Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 9133

1 Monday, 1st November, 1999

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.

5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning Your Honours.

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

7 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

9 MR. SAYERS: Good morning, Mr. President.

10 May it please the Court, two small issues.

11 First, there are some preliminary matters, I

12 think that they were alluded to a week ago, that need

13 to be addressed. And we would greatly appreciate it if

14 the Court could keep in mind that we would prefer to

15 have these issues addressed sooner rather than later;

16 for example the dead, unwilling and unavailable

17 witnesses. We think that those issues serve no one's

18 interest by being left hanging, and we would appreciate

19 it if the Court would carve aside, perhaps, an hour to

20 discuss these and some other issues that we would like

21 to bring up at some convenient point.

22 Secondly, the next witness is Major Mark

23 William Bower. We have just received a copy of the

24 offer of proof, which is 24 pages in length. From

25 looking at the proposed testimony of this witness, we

Page 9134

1 would like to make some applications before the Court.

2 First, the testimony of this witness seems to

3 be almost completely duplicative of the testimony of

4 Lee Whitworth, who was also a liaison officer with the

5 first battalion of the Prince of Wales Own Regiment,

6 just as is Major Bower. Their time on the territory

7 pretty much overlapped and it appears to me, from a

8 brief scrutiny of the document that we've just been

9 given, that the testimony is almost completely

10 duplicative of that offered by former Captain

11 Whitworth. Therefore, in terms of considerations of

12 time and so forth, we would object to his testifying at

13 all.

14 But if he's permitted to testify, there are

15 three or four areas where I think that the Court has

16 already heard substantial evidence on matters that are

17 nowhere charged in the amended indictment. Let me be

18 specific.

19 First, there is the issue relating to the

20 Convoy of Joy on June the 10th and 11th, 1993. This

21 matter was already addressed at length by Mr. Whitworth

22 and by other witnesses. I don't think that it needs to

23 be addressed any further. Especially when it's

24 completely outside the specific events charged in the

25 amended indictment.

Page 9135

1 Second, there are some statements made from

2 -- made by an interpreter about whom the Court has

3 already heard evidence, Dobrila Kolaba, who is

4 obviously not available to be cross-examined and those

5 statements need to be assessed for reliability in due

6 course. Obviously, provided the appropriate foundation

7 can be laid, then perhaps the evidence may be

8 admitted. But we just want the Court to be aware that

9 there are double hearsay concerns connected with some

10 of those statements.

11 Third, there are two incidents which -- about

12 which the Court has already heard extensive evidence.

13 The actual killing of Ms. Kolaba.

14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,

15 Mr. Sayers. Excuse me, Mr. Sayers. Could you tell us

16 each time the number which is involved in respect of

17 the questions that you are speaking about, so that we

18 can follow it on the documents.

19 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour, I'll do my

20 best. I apologise for flipping through this, but I've

21 just been give the document and I haven't had a chance

22 to scrutinise it carefully.

23 With respect to Ms. Kolaba, I believe that's

24 page 20, paragraph 135, 136, 137, and 138.

25 Another issue about which the Trial Chamber

Page 9136

1 has already heard extensive evidence is the HVO assault

2 on the Grbavica feature on September the 8th, and

3 that's addressed at paragraphs 140 to 150.

4 Once again we would point out to the Trial

5 Chamber that that incident is nowhere specifically

6 alluded to in the amended indictment and since it's of

7 peripheral relevance anyway --

8 JUDGE MAY: Is it in dispute, that there was

9 such an assault?

10 MR. SAYERS: No, which is one additional

11 reason, Your Honour, why we object to any further

12 cumulative unnecessary testimony on this.

13 And there is also, and I don't have it

14 readily to hand. Perhaps the Prosecution can help me.

15 There is further testimony about the shooting incident

16 involving the UNHCR driver identified by the name of

17 Boris and some conclusions that emerge from that. I

18 think Mr. Whitworth has already gone into that. It's

19 not disputed that the gentleman was shot. It's not

20 charged anywhere in the amended indictment and I simply

21 do not think and we would submit to the Court that it

22 is not necessary to hear any more evidence on that.

23 Thank you very much.

24 MR. NICE: I'll get Mr. Scott to deal with

25 details of Mr. Bower's evidence, because he's been

Page 9137

1 dealing with him. I thought you would like to know

2 what the position about witnesses is generally for this

3 week, although I think there's been a letter setting

4 our position out.


6 MR. NICE: We had very, very considerable

7 difficulties because two substantial witnesses pulled

8 out at the last minute for reasons that were good for

9 them and probably are good, given that they have

10 competing international responsibilities, I think. In

11 any event, they pulled out.

12 There are four witnesses available for this

13 week. This is the first. There's objection taken to

14 one of them by the defence, Schipper, because he --

15 although listed, wasn't identified until the last

16 minute or relatively last minute last week as somebody

17 we intended to call this week. We've made arrangements

18 to have him here. We hope the defence can cooperate.

19 Because without that witness, there was every

20 probability that time would otherwise not be used. We

21 simply couldn't find anybody else to fill the gaps that

22 were being left by these two witnesses who let us

23 down.

24 We've managed to make available another

25 witness, who was seen last week in Bosnia, and I don't

Page 9138

1 believe there is any objection to his being called. So

2 there are four witnesses for this week of five

3 sessions. And I'll get Mr. Scott to deal specifically

4 with the objections taken now by Mr. Sayers.

5 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think it would be

6 sensible to try and deal with the matters of law this

7 week.

8 MR. NICE: Yes, I can deal with that position

9 -- it would be sensible, but I'm not sure that it's

10 possible. As the Court will remember from what I

11 explained earlier, we have to have our final position

12 witness by witness on unwillingness. Now, this week

13 I've been actively involved in dealing with one or two

14 particular unwilling witnesses and in pursuing the

15 alternative remedies that there may be available to

16 us. And, of course, we take -- we move step by step

17 before we are ultimately in the position of saying this

18 witness is unwilling. We don't want to say this

19 witness is unwilling, we want to compel the witness or

20 persuade the witness to come by every means at our

21 disposal, including, where appropriate, the issue of

22 subpoena.

23 We have to decide whether to attempt to

24 compel appearance by subpoena or to decide that it's

25 not an appropriate case, and if it's not an appropriate

Page 9139

1 case, to take the next steps, witness by witness. And

2 I don't think I'm going to be in the position with any

3 particular witness to say that we've come to the end of

4 that road.

5 That's the only reason that we are not in a

6 position to go ahead with the unwilling witnesses.

7 Ideally, I should like never to have to present the

8 argument, because I'd like to be able to have every

9 witness here or, alternatively, to have them available

10 to give evidence by one of the alternative methods

11 available.

12 So I regret I'm not sure that it is possible

13 to deal with that argument at this stage, much though

14 it would be otherwise desirable to do so.

15 JUDGE MAY: Would it be possible to deal with

16 the argument in relation to dead witnesses? No

17 question that we can deal with that. So it would be

18 sensible to leave aside an hour or so and get through

19 that during the week.

20 I suppose as far as the unwilling witnesses

21 are concerned, it's not really a matter for the -- not

22 a matter for the defence, it's not really a matter for

23 the Court. It's your application.

24 MR. NICE: It's our application, if and when

25 we feel we have to make it. But we are progressing

Page 9140

1 everything logically and with an eye to getting

2 witnesses here, wherever possible.

3 JUDGE MAY: Well, when you come to the end of

4 the road, I would certainly advise you to make the

5 application as early as possible.

6 MR. NICE: We certainly will. I'll let

7 Mr. Scott then deal with this witness. The only other

8 alternative matter is the question of a Court view of

9 the area, but that can no doubt be fitted in at some

10 convenient time and probably better in private

11 session.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Again, we'll try and deal

13 with it this week.

14 Mr. Scott, speaking for myself, if you had in

15 mind at this point about repetitive evidence and would

16 avoid it, unless you consider it essential. It's your

17 witness.

18 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour. We have

19 considered it. It's somewhat of a challenge to take a

20 -- witness bits and pieces of a witness on part of a

21 story with no context.

22 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel please speak into

23 the microphone.

24 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. We are

25 sensitive to that, Your Honour, and we will try to

Page 9141

1 eliminate as much as we can -- I apologise for not

2 being on the microphone. It is difficult, simply, to

3 jump from one assertion to another without a certain

4 amount of contextual reference as to where this witness

5 was, how this witness was involved in a particular

6 event.

7 The Convoy of Joy, Your Honour, let me just

8 indicate, is no more than three paragraphs of this

9 outline. There is a video that this witness is

10 familiar with, which has not been shown before. It is

11 new evidence, by any definition.

12 In terms of the interpreter statements, Your

13 Honour, we think they are the type of statements which

14 this Court has received before. We are talking about

15 statements directly within the scope of the

16 interpreter, if I can put it this way, the

17 interpreter/interpretee relationship, her part of her

18 professional duties to work with Major Bower and to

19 keep him so informed.

20 In terms of her unfortunate murder, Your

21 Honour, there are certain aspects to some of these

22 events. It's not just simply that the event itself is

23 undisputed. It's one thing to say, yes, we agree this

24 woman was killed, but there are aspects in which it

25 happened which we believe are significant as to broader

Page 9142

1 issues.

2 It's our contention, Your Honour, that there

3 was, at this time in Central Bosnia and many locations,

4 a concerted coordinated sniper campaign. Not the

5 actions of any individual soldiers.

6 It's highly unlikely that someone as

7 insensitive as U.N. personnel would have been targeted

8 by an individual soldier without some authorisation or

9 clearance at a higher level. And that this interpreter

10 was standing beneath -- literally standing beneath an

11 U.N. flag in the BritBat house, officer's house, when

12 she was shot and killed. We believe there are aspects

13 other than the mere event of her death which is

14 significant evidence.

15 In reference to Mr. Sayers' point about the

16 killing of a Muslim civilian immediately following the

17 attack on Grbavica, which I can cite for the record is

18 the same as the village of Divjak, it's one of these

19 locations, Your Honour, which there is more than one

20 reference. Some people call it Divjak, some people

21 call it Grbavica.

22 JUDGE MAY: I was looking for it on the map.

23 We have not been able to find it.

24 MR. SCOTT: That's exactly the reason, Your

25 Honour. It's unfortunate now in retrospect and,

Page 9143

1 frankly, I have to give Ms. Verhaag the credit for

2 reminding me this morning, it's unfortunate that the

3 outline speaks in terms of Grbavica. I guess I did

4 that because that's the term the witness uses. But it

5 is Divjak which, by the way Your Honour, is in fact in

6 the four corners of the indictment.

7 This one situation where this one person was

8 killed, again, Your Honour, it's one paragraph. It is

9 apparently not disputed. So I don't think we need to

10 worry about taking a great deal of time. So I think we

11 can move through it, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's have the

13 witness, please.

14 MR. KOVACIC: If I may just have one word. I

15 will not repeat anything which was said. I'm just a

16 little bit afraid that we might have a problem with

17 discovery material related to the witness. It is

18 obvious, at least I suspect, that in an earlier

19 statement given to the investigators the witness is

20 obviously following his notes. We have not been given

21 any kind of notes, diaries, whatever it was. And I

22 would like to have a clear statement from the

23 Prosecutor whether they have it.

24 MR. SCOTT: The answer is no, Your Honour, we

25 do not. We've never had it.

Page 9144

1 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the witness, please.

3 [The witness entered court]

4 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take the

5 declaration, please.

6 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

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

8 truth.

9 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.


11 Examined by Mr. Scott:

12 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

13 Major Bowers, is it correct your full name

14 for the record is Mark William Bower?

15 A. That is correct, sir, yes.

16 Q. And it's correct, sir, that you are a career

17 officer of the British army; you joined the army in

18 approximately 1983; you've now served something like 16

19 years. Is that correct?

20 A. Yes, it is, sir.

21 Q. Your current rank is Major and you are

22 presently assigned as a staff officer at the

23 headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in

24 Germany; is that correct?

25 A. It is indeed.

Page 9145

1 Q. In the course of your military experience,

2 sir, you have served in Northern Ireland, Kuwait, Iraq,

3 Saudi Arabia, Canada, Kenya, France, and the former

4 Yugoslavia; is that correct?

5 A. It is.

6 Q. In reference to some of those countries which

7 we can probably identify by name, you were involved in

8 combat duty during the Gulf War; is that correct?

9 A. I was.

10 Q. In connection with your time in service in

11 Bosnia, Major, is it correct that you were awarded The

12 Queen's Gallantry Medal?

13 A. I did.

14 Q. And is it correct, sir, that in fact you've

15 just returned from a second tour of duty, if you will,

16 into the former Yugoslavia, having spent approximately

17 six months with British peace-keeping forces in Kosovo,

18 from approximately the 27th of March this year to 5

19 October 1999?

20 A. That's correct, yes.

21 Q. Major, is it correct that in connection with

22 your former tour in Yugoslavia, you first arrived there

23 as a member of the BritBat forces in Split, Croatia, on

24 the 24th of April 1993 as a member of the Prince of

25 Wale's Own Regiment?

Page 9146

1 A. Yes, I did. I arrived at that time.

2 Q. And that was --

3 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please pause

4 between question and answer? Thank you.

5 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.

6 Q. I'll remind both of us, Major, and it's

7 probably I'm the biggest offender, that because we both

8 speak the same language, we both probably need to pause

9 and slow down for the interpretation into the other

10 languages.

11 The Prince of Wales Regiment, is it correct,

12 was the BritBat unit, if you will, that followed the

13 Cheshire Regiment which had been commanded by Colonel

14 Bob Stewart?

15 A. It did follow it, yes.

16 Q. Now, at that particular time, sir, is it

17 correct you were a captain in 1993?

18 A. I was.

19 Q. You were assigned to the BritBat camp near

20 Vitez and took over there as the G-5 liaison officer?

21 A. I did.

22 Q. In this position, you were responsible for

23 humanitarian matters in BritBat's area of

24 responsibility, you were the liaison officer involved

25 with and assisting, essentially, the humanitarian

Page 9147

1 organisations working in the area; is that correct?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. And some of the organisations, just to give

4 the Court some greater feel for that, you would work

5 with such organisations as the Red Cross, UNHCR, and

6 such organisations or units as that; is that correct?

7 A. Yes, that is correct.

8 Q. Major Bower, your tour there lasted until the

9 7th of November, 1993, and during most of this time you

10 worked in the areas of Vitez, Travnik, Novi Travnik,

11 and Zenica; is that correct?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. As part of the -- well, were you, in fact,

14 given some briefing and training or orientation, if you

15 will, on your arrival or even prior to your arrival in

16 Bosnia?

17 A. Yes, we received training.

18 Q. Did you have an understanding that the

19 commander of the HVO, Central Bosnia Operational Zone,

20 was a man named Colonel Tihomir Blaskic?

21 A. Yes, we were briefed on that.

22 Q. Did you know then and come to have personal

23 experience that confirmed that Colonel Blaskic had his

24 headquarters in the Hotel Vitez?

25 A. Yes, that's correct, during the tour I became

Page 9148

1 aware of that.

2 Q. Just so the record is clear on this point,

3 Major, is it correct that you personally did not have

4 any dealings with Colonel Blaskic?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Would it be a fair comment, in general, as

7 relating to your testimony this morning, that the way

8 the contacts or liaison frequently occurred or

9 regularly occurred was that there was some contact at a

10 corresponding level, if you will?

11 A. Yes, that's right.

12 Q. So, for instance, your commanding officer was

13 General Duncan; is that correct?

14 A. Yes. At the time, he was our commanding

15 officer.

16 Q. And it would be more likely, for instance,

17 and do you know in your experience, in fact, that

18 Officer Duncan, Mr. Duncan, had, in fact, contact with

19 not only Mr. Blaskic or Colonel Blaskic, to your

20 knowledge, but also with one of the defendants, Dario

21 Kordic?

22 A. Yes, that's right. In the evening briefs,

23 the evening updates that we had, the commanding officer

24 would always brief us on what he had done that day,

25 give us his thoughts. And in those briefs, he would

Page 9149

1 mention the people that he had met, and the names of

2 Blaskic and Kordic arose during those briefings.

3 Q. Can you tell the Court, what did you know, in

4 a similar fashion as I've just asked you about

5 Colonel Blaskic, what did you know about Dario Kordic

6 and who he was and where he fit into the picture?

7 A. It was briefed to us in the military

8 information summaries and the evening updates that

9 Dario Kordic was on the political side of the HVO part

10 of the conflict at that time. He was much more of a

11 political figure than a military figure, on the same

12 level as General Blaskic. And therefore it was

13 generally the commanding officer who would meet with

14 him, and so I did not meet with Mr. Kordic at all.

15 Q. Would it be fair to say that a term that you

16 used, in describing what you just now told me, was that

17 Dario Kordic was the political face of the HVO?

18 A. Yes, I think that's an accurate reflection of

19 the briefings which we were given.

20 Q. Can you describe to the Court -- or let me

21 ask you -- is it correct that in your experience,

22 events in the Lasva Valley were controlled at the very

23 highest levels at a military, political, strategic

24 level?

25 A. It was certainly the impression which I

Page 9150

1 gained over the six months that control was at the

2 highest level. There appeared to be little flexibility

3 for military initiative at the extreme lowest level,

4 which is generally where I was involved.

5 Q. Would it be fair to say, in your experience

6 and based on your observations, that very few decisions

7 were made at a lower level, even tactically, by local

8 commanders?

9 A. That's right. It was certainly apparent that

10 if a decision was required, it would have to be

11 referred up the HVO military chain to get the decision

12 overturned if, for instance, it was to get through an

13 HVO blockade where they had been told not to allow

14 UNPROFOR to proceed.

15 Q. Is it correct to say, Major Bower, that it

16 was your assessment or that it appeared to you that

17 this was some sort of a characterisation or carry-over,

18 if you will, from the Communist system where command

19 and control was centrally located in the hands of a few

20 people?

21 A. Certainly, it was my impression that it was a

22 carry-over, that control was held centrally within a

23 small number of people rather than allowed to be

24 disseminated and personal initiative to be used.

25 Q. And was it true, in your experience and the

Page 9151

1 assessment of the British Battalion and the British

2 forces in Bosnia, that among those people, if you will,

3 in whose hands power resided included Dario Kordic and

4 Colonel Blaskic?

5 MR. SAYERS: Objection to that question, to

6 the extent that it calls for the rendition of a

7 conclusion and an opinion. Major Bower has already

8 testified, Your Honour, that he never met either now

9 General then Colonel Blaskic or Dario Kordic, and so I

10 don't think any rendition of any opinion along these

11 lines would be particularly helpful to the Trial

12 Chamber.

13 JUDGE MAY: Except for this, that the witness

14 may have experience from which he can speak of these

15 matters. It may be that it was gained at secondhand,

16 but nonetheless if he's got some experience, he can

17 tell us about it.

18 Mr. Scott, if you would like to establish a

19 foundation for any opinion.

20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.

21 Q. Major, you've already indicated and is it

22 correct that there were essentially nightly briefing

23 sessions among the various liaison officers and your

24 Commanding Officer Duncan; is that correct?

25 A. Every night for the complete tour, we were

Page 9152

1 there at 18.00 hours, yes.

2 Q. And would you consider these briefings to be

3 rather thorough?

4 A. They were in-depth.

5 Q. And, in fact, was it essential to your

6 day-to-day tasks to be fully briefed on day-to-day

7 events?

8 A. To allow the liaison officers to make correct

9 judgements or judgements at the time which would not

10 impede or hinder any of the other liaison officers, it

11 was felt that we should know exactly what was happening

12 on a day-to-day basis, not only on the military level

13 but also on the local political level, so that anything

14 which we did with relation to humanitarian aid agencies

15 or any of our liaison duties would not come into

16 conflict with any policy which at the time was being

17 used higher up the chain of command within UNPROFOR or

18 the United Nations.

19 Q. And is it correct, sir, that in these nightly

20 briefings, Mr. Kordic's name was mentioned frequently?

21 A. Yes, Mr. Kordic's name was mentioned

22 frequently. Whenever he had been met by any member of

23 the battalion, then always it was reported back.

24 Q. Now, with that additional foundation, is it

25 correct, sir, that among these people who were in the

Page 9153

1 command and control position in the Lasva Valley, again

2 based on your observations and experience in Bosnia,

3 did those people include both Colonel Blaskic and Dario

4 Kordic?

5 MR. SAYERS: Once again, Your Honour, I must

6 object to that question because --

7 JUDGE MAY: He can give -- it's a matter of

8 weight. It's a matter of weight. The witness is going

9 to tell us, no doubt, the impression that he gained

10 from the briefings which he attended.

11 A. Yes. It was certainly my impression, from

12 the briefings and also from my time on the ground on a

13 daily basis, that the high levels were involved in

14 decision making.


16 Q. Let's move forward and let's just clarify the

17 situation for the record as to the person who is the

18 other defendant in this proceeding, Mario Cerkez.

19 You knew who Mr. Cerkez was, in terms of

20 someone who was also active in the area; is that

21 correct?

22 A. Yes. Again from the nightly briefings and

23 the training before we deployed, I was aware of who the

24 local brigade commanders were.

25 Q. It would be fair to say, in summary, -- on

Page 9154

1 this point I think it's fair, Your Honour, to say --

2 that while you knew and may perhaps have had some

3 contacts with Mr. Cerkez, you might say, on an

4 incidental basis, he was not someone who you had any

5 particular dealings with, any significant dealings

6 with, during your tour in Bosnia?

7 A. Yes, that's correct. If I met Mr. Cerkez, it

8 was purely by accident. It was by no means anything

9 that was designed. It was normally because I would be

10 wanting to meet with another liaison officer who may

11 have been in the vicinity. I had no direct dealings

12 with Mr. Cerkez at all.

13 Q. Now, moving on, is it correct that about the

14 end of April 1993, perhaps the 26th or 27th, you

15 accompanied the Cheshire Regiment, which was still in

16 Bosnia at that time perhaps during a transition time,

17 to assist in the recovery of some of the bodies there?

18 A. Yes, that's right.

19 Q. And did you find that although the massacre

20 at Ahmici had been, by that date, committed some days

21 earlier, the clean-up operation was taking some time?

22 A. Yes. The delay in the clear-up was for fear

23 of unexploded munitions that were in the area which

24 were hindering the collection of the last few bodies.

25 Q. And is it correct that from what you saw at

Page 9155

1 the end of April, that the attack on Ahmici appeared to

2 have been a concentrated military effort that had been

3 quite brutal in its execution?

4 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think again we've heard

5 evidence on this topic from the people who were there

6 at the time.

7 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour.

8 Let me skip several paragraphs, Major.

9 Q. Did you see or did you hear that of the

10 remaining or untouched houses in Ahmici, that these

11 were the houses where the Bosnian Croats, as opposed to

12 the Muslims, lived or had lived?

13 A. Yes, that's right.

14 Q. As you toured Ahmici at that time at the end

15 of April, is it fair to say that you did not see any

16 evidence of military fortifications in or around the

17 village in terms of trench works, weapons pits, or that

18 sort of thing?

19 A. No, I didn't see anything of that nature.

20 Q. Let's move on to a particular group in the

21 HVO. Did you come to know an organisation or group of

22 people called HOS or H-O-S?

23 A. Yes, I was aware of their presence from the

24 nightly briefings and came into contact with them

25 through my duties as a liaison officer.

Page 9156

1 Q. Is it correct, sir, that in your experience

2 and based on what you heard in the briefings, these HOS

3 soldiers typically wore black or perhaps very dark blue

4 uniforms, they seemed to be always clean and in good

5 order, seemed not to be hungry in the sense of having

6 been perhaps under more destitute or hardship

7 conditions, they wore HVO insignias on their uniforms,

8 some wore white belts with a white cross-belt over the

9 chest; is that correct?

10 A. Yes, that is.

11 Q. Is it also correct that in your experience,

12 these HOS soldiers tended to drive Western European

13 cars such as, in particular, Volkswagen Golfs?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Why is it that was, if it was, particularly

16 noticeable or remarkable to you?

17 A. It stood out just because it was different.

18 The appearance, the bearing of the individuals, were

19 different from the normal conscript HVO soldiers which

20 I came into contact with, the fact that any car that

21 was driving around would be of interest, that more so

22 if it was a Western European car, because petrol,

23 diesel, was a fairly sought-after commodity at that

24 particular time. Whoever had access to that sort of

25 petroleum or diesel would normally be of importance and

Page 9157

1 therefore of interest to us.

2 Q. Was it your experience and BritBat's

3 assessment that the people who tended to have fuel for

4 their vehicles tended to be, as you say, the more

5 important people such as the politicians, the military

6 commanders, and some of the more favoured units?

7 A. Yes, that was generally the case.

8 Q. Is it correct that during your tour, you saw

9 HOS soldiers or elements throughout the Lasva Valley

10 frequently between the T-junction at Novi Travnik and

11 the T-junction in Busovaca; is that correct?

12 A. Yes, that was the majority of the times when

13 I would see them, either statically at checkpoints or

14 driving around in their cars.

15 Q. And is it correct, sir, that you, on

16 occasion, saw HOS soldiers at Colonel Blaskic's

17 headquarters at the Hotel Vitez?

18 A. Yes, that's correct.

19 Q. I think you just mentioned -- in terms of

20 their driving around in cars, would they do

21 something -- did you observe them or come to know that

22 they would do something called a "snap checkpoint"?

23 Maybe that's not the exact correct term, but something

24 like that?

25 A. Yes. The terminology "a snap checkpoint" or

Page 9158

1 a control point, "snap" basically for us would mean

2 that it was mobile. It would normally be put on the

3 main routes and transiting through to check who was

4 moving around on the roads.

5 Q. Is it correct in your observation, Major,

6 that the so-called HOS groups or soldiers and the HVO

7 regular soldiers were seen together and HOS soldiers

8 moved freely among the other HVO soldiers?

9 A. Certainly, there appeared to be no

10 restrictions on their movement.

11 Q. Did you at any time see any sort of hostility

12 between the two groups as if the two groups were

13 somehow distinct or opposed to one another?

14 A. I wouldn't say that they were opposed to each

15 other. They moved freely. They were, certainly as far

16 as we were aware, on the same side, and any hostility

17 between the two groups I didn't see.

18 Q. You considered them to be part of the one in

19 the same side?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. All right. I am going to skip paragraph 28,

22 Your Honour.

23 Going back to your reference to Colonel

24 Blaskic and the HVO headquarters. Is it fair to say,

25 sir, that you were in the HVO headquarters, that is the

Page 9159

1 Central Bosnia operative zone headquarters, at the

2 Hotel Vitez something like 40 or 50 times during your

3 tour?

4 A. Yes. Those figures are approximately

5 correct.

6 Q. Is it correct that you found in your

7 experience the headquarters and its operations to be

8 professional, efficient, and that it was a working

9 military headquarters?

10 A. The impression which I gained from my

11 experience was that is a correct summary of how the

12 headquarters appeared to function to me.

13 Q. Is it correct, sir, again based on your

14 experience, which we'll get to in the course of this

15 morning dealing with various humanitarian issues,

16 dealing with obtaining passage, dealing with checkpoint

17 issues, was it clear to you that there was in fact a

18 working HVO chain of command and an effective network

19 of HVO communications and coordination?

20 A. Most definitely, yes.

21 Q. All right. I think I'll save some particular

22 instances of that as we get further into your

23 testimony.

24 Now, did you come to know that there was --

25 the HVO had something called, in military terms I

Page 9160

1 suppose, a HIP-style helicopter that made frequent

2 flights into the Lasva Valley?

3 A. Yes. We could view it from our base in Stari

4 Vitez.

5 Q. And is it fair that that was the only

6 aircraft, or at least one of only very, very few

7 aircrafts, that you saw and that BritBat saw in the

8 Lasva Valley during your tour?

9 A. Yes, indeed.

10 Q. Can you give the Court, perhaps not a precise

11 number, but did you see this and know of this

12 helicopter being in the area, we are talking once or

13 twice in a six-month period, or approximately how

14 often?

15 A. During the summer, I would say approximately

16 no more than a dozen times.

17 JUDGE MAY: What is a HIP-style helicopter?

18 A. It is a Russian make of troop carrying

19 helicopter. It is not normally used in the ground

20 attack role. It is merely for ferrying troops. It may

21 be able to carry as many as 18 people, depending on the

22 load.


24 Q. Let me direct your attention to the end of

25 May or May 1993 to a particular incident. Did there

Page 9161

1 come a situation around that time that you, your

2 driver, interpreter, and in fact a second vehicle were

3 driving on a dirt road in the mountains west of

4 Busovaca?

5 A. Yes. The incident was -- it was a fact

6 finding mission. We had not been in theatre for very

7 long. The UNHCR had requested information on what was

8 around west of Busovaca and, therefore, my call signs

9 were driving -- we just followed our noses. There was

10 no particular specific place to go.

11 We were just heading west up the mountain

12 track when we came to a tree across the road which had

13 been cut down. As we stopped, I got out of the

14 vehicle. I noticed on my right-hand side there was a

15 chalet, hunting lodge type building set in the trees

16 some distance from the track. A dozen or so well-armed

17 and competent soldiers, who later became identified as

18 HVO soldiers, took up firing positions around us and

19 came to identify who we were. Although they wouldn't

20 engage directly in conversation with us, they talked

21 amongst themselves, and in a professional, competent

22 manner, checked us out.

23 Q. Forgive me for going back. Before we move

24 entirely forward, I am reminded to ask you -- it may

25 not have been clear on the transcript. The helicopter

Page 9162

1 that you observed some dozen times or so, this was a

2 helicopter associated with the HVO?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. What caused you to associate the helicopter

5 with the HVO, as opposed to, say, the BiH?

6 A. The proximity of where it landed and also

7 Darko Gelic referred to it on one particular time

8 saying that it had brought in some particular

9 equipment.

10 Q. And we've jumped a bit ahead in our outline

11 in terms of Mr. Gelic. You better identify him to the

12 Court.

13 A. He was the liaison officer from Hotel Vitez

14 headquarters to the BritBat.

15 Q. Liaison officer for Colonel Blaskic?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And he had identified this helicopter as in

18 fact being a HVO supply helicopter?

19 A. He mentioned that it had brought in some

20 equipment, yes.

21 Q. All right. Now, in returning to your story,

22 let me again momentarily stop you again just primarily

23 for the education of all of us in the courtroom and in

24 case this term comes out in other evidence or

25 documents.

Page 9163

1 When someone refers to a soft-skinned

2 vehicle, is that a reference that it is essentially

3 like a private vehicle, it is not armoured?

4 A. That's correct. It has no armour protection

5 whatsoever. For all intents and purposes, it is an

6 open-topped four wheel drive vehicle.

7 Q. Now, go ahead. I'm sorry, go ahead if you

8 would and continue with the testimony concerning this

9 group that came out and stopped you.

10 A. The group would not engage directly in

11 conversation with me through my interpreter. They

12 attempted to look in the back of both vehicles, which

13 was a policy we tended not to allow. At no point did

14 the whole group surround us, only six or so, and they

15 were always moving in pairs. They left six or so

16 soldiers some distance, 20, 30 metres away, who had

17 taken up firing positions. They didn't move from

18 that. It was quite clear to me that it was an

19 aggressive stance.

20 After some time of going around the vehicle,

21 talking to themselves, my interpreter told me that we

22 should leave and we should leave now. It was quite

23 clear that she was agitated, and I had not seen her

24 like that before. So I bowed to her experience and we

25 extracted from the area.

Page 9164

1 Q. All right. Let me ask you a few additional

2 details about this group. You've indicated they were

3 well armed; is that correct?

4 A. Yes. They did not all carry the standard

5 Soviet AK-47 assault rifle. There was some German made

6 Hekler and Koch rifles. There was some pistols in

7 holsters, and of the soldiers that came close to me,

8 the vast majority had large hunting knives, which was

9 something that you didn't normally see on the conscript

10 HVO.

11 Q. Is it correct, sir, that their uniforms were

12 typically well maintained; they had boots; they had

13 something called elastics in the ankles of their

14 trousers; they came across as a very well equipped and

15 trained outfit?

16 A. Yes. If I say they looked the part, they had

17 an air of competence and also of aggression, and part

18 of that was borne by the way they carried themselves

19 and also the equipment and the clothing which they

20 had. It set them apart from the normal conscript HVO

21 which I dealt with.

22 Q. Is it correct, sir, that some of the soldiers

23 in this group had black headbands with skull and cross

24 bone insignia on them, while others had similar

25 insignia on the uniforms themselves?

Page 9165

1 A. Yes. A small number had the headbands, some

2 had sort of patches on their jackets, and some had

3 patches on their shoulders.

4 Q. And did some of these patches also indicate

5 HVO?

6 A. Yes. There were one or two of the red and

7 white chequered patches on shoulders and also on the

8 jerkins they were wearing.

9 Q. Now, you've already taken us a certain

10 distance forward. When you were able to extract

11 yourselves, did any of these HVO soldiers say anything

12 to you through your interpreter, I suppose?

13 A. When we had extracted from the area and gone

14 back down to the outskirts of Busovaca, I stopped the

15 vehicles and wanted to speak to my interpreter to find

16 out why she expressly said that we should leave. She

17 explained that she had heard a discussion between two

18 of them --

19 MR. SAYERS: Objection, Your Honour, on the

20 grounds of hearsay and conclusions. There is no

21 contemporaneous translation of comments that were made

22 or of a -- conversations that they heard in the

23 presence of Major Bower, but simply a conclusory [sic]

24 Recitation of opinions that the witness derived from

25 other sources.

Page 9166

1 JUDGE MAY: As I understand it, the witness

2 is going to relay what the interpreter said to him. So

3 that, of course, is hearsay, but we on the whole allow

4 hearsay.

5 We shall let it in.

6 A. I asked her why we should leave, and she said

7 that she had heard a discussion between two of the

8 soldiers saying, "Should we kill them or let them go?"

9 She also stated to me that she believed the soldiers to

10 be from the Jokeri or the Jokers, and she said that did

11 I know who they were. Obviously, from the nightly

12 briefings which we had after the Ahmici incident, I was

13 aware that there was a band of soldiers known as the

14 Jokeri or the Jokers who had been used or did use

15 fairly extreme methods of violence in their attacks.

16 Q. Do you recall, as you approached the point

17 where these soldiers came out from the chalet and

18 talked to you, were you proceeding -- if you recall

19 these details, were you proceeding in an easterly

20 direction, that is toward Busovaca, or were you

21 proceeding west from Busovaca from the Busovaca area?

22 A. I was heading in a generally northwesterly

23 direction from Busovaca.

24 Q. Let me ask the usher now to provide the

25 witness, and I would direct the Court to Exhibit 2624,

Page 9167

1 which is a map, Your Honour, that Major Bower will use

2 at various points in his testimony to orient this to

3 various locations. And it should be in the bundle, I

4 hope, of the documents that's been given to the

5 Judges.

6 First of all, just to orient us on the map.

7 Can you just point out on the ELMO, if you will, where

8 the city of Vitez is located on this particular map?

9 A. It's in this area here [indicates].

10 Q. For some reason, Your Honour, we are not

11 getting the monitor feed or our machines. In any

12 event, I'll proceed.

13 The area that you encountered these soldiers,

14 have you marked that as approximately the area number 1

15 on Exhibit 2624?

16 A. Yes, that's right here [indicates].

17 Q. And is it fair to say, sir, that that's

18 generally an approximation on a relatively large scale

19 map; is that correct?

20 A. Yes. After some years, it's the general area

21 that I seem to remember that we were in at the

22 particular time. I was more concerned with what was

23 happening around me than actually seeing where I was on

24 a map on a track.

25 Q. There is not a scale on this particular

Page 9168

1 excerpt, unfortunately, or legend. Based on your

2 experience in the area, can you, looking at again Vitez

3 and approximately the town of Busovaca, perhaps, and

4 again by way of orientation you can point out on the

5 map where Busovaca is located. What is the approximate

6 distance between Vitez and Busovaca, approximately?

7 A. In kilometres along the road, maybe 10, 12

8 kilometres.

9 Q. What would be the approximate distance? And

10 I know for these current purposes we'll just have to do

11 a rough line of flight, if you will, you might say as

12 the bird flies, but what's the approximate distance

13 from where you saw these Jokers to the town of

14 Busovaca, as indicated on 2624?

15 A. I would approximate maybe four or five

16 kilometres. The way the roads were and how we travel,

17 we travelled relatively slowly over ground, which

18 wasn't hard, hard road, for fear of mines. And so time

19 and distance was sometimes difficult to judge.

20 Q. Is it fair to say, sir, that again based on

21 these briefings, your discussions with Duncan, et

22 cetera, that you knew or came to know that Dario Kordic

23 had a headquarters near Busovaca that some people

24 called the Eagle's Nest?

25 A. I was aware of the Eagle's Nest as it was

Page 9169

1 referred to by Colonel Duncan, but its exact location I

2 was just aware that it was in the Busovaca area.

3 Q. Now, going back to your interchange --

4 exchange with your interpreter. She identified these

5 soldiers as being Jokers, and did she tell you that in

6 fact that she had overheard them talking among

7 themselves while they were surrounding your vehicle?

8 A. Yes, that's right. That's how she informed

9 me afterwards, that they had been discussing, should

10 they kill us or let us go.

11 Q. Now, during your tour did you become familiar

12 with another location associated with the group called

13 the Jokers at something called another lodge or chalet?

14 A. Yes, that's right. On the main road between

15 Vitez and Busovaca and the Zenica on the left-hand side

16 of the road. If we were travelling in an easterly

17 direction, there was a chalet which, for a period of

18 time, was used as -- or was used by the Jokeri.

19 Whether it was their headquarters, I don't know, but it

20 was used by the Jokers.

21 Q. And is that the location marked as

22 approximately item 2 on Exhibit 2624?

23 A. Yes, that's right. Approximately here

24 [indicates].

25 Q. Again, some small number of kilometres from

Page 9170

1 Busovaca; is that correct?

2 A. Yes. Certainly travel time, it wouldn't take

3 very long to get from there to Busovaca.

4 Q. Is it fair to say, Major, that based on this

5 particular experience and the briefings and your other

6 observations, that you knew that, in fact, the Jokers

7 then were -- operated actively in the Busovaca area?

8 A. At this particular moment in time of the tour

9 then, yes, it was certainly the Busovaca area, although

10 we were briefed that they had been seen around the

11 Lasva Valley, but generally were located around

12 Busovaca.

13 Q. The assessments that you've made or the

14 descriptions you've given the Court in the last few

15 minutes about these being a particularly professional

16 appearing, motivated group, was this just your

17 assessment or was that again the BritBat military

18 assessment of this group of soldiers?

19 A. It was the opinion of the majority of the

20 liaison officers and the military information officers

21 who had either come into contact with them or the

22 reports that they had received from various sources

23 about them.

24 Q. Would it be a fair description of your

25 knowledge of this group that the Jokers were often used

Page 9171

1 in a vanguard or lead element role in various actions

2 by HVO forces?

3 A. Yes. That's the information which we

4 received.

5 Q. Is it correct, sir, that again, based on your

6 information, that the Jokers and in fact there was

7 another -- did you know that there was another type of

8 special unit, if you will, somebody called or some

9 group called the Vitezovi?

10 A. I was aware of a second group called

11 Vitezovi, yes.

12 Q. And was it your assessment and the British

13 Battalion's assessment that the Jokers and the Vitezovi

14 typically worked jointly with other HVO units and, in

15 fact, that they were observed or encountered as part of

16 joint operations in areas such as Novi Travnik,

17 Grbavica, and Ahmici?

18 A. Certainly, yes.

19 Q. Major, I want to turn to your role more as

20 the humanitarian liaison officer, which will take us

21 most of the balance of your testimony.

22 In starting that, would it be fair to say to

23 the Court that you found that in your experience that

24 often the HVO side or the Bosniak Croat side was less

25 helpful to you, less -- did less to facilitate your

Page 9172

1 work than, say, the ABiH did?

2 A. I would say that in the intense periods of

3 the fighting, June, July, August, I was hindered by the

4 HVO in trying to conduct my main role, which was

5 assisting the humanitarian effort of the aid agencies

6 within that area.

7 Q. Now, part of your role and responsibilities

8 in particular that you spent a great deal of time on

9 was to provide assistance to Muslims who had been cut

10 off in the area or part of Vitez known as Stari Vitez;

11 is that correct?

12 A. Yes. That particular enclave occupied a

13 great deal of my time during the summer of 1993.

14 Q. And at that particular time did -- was that

15 enclave entirely surrounded by the HVO?

16 A. It was indeed.

17 Q. And the HVO controlled, in fact, all access

18 into and out of Stari Vitez?

19 A. Yes. There was only one road to take a

20 vehicle into Stari Vitez and it was controlled and at

21 times the road was closed by the HVO.

22 Q. Now, is it fair, sir, that prior to the

23 outbreak of conflict at least by the spring of 1993,

24 while there had been two roads or ways into Stari

25 Vitez, but one of these had been blocked more or less

Page 9173

1 permanently sometime earlier; is that correct?

2 A. Yes, that's right. I don't know the exact

3 date when it was blocked, but the western edge of Stari

4 Vitez was blocked on the road by some earthworks piled

5 up on the road. There was the trailer of a lorry

6 dragged across the road and what looked like artillery

7 shells, explosives linked by detonation cord on the

8 road. It was a pointless task trying to get round it

9 or go through it and, therefore, we always used the

10 access to Stari Vitez or Vitez via what was known as

11 the Vitez T-junction, which was to the eastern edge of

12 Vitez.

13 Q. I am going to show you a map in a moment, or

14 an aerial photograph. Is it correct, sir, that the

15 Hotel Vitez, which was Colonel Blaskic's headquarters,

16 that was located only some 500 or 600 metres from the

17 front line, if you will, of Stari Vitez?

18 A. Yes. It was very close to the front line or

19 no man's land of Vitez, Stari Vitez between HVO and

20 ABiH forces. Travel time in a Land Rover, the vehicle

21 I was in, 30 seconds, one minute to get from Hotel

22 Vitez into Stari Vitez.

23 Q. If I could ask the usher's assistance in

24 distributing a large aerial photograph. Try putting it

25 on the easel, Your Honour. I don't know that we can

Page 9174

1 really work with it by way of the ELMO, because it's

2 too large, but we can try with the easel and perhaps we

3 can also give out copies. It's a bit large, Your

4 Honour, and somewhat unwieldy, but I think it's the

5 best illustration of the items that Major Bower is

6 talking about.

7 MR. SCOTT: I apologise for it being somewhat

8 oversized, but again it was the best tool that we could

9 find for these particular purposes.

10 There is a legend on the map. With the

11 Court's permission, Major, you might stand and approach

12 or you could point and be seated, whatever you're most

13 comfortable with.

14 Q. Could you show us on the map, first of all,

15 if you'll look in the lower left-hand corner just to

16 orient, because the map is -- sometimes we tend to

17 think of things up and down as being north and south,

18 but if you look at the lower left-hand corner of the

19 map, could you show us the orientation north?

20 A. [Witness complies].

21 Q. Just so the record is clear, the appearance

22 of the map is somewhat counter-intuitive to the extent

23 that we assume that up is north, but in fact the upper

24 side of this aerial photograph is south; is that

25 correct?

Page 9175

1 A. Yes, that's right.

2 Q. Or somewhat south. Again, it's at an angle.

3 All right. Could you show on this map where Hotel

4 Vitez was located?

5 A. Just here [indicates].

6 Q. And can you point out the area of Stari

7 Vitez? What we're looking at overall is a large part

8 of the town of Vitez; is that correct?

9 A. Yes. This is showing Stari Vitez

10 [indicates], which is in this area here you can see the

11 fortifications which would be part of the front line,

12 and this area here [indicates] into Stari Vitez.

13 Q. Where was the point of access, if you will,

14 the HVO roadblock or point of access actually into the

15 enclave of Stari Vitez?

16 A. There was never any manned checkpoint between

17 the hotel and access -- this access road [indicates]

18 into Stari Vitez. What would generally happen, mines

19 would be placed across this road, which would obviously

20 mean we couldn't take any vehicles through there,

21 and --

22 Q. Let me ask the question perhaps a little

23 differently. Where, on that road, did you consider

24 that you had crossed over, if you will, from the HVO

25 side to the Muslim side?

Page 9176

1 A. There was a small sort of area here

2 [indicates] which there had been quite a large bomb had

3 gone off, the houses were derelict, and that to us

4 denoted the front line crossing from one

5 military-controlled area into the other. I would say

6 approximately in this area here [indicates]. It's

7 difficult to tell now after some time and looking at it

8 above rather than from side to side.

9 Q. All right. Again, to give us all some sense

10 of scale, when you testified a few minutes ago that

11 Hotel Vitez --

12 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel please speak

13 into the microphone.

14 MR. SCOTT: I apologise.

15 Q. You testified a few minutes ago, Major, that

16 Hotel Vitez was approximately 500 or 600 metres from

17 Stari Vitez, and is that -- in discussing that

18 distance, are you talking about the difference between

19 Point A on the photograph and again this approximate

20 confrontation line?

21 A. Yes, certainly until I had left the car park

22 here in Hotel Vitez at Point A, 30 seconds to a minute,

23 500 metres, before I was within the ABiH-controlled

24 area of Stari Vitez.

25 Q. All right. And just a few other things about

Page 9177

1 this particular map. Item B is the Cinema Vitez. Do

2 you see that?

3 A. Yes, I do, here [indicates].

4 MR. SCOTT: I'm not asking the witness, Your

5 Honour, but I think it's fair to comment at this point

6 in the record that the Court will note that that was

7 Mr. Cerkez's headquarters.

8 Q. Can you point out to the Court on this map

9 the approximate site of what came to be known as the

10 truck bomb? There had been a truck bomb incident in

11 Stari Vitez. At that Point I?

12 A. Yes. This was the point I referred to

13 earlier where the houses surrounding it were derelict

14 and tended to denote where we would cross from one

15 military-controlled area into another.

16 Q. All right. Now, I think we can move on from

17 that particular aerial for now. It may come up later.

18 Let me direct your attention next to an excerpt of

19 this, which is considerably handier, 2174.

20 Now, there is a bold yellow highlight marker

21 on this Exhibit 2174, and can you tell the Court, does

22 that represent your path, if you will, your path of

23 transit from the Hotel Vitez to what was called the

24 hospital in Stari Vitez where you were actively

25 involved in evacuating casualties?

Page 9178

1 A. Yes, that's right. I would enter through

2 what became known as the main street past the site of

3 the lorry bomb until we got into virtually the centre

4 of Stari Vitez, where I would then go off to the north,

5 where there would then be the hospital. It was just

6 off the main street.

7 Q. In fact, what was called the hospital being

8 just barely -- just on the bottom of the photograph, is

9 that correct, "bottom" in the sense if we're looking at

10 the letters A, B, et cetera, oriented appropriately for

11 reading?

12 A. That's right, yes.

13 Q. This was called a hospital. Was it, in fact,

14 or had it, in fact, before this been a hospital?

15 A. It wasn't a hospital by the definition of

16 what you would expect. It was a house or a store which

17 had been converted into a makeshift medical centre

18 where casualties could be received.

19 Q. Moving forward with your testimony outline,

20 is it correct, Major, that you tried a number of times

21 to evacuate wounded Muslims out of Stari Vitez, but the

22 HVO checkpoints were ordered by their chain of command

23 to stop and search your vehicle, for instance, to be

24 sure that you were not transporting people out of the

25 town?

Page 9179

1 A. Yes. We were prevented on a number of

2 occasions from entering Stari Vitez to evacuate

3 casualties. The reasons given generally were either,

4 "We want to search your vehicle and to make sure

5 you're not taking casualties out," or they would just

6 deny us access completely and not allow us in.

7 Q. Can you tell us, during this particular time,

8 and I realise it may have changed from time to time,

9 but were there times in the summer of 1993 that the

10 humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross, such

11 as the UNHCR, would not go into Stari Vitez?

12 A. Yes. When the -- the fighting was

13 unpredictable, and their safety, as they travelled in

14 again soft-skinned, non-armoured civilian vehicles,

15 could not be guaranteed. The UNHCR and ICRC would

16 actually just refuse to go into Stari Vitez to collect

17 the wounded.

18 Q. Would it be fair to say that those duties,

19 even though they were of a humanitarian nature, fell

20 primarily to the British Battalion?

21 A. There was nobody else that was going into or

22 would attempt to get into Stari Vitez, so inevitably it

23 fell to either myself or another liaison officer to

24 attempt to evacuate the wounded people.

25 Q. Did you encounter, during your tour of duty

Page 9180

1 specifically in connection with Stari Vitez, a denial

2 of access to Stari Vitez and other similar villages for

3 the purpose of providing humanitarian aid?

4 A. Yes. It wasn't just the evacuation of

5 wounded people. It was delivery of the whole strata of

6 humanitarian aid, whether it be food or medical

7 supplies. There were times when UNHCR, ICRC, would not

8 be allowed in. My vehicles did not have the capacity

9 and neither did UNPROFOR feel it right that we should

10 be doing the UNHCR's job of delivering the quantity --

11 the tons of aid required. It was something of a

12 precedent we didn't want to get involved in.

13 We were trying to get the aid agencies to

14 actively participate, but it was a very difficult time

15 in some of the areas. Understandably, their position

16 against the threat assessment. So it was basically

17 left to negotiations from UNPROFOR, the British

18 Battalion, the aid agencies, with various military

19 sides to effect humanitarian assistance. And it was

20 not always successful, and I would say it was through

21 no part of ours. We were attempting it, but the

22 conditions were just not right, they weren't there.

23 Q. The resistance that you encountered in terms

24 of providing access, evacuating casualties, did you

25 find that in your experience to be something on a

Page 9181

1 random or sporadic basis or was it your assessment that

2 this was part of a policy or strategy?

3 A. The denial of access into Stari Vitez tended

4 to be linked to whatever could be happening militarily

5 on the ground within the Lasva Valley. It was

6 sometimes linked to fighting elsewhere in the Lasva

7 Valley and sometimes it was denied due to fighting

8 physically between the two sides in Vitez. Sometimes

9 it was linked to the evacuation of Croat civilian

10 casualties from the hospital in Nova Bila, which I was

11 also involved in. So it fluctuated, but it seemed to

12 be controlled at a high level because it was always

13 where we had to go, the higher level, to get the issues

14 resolved.

15 Q. In your particular experience, when you say

16 where you had to go, where was it you had to go to get

17 authorisations or access into Stari Vitez?

18 A. Ultimately, we had to go to the Hotel Vitez

19 to get the decisions or to get the agreements.

20 Q. Was it correct, sir, that despite these very

21 difficult conditions, that you were, during your tour,

22 able to evacuate approximately 50 to 60 critically-ill

23 or injured Muslims from Stari Vitez?

24 A. Yes, approximately I would say it was, over

25 the six months, that number.

Page 9182

1 Q. Would it be fair to say that most of these

2 were women and children and that most of them would

3 likely have died if they had not been evacuated?

4 A. Certainly, the criteria which I tried to put

5 on the evacuation, if the ICRC or UNHCR would not

6 accompany me, would be that they could not receive the

7 medical attention that they required if they were to

8 stay in Stari Vitez. Therefore, I would attempt to

9 move them. A lot of it was based on my personal

10 decision at the time, depending on the situation

11 between the Stari Vitez hospital and travelling by road

12 ultimately to Zenica.

13 Q. Did you find that the types of injuries or

14 casualties that you encountered in Stari Vitez were

15 largely of two sorts, one being gunshot wounds and the

16 other being blast wounds or, if you will, shrapnel from

17 explosions?

18 A. Yes, the vast majority of injuries which I

19 saw, the casualties which I evacuated, were what I

20 would term battle trauma, either gunshot wounds, blast

21 injuries. There were a minority of what I would say

22 were day-to-day medical conditions, broken limbs,

23 inoculations which were required, those sort of

24 evacuations, but they were the minority. The vast

25 majority were battle trauma.

Page 9183

1 Q. Is it correct, sir, that it was the

2 assessment of the British Battalion that the HVO, in

3 connection with Stari Vitez, was conducting a

4 coordinated sniper campaign against the Muslims in

5 Stari Vitez?

6 A. Yes. It was our opinion that there was a

7 policy, a deliberate policy, of sniping at the

8 population within the enclave.

9 Q. A sniper can be, in your terms, Major, anyone

10 who waits for a target of opportunity; is that correct?

11 A. Yes. A sniper does not necessarily have to

12 be somebody with a custom-built sniper rifle who is

13 well concealed. It is anybody who takes a target of

14 opportunity.

15 Q. All right. As you've just indicated, while

16 perhaps not what we think of in our minds, especially

17 of the civilians, as a sniper weapon, can an AK-47

18 serve as a sniper weapon?

19 A. Any weapon can be used. The term "sniper" is

20 something which I would not necessarily use in this

21 context. Any weapon can be used to intimidate or

22 attempt to shoot targets of opportunity in an area, if

23 you're prepared to wait long enough.

24 Q. Using the AK-47 in a sniping role, perhaps we

25 can put it that way, is the accuracy of such a weapon

Page 9184

1 that it would be, again other than area fire, if I can

2 use that terminology, but to be used to target very

3 specific targets, is the effective range something like

4 150 to 200 metres?

5 A. The rifle does not come with an optical

6 sight, and therefore its effective range individually

7 is approximately 150 metres; a good shot, possibly 200

8 metres. But at that distance, you should be able to

9 see what it is you're shooting at.

10 Q. For instance, sir, and based on your military

11 training, at 150 metres you should be able to see if

12 you're shooting at a Bosniak soldier or if you're

13 shooting at a woman or child; is that correct?

14 A. Certainly, I feel that the distinction

15 between a grown adult and a child would be visible at

16 that distance, yes.

17 Q. Covering some particular incidents, on the

18 23rd of June, 1993, is it correct that you went to the

19 Stari Vitez hospital, you saw a middle-aged Bosnian

20 Muslim woman brought in who had been shot by a sniper,

21 she was already dead, and when you spoke to the doctor,

22 the doctor told you that this was the second civilian

23 sniper on that particular day, sniper victim, and the

24 doctor told you that she was not able to travel -- that

25 is, the doctor was not able to travel outside of Stari

Page 9185

1 Vitez because of the threat posed by the Bosnian Croat

2 snipers; is that correct?

3 A. Yes, it is.

4 Q. Is it correct, sir, that on one afternoon in

5 May, an 11-year-old Muslim girl was shot through the

6 head by sniper fire?

7 A. Yes, that's right.

8 Q. Do you know whether she survived?

9 A. Yes, she did. We evacuated her to Zenica

10 hospital, and some six weeks later we tracked her

11 parents down and reunited them.

12 Q. Did there come a time when a UNHCR

13 representative was shot and killed in Stari Vitez while

14 sitting in a marked UNHCR vehicle?

15 A. Yes, that's correct, that incident happened.

16 Q. Do you recall, sir, the type of weapon that

17 was used to kill this driver?

18 A. Yes. I believe it was a high-calibre,

19 high-powered rifle which was a 12,7 or 50-calibre

20 sniper rifle.

21 Q. Could you tell the Court whether that is --

22 was that a weapon issued to a common soldier?

23 A. From our experience, it was a weapon of

24 prestige. There were not many known to be in the Lasva

25 Valley, and therefore its use was singularly important

Page 9186

1 because it was a weapon that was not generally

2 available to HVO conscript soldiers.

3 Q. Just by point of reference, sir, can you tell

4 us the status of that weapon, or weapon like that, in

5 terms of it being issued and used in the British army?

6 A. If it was the equivalent in the British army,

7 as a company commander of 100 men, I would have four

8 snipers in my company, and they worked direct to me.

9 Q. In your experience, a sniper with this type

10 of weapon would be closely controlled by a commanding

11 officer; is that correct?

12 A. Yes, absolutely.

13 MR. SCOTT: If I can direct the usher or ask

14 the usher, please, to show you what has been entered as

15 Exhibit 2773 which was admitted by a prior witness,

16 2773.

17 Mr. President, Mr. Nice has just reminded me

18 again just to make clear that we have unfortunately no

19 access to the monitor, so we'll continue, but if

20 there's anything that could be done about that, it

21 would be helpful.

22 Q. The photograph that is marked as Exhibit

23 2773, do you see a 50-calibre sniper rifle in that

24 photograph?

25 A. No, I don't.

Page 9187

1 Q. Do you see the -- I think you've been handed

2 the wrong photograph. It should look like this

3 [indicates]. Perhaps it's our numbering mistake.

4 2773.

5 THE REGISTRAR: This is 2773.

6 MR. SCOTT: All right. We'll mark this one.

7 Mr. Usher, if you could, please, hand the witness this,

8 we'll mark it.

9 Your Honour, we'll find the appropriate

10 number and reassign it and make it part of the record.

11 My apologies.

12 Q. Now, Major, do you see a 50-calibre sniper

13 rifle in that photograph?

14 A. Yes, I do. It's the one which is being held

15 vertically.

16 Q. And were you present when this photograph was

17 taken?

18 A. Yes, I was.

19 Q. And how was it that you were able to get this

20 particular photograph?

21 A. As you can see, the soldier holding it is

22 actually looking through a British army rifle here, and

23 most soldiers the world round are always interested in

24 seeing other weapons they are not familiar with, and

25 that was a way of getting to look at the rifle. It's a

Page 9188

1 common practice.

2 Q. So, in other words, is it fair, Major, that

3 you or one of the people with you had handed this HVO

4 soldier a British rifle essentially for the purpose of

5 taking his attention while you photographed the sniper

6 rifle?

7 A. Yes. There was some individuals who were

8 wary of having photographs taken, which is

9 understandable, but this was a way of also getting a

10 balance of scale between two weapons, as best we could,

11 in the same photograph.

12 Q. And was this --

13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, when you come to a

14 convenient moment.

15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE MAY: I don't want to interrupt you,

17 but we've certainly seen this photograph.

18 MR. SCOTT: I understand, Your Honour. I

19 appreciate that.

20 JUDGE MAY: We can no doubt, during the

21 adjournment, track it down as to what the number is.

22 MR. SCOTT: My apologies. A couple more

23 questions, and then we can close and, before moving on,

24 take our break.

25 Q. This soldier that's holding the rifle, was he

Page 9189

1 identified to you or to your group as, in fact, a HVO

2 sniper?

3 A. He was identified to us by the sheer fact

4 that the badge which he has on his tunic and the fact

5 that he was looking after that weapon, to us signified

6 that he was a sniper.

7 Q. Can you tell us approximately where this

8 photograph was taken?

9 A. I can't remember now, I'm afraid, where it

10 was.

11 MR. SCOTT: Very well. We can stop there,

12 Your Honour, if you like.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now until

14 half past 11.00.

15 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.

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

17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, with our thanks to

18 the Registry, we are able to confirm that the

19 photograph of the sniper rifle is indeed Z2773.

20 Q. Before moving on, Major, the vehicle that the

21 UNHCR driver was in when he was shot and killed, was it

22 marked as an UNHCR vehicle?

23 A. Yes, it was. Large letters along the side of

24 the vehicle.

25 Q. Is it correct, sir, that the effect of this

Page 9190

1 one single shot was to stop all humanitarian relief

2 convoys into Stari Vitez for at least the following two

3 weeks?

4 A. Yes, that's right. The UNHCR were affected

5 quite badly by this incident. And it pretty much

6 stopped all UNHCR activity within the Lasva Valley for

7 approximately one to two weeks. It was not something

8 which they had expected and it took some considerable

9 reassurance by UNPROFOR to get them to continue with

10 their activities. But from then on the UNHCR were very

11 wary about going into any area which was not quite as

12 stable as they would like.

13 Q. Did they insist on BritBat escorts?

14 A. Certainly into Stari Vitez and to anywhere

15 near a front line they requested direct UNPROFOR

16 escorts, yes.

17 Q. Would it be fair to say that to the extent

18 this reflected additional duties on the part of the

19 British Battalion's part, that this, given scarce

20 resources, kept them from doing something else?

21 A. Yes. The British Battalion had been trying

22 to encourage the aid agencies to work independently on

23 their own rather than rely on direct escorts, because

24 that was very intensive for our vehicles and our

25 manpower. We tried to create the conditions where they

Page 9191

1 could go about their business without direct escorts

2 and therefore we could cover a larger area of ground

3 with the same number of people.

4 Q. Is it correct sir, that a sniping campaign is

5 psychologically damaging and in fact has a very

6 demoralising effect?

7 A. Yes. The whole purpose of attrition by a

8 small number of individuals can have a deep,

9 psychological impact on soldiers as well as civilians,

10 and certainly in the case of Stari Vitez the systematic

11 attempts to prevent the civilian population from going

12 about their day-to-day business of trying to maintain

13 their crops and their own independent food supplies by

14 the use of snipers meant they had to conduct a lot of

15 their outside activities at night.

16 So this again has a psychological impact on

17 the individuals concerned.

18 Q. Was it your assessment, Major, that many of

19 the attacks on the population in Stari Vitez were

20 either deliberately targeted at civilians or the result

21 of indiscriminate fire?

22 A. Certainly from the indirect weapons, mortars,

23 whatever, then it was an indiscriminate targeting or

24 policy, but certainly the use of a direct weapon like a

25 rifle, to me indicates a fairly direct policy of

Page 9192

1 attrition, of psychologically trying to intimidate a

2 civil population. By the sheer fact that the majority

3 of the casualties which I was involved in were

4 definitely non-combatants and by being women and

5 children.

6 Q. Moving, in fact, to the issue of indirect

7 fire. Is it correct that another major cause of the

8 injuries or deaths to Muslim civilians in Stari Vitez

9 was from blast or shrapnel injuries?

10 A. The majority of the collateral damage and

11 some of the civilian casualties were created by blast

12 injuries created by explosives of indirect weapons.

13 Q. In your experience, did the indirect weapons

14 consist of both mortar fire, in the sense of

15 traditional or actual military weapon, call it a

16 mortar, and also something that became known as fire

17 extinguisher bombs?

18 A. Yes. The use of professionally manufactured

19 military mortars of varying calibres were employed, but

20 also the homemade, what we would term homemade or

21 locally produced mortars, utilising fire extinguisher

22 canisters which we referred to as fire extinguisher

23 mortars or fire extinguisher bombs.

24 Q. In your experience, would these canisters

25 typically filled with either gasoline or petrol, to

Page 9193

1 make an incendiary bomb or an explosion, create blast

2 injuries?

3 A. Yes. The two types encountered, which we

4 were informed about, were the blast or explosive filled

5 or the incendiary device with whatever ignition

6 substance was used to create the fire.

7 Q. And the approximate range of these fire

8 extinguisher bombs was something like 100 to 200

9 metres?

10 A. Yes, they were a very short range weapon,

11 although we had no or I had no direct involvement of

12 where the baseplate or the firing point was, but I

13 certainly saw the results of the receiving end of such

14 devices.

15 Q. Can you describe to the Court how these fire

16 extinguisher bombs were actually fired?

17 A. The process to launch these locally produced

18 mortars would be to have a tube slightly larger than a

19 fire extinguisher to ignite a substance to

20 ballistically launch or throw the projectile the

21 desired distance of 150 to 200 metres.

22 Q. All right. I am going to direct your

23 attention, please, to Exhibit Z2039, which should be

24 distributed, I think. It's on the ELMO, or I hope the

25 Court will also have copies.

Page 9194

1 What is depicted there in Exhibit Z2039?

2 A. That looks like the casing, the fire

3 extinguisher, which would be the actual projectile

4 which would be thrown or ballistically launched from

5 the baseplate to the receiving point.

6 Q. What was the accuracy of these weapons,

7 Major?

8 A. They were not particularly accurate in the

9 terms of how I would describe military produced

10 weapons. There were no guiding things, it's homemade,

11 and therefore it all depends on the way the system is

12 used, how hurriedly it is produced, how the baseplate,

13 the launching point, is dug in. Not a particularly

14 accurate weapon.

15 Q. Were they fairly slow in flight, and

16 obviously this would vary from particular targeting,

17 but generally speaking slow in flight from the time of

18 being fired until the time of impact?

19 A. Yes. Any mortar is traditionally a slow

20 weapon. It's trajectory, obviously, is deemed by the

21 range which is required. But it is not a swift weapon

22 of one or two seconds. It would take some time from

23 launch to detonation at the contact point.

24 Q. What is the effect or consequence of that, in

25 terms of the weapon in fact hitting what it was you

Page 9195

1 originally were shooting at?

2 A. I would say that from my experience these

3 types of weapons are -- they are not accurate. You

4 cannot guarantee that it will hit what you intend it to

5 hit. It is an area weapon.

6 Q. Given the situation in Stari Vitez, which we

7 might not be able to fully appreciate just looking at

8 the aerial photograph, which is still on the easel, but

9 in your experience, was it often the case that these

10 fire extinguisher bombs and mortars, for that matter,

11 were being fired over buildings, that is buildings that

12 intervene between the firing point and the impact

13 point?

14 A. Yes. Certainly line of sight from the firing

15 point to the contact point would not necessarily be

16 available. So you were firing it over obstacles, over

17 buildings or whatever.

18 Q. So there again you could not be at all

19 assured whether you were firing at civilians or whether

20 you were firing at a military target?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Having said that, was it in your experience

23 the case that the impacts of these fire extinguisher

24 bombs was frequently some distance away from what you

25 knew were in fact the combat lines?

Page 9196

1 A. The few times I was in Stari Vitez when this

2 system was employed, I was unaware of where the

3 military actually were, but certainly on a number of

4 occasions they certainly landed in the habitation area

5 or where the civil population or the population lived.

6 Q. It's correct, sir, that on the 17th of July

7 1993 you evacuated three Bosnian Muslim civilians, a

8 man, woman, and child from Stari Vitez who were all

9 wounded by shrapnel from mortar fire?

10 A. Yes, that's correct.

11 Q. And the man died?

12 A. He did.

13 Q. Now, you touched on this earlier. When you

14 wanted access to Stari Vitez, you went to the Hotel

15 Vitez; is that correct?

16 A. If the entry point or the checkpoints into

17 Vitez or Stari Vitez didn't allow us access, then, yes,

18 I would have to go to Hotel Vitez to negotiate entry

19 into Stari Vitez. If there was no hindrance, then I

20 would just drive straight in.

21 Q. And the person who you typically came to deal

22 with at HVO headquarters was Darko Gelic; is that

23 correct?

24 A. Yes, that's right.

25 Q. You described him earlier as a liaison

Page 9197

1 officer for Colonel Blaskic?

2 A. Yes. I can't remember which month, but it

3 was after we had constantly been going into Hotel

4 Vitez, I think it was decided to make a single point of

5 contact in Hotel Vitez where the UNPROFOR could always

6 go to build up almost a personal relationship, so then

7 it would speed things along and make things more

8 reliable because we started to get to know how people

9 worked.

10 Q. Was it your experience that Mr. Gelic himself

11 could give you approval or authorisation right away?

12 A. No. It was certainly the case that we would

13 go and make a request and it would be discussed with

14 Darko Gelic, and then he would invariably leave and

15 discuss elsewhere and come back and give us a

16 decision. He was sort of the first point of contact

17 for us in Hotel Vitez, but very rarely did he actually

18 say immediately "Yes" or "No" to our requests.

19 Q. Directing you to the 1st of June, 1993, is it

20 correct, sir, that you were contacted by the Merhamet

21 aid representative in Stari Vitez, who said that she

22 was very concerned because the HVO had deliberately

23 stopped all aid going into Stari Vitez and that her

24 main concern was the small hospital there which badly

25 needed medical supplies?

Page 9198

1 A. Yes. Whenever I went into Stari Vitez, I

2 would always go to the hospital but also to the

3 Merhamet representative within Stari Vitez just to see

4 how things were, because again they were a focal point

5 who could give me the general situation as to

6 humanitarian supplies within Stari Vitez, because if

7 anybody delivered aid, it would always be within their

8 presence. So they could give me indications as to how

9 the population were doing, and generally they were

10 realistic.

11 Q. I'm going to try to pick up the pace a bit,

12 Major. Is it correct that on the 19th of July, 1993,

13 after some substantial difficulty, you and Captain

14 Whitworth were, in fact, able to evacuate some seven

15 wounded Bosnian Muslim civilians from Stari Vitez to

16 the hospital in Zenica?

17 A. Yes, that's right.

18 Q. Around the 26th of July of 1993, did you

19 learn that there had been some direction from the HVO

20 in Mostar to the effect that the HVO would prevent any

21 further Red Cross convoys from moving unless the HVO in

22 Novi Travnik was allowed to receive aid?

23 A. Yes, that was made known to me.

24 Q. You learned that through the Red Cross?

25 A. Yes. Every morning, I would go to the ICRC

Page 9199

1 headquarters in Zenica, and they made it known to me at

2 one of their briefings.

3 Q. Is it correct, sir, that in your assessment,

4 the HVO practices, in connection with Stari Vitez we've

5 discussed so far this morning, could, in the

6 obstruction of humanitarian aid, use a sniper campaign,

7 the use of indiscriminate mortar fire and the fire

8 extinguisher bombs, cause the result of either serious

9 injury or death of many Muslim civilians in Stari

10 Vitez?

11 A. Yes, it did cause the deaths of people in

12 Stari Vitez.

13 Q. And did you gain an appreciation that the

14 people in Stari Vitez were in any sense being used as a

15 leverage or a bargaining point?

16 A. Certainly, it was implied that they were

17 there for leverage against the ABiH who were outside

18 the Vitez pocket.

19 Q. Can you tell us whether it was common

20 knowledge that the HVO chain of command had ordered

21 that Bosnian Muslims not be allowed to leave Stari

22 Vitez?

23 A. Yes, and it was made known to me at the

24 checkpoints when I tried to enter Stari Vitez on a

25 number of occasions.

Page 9200

1 Q. Was there any particular incident or

2 conversation which supported -- further supported the

3 notion that essentially the Muslim civilian population

4 in Stari Vitez was being held hostage?

5 A. The threats were implied that should

6 anything -- should any concerted effort by ABiH forces

7 be made against Vitez, then Stari Vitez would suffer,

8 and that was alluded to a number of times throughout

9 the summer of 1993.

10 Q. And on the 18th of July, 1993, did you have

11 one such conversation with Mr. Gelic?

12 A. Certainly it was Mr. Gelic that implied that

13 Stari Vitez, I think he said, would suffer should

14 further ABiH attacks be forthcoming.

15 Q. Do you recall Mr. Gelic saying something to

16 the effect that essentially the HVO would end the

17 fighting in Stari Vitez when they were ready to end the

18 fighting?

19 A. Certainly, the -- it was implied that they

20 were -- sorry, the HVO were in control and could end

21 whatever or could do whatever they wanted to whenever

22 they wanted to.

23 Q. In your military assessment, did the HVO have

24 sufficient military resources in the area of Stari

25 Vitez to defeat whatever ABiH forces might have been

Page 9201

1 there?

2 A. I think the resources could have been made

3 available to precipitate and take any aggressive action

4 to a conclusion for the HVO.

5 Q. Looking back at Exhibit -- we'll use the

6 smaller version because it's so much easier for

7 everyone -- at Exhibit 2174, sir, given the proximity

8 of both the HVO headquarters for the Central Bosnia

9 Operative Zone at Point A and the headquarters for the

10 Vitez Brigade at Point B, can you tell the Court your

11 assessment of whether it would have been possible to be

12 or work at either of those locations day after day

13 throughout 1993 and not be aware of what was happening

14 in Stari Vitez?

15 A. I would find it very difficult to believe

16 that individuals in those locations would not be aware

17 or even be interested in what was happening some five

18 or six hundred metres away from them. Any expenditure

19 of ammunition generally makes someone interested to

20 know in which direction it's travelling.

21 Q. Is it correct, sir, that in particular by

22 about mid-1993, the provision of humanitarian aid and

23 evacuation of casualties in Central Bosnia, surely, and

24 perhaps even more widely than that, had become a

25 high-profile and international issue?

Page 9202

1 A. Yes. Organised evacuation casualties or

2 evacuation of casualties had become relatively high

3 profile. As it was always to get something like a

4 large evacuation going or organised, it invariably met

5 at the highest levels of the command to get authority

6 to do so, because invariably it would cross a number of

7 front lines and involve a number of various

8 organisations, and media were involved, and therefore

9 it was immediately catapulted into a fairly

10 high-profile event.

11 Q. In your experience, did these issues -- were

12 these issues driven and did they require resolution at

13 the very top levels of the various sides?

14 A. In my experiences of the larger evacuations

15 within the Lasva Valley, certainly it was never

16 resolved at the lower levels of command, it was always

17 resolved at the highest levels of command.

18 Q. Can you relate to the Court your assessment,

19 and any particular examples if they come to mind, in

20 which you saw the Bosnian Croat side specifically

21 linked to the provision of humanitarian aid and

22 evacuation of casualties on the one hand and a military

23 or political programme on the other hand?

24 A. The evacuation of casualties from a hospital

25 in Nova Bila was linked to delivery of humanitarian

Page 9203

1 aid, but it was also linked to, more importantly,

2 military operations in trying to negotiate a ceasefire

3 to cross various front lines to evacuate 50 or 60

4 civilians to Kiseljak, and it was made quite clear on

5 one particular occasion that the ceasefire would not be

6 forthcoming because the HVO were in the opinion where I

7 believe that the term used was, "We're winning, and

8 therefore you'll get a ceasefire when we're ready."

9 Q. Let me direct your attention, please, to

10 Exhibit 1213. First of all, could you first tell the

11 Court what Exhibit 1213 is?

12 A. It's a daily milinfo -- military information

13 summary which was produced by the military information

14 cell within the British Battalion. The designation

15 "1 PWO" is the title of my unit.

16 Q. And were these reports essentially prepared

17 and distributed on a daily basis?

18 A. Yes. The reports were produced at the end of

19 every day by the military information officer and were

20 distributed throughout the UNPROFOR chain of command.

21 Q. Let me direct your attention to about the

22 middle of that -- perhaps a little above the middle of

23 the page. Did it come to your attention that on about

24 the 25th of September, 1993, a U.N. civilian -- excuse

25 me, civil affairs officer had met with Dario Kordic to

Page 9204

1 discuss access to Stari Vitez, which by that time again

2 was still being obstructed by the HVO by means of mines

3 across the road, and it was reported to you or to the

4 British Battalion that Dario Kordic had said access

5 will be denied until the ABiH cease their attacks in

6 the Lasva Valley?

7 MR. SAYERS: Objection to that question, Your

8 Honour, on the ground that it lacks foundation. I

9 don't think that the Prosecution has actually laid a

10 foundation either that the Major spoke to Mr. Kordic or

11 that the Major spoke to the gentleman that reported

12 this.

13 JUDGE MAY: That is clear from the document.

14 In fact, what's happening is that the document is being

15 produced and it speaks for itself. What weight we give

16 it, of course, will be a matter for us.


18 Q. Just one point of information, sir. Do you

19 know the identity of this U.N. civil affairs officer

20 who met with Mr. Kordic?

21 A. Yes, I do. And he lived in the camp with us

22 and he shared an office with me.

23 Q. Who was that, sir?

24 A. That was an American citizen, Mr. Randy

25 Rhodes.

Page 9205

1 Q. And these reports, these milinfosums, were

2 again the type of reports and documents that were

3 routinely used by the British Battalion and, for that

4 matter, UNPROFOR forces generally; is that correct?

5 A. Yes, it was.

6 Q. Sir, just so the record is clear, did you at

7 any time attempt to smuggle or supply weapons or

8 ammunitions into the Bosnian Muslim enclave of Stari

9 Vitez?

10 A. Absolutely not.

11 Q. And at any time, to your knowledge, did any

12 humanitarian aid organisation transport munitions into

13 Stari Vitez during your tour?

14 A. Not to my knowledge, no.

15 Q. Now, on the Bosnian Croat side, if you will,

16 did you become involved in efforts to evacuate wounded

17 and injured from the Nova Bila hospital involving

18 Bosnian Croat victims?

19 A. Yes, I did.

20 Q. And during those efforts is it correct, sir,

21 that the hospital administrator there wanted you to

22 take other people besides the seriously ill and

23 wounded, take other people out from that area as part

24 of your convoy, if you will?

25 A. On one particular occasion, yes, it was

Page 9206

1 suggested that I should do that.

2 Q. Do you know who these people were that the

3 administrator wanted you to take out?

4 A. I got the impression that they were relatives

5 of some of the people that were going to be evacuated,

6 but also people who had no connection at all with the

7 wounded that we were trying to evacuate.

8 Q. Were you exercising or following strict

9 guidelines yourself in terms of only evacuating the

10 seriously wounded persons?

11 A. Yes, I tried to apply the same rules the

12 International Red Cross applied, but also the allowance

13 for doing these evacuations was quite involved, as 3rd

14 Corps, BiH headquarters in Zenica also had to give

15 their approval. So there was certain guidelines,

16 procedures, which had to be strictly adhered to, with

17 the production of lists of names agreed by both sides,

18 and impartial observers to identify that the people on

19 the list were the people that were being loaded onto

20 the vehicles.

21 So it was quite a lengthy and protracted

22 process.

23 Q. Is it correct, sir, that when you refused the

24 administrator's request that he threatened you?

25 A. Yes. It was made very clear that I

Page 9207

1 personally would physically suffer if I didn't do what

2 was asked.

3 Q. And it was in connection with this particular

4 incident that you were awarded The Queen's Gallantry

5 Medal?

6 A. Yes. Fortunately, the conversation was cut

7 short because the hospital was mortared at the time.

8 Q. And you proceeded nonetheless to take Bosnian

9 Croat wounded out of the area?

10 A. Yes, I did.

11 Q. Turning to another area called Kruscica. Did

12 you become involved with this village in a similar

13 fashion to, in some ways, your involvement at Stari

14 Vitez?

15 A. Yes. In the early part of the tour, to

16 assist the ICRC and UNHCR in delivery of humanitarian

17 aid, I was involved in attempting to get through

18 certain roadblocks, yes.

19 Q. And directing your attention to Exhibit 2624,

20 which is the small map, not the photograph, but the

21 map. Is the area marked 4 on Exhibit 2624 roughly

22 south, southeast of Vitez?

23 A. Yes, that's right.

24 Q. Or, excuse me. West, south, southwest. Is

25 it correct, sir -- Your Honour, in an attempt to move

Page 9208

1 us along, I am going to lead through here until Defence

2 counsel objects.

3 Is it correct, sir, that the HVO troops who

4 usually manned a checkpoint in connection with access

5 to Kruscica, there was a checkpoint there, but it

6 appeared to you that they were orchestrating women and

7 children in the area to obstruct access to Kruscica?

8 A. Yes, they were.

9 Q. Is it correct that one of the HVO soldiers on

10 the side of the road was someone that you came to know

11 as Captain Nikola -- I'm sorry.

12 A. That was the name that he gave me, yes.

13 Q. Was it clear to you that this Nikola and the

14 HVO soldiers were in fact directing what the women and

15 children were doing?

16 A. Very much so.

17 Q. And how do you draw that conclusion?

18 A. During the protracted negotiations of some

19 three to four hours to try and gain entry into

20 Kruscica, the local or the ring leaders of the

21 blockade, the women, would invariably leave the group,

22 go and speak to Captain Nikola, and then come back and

23 then continue the negotiation in a different way. To

24 me it appeared that they kept going to either confirm

25 or to report back as to what was being negotiated.

Page 9209

1 Q. So this did not appear to you, in fact, to be

2 a spontaneous uprising of civilian women and children?

3 A. No.

4 Q. After some negotiations you were allowed

5 through, correct?

6 A. Yes. To start with, the negotiations would

7 last two or three hours, but after that they tended to

8 get longer and longer, and the agreements to get

9 through would get more and more protracted, but

10 invariably we would get through.

11 Q. On the 17th of May, sir, you again attempted

12 to reach Kruscica to provide medical aid to two badly

13 injured Bosnian Muslim civilians from the village who

14 had been hit by sniper fire. You again ran into a

15 roadblock of the Bosnian Croat women and children,

16 after some hours you were able to gain access to

17 Kruscica, but by that time two of the victims had

18 died. Is that correct?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. The following day, on the 18th of May, you

21 tried to reach Kruscica again, you again ran into the

22 roadblock of women and children. This time the

23 roadblock had been reinforced, if you will, by the

24 presence of mines on the road; is that correct?

25 A. It is.

Page 9210

1 Q. On a particular occasion did you attempt to

2 walk through, if you will, the women and children by

3 standing in front of your Land Rover and essentially

4 walking slowly through the crowd with the attempt to

5 have the Land Rover then follow you through at a slow

6 speed?

7 A. Yes, I did attempt that.

8 Q. What happened?

9 A. The soldiers either side of us opened fire

10 over our heads.

11 Q. On the 20th of May is it correct that you

12 accompanied the Red Cross, a convoy trying to reach

13 again the Muslim civilians of Kruscica. At the HVO

14 checkpoint, the convoy was stopped, the HVO Commander,

15 again this Nikola, refused to allow the convoy to pass,

16 despite the fact that there had been some 25 tonnes of

17 aid delivered in fact to the HVO side in Vitez around

18 that time?

19 A. Yes, that's right. There was, on a previous

20 attempt to get through, one of the complaints was that

21 aid had not been delivered to the Caritas warehouse in

22 Vitez. So, therefore, to try and allay that and put

23 that one aside, I arranged that aid would be delivered

24 and some 25 tonnes were delivered, but again allowance

25 to transit through the checkpoint, a different reason

Page 9211

1 was given, so we couldn't go through.

2 Q. Is it correct that not only that you

3 presumably were expressing some concern over being

4 continually obstructed and delayed, but, to your

5 knowledge, was the British Battalion chain of command

6 passing complaints or protest to the HVO chain of

7 command?

8 A. Very much so. After one or two attempts of

9 not being able to get through, I personally briefed my

10 commanding officer, General Duncan, who I believe took

11 this issue up with his -- or with Hotel Vitez, whoever

12 he spoke to there.

13 Q. Typically, again at this idea of commensurate

14 levels, was it General Duncan --

15 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, please slow down.

16 A. I'm sorry.


18 Q. Was it your observation and experience that

19 General Duncan would then typically deal directly at

20 his level with Colonel Blaskic?

21 A. Yes. There were definite levels of who would

22 deal with who. And it was generally General Duncan who

23 would deal with Colonel Blaskic at his level.

24 Q. On the 24th of May 1993, you were again

25 prevented from crossing into Kruscica by a HVO

Page 9212

1 commander who said he would not allow any aid to pass

2 unless the HVO also received aid?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. On the 27th of May you met with the mayor of

5 Vitez, Ivica Santic, to discuss the problems that had

6 occurred during this previous week, the ones that we

7 have been talking about in the last few minutes; is

8 that correct?

9 A. Yes, I did.

10 Q. During that conversation, did Mr. Santic keep

11 making references to an alleged videotape possessed by

12 the HVO that "proved" that the UNHCR was supplying

13 weapons and ammunition to the ABiH?

14 A. Yes. During this time, reference was

15 continually made to a video which proved, apparently,

16 that UNPROFOR or aid agencies were delivering weapons,

17 arms, to the BiH forces.

18 Q. Did you understand that this video was

19 supposedly taken at a HVO checkpoint?

20 A. Yes, apparently it had been taken at a

21 checkpoint, but I don't know which one.

22 Q. Did you specifically ask Captain Nikola to

23 show you this video so that you could actually see this

24 evidence?

25 A. Yes. On a number of occasions I requested to

Page 9213

1 have access to this video, so that I could see what was

2 involved.

3 Q. At any time was the video produced to you?

4 A. No. The video was never produced. And,

5 again, in my -- my interpreter informed me that the

6 video, in discussions that she had heard, that the

7 video was propaganda. It didn't exist.

8 Q. All right. Now, just to clarify that. When

9 you would be in these various conversations or stopped

10 at a checkpoint, your interpreter would actually be

11 able to hear other conversations taking place among

12 various HVO soldiers perhaps standing around your

13 vehicle; is that correct?

14 A. Yes, that's right. When you are negotiating

15 over three, four hours, you tend to take breaks, and at

16 that point my interpreter would obviously listen to

17 what was being discussed around her.

18 Q. Is it correct, sir, it was based on that that

19 she related to you that the conversations among the HVO

20 people themselves were that there was in fact no such

21 video?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. Your Honour, I hate to eliminate any

24 evidence, but in the interests of time I will skip past

25 123 and 124.

Page 9214

1 I would like to direct your attention, Major,

2 to the Convoy of Joy. In your responsibilities as the

3 humanitarian liaison officer for the British Battalion,

4 did you become involved in various efforts to assist or

5 work with the Convoy of Joy?

6 A. Yes. Once the Convoy of Joy had been engaged

7 with firing stopped, it was then over to me to try and

8 assist in evacuation of some of the wounded that had

9 been received in that convoy.

10 Q. Well, the Court has heard, and I don't want

11 to repeat it. This was a very large convoy that had

12 been organised starting in Split, Croatia, ultimately

13 intended for Tuzla; is that correct?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. And in that specific regard did you become

16 involved in transporting four of the wounded Muslim

17 civilian drivers who had been driving some of the aid

18 trucks in the Convoy of Joy?

19 A. Yes. I evacuated a number of casualties. I

20 think it was three or four.

21 Q. Did you understand who had imposed or caused

22 these casualties?

23 A. Yes. The local HVO forces in the Lasva

24 Valley had caused the casualties.

25 Q. Is it correct, sir, that in fact the rules of

Page 9215

1 engagement that was imposed on the British Battalion at

2 this time and all UNPROFOR forces made it very

3 difficult to defend the convoy?

4 A. Not only our rules of engagement, but also

5 our mandate at that time did not allow us to assist in

6 such a direct role with the Convoy of Joy.

7 Q. Nonetheless, sir, is it fair to say, just as

8 a point of historical note, that in this particular

9 instance British Battalion forces were fired on, and in

10 the process of returning fire some HVO soldiers were

11 killed?

12 A. Yes, that is correct.

13 Q. To your knowledge, was this one of the first

14 times in which, in terms of direct combat, if you will,

15 UNPROFOR forces had inflicted casualties on any of the

16 warring parties?

17 A. Yes. It was pretty much a turning point for

18 us as a British Battalion on U.N. duties.

19 Q. Mr. President, at this point I would like the

20 booth to assist us by showing a video which has been

21 marked as Exhibit 2173. There is a transcript that

22 should have been distributed that goes along with

23 that.

24 [Videotape played]

25 MR. SCOTT: There is no sound at this point,

Page 9216

1 Your Honour. There is some footage at the end, which

2 will stop momentarily.

3 [Videotape played]

4 MR. SCOTT: That's it.

5 Q. Major, approximately one third of the way

6 through the video, there was one spot of a British

7 soldier pointing his rifle down the road and then

8 lowering his weapon. Was that one of your men?

9 A. Yes, that was Corporal Nigel Bulmer.

10 Q. And did you find yourself frustrated because

11 of your inability to prevent this situation?

12 A. Yes. It was the first time, really, that our

13 mandate and rules of engagement were exposed to be not

14 quite as effective as we had hoped.

15 Q. Moving on, in the summer of 1993, is it

16 correct, sir, that you saw, in the hills around Novi

17 Travnik, that HVO soldiers were forcing Bosnian Muslim

18 civilians to dig trenches?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. I understand that you were driving by in the

21 course of other duties and came across a group of

22 approximately 15 Bosnian Muslim men who were digging a

23 large trench system while they were being guarded by

24 armed HVO soldiers. Is that correct?

25 A. Yes, it is.

Page 9217

1 Q. On Exhibit 2624, is that the area that's been

2 marked as "5"?

3 A. Yes, it is.

4 Q. Is it correct, sir, that during your tour,

5 you saw on several occasions that the HVO often used

6 their military police to guard ABiH prisoners, the

7 prisoners -- excuse me -- the guards dressed in

8 military uniforms, the civilians that you observed

9 being in civilian clothes?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. Did the HVO military police, at least on some

12 occasions, wear white waist belts and white

13 cross-belts, such as over a shoulder or chest, that was

14 distinctive?

15 A. Yes, they did.

16 Q. Did you attempt to slow your vehicle down on

17 this particular occasion and get a better idea of what

18 was happening?

19 A. Yes, I did.

20 Q. And what happened when you did that?

21 A. It was made clear to me that we shouldn't

22 stop and we should continue.

23 Q. Sir, I move to this very quickly. On the 5th

24 of July, 1993, at about 8.30 p.m., was there an

25 unfortunate situation where your interpreter, in fact

Page 9218

1 the woman who had been with you at many of the events

2 that we've talked about up until now, that she was shot

3 and killed by an HVO sniper?

4 A. Yes, she was.

5 Q. Were you there when she was killed?

6 A. Yes, I was.

7 Q. Where was she when she was shot?

8 A. She was -- stood outside the captain's

9 accommodation, the house by the entrance to the British

10 Battalion. It was in the evening, and a group of us

11 were discussing what had happened that day outside of

12 the house, when some shooting started.

13 Q. This was essentially BritBat property or

14 UNPROFOR property, where she was located? I don't mean

15 that in the sense of ownership but in the sense of use

16 and control.

17 A. Yes. There were a number of houses that were

18 used to accommodate the officers and the military

19 doctors from the British Battalion. It was adjacent to

20 the British camp, and the owners of those houses lived

21 there as well.

22 Q. Was it common knowledge that this was a

23 location being used by the British Battalion for

24 housing?

25 A. It was made very clear. We had a very large

Page 9219

1 U.N. flag hanging from an upstairs window. That flag

2 was directly above where we were sitting at the time

3 when the interpreter was killed.

4 Q. And she was killed, sir, by a single shot to

5 the head from a 7,62-millimetre round from an HVO

6 position; is that correct?

7 A. Yes, she was.

8 Q. Was it determined that this HVO firing point

9 was about 150 metres from the house?

10 A. Yes, approximately that sort of distance.

11 Q. In your assessment, sir, the U.N. flag that

12 was flying over your interpreter's head at the time she

13 was killed, could that plainly be viewed from the

14 location from which the fire was directed?

15 A. If the group of us and the interpreter could

16 be seen, there is no way that the flag couldn't be

17 seen. But it was also common knowledge by this time of

18 our tour that that was a U.N. house. We had had

19 trouble with snipers before using areas around us, and

20 it had been made clear by Colonel Duncan, the

21 commanding officer, that there was a 400-metre

22 exclusion zone around the camp and they should not be

23 actively engaged in firing anywhere near us.

24 Q. Your interpreter was a local woman of mixed

25 Muslim/Serb ethnicity; is that correct?

Page 9220

1 A. Her parents at the time lived in Novi

2 Travnik, yes.

3 Q. And I believe you've indicated before that

4 one of them was a Muslim and one of them was a Serb.

5 A. Yes, that's correct.

6 Q. Based on your experience over the previous

7 months, had you come to know whether your interpreter

8 was particularly liked or disliked by the HVO in the

9 area?

10 A. I got the impression that there were times

11 when her presence was less than favourable.

12 Q. When you were sitting out on the -- again in

13 the area right about the time the shot was fired, those

14 of you among BritBat were wearing your BritBat

15 uniforms?

16 A. It was general practice that we did not put

17 on civilian clothes while we were on duty or deployed

18 in Bosnia, but the interpreter and the majority of the

19 civilian interpreters liked to put civilian clothing

20 back on in the evenings when they were off duty.

21 Q. But the group of you as a whole, in addition

22 to being under a U.N. flag, she was surrounded by

23 people in British uniforms; is that correct?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. To your knowledge, did the British Battalion

Page 9221

1 commanding officer make a formal complaint at

2 Colonel Blaskic's headquarters about this interpreter

3 being killed?

4 A. Yes, he did.

5 Q. Did you ever become aware of any conclusion

6 or outcome of such an investigation, if any?

7 A. No, I'm unaware of any conclusion that was

8 found.

9 Q. Were you aware of any HVO soldier or person

10 who was punished or disciplined for having killed the

11 interpreter?

12 A. I'm unaware of any action having taken place.

13 Q. Let me direct you back now and tie two events

14 together.

15 When the UNHCR worker was killed at Kruscica

16 or, excuse me, in Stari Vitez, sitting inside the

17 vehicle, and when your interpreter was killed, given

18 the circumstances in Bosnia at the time, would not that

19 have been something of some sensitivity, to

20 specifically target essentially, broadly speaking, U.N.

21 personnel?

22 A. Most definitely, yes.

23 Q. And at least one of these soldiers was armed

24 with a very special weapon; is that correct?

25 A. Yes, in the case of the UNHCR worker in Stari

Page 9222

1 Vitez.

2 Q. Based on your military experience, would a

3 decision have been made to kill those kind of

4 individuals by an individual soldier or would that have

5 been the result of command action?

6 A. I would have thought it would be command

7 action rather than a decision at the lowest level.

8 Q. On the 7th and 9th of September, 1993, the

9 HVO attacked the village immediately adjacent,

10 essentially, to the BritBat camp called Grbavica, which

11 is also, I think, sometimes known as Divjak; is that

12 the case?

13 A. Yes, you and I certainly refer to it as

14 Grbavica.

15 Q. This was a town or village which had, up to

16 this time, been somewhat ethnically mixed; is that

17 correct?

18 A. Yes, that is.

19 Q. And directing your attention back to Exhibit

20 2624, this is the area marked on the map as Area or

21 Item 6; is that correct?

22 A. It is.

23 Q. There were a number of houses in the village,

24 including many that were immediately around the British

25 Battalion camp; is that correct?

Page 9223

1 A. Yes, there were.

2 Q. And did the Muslim civilian population and

3 perhaps Croat population live in these houses?

4 A. Yes, they did.

5 Q. At least for the first part of the attack,

6 sir, and then in the aftermath of the attack, did you

7 see various parts of the assault on the Bosnian Croat

8 houses just outside of the British Battalion camp?

9 A. Yes, I did.

10 Q. And were you able to see, in contrast, the

11 Bosnian Croat houses were untouched?

12 A. Certainly after the fighting had finished, it

13 was clear to see which houses had been engaged and

14 which ones hadn't.

15 Q. Was it the after-action assessment, if you

16 will, of the British Battalion that the houses that

17 were left standing were houses in which resided Bosnian

18 Croat families?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. After the attack, did you notice that these

21 houses, many of them, were looted and burned after

22 having been cleansed of the Muslim occupants?

23 A. The houses which were still standing were

24 certainly looted to the point where someone actually

25 tried to come and loot the house which we were living

Page 9224

1 in.

2 Q. HVO soldiers actually entered your house to

3 loot it, to attempt to loot it?

4 A. Yes, they did.

5 Q. I take it they were stopped.

6 A. We were still in residence at the time, and

7 they were asked to leave.

8 Q. Was it your assessment of this attack on

9 Grbavica that it was a well organised and professional

10 attack?

11 A. It certainly gave the impression of being

12 well coordinated, yes.

13 Q. Do you recall some of your colleagues, in

14 fact, commenting, on watching the attack, that it was

15 like watching a training video?

16 A. Yes, that comment was made. It was a very

17 competent military operation.

18 Q. On the evening of 8th September 1993, sir,

19 did British Battalion forces transport a group of

20 Bosnian Muslim civilians near the village to Travnik to

21 prevent them from being killed, even after the battle,

22 by HVO soldiers?

23 A. Yes. A group of local Muslims were moved to

24 a reception centre in Travnik.

25 Q. And here again, sir, in the course of that

Page 9225

1 event or again after the initial attack, there was an

2 incident where one Muslim civilian man who had survived

3 the attack was conversing with two British Battalion

4 officers, and as he was standing talking to the

5 officers in British uniforms, he was shot and killed?

6 A. Yes, that incident did happen.

7 Q. Just to conclude on that, after the attack,

8 the HVO military forces essentially moved away and the

9 houses themselves became occupied by Bosnian Croats

10 within 24 hours; is that correct?

11 A. Yes, that happened.

12 Q. I would like you to look very briefly at

13 Exhibits 1782 and 1782,1, which are colour photographs

14 or copies of the same. Are both those photographs,

15 sir, pictures taken of the village of -- at least parts

16 of the village of Grbavica after the HVO attack?

17 A. Yes, they are.

18 Q. Now, toward the end of your tour, sir, on the

19 26th of October, 1993, were you advised by British

20 Battalion headquarters that you might have to travel to

21 another Bosnian Muslim village called Stupni Do in a

22 few hours because of a reported HVO massacre there a

23 few days earlier?

24 A. Yes, that's right.

25 Q. And on, in fact, the 27th of October, the

Page 9226

1 next day, did you set off in a Land Rover, with other

2 British Battalion components, to Stupni Do?

3 A. Yes, we did.

4 Q. You were approximately two hours behind

5 A Company which had departed earlier under the command

6 of Major Roy Hunter?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Is it correct that on your way into Stupni

9 Do, the Land Rovers were stopped at a well-manned HVO

10 checkpoint outside of Vares, near Stupni Do, and the

11 HVO soldiers there were wearing regular HVO uniforms

12 and were heavily equipped?

13 A. Yes, they were.

14 Q. You and the others were originally prevented

15 from passing the checkpoint into Stupni Do; is that

16 correct?

17 A. Yes, we were prevented to start with, but

18 after a period of negotiation, we were allowed through.

19 Q. Did you gain any insight as to who it was who

20 had to give ultimate permission or authorisation for

21 you to get through?

22 A. The local checkpoint commander just walked

23 away from us and came back at a later time, after some

24 10, 15 minutes, and then said we could proceed.

25 Q. When you arrived at Stupni Do, is it fair to

Page 9227

1 say, sir, that the village was totally destroyed?

2 A. Most definitely, it was pretty uninhabitable

3 when we got there.

4 Q. Based on what you had seen at Ahmici when you

5 went there at the end of April, is it fair to say that

6 in some sense, perhaps, Stupni Do was even worse than

7 what you saw at Ahmici?

8 A. Yes. The destruction was complete in Stupni

9 Do.

10 MR. SCOTT: I would like the usher -- I

11 apologise. I did not have a chance to copy these

12 before. There are black and white Xerox copies that

13 have been distributed so that everyone has them.

14 Colour copies will be substituted, Your Honour. If you

15 could just hand these to him.

16 Q. By way of orientation, Major, you may have to

17 look at the back of the photograph to get the number.

18 They unfortunately have a tendency to stick together.

19 If you can look first at Exhibit 2048,2, is that a

20 photograph of at least part of the village after the

21 attack?

22 A. Yes, it is.

23 Q. Is that essentially representative of what

24 you saw throughout the entire village area?

25 A. Yes. The immediate thing which we noticed

Page 9228

1 was the vast majority of roofs on the houses were

2 non-existent.

3 Q. Is it correct to say that there were very few

4 houses that had not been set on fire and totally

5 destroyed?

6 A. That's right. The majority of them had no

7 roofs.

8 Q. You also encountered a number of bodies still

9 in the area?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. Can you relate to the Court any particular

12 bodies that you saw which indicated to you that these

13 were not deaths of combatants?

14 A. There were three women in a vegetable pit in

15 the cellar of a house. The bodies were still in there,

16 the lid was open, and they had been killed what looked

17 like inside where they were obviously hiding.

18 Q. Could you please look, with the usher's

19 assistance, at Exhibit 2048,5? Tell us what that is.

20 A. Yes. That's the area where we found the

21 bodies.

22 Q. You're looking essentially down the length of

23 something like a basement or cellar?

24 A. Yes, that's right.

25 Q. And it may be difficult to tell with the

Page 9229

1 ELMO, but can you point to approximately, because we're

2 going to move in on this progressively closer, but with

3 this larger view, can you point to the approximate area

4 where the three women were found?

5 A. In this area here [indicates] just by this

6 green bucket in the corner.

7 Q. Would you go to Exhibit Point 6, please? By

8 that, I mean for the record Exhibit 2048,6.

9 Again the ELMO makes it difficult. Now, can

10 you see further the location of these three women?

11 A. Yes, you can. You can see them just above

12 the bucket here. And here is the lid which will be

13 above the pit where they were hiding.

14 Q. Would you look at Exhibit 7.

15 A. Yes, that's a close-up of what we found.

16 Q. They were hiding in a basement and in a

17 further enclosure under the floor; is that correct?

18 A. Yes, that's right.

19 Q. And would you look finally at Exhibit 8. As

20 you were in this cellar at the time --

21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I

22 am interrupting you for a moment to ask the Major

23 whether he could tell us, in respect of this photograph

24 and in respect of this exhibit, whether he knows how

25 these three women were killed?

Page 9230

1 A. We were told not to disturb any evidence, as

2 war crimes investigators were going to arrive, but a

3 cursory examination, certainly of these three, I felt

4 that this woman here had had her throat cut and the

5 other two had been stabbed and shot.

6 Q. As you stood in that basement, sir, was there

7 any indication, any evidence around these three women

8 that they posed any military threat to anyone?

9 A. No evidence which we could find at this

10 particular site, no.

11 Q. When you attempted to leave Stupni Do later

12 that day, is it correct, sir, that you were stopped

13 again by an HVO checkpoint?

14 A. Yes. The same checkpoint that we had used to

15 enter Stupni Do stopped us on our leaving.

16 Q. And were they particularly hostile toward you

17 leaving the area?

18 A. They were very agitated and seemed to be more

19 apprehensive rather than overtly aggressive.

20 Q. Did they take up firing positions against

21 your vehicle?

22 A. Yes, they wanted to stop us leaving. And a

23 young soldier had a rocket launcher on his shoulder,

24 which to me indicated that -- and it was pointing in

25 our direction, which indicated that he had taken up a

Page 9231

1 firing position. And a number of them had cocked their

2 weapons or made their weapons ready in front of us and

3 were pointing them at us to try and enforce the point

4 that we shouldn't leave.

5 Q. Through your interpreter, were you able to

6 determine that the soldiers were asking, wanting to

7 know what had you been doing in the village, what had

8 you seen, what were you doing up there?

9 A. Yes. That was the general line of the

10 conversation to me through my interpreter, what were we

11 doing here, what had we seen, what were we going to

12 do. Generally along those lines.

13 Q. By the fact of your being here, I guess we

14 know you were ultimately able to leave the checkpoint;

15 is that correct?

16 A. Yes, that's right. After some negotiation

17 and being fairly forceful in our manner, we were

18 allowed to proceed.

19 Q. In conclusion, then, Major Bower, was it your

20 assessment and your experience throughout your six

21 months in Central Bosnia that the HVO deliberately

22 hindered and obstructed not only your efforts but the

23 efforts of other humanitarian organisations to provide

24 relief to Muslim civilians in Stari Vitez, in Kruscica

25 and other locations?

Page 9232

1 A. Yes, that's right.

2 Q. And again did this occur to you -- did this

3 appear to you to be the acts of individual soldiers or

4 was it not only your conclusion but the conclusion of

5 the British Battalion that this was part of an

6 organised, orchestrated campaign?

7 A. Yes, it was -- it definitely seemed to be a

8 policy which was applied and throughout the Lasva

9 Valley.

10 Q. Can you finally tell the Court, to your

11 knowledge, sir, was there any military justification

12 for denying or obstructing repeatedly your efforts to

13 provide humanitarian aid to the Muslim civilians in

14 these villages?

15 A. There was no reason whatsoever.

16 MR. SCOTT: The Prosecution has no further

17 questions, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, do you want to make a

19 start now or would you prefer to leave it until

20 tomorrow?

21 MR. SAYERS: I think tomorrow would be more

22 than convenient, if that's --

23 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Sayers, microphone,

24 please.

25 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn until tomorrow.

Page 9233

1 How long do you anticipate being with this

2 witness?

3 MR. SAYERS: I think two hours, Your Honour,

4 maybe.

5 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I don't know what

6 will be left for me, but I guess an hour, hour and a

7 half.

8 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

9 Major, we have to adjourn now. It's not

10 possible for us to sit this afternoon because members

11 of the Court are dealing with another case. So I must

12 ask you to be back, please, tomorrow morning. I trust

13 that we will conclude your evidence. If you'll be back

14 at 9.30.

15 Could you remember in this adjournment or in

16 any others there may be, not to speak to anybody about

17 your evidence, and that, of course, includes members of

18 the Prosecution team.

19 Thank you. We'll adjourn now until half past

20 9.00 tomorrow morning.

21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

22 at 12.53 p.m., to be reconvened on

23 Tuesday, the 2nd day of November,

24 1999, at 9.30 a.m.