 When he heard that it had been done, he ordered that it

4 be returned. In front of me and in front of the

5 gentleman who was there, he slapped in the face the man

6 who had done that with his group and said that all

7 things had to be returned. Except for an accordion,

8 the musical instrument, I believe that everything else

9 was returned.

10 Q. Zuti was subsequently appointed by Blaskic as

11 an assistant commander of the active forces, wasn't he?

12 A. Yes, he was appointed.

13 Q. Is that the sort of people who Blaskic was

14 prepared to rely on at that time, people who were

15 involved with lawlessness?

16 A. I repeat once again. On the 6th of June, the

17 offensive started. We needed every man to defend the

18 territory. Had it not been placed under the command of

19 Blaskic, we would not have existed there anymore. We

20 would have all been dead or expelled from those lands.

21 So everything was placed under Blaskic's command on the

22 6th of June, and it was then that the unity of the

23 Croat people ensued, that is, all people. All the

24 units who were in that area joined together in the

25 joint struggle to save our lives in that area. Had we

Page 17518

1 not done that, we would not exist anymore.

2 Q. To just remind you. Zuti was the man who I

3 suggested to you yesterday you should have heard of as

4 expelling someone from his house quite improperly in

5 1992. You still have no recollection of that, do you?

6 A. No. I analyse it a little. In Nova Bila,

7 there were about two Muslims in a flat. I don't know

8 if either of them was evicted, so I tell you I cannot

9 say whether that did happen or did not happen. But I

10 analysed there were two Muslims in Nova Bila, only two

11 Muslims were there.

12 Q. You told us yesterday about some deaths --

13 you, no doubt, have the numbers in your mind -- killed

14 in the course of this conflict. Can you tell us,

15 please, how many of these were civilian and how many of

16 them were military, of those killed in Vitez, for

17 example?

18 A. It's hard to say how many were civilians and

19 how many were military. But, for instance, in the

20 village of Maljine, which was found without anything,

21 no weapons or anything, 48 persons disappeared from

22 that village, and to this day the graves have not been

23 found, nor has any search been made. Izetbegovic

24 ordered it, but Mujahedin put a stop to it, and to this

25 day neither the United Nations nor UNPROFOR

Page 17519













13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the

14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17520

1 investigated that place and found the graves of 48

2 people. What they were, I don't know, because there

3 were no units there, there were no weapons there.

4 And the man who I met was the teacher of fine

5 arts. He told me that story. But we never found those

6 people.

7 The villages of Cukle, Brajkovici, Gelkin

8 [phoen], and Nova Bila --

9 Q. To save time, you gave us some figures

10 yesterday, the total number of Croats killed in Vitez

11 and so on. May we at least take it that those figures

12 are composite figures of civilians and military,

13 please?

14 A. I can't. I didn't go into that. I know that

15 there were over 2.000 wounded in Vitez and more than

16 700 dead, but I really cannot remember. I think that

17 the majority -- well, there were quite a number of

18 civilians.

19 And allow me to point out: My mother, who

20 was 72 years old, was wounded by a sniper as she walked

21 from the house to the cow shed, and it was from a

22 distance of only 200 metres as the crow flies.

23 Q. I'm going to stop you. In October of 1993,

24 you were with Blaskic then?

25 A. Yes.

Page 17521

1 Q. Did you have any contacts with Kordic then?

2 A. No.

3 Q. You presumably know nothing about the events

4 in Stupni Do.

5 A. I know nothing.

6 Q. Would you, nevertheless, please look at this

7 video? It will take just a few minutes to play.

8 Exhibit 1292. Transcript coming.

9 MR. SAYERS: Once again, Mr. President, the

10 subject of Stupni Do did not arise during Brigadier

11 Nakic's direct examination, and we would respectfully

12 suggest that this line of questioning is beyond the

13 scope. In addition, he said he wasn't involved and

14 knows nothing about it.

15 MR. NICE: This isn't related to Stupni Do.

16 [Trial Chamber confers]

17 JUDGE MAY: Relevant matter might be

18 questioned, but how is this going to assist us,

19 Mr. Nice?

20 MR. NICE: Your Honour will see that, first

21 of all, it's part of the Defence case what the position

22 of Rajic is, and we'll see as soon as the 9th of

23 November what he's doing. It's also important to see

24 how he describes the operation carried on in Central

25 Bosnia, given the completely general evidence of this

Page 17522

1 witness that Kordic has nothing but political

2 responsibility. So this has double significance and

3 double relevance related to the evidence given by this

4 witness.

5 JUDGE MAY: Very well, but I'm looking at the

6 clock.

7 MR. NICE: Yes. It's the last piece of

8 evidence I'm going to deal with, and I think I have one

9 more question of this witness following on something

10 that one of Your Honour's colleagues raised earlier.

11 May it be played, please?

12 [Videotape played]

13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]

14 "REPORTER: It may so -- that say at Kiseljak

15 and help the refugees there. It was said that they

16 were not satisfied with the behaviour of the Croat

17 forces.

18 "RAJIC: I was moving two or three positions

19 to the Muslim forces around the town of Sarajevo as a

20 warning that if by 10th of November 1993 they do not

21 reinstate the situation in Sarajevo as it was, they

22 will then have to sustain coordinated artillery fire on

23 their positions and certain other facilities of

24 strategic importance to their forces. There is nothing

25 unclear here. They have resorted to violent measures,

Page 17523

1 and there is only one way to respond to that.

2 "REPORTER: Of course, the Serbian television

3 used Rajic's statement to blame the Croats for today's

4 shelling of Sarajevo. Early this morning, a grouping,

5 a movement of Croatian soldiers and equipment was

6 noticed near the Serbian defence lines in the area of

7 Kiseljak. Since there have been no armed conflicts

8 between Serbs and Croats in this area, so far the

9 command of the Igman Brigade had asked the competent

10 bodies in Kiseljak to explain the purpose of these

11 activities. This was the reason for our visit to the

12 area of Kiseljak in Herceg-Bosna.

13 "On one of the -- Colonel Ivica Rajic,

14 commander of the 2nd Zone of Operations in Central

15 Bosnia on one of those front lines told us:

16 "RAJIC: Our artillery has been placed in a

17 state of readiness because of the events in Vares and

18 the events in Sarajevo. As you may be aware, in the

19 treacherous offensive activities and actions, the

20 Muslim forces carried out acts which caused the exodus

21 of Croats from Vares towards Kiseljak while the actions

22 and measures of the 1st Corps command, headed by Vahid

23 Karavelic, regarding the Croats in Sarajevo, deprived

24 these people who have an age-old right to their own

25 political and military structure regardless of which

Page 17524

1 part of the territory they live in, they deprived

2 them. They were terrified by what happened on the 5th

3 of 11th -- of November. We have no contact whatsoever

4 with them.

5 "The political and military leadership in

6 Sarajevo placed the commander of the Kralj Tvrtko

7 Brigade in detention. We do not know about the fate of

8 the president of the HVO, Mr. Zelic, or his assistants

9 or the fate of 30.000 Croats of Sarajevo.

10 "It is our duty to warn the Muslims that

11 there are Croats who will not be forced to live under

12 Muslim rule as 1.200 members of the Kralj Tvrtko

13 Brigade who were forced by Mr. Karavelic to applaud

14 him. There are Croats who will not applaud him and who

15 will warn him that he cannot behave in that way, that

16 he will bear responsibility for all the things that are

17 bound to happen. It is my moral and patriotic duty,

18 and that is also the position of the military and

19 political leadership of Central Bosnia headed by

20 Mr. Dario Kordic, to make sure that the Muslims in

21 Sarajevo realise that the Croats of Sarajevo are not

22 lost. And I should like to tell them to be brave,

23 because this is only a passing stage, since the Muslims

24 have no chance of succeeding with their policies. They

25 will simply not get through."

Page 17525

1 MR. NICE: If we could stop there. Obviously

2 if anybody reading on wants the rest of it played, I'll

3 be happy to.

4 Q. Brigadier, that's Mr. Rajic, isn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Ivica Rajic. No question of his having been,

7 so far as you are aware, dismissed at that stage?

8 A. Yes, I know that he was dismissed.

9 Q. At this stage he's speaking for whom?

10 A. I don't know on behalf of whom he's speaking,

11 but I know fully well that while I worked in the joint

12 commission that he was dismissed by Milivoj Petkovic,

13 and I never saw him again with Dzemal Merdan, and he

14 was not present in the meetings in Kiseljak. So he was

15 not there. I was told that Ivica Rajic was not in

16 Kiseljak, that he had moved to Split and that he was in

17 that area.

18 Dzemal Merdan may be a witness, and he said

19 that he often asked himself where Ivica Rajic was. I

20 told him, "I don't know. I have not even seen him

21 myself," and --

22 Q. I don't want to cut you off, but please focus

23 on this question, which is the last one about this

24 television broadcast. When Rajic says that the

25 military and political leadership of Central Bosnia was

Page 17526

1 headed by Dario Kordic, he was doing no more than

2 speaking the truth on that topic, as you know.

3 A. He said this. I never would have said it in

4 this fashion because that was not my view.

5 Q. My last questions relate to the job of Chief

6 of Staff and follow a little from the question of His

7 Honour Judge Bennouna. Would you agree, certainly that

8 in the JNA, one of the functions of the Chief of Staff

9 would be to be constantly aware of the overall

10 situation on the zone of a corps' activities and report

11 to his commander, giving opinions and suggestions?

12 Would you accept that that is a proper

13 description of part of the functions of a chief of

14 staff? I'll say it again if you'd like it, or you can

15 read it. No, you can't. But I'll say it again if

16 you'd like me to.

17 A. Yes. I was -- I had a number of duties in

18 the JNA, and that would have been the regular duties of

19 the Chief of Staff had the conditions been regular.

20 But when I was -- when I joined the joint commission

21 and later, after the June 6 and 8, after the offensive

22 of the ABiH, until the Dayton Agreement we had to

23 defend ourselves. Had we not done so, we would not

24 have survived.

25 The Central Bosnia enclave --

Page 17527

1 Q. I'm going to cut you off, because I don't

2 think you're answering the question any further.

3 Somebody, I think, in evidence, described

4 your duties as being Blaskic's eyes and ears. Would

5 you accept that that was your job, put in short form?

6 A. In regular circumstances, yes, but what I

7 did -- and I know what I did, that is the truth. I am

8 telling you what I did. Had I only been the Chief of

9 Staff, that is what I should have done, but what I

10 actually did is what I told you yesterday and so far

11 today. So the conditions of my activity were something

12 else.

13 MR. NICE: Thank you.

14 Re-examined by Mr. Sayers:

15 Q. Brigadier, just about five minutes of

16 questions, if I may. You were asked about events in

17 Busovaca in May of 1992. Now, where were you in May of

18 1992, sir?

19 A. In the clothing factory during the day and at

20 night I was keeping watch as a village guard.

21 Q. Would it be fair to say then that you really

22 don't know anything about events in Busovaca that

23 occurred in May of 1992 of your own personal knowledge

24 or not?

25 A. That is correct. I don't know anything.

Page 17528

1 MR. SAYERS: While I have it in mind, Your

2 Honour, if I might make three brief adjustments to the

3 transcript. On page 44, lines 15 to 16, I believe the

4 words, "Regardless of the fact that he is a civilian,"

5 were omitted in the transcript. On page 72, line 24,

6 the word "and," a-n-d, should read "end." On page 44,

7 line 14, the date "April the 5th" appears. I think the

8 witness said June the 6th of 1993 in describing the

9 offensive, and that deals with that.

10 Actually, I'm pointed out by my colleague

11 that the word "end," e-n-d should read "and," and I'm

12 in error on the second adjustment that I made. Sorry

13 about that.

14 Q. You were asked some questions, sir, about a

15 document that you signed, Z391.1. You signed it as

16 Chief of Staff, and just to remind you, this is a

17 document that was sent on January the 25th, 1993 to

18 Colonel Stewart, informing him that further to his

19 request to meet with Colonel Blaskic, Colonel Blaskic

20 would, in fact, meet with General Simpson, Lieutenant

21 General Simpson in Kiseljak.

22 As far as you were aware, Brigadier, did

23 Colonel Blaskic indeed meet with Lieutenant General

24 Simpson in Blaskic [sic] at the end of January 1993 and

25 not in Vitez?

Page 17529

1 A. I don't recall. The General was in Kiseljak

2 and Colonel Blaskic -- but I don't recall whether they

3 met. I cannot speak to that.

4 Q. Very well. Now, in terms of the questions

5 that you were asked about, the supposed exchange

6 between Mr. Kordic and Major Jennings on February the

7 3rd dealing with an alleged delay of a prisoner

8 release, let me just ask you to be shown two exhibits,

9 if I may, Exhibit D54/1 and Exhibit D22/1.

10 MR. SAYERS: With the Trial Chamber's

11 permission, I actually have these, and I could just put

12 them on the ELMO rather than having the registrar --

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

14 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

15 Q. If I could show you first, sir, the ceasefire

16 agreement that you did sign on the 30th of January.

17 It's in English, but let me just read to you in English

18 paragraph 6. Arrangements were made for: "A

19 simultaneous release of all detainees to be organised

20 through the ICRC."

21 Now, you say, sir, I believe, that you did

22 not even travel to Busovaca until the 4th of February

23 of 1993. Is that correct?

24 A. Yes. That was the first meeting.

25 Q. And as of that date, sir, February 4th, no

Page 17530













13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the

14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17531

1 arrangements had been made through the ICRC for any

2 release of detainees, as far as you know?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Could I just show you the next exhibit,

5 D22/1. These were a series of orders that were signed

6 in Kiseljak, Brigadier, by General Hadzihasanovic and

7 Colonel Blaskic. I just want to deal with one of these

8 orders and it reads -- and let me just read it to you

9 in English. Its entitled "Imprisoned and Kept Persons

10 Release Order Command Delivered." And it says: "On

11 the basis of the joint order, command given by the BH

12 army main HQ Chief of Staff and the," two words I can't

13 read there, two letters, "HVO main HQ Chief of Staff,

14 on February the 11th, 1993." It says, "BH HVO main

15 HQ." Sorry.

16 Point one: "Arising or aiming at preventing

17 further conflicts between the BH army and the HVO of

18 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna in the Republic

19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and reducing tension, I order,

20 command:

21 "1. That all imprisoned and kept persons

22 should be released unconditionally and immediately by

23 February 15, 1993, not later than 1200 hours."

24 Were you familiar with that order that was

25 the product of the joint commission's work, sir?

Page 17532

1 A. Yes. This Joint Commission was involved,

2 together with the Red Cross, in release of prisoners.

3 There was 75 in Kiseljak in 1997, in Klokote, in the

4 gas utilities. This is what we were able to effect

5 with Dzemal Merdan within the auspices of the Red

6 Cross.

7 Q. Thank you, Brigadier. One final question on

8 this series of documents.

9 Are you aware of any orders ascribing or

10 prescribing a deadline for the release of prisoners

11 prior to this order signed by General Hadzihasanovic

12 for the ABiH and Colonel Blaskic for the HVO?

13 A. No, I'm not familiar with those.

14 Q. Thank you. You were asked some questions in

15 connection with an order that was signed by Brigadier

16 Milivoj Petkovic. You had not seen the order before,

17 and you were asked for your comments on that order.

18 Could I just ask for this exhibit to be

19 marked and put on the ELMO, please. Thank you.

20 Your Honours, since this just arose today,

21 this issue, I'm afraid I don't have an English

22 translation of this. But we'll have one as soon as

23 possible, and if I might, with the Trial Chamber's

24 permission, just have Mr. Naumovski read out the

25 salient part of this, since it is in his native

Page 17533

1 language and not mine.

2 JUDGE MAY: What is it that you're seeking to

3 have introduced?

4 MR. SAYERS: This is an interview with

5 General Petkovic, where he was asked specifically, Your

6 Honour, about the order that was shown to Brigadier

7 Nakic today and about which he was asked to comment,

8 and specifically point 5 of that order, where he

9 describes why this order was sent to Mr. Kordic.

10 JUDGE MAY: You can call Brigadier Petkovic

11 if you want to get this in. That's the right way to do

12 it.

13 MR. SAYERS: That's certainly our intent to

14 do so, Your Honour, but I was simply asking to show the

15 witness this document, even though he's not seen it

16 before, and comment upon the observation that

17 General Petkovic makes.

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Mr. Sayers, is there any

19 problem of the date here, April 29, 2000?

20 MR. SAYERS: No, I don't think so. That was

21 the date that this interview was published with

22 Brigadier Petkovic. Oh, I'm sorry, March.

23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: There's a mistake.

24 MR. SAYERS: I'm sorry, March the -- you're

25 far more eagle-eyed than I am, Your Honour. It is

Page 17534

1 March the 29th of this year.

2 [Trial Chamber deliberates]

3 JUDGE MAY: The solution that the Trial

4 Chamber arrives at is that you may put to the witness

5 what it is alleged that Mr. Petkovic says in this

6 interview. However, it's not to be made an exhibit,

7 and it won't, of course, be evidence. You can call

8 Petkovic on the point.

9 MR. SAYERS: I'm obliged to Your Honour.

10 Q. Brigadier Nakic, let me just suggest to you

11 that Brigadier Petkovic was asked about this order and

12 said, with respect to point 5 of it, which dealt

13 specifically with humanitarian issues, he says, with

14 respect to point 5 of that order:

15 "Turn to UNPROFOR for protection. Inform

16 Morillon. It is obvious what responsibilities people

17 had at what moment. Military actions, after five to

18 six days of fighting, were observed. The biggest

19 problem of the moment was humanitarian, getting

20 civilians from blocked villages, release of detainees,

21 accepting refugees and other. Isn't it logical to

22 request the help of UNPROFOR, and that was achieved by

23 a team of which Kordic was the head. Kordic had seven

24 to eight meetings at the UNPROFOR headquarters."

25 Now, I suggest to you, Brigadier, that that's

Page 17535

1 what Brigadier --

2 JUDGE MAY: That's a leading question.


4 Q. What's your view on that, Brigadier? Does

5 that sound correct to you or not?

6 A. I have my own opinion about this order. I

7 believed that it was properly directed, because we --

8 in the end, we had to seek the assistance of UNPROFOR

9 and Morillon. We were attacked from all sides, and the

10 order itself points out that we were in a very

11 difficult position, and that we were attacked, and that

12 we needed assistance. And it was not coming from

13 anywhere, and so we were forced to ask assistance from

14 everywhere, from UNPROFOR and Morillon, in order to

15 help us to stop the advances of the army of ABiH.

16 Busovaca was reduced to 30 per cent, Travnik

17 municipality also 30 per cent, and others, 17 and 7

18 per cent of the territory which was under our control

19 originally.

20 Q. All right, thank you. Now, you were asked

21 one question about the April the 28th convoy incident

22 or alleged incident, and you said you didn't know

23 anything about it. Is it right that this incident, if

24 it happened, was never raised at any time in the

25 Travnik Joint Commission as one of the incidents that

Page 17536

1 needed resolution between the ABiH and the HVO; is that

2 correct, sir, or not?

3 A. Can you please help me? Can you give me the

4 exact incident and the date? What are you referring

5 to?

6 Q. It's alleged in this case that a convoy was

7 detained, a humanitarian aid convoy was detained in the

8 Busovaca area.

9 A. I don't know anything about that.

10 Q. And just so the record is clear, and my last

11 question for you, Brigadier, relating to the visits

12 that you paid to the Merdani-Strane area, you no doubt

13 recall being asked a question by one of the Judges

14 regarding your comment that people who were trying to

15 rob, or loot, or steal should be lynched. Now, does

16 this apply regardless of their ethnicity? Whether they

17 were Croat or Muslim, people who were trying to rob

18 people or steal in this area, that was your

19 recommendation, that these people be dealt with

20 harshly, or isn't it?

21 A. Regardless of ethnicity. It referred to

22 everyone. I was -- I said that they could be lynched,

23 regardless of who they were, if they did those things.

24 Q. Right. But only if people from outside the

25 villages were trying to rob, loot, or steal, or commit

Page 17537

1 other violent acts, was it your recommendation that

2 they be meeted out similar treatment or not?

3 A. Anyone who is going to rob, I said that the

4 village should get organised and lynch them.

5 MR. SAYERS: Thank you. No further

6 questions, Your Honour.

7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, perhaps while the

8 witness is here, I also notice one omission in the

9 transcript.

10 On page 19, line 25, there the witness said

11 in one moment that he personally kept an account with

12 the bank which was here branded as Muslims' bank, and I

13 guess both counsel and witness were a little bit too

14 fast and there is an omission. It's usually my

15 department to be too fast, but it was the case, and I

16 think it should be --

17 JUDGE MAY: He said he has an account with

18 the bank.

19 MR. KOVACIC: Right, and that line is not --

20 about the bank which was branded as a Muslim bank.

21 JUDGE MAY: Is that right, Brigadier Nakic,

22 that you had an account with that bank?

23 A. Yes, that was my bank. That is where I kept

24 an account throughout my life and even during the war.

25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

Page 17538

1 Thank you for coming, Brigadier Nakic. That

2 concludes your evidence. You're free to go.

3 [The witness withdrew]

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE MAY: Well, now what are you asking us

6 to do, Mr. Sayers?

7 MR. SAYERS: Given the lateness of the hour,

8 Mr. President, it seems to me, especially given the

9 time estimate from counsel for Mr. Cerkez on

10 cross-examination, it doesn't really make sense to

11 start this witness's examination, and we'll just have

12 to have him come back.

13 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's unfortunate that he's

14 had to come again, but I think that will be the only

15 way to deal with it. It's too late to start on another

16 witness.

17 But there are other matters we wanted to

18 raise in a Status Conference to do with the Defence

19 list of witnesses. It may be convenient to deal with

20 that now.

21 Mr. Sayers, is there any reason why we

22 shouldn't deal with this in open session?

23 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely not, unless

24 particular witnesses need to be addressed whose

25 identity has been revealed in confidential submissions

Page 17539

1 to the Court, but I don't think that we need to mention

2 their names.

3 JUDGE MAY: No. It's the public document

4 which you produced.

5 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

6 JUDGE MAY: And you can perhaps assist us

7 with the precise nature of this document containing, as

8 it does, 159 potential witnesses, and it was the

9 extensive nature of that which led us to order you to

10 justify the size of it, given the circumstances of the

11 case.

12 Having looked at the list and the documents,

13 I find that it could, in fact, be much shorter. I have

14 in mind that some of the witnesses are, first of all,

15 Prosecution witnesses, and the usual rule, as I

16 understand it in relation to Prosecution witnesses, is,

17 of course, that they are Prosecution witnesses, and

18 what you may be entitled to do is to have them

19 recalled, but certainly not to make them your own

20 witnesses.

21 There are a number of, I notice, members of

22 the ABiH and UNPROFOR, and there are equally a number

23 of witnesses of very doubtful relevance; for instance,

24 a number of witnesses called to prove that Mr. Kordic

25 was not the cousin of Mate Boban. Those sort of

Page 17540

1 matters, it seems to me, probably don't need much

2 evidence to substantiate.

3 Now, can you tell us what your position is?

4 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

5 Let me address the specific questions first,

6 and then I'll address the general issue that you

7 raise.

8 First, with respect to the Prosecution

9 witnesses, there are discreet matters which we would

10 like to reach an agreement on with the Prosecution,

11 obviously. We do not anticipate that there will be a

12 problem with that, and the one or two -- I believe it's

13 one or two, Mr. Akhavan and perhaps Brigadier Duncan --

14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Rebihic.

15 MR. SAYERS: I do not believe that we listed

16 Dr. Ribicic in our list, Your Honour. You mean

17 Mr. Rebihic from the ABiH?

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

19 MR. SAYERS: The only issue that we would

20 seek to raise with him would be the locus of the

21 videotapes and the contemporaneous reports that were

22 testified about by the witness Sulejman Kalco.

23 With respect to Mr. Akhavan, it's one very

24 discreet issue. It shouldn't take more than five

25 minutes, even if he were called, and I certainly hope

Page 17541













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Page 17542

1 that he would not have to be. But I believe I have

2 already averted to that. It's a report that he had

3 prepared prior to the documents about which he

4 testified, and it bears somewhat materially on one

5 issue. But it's a very short matter.

6 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you could reach

7 agreement with the Prosecution about how that should be

8 presented to the Trial Chamber, and if there's new

9 material, it can simply be put in.

10 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour, and I believe

11 actually in all of the summaries that we prepared of

12 the anticipated testimony of these witnesses, we

13 explained that for Mr. Akhavan and also Brigadier

14 Duncan. It's not that we actually intend to call all

15 these witnesses, but we would like to reserve our right

16 to do so in the absence that we are not able to reach

17 an agreement. But I cannot imagine that we would not

18 be.

19 Turning to the other issue that Your Honour

20 raises, the witnesses to prove lineage and family

21 relationship, I completely concur. One witness should

22 be sufficient, two at the most, and we only listed a

23 number of witnesses to prove the same point in the

24 event that we weren't able to get our first and second

25 choices, just out of an exercise of caution.

Page 17543

1 That leads me into the general point that

2 Your Honour raised regarding the apparently significant

3 number of witnesses that we have listed. I certainly

4 hope that it's clear from the statements that I've made

5 to the Trial Chamber and also in the paper that we

6 submitted in response to the scheduling order's

7 directive that we do not intend to call all of these

8 witnesses or anywhere close to them. But -- and I must

9 say the last week's experiences have been somewhat

10 corroborative of this fear -- getting witnesses to the

11 Tribunal is not always the easiest job in terms of

12 persuading them to appear to testify.

13 We hope that we will be successful in getting

14 our first-choice witnesses here. We think we will be

15 able to. But if we're not able to get our first-choice

16 witnesses, then it may be necessary to call one, two,

17 perhaps three witnesses to prove what we had hoped to

18 prove with one.

19 But the general point that I wish to stress

20 with the Trial Chamber is that it seems that the focus

21 on the mere number of witnesses is perhaps not

22 appropriate. It's really the time taken, and we fully

23 anticipate -- we've already told the Trial Chamber that

24 we expect to be through by the August recess, and I

25 hope to be through earlier than that.

Page 17544

1 One factor, of course, is cross-examination,

2 and I'm sure it hasn't escaped the Trial Chamber's

3 notice -- it certainly hasn't escaped mine -- that the

4 cross-examination of the two witnesses who have

5 testified so far has taken twice as long as their

6 direct examination. If that remains the case, we may

7 have some difficult decisions to make. But it's my

8 intention to keep that assurance to the Trial Chamber

9 and to have our case complete by the August recess, and

10 a month earlier if possible.

11 JUDGE MAY: If that's the objective, then, of

12 course, there could be no criticism. It was the number

13 of witnesses with which the Trial Chamber was

14 apparently faced which was the matter of concern.

15 But also there are matters which you should

16 look at in terms of relevance. There are, for

17 instance, the friends and relations of the accused who

18 apparently you propose to call. In my view, that could

19 be dealt with with one witness, and other matters of

20 character could be dealt with by way of affidavits or,

21 indeed, statements.

22 MR. SAYERS: If I may say so, Your Honour,

23 that is precisely the way that we had intended to deal

24 with that. These witnesses will appear or a number of

25 them will appear -- many of them will appear by way of

Page 17545

1 affidavit, I hope. Obviously, there are some

2 procedural and temporal challenges and other challenges

3 perhaps that we face in that regard, but we'll do our

4 best to surmount them in an expeditious way.

5 As I told the Trial Chamber, we'll try to

6 comply with Rule 94 ter, the letter and the spirit of

7 it, because as I've previously made clear, we believe

8 this will -- prescribes the provision of affidavits of

9 a purely corroborative nature but before a live witness

10 testifies, so that an interrogating party can put

11 particular issues raised by the affidavits to the

12 testifying witness and be in a position to object to

13 the affiance testimony, if he needs to be, within the

14 seven days prescribed by the Rule. We're going to try

15 to comply with that, and we would anticipate a rather

16 large number of affidavits rather than live testimony.

17 That's one of the ways in which we hoped that we would

18 be able to meet the August deadline that we've set

19 ourselves.

20 JUDGE MAY: The other area is the areas which

21 may be accepted where you say that there were attacks,

22 such as Dusina, Miletici, where there has been evidence

23 during the Prosecution case, and it seems to me you

24 don't need to repeat that evidence when it hasn't been

25 disputed.

Page 17546

1 MR. SAYERS: It's not disputed, Your Honour,

2 and if appropriate stipulations could be worked out,

3 that would be a perfectly acceptable mechanism for us.

4 I think I've described in the opening

5 statement what our case is on persecution, and if we

6 can reach agreements regarding the historical facts,

7 then the Trial Chamber is certainly free to reach its

8 own inferences and conclusions based on the evidence

9 presented to it.

10 JUDGE MAY: Are you in a position to draft

11 the stipulations, as you would call them, those that

12 you want? I mean within reason.

13 MR. SAYERS: Of course.

14 JUDGE MAY: That, for instance, sets out the

15 facts, as you put them, merely as facts in relation to

16 an incident, and it may be that the Prosecution can

17 agree to the facts without the interpretation to be put

18 upon them, which, of course, is a different matter.

19 MR. SAYERS: I see no reason, Your Honour, to

20 include argumentative phraseology and stipulations of

21 raw, objective fact. Names, dates, numbers, those are

22 the kinds of things that I would anticipate being the

23 stuff of stipulations and not forensic arguments that

24 might be appropriate in papers submitted at the close

25 of the case.

Page 17547

1 JUDGE MAY: The other two areas I wanted to

2 deal with are these:

3 I noticed, for a start, that you've listed 11

4 experts. I don't anticipate you'll need that number.

5 MR. SAYERS: I don't anticipate we'll need

6 11 experts either. Our current thinking, subject to

7 revision, but our current thinking is a maximum of

8 six. Three of them should be extremely short, and one

9 of those three should be no more than ten minutes.

10 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think you should aim to

11 call, if you want, the same number and on the same

12 topic as the Prosecution. It seems to me -- I'm again

13 speaking purely personally, this isn't a decision of

14 the Trial Chamber -- but it seems to me to be fair that

15 we apply the equality of arms principle, and you

16 should, of course, call the same number but no more

17 than the Prosecution on the various topics on which

18 they did. If you want to call more, you can apply to

19 do so.

20 MR. SAYERS: We're obviously in the Trial

21 Chamber's hands in that regard, but I can tell you that

22 we have a historian, obviously, a sociologist. We have

23 an artillery ballistics engineer.

24 JUDGE MAY: That's on the Zenica shelling?

25 MR. SAYERS: Yes. And two military experts,

Page 17548

1 and that may resolve itself into one. I think that --

2 and then we also have an audiotape expert. And I think

3 the circumstances there are such that some latitude may

4 be appropriately given to the Defence, since no

5 audiotape expert was called by the --

6 JUDGE MAY: Of course, you're entitled to do

7 that if you're challenging a piece of evidence. If the

8 Prosecution want, they can rebut it, of course. But

9 that list seems to me, without looking at the detail,

10 to be reasonable.

11 As I recollect, the Prosecution had two

12 witnesses, Drs. Donia and Allcock, save the historian

13 and sociologist. They had an expert on the Zenica

14 shelling. I'm not sure about the military expert,

15 where he or she fits in.

16 MR. SAYERS: We hope to persuade the Trial

17 Chamber that the military expert will fit in.

18 Basically, the expert that we've lined up is an expert

19 who's analogous, if you like, to Mr. Alfred, the front

20 lines expert, and will give testimony about the

21 relative positions of the warring factions, their

22 strengths and movements of forces during the period of

23 conflict.

24 JUDGE MAY: The only other area is this:

25 that I've noticed that you are calling a large number

Page 17549

1 of witnesses or you have on your list a large number of

2 witnesses about Vares and rebutting Witness AO,

3 somewhere in the region of 17. No doubt you will be

4 looking at those to see whether they're all necessary.

5 MR. SAYERS: Once again, Your Honour, we

6 anticipate many of those witnesses will testify by way

7 of affidavit. But we think at least three or four

8 witnesses need to testify live, because that witness

9 gives the only testimony that essentially connects

10 Mr. Kordic to the events at Stupni Do in any tangential

11 way.

12 JUDGE MAY: And, likewise, Busovaca, and I

13 acknowledge that has played a central part in the case,

14 but, nonetheless, I see you have over, I think, 20

15 witnesses.

16 MR. SAYERS: Once again, Your Honour, we will

17 try to maximise the use of affidavits. We will call,

18 to the extent that we can, the central characters who

19 have featured in the testimony so far. We do not

20 intend to abust [phoen] the Trial Chamber's patience or

21 its resources through the unnecessary production of

22 duplicative evidence.

23 JUDGE MAY: You can't be responsible for the

24 time which is spent in cross-examination, but I

25 anticipate that that will be shorter with other

Page 17550

1 witnesses than it has been with these two. Provided

2 you stick to what you said, then there will be no

3 criticism. But from time to time, we will want to know

4 where you're going, what witnesses you intend to call,

5 so that we can keep an idea of the full position.

6 MR. SAYERS: Well, if I may, Your Honour, I

7 believe that I've always kept our estimates of the time

8 taken in cross-examination with the Trial Chamber, and

9 we certainly intend to keep our word regarding the time

10 taken for the presentation of our case.

11 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Sayers,

13 regarding the question of the witnesses, of live

14 witnesses, what we could ask you, we know it is your

15 concern -- it was your concern during the Prosecution's

16 case that the summaries were arriving not on the eve or

17 right at the moment when somebody started but well in

18 advance, and you know it is really useful to have the

19 summaries sometime in advance in order to know what

20 will be the substance of the testimony.

21 I know that there was the Prosecutor's case,

22 and you were objecting then, and then insufficient

23 evidence, and so on and so forth. You were very busy;

24 we know that. But in the future, could you please make

25 an effort and try to give us the summaries of

Page 17551

1 testimonies in advance, because we should really like

2 to go through them before we enter the courtroom and

3 begin the hearing.

4 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, speaking as the

5 recipient of the work obligations caused by the tardy

6 delivery of the witness summaries in the Prosecution's

7 case, believe me, I fully appreciate the burdens that

8 are thrust upon the opposing party, and we will do our

9 best, provided we can get our witnesses here and

10 coordinate their attendance through the Victims and

11 Witnesses Unit a little earlier than we were able to

12 this week, since in many -- many occasions these

13 witnesses didn't arrive until the night before they

14 were, on some occasions, before they were supposed to

15 testify.

16 I can also say that from experience, I now

17 understand the challenges, perhaps, that are faced in

18 getting witnesses to sign statements and the

19 obligations that counsel face in making sure that the

20 summaries of the evidence are accurate and that the

21 witness -- that they are expressed in the witness's

22 words and not ours, but it does take some time.

23 I will assure the Trial Chamber that we will

24 do our best to make sure as much advanced notice as we

25 can give to the Trial Chamber and to the Prosecution of

Page 17552













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14 English and French transcripts.












Page 17553

1 these summaries will be given.

2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

3 MR. NICE: Perhaps I could raise a couple of

4 matters. The summaries, as they presently are formed,

5 simply don't enable us adequately to prepare any

6 witness, and of course our position is different from

7 the Defence because the Defence always have the full

8 witness statements of witnesses beforehand from which

9 the summaries were prepared. We've asked the Defence

10 whether there are statements they're prepared to

11 provide in respect of any of these witnesses, earlier

12 statements of any form, and apparently the answer is

13 "no", so that we simply -- we're in a very different

14 position from the Defence, and it's very difficult, if

15 not impossible, to prepare adequately on the basis of

16 these summaries. It's certainly not possible for us,

17 on the basis of these summaries, to agree to anything

18 or admit anything in the way that we could if we had a

19 statement.

20 At the moment, we've had the names of, I

21 think, five or six witnesses, the first one of whom's

22 not been able to attend, but we don't have any other

23 running list of witnesses.

24 Now, I think the original order of the Court

25 was to two weeks, and we immediately provided the first

Page 17554

1 six weeks of witnesses. I think our first list was of

2 35 witnesses, and we attempted -- although we suffered,

3 as Mr. Sayers correctly reminds us all, we suffered

4 from problems of various surprises, which meant we had

5 to change the order, but we kept keeping the list up to

6 date so that in the Defence case, they were always

7 able, if they had the resources, and I trust and

8 believe they did, to prepare witnesses quite a long way

9 in advance, or partially to prepare them, and so on.

10 We cannot do that unless we have a list out

11 of this 160 of those they're intending to call for the

12 first six weeks or something like that. We can do some

13 preparatory work, and then we can do the rest of our

14 preparatory work when we get the summaries.

15 The earlier, the better. The earlier, the

16 greater the possibility of admissions. But I would ask

17 if there is to be no provision of earlier statements,

18 that there is a list of witnesses to be called,

19 recognising that the order may have to change, and that

20 that list take care of at least six weeks, as I think

21 the order envisaged when it was originally made.

22 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with that. I mean as

23 I said earlier, Mr. Nice, to you, the Tadic Appeals

24 decision is quite clear on this. Paragraph 319:

25 "There is no blanket right for the

Page 17555

1 Prosecution to see the witness statement of a Defence

2 witness. The Prosecution has the power only to apply

3 for disclosure of a statement after the witness has

4 testified, with the Chamber retaining the discretion to

5 make a decision based on the particular circumstances

6 of the case in hand."

7 Now, that's the law. Clearly, there has to

8 be some practical rules in the matter, and that is that

9 you should be notified in advance so you can make your

10 preparations of the witnesses to be called.

11 Mr. Sayers, that is fair enough. What do you

12 say? They ask for six weeks worth of witnesses.

13 MR. SAYERS: Let me just say two things, Your

14 Honour.

15 It's true that a request has been made to the

16 Defence for the disclosure of all witness statements of

17 the witnesses that we intend to call. It's also true

18 that I have written back to the Prosecution saying that

19 as far as we are aware, there aren't any. There are

20 not any statements that we're aware of the witnesses

21 that we intend to call having been made.

22 We've also been requested for all of our

23 interview notes with all of our witnesses, and with all

24 due respect, we have declined that gracious invitation,

25 and I can't imagine anything that would cause us to

Page 17556

1 reconsider that. That's absolutely confidential and

2 our work product.

3 Secondly, the discussion that we've been

4 having right now makes it difficult for us to predict

5 witnesses six weeks in advance. We gave the

6 Prosecution the list of witnesses. We intend to call

7 witnesses, as I said, in an organised way by category

8 and not higgledy-piggledy. The first category is the

9 military witnesses, and I'm more than happy to provide

10 the Prosecution -- when we've met with our witnesses

11 for the upcoming two weeks of trial, since I don't

12 think we're going to be able, in all candor to the

13 Court, to be able to prepare a month in advance because

14 I can't predict what's going to happen, what the Trial

15 Chamber is going to say it doesn't need to hear

16 evidence on or it's heard enough evidence on, but I

17 think certainly for the two weeks beginning on May the

18 2nd, we could be in a position to give the Prosecution

19 the identity of those people, other than the ones that

20 are already on the -- in the bullpen, to use an

21 expression from American baseball; i.e.,

22 Colonel Vukovic is the next witness, or Colonel

23 Gelic -- Major Gelic, rather. We had wanted to call

24 Major Gelic first because he naturally fits in, and we

25 may start out with him. We probably will, in fact, and

Page 17557

1 then call Colonel Vukovic.

2 Our third witness would be another military

3 police commander, but that's subject to a request

4 that's pending before the Court. We can't call that

5 witness without a resolution of the issues that remain

6 outstanding.

7 I can also inform the Court that we had

8 intended to start municipality by municipality, and the

9 first municipality would be Zenica. But once again,

10 that's subject -- one of the witnesses that we had

11 intended to call with respect to Zenica in the first

12 two weeks is a witness for whom a request is pending

13 with the Registry right now. And pending the

14 resolution of that, we may have to shift gears, not put

15 evidence regarding Zenica on but, rather, choose

16 another municipality.

17 In addition, one of the witnesses is an

18 European Community Monitoring Mission monitor, and we

19 can't call that witness without the resolution of the

20 third issue that remains to be decided. Obviously, I'm

21 not free to mention that, because those are matters

22 which are ex parte.

23 JUDGE MAY: I recognise you have problems,

24 but rather than the recital of problems, you can let

25 the Prosecution have a list of witnesses you intend to

Page 17558

1 call as far as possible.

2 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely.

3 JUDGE MAY: And take it some way further down

4 the list beyond those immediate ones with whom you have

5 difficulties.

6 MR. SAYERS: If I might suggest, we can

7 probably project out perhaps three weeks into the

8 future.


10 MR. SAYERS: Although the third week may turn

11 out to be as aspirational, shall we say, as the first

12 six weeks of witness lists that we got from the

13 Prosecution at the beginning of this case.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

15 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

16 MR. NICE: I'm grateful for that. A couple

17 of things. I think, in fact, we gave six weeks, and I

18 think the order of the Court, although it may have been

19 capable of a particularly narrow construction, spoke of

20 filing the first half of summaries of the witnesses it

21 intends to call, including all the witness it intends

22 to call in the first six weeks of the case. And I must

23 say, with our resources, which are now reduced from

24 what they were in the course of the Prosecution case,

25 the Tribunal, as the Chamber will know, has got a lot

Page 17559

1 of work now and you will see that we have effectively

2 lost the service of Mr. Lopez-Terres. He is not likely

3 to appear further because he is got other things to

4 do. He may do but I think it's unlikely. We would be

5 grateful of a list of six weeks' witnesses and that

6 will help us shorten matters.

7 Can I make a couple of other points about

8 witnesses? There's obviously two summaries that must

9 be available now, and it would be of considerable

10 assistance to us if they were provided now and then we

11 can prepare for those witnesses who are going to come

12 immediately after the Easter break.

13 As to Prosecution witnesses referred to on

14 the Defence witness list, I've already taken the view

15 that the appropriate course would be to have them

16 recalled if appropriate and, therefore, I have avoided

17 talking to them, in particular, of course, about the

18 issues that are raised in the summaries, because it

19 seemed to me that the proper way to deal with it would

20 be either do I have the material or simply to have the

21 witness back in the case of Mr. Akhavan.

22 So I hope that by one means or another this

23 has been resolved quickly, because it's not a

24 particular inconvenience but it's slightly inconvenient

25 not being able to talk to people in a relaxed way

Page 17560

1 whenever you bump into them. I'd like to know and then

2 I can either have him recalled and he can --

3 THE INTERPRETER: Can you slow down please,

4 Mr. Nice. Could the counsel slow down, please.

5 MR. NICE: [Previous translation

6 continues] ... him very often. I'm sorry for going too

7 fast.

8 Can I just mention a couple of other things?

9 We notice that there is no summary from the defendant,

10 although the position is reserved as to whether he

11 should be recalled -- when should be called. It seems

12 to us, given the Rules of the Chamber, that it's

13 perfectly possible that there should be such a

14 summary. The Chamber might, of course, like to

15 consider that.

16 It's arguable whether an alibi notice should

17 be served in respect of the 20th-21st of January

18 incident. Perhaps the defendants could think about

19 that.

20 Having dealt with the only legal issues that

21 I think I've got to deal with, can I turn to a

22 timetable problem. I think to some degree I speak not

23 just for the lawyers on this side of the court but for

24 all. The addition of the two days, the 13th and 14th

25 of June, in the middle of a period that had been

Page 17561

1 blocked off as not sitting is by no means convenient to

2 any of us, because people have made other arrangements,

3 including private and family ones.

4 I know, from our own experience, that it may

5 prove to be difficult, or put it this way: More

6 difficult than otherwise to get two witnesses or to get

7 one or two witnesses who simply occupy such a short

8 period of time. And I understand that the difficulties

9 we face in respect of those two days are faced as well

10 by certainly the lawyers representing Mr. Cerkez.

11 I wondered whether it would be possible,

12 subject to the availability of Your Honour and His

13 Honour Judge Robinson, I wonder whether it would be

14 possible, if there was forthcoming consent, to sit not

15 just the first three days of the previous week but to

16 sit the full four and a half days, for I understand

17 from Mr. Sayers that it might be the case, if it were

18 possible to do that, that that would suit the parties'

19 convenience all round and, on our experience, would

20 make disruption by and of the calling of witnesses less

21 likely. But I think there is a general concern about

22 sitting on those two days of the 13th and 14th because

23 of the way it cuts into a blank period without our

24 having been given an earlier opportunity to arrange our

25 affairs.

Page 17562

1 JUDGE MAY: There's a problem about the Rules

2 in that respect. The Rules allow for three days.

3 That's the problem.

4 The difficulty about these long cases is that

5 as we've said at the outset, we can never be certain

6 precisely how things are going to turn out, and I hope

7 that when a blank period appears, people will not

8 automatically assume, unless it says that it is a

9 recess, that it is one. What's happened here is that

10 another case has had to take precedence in that week

11 and at the moment, we propose to stick to the

12 timetable, but we'll hear any other submissions and

13 we'll consider it. I mean you're not saying it's

14 impossible for the Prosecution.

15 MR. NICE: No, I'm not saying it's

16 impossible. It will be difficult.

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Well, we'll hear what

18 anybody else has to say about it.

19 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, Ms. Verhaag reminds me

20 that in her absence I dealt with Exhibit Z120. It was

21 from the outstanding exhibits, and, therefore, could it

22 now be considered as admitted. Thank you.

23 JUDGE MAY: Does anybody else want to say

24 anything about that or about anything but about that

25 week in particular?

Page 17563

1 MR. SAYERS: With respect to the week

2 mentioned by Mr. Nice, we're in the Trial Chamber's

3 hands. I have no opposition to the request that he

4 makes.

5 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, just one sentence

6 to add to the same proposal. Of course we are in the

7 hands of the Chamber, and we knew from the beginning

8 that those days, even blank, probably would be planned

9 as working days for us, and we did so. However, if you

10 just take into account when ultimately you'll decide on

11 that during the course, that we, when travelling,

12 indeed practically we are losing four days, because we

13 have to travel one day earlier -- that is the only

14 connection -- then we stay two days here and then

15 travel one day back. So instead of working, let's say,

16 seven days or ten days in a row in our offices on the

17 defence, we have to waste two days.

18 So it's no problem when we are travelling for

19 a week, two weeks, five, six weeks, but sometimes --

20 you know, it's just a feeling, nothing else than that.

21 Thank you, sir.

22 [Trial Chamber confers]

23 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll consider that

24 matter. Unless there are any other matters, we'll

25 adjourn until the 2nd of May.

Page 17564

1 MR. NICE: There's no other matters save that

2 there's something that could have been dealt with by ex

3 parte. I shan't ask for an ex parte hearing. I will

4 communicate something through Ms. Featherstone in the

5 usual way.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

8 at 4.02 p.m., to be reconvened on

9 Tuesday, the 2nd day of May, 2000

10 at 9.30 a.m.