Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12421

1 Monday, 4th October, 1999

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-95-16-T, the

7 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,

8 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and

9 Vladimir Santic.

10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Before we start

11 with our next witness, just for the record, I would

12 like to point out that, of course, with reference to

13 Exhibit P310, 310, of course, the pages concerning the

14 opinion of the witness about the activity and role of

15 Vladimir Santic on the 15th and 16th of April must be

16 struck off the record. This is in keeping and actually

17 a consequence of our ruling on Thursday. So I'm

18 referring to this document so that we will not take

19 into account anything relating to that particular

20 point.

21 All right. We may now move to our next

22 witness.

23 Good morning. Could you please stand and

24 make the solemn declaration?

25 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

Page 12422

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

2 truth.

3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be

4 seated.

5 Mr. Blaxill?

6 MR. BLAXILL: Mr. President, Your Honours,

7 good morning. Thank you. Learned counsel, good

8 morning.


10 Examined by Mr. Blaxill:

11 Q. Mr. McLeod, good morning to you.

12 A. Good morning.

13 Q. Sir, could you just briefly indicate what

14 your present occupation is and confirm your date of

15 birth?

16 A. I was born on the 27th March, 1963, and at

17 the moment, I work as a business manager for a

18 construction company.

19 Q. After you'd completed formal education, sir,

20 what profession did you take up?

21 A. I was an army officer. I joined the British

22 army in 1982 and left in 1992 with a rank of captain.

23 Q. During that time, sir, in what branch of the

24 army did you serve? Were you army or infantry or which

25 branch?

Page 12423

1 A. I was in the infantry, in the heavy

2 infantry. I served in Germany at the point where we

3 still thought there was a threat from the Russians, and

4 I also served in Northern Ireland on two tours as a

5 counter-terrorist officer.

6 Q. When you left the British army, what

7 particular occupation did you follow then?

8 A. For the following two years, I worked in the

9 former Yugoslavia. For the first year, I was working

10 for the British foreign office as a monitor in the

11 European Community Monitoring Mission based in Zagreb,

12 and then for the second year, I worked for

13 Mr. Stoltenberg in the International Conference on the

14 former Yugoslavia.

15 Q. Did you take up any particular appointment

16 towards the end of 1992?

17 A. Yes. For the bulk of my year with the ECMM,

18 I was assigned to the humanitarian section, based in

19 Zagreb but then working across Croatia and Bosnia.

20 Q. Coming to May of 1993, did you perform any

21 specific commission or particular function at that

22 time?

23 A. Yes. Between the 3rd and the 12th of May,

24 1993, I was sent by the headquarters of ECMM, by the

25 deputy head of the political mission, Ole Brix

Page 12424

1 Andersen, down to Central Bosnia, to Vitez and Zenica,

2 to carry out an investigation into what had happened

3 there in the middle of April, particularly on the 16th

4 of April, and I was told to go down and meet with

5 political and military leaders and civilian leaders on

6 both sides of the confrontation line that had been

7 established between the Croats and the Muslims, to talk

8 to them, to ask them what had happened, and to then

9 write a report, and while I was there, also to stress

10 to them that whatever had happened, it was not to

11 happen again because, quite clearly, it was

12 fairly horrific.

13 Q. Was that the first physical contact you'd had

14 with that particular area of Central Bosnia?

15 A. No. In fact, I'd spent the preceding

16 Christmas and New Year based as the ECMM's liaison

17 officer at Kiseljak. So I was the ECMM liaison officer

18 at General Morillon's headquarters then.

19 Q. So, firstly, when you undertook this mission

20 in May of 1993, what did you actually do upon arrival?

21 Did you go and inspect any locations or do anything of

22 that nature?

23 A. Having arrived, the first thing that I was

24 concerned to do was to build the picture for myself of

25 what had happened. So I met with the ECMM, who were

Page 12425

1 based in Zenica, my own colleagues there; I met with

2 the BritBat, UNPROFOR, who were based just outside

3 Vitez. I collated all of the reports they had written

4 and plotted it on a map to see what had happened and

5 when, according to our own information.

6 On the 4th of May, I accompanied Jean-Pierre

7 Thebault, who was the head of the ECMM mission in

8 Zenica, across to meet Colonel Bob Stewart, the CO of

9 BritBat, and I accompanied them as they went to look

10 around Ahmici, which was not a particularly pleasant

11 thing to do under the circumstances. I spent the next

12 couple of days continuing to collate information, work

13 out for myself what had happened before then, meeting a

14 range of people and interviewing them.

15 Q. So you say you visited Ahmici; that was an

16 on-site location. What do you recall observing when

17 you visited the village of Ahmici?

18 A. The village was just outside Vitez. It was a

19 village going up on the side of a hill, gently sloping

20 up the side of a hill. It appeared that it had been a

21 mixed village with probably Croatian houses lower down

22 the hill and Muslim houses then stretching up the

23 roads, going up the hill.

24 There was a mosque in the village which had

25 been attacked and the minaret had been blown up. It

Page 12426

1 was characterised by the fact that some of the houses

2 were still occupied, and the people living in the

3 houses came out to look at what was going on, and then

4 the majority of the houses going up the hill had been

5 burnt. Their roofs had obviously been burnt and had

6 collapsed inside the houses. There was some signs that

7 there had been shooting, with bullet holes in the

8 walls, for example.

9 So I think one could characterise this as a

10 village which had been ethnically cleansed, and I'd say

11 that based in light of various other villages that I

12 had seen in Northern Bosnia and Croatia, which had

13 pretty similar characteristics.

14 Q. Did you carry out any other kind of on-site

15 inspections during that few-day mission that you

16 undertook?

17 A. While I was there, as well as meeting various

18 people, I also visited the Croatian prison in

19 Busovaca. I didn't get a chance to visit the Muslim

20 prison in Zenica, although I think my success rate in

21 getting people released from that prison was better

22 than my success rate in Busovaca.

23 Q. So in addition to those physical inspections,

24 you have mentioned meeting persons. Could you give us

25 an indication of the kind of persons you met and the

Page 12427

1 kind of bodies or authorities they may have

2 represented?

3 A. Certainly. As I said, during my

4 introduction, I was basically trying to meet the key

5 military and political leaders. So on the Muslim side,

6 I met the mayor of Zenica and the commander and one of

7 his deputy commanders of 3rd Corps, so that was the

8 local Muslim military formation, and also in Zenica, I

9 met a couple of the Croatian Catholic priests who were

10 effectively the local -- well, not the only, but they

11 were certainly people who one could have access to,

12 leaders of the -- in the pastoral sense, of the

13 Croatian population in Zenica.

14 On the other side, I met the mayor of Vitez,

15 I met then Colonel, now General Blaskic, who was the

16 military commander on the Croatian side. I met some of

17 the Muslim military leaders in one of the villages just

18 outside Vitez, and then in Busovaca, I met the imam, so

19 pastoral leader of the Muslim population in Busovaca, a

20 Croat-controlled town, and I met the man who's running

21 the Croatian prison and a number of Croatian policemen

22 in Busovaca.

23 Q. What was the methodology of your meetings

24 with these people, and were you accompanied by anybody

25 else when you went to these meetings?

Page 12428

1 A. Yes, for every single meeting that I had, I

2 was accompanied either by Eric Friis-Pedersen, who was

3 an ECMM monitor based in Zenica, or by Jean-Pierre

4 Thebault, who was the head of the regional centre in

5 Zenica, and an interpreter. The methodology that I

6 used was --

7 Q. If I may interrupt you for a second. Since

8 we are both on the same language channel, I understand

9 we're being a little fast for the interpreting

10 services. So perhaps you can slow down just a bit.

11 Thank you. Please carry on, Mr. McLeod.

12 A. Certainly, and I apologise to the

13 interpreters.

14 The methodology that I used for my interviews

15 was fairly simple. I explained in each case who I was,

16 that I had been sent from the headquarters of the ECMM

17 in Zagreb specifically to speak to these people. I

18 asked them to explain, in their own words, what had

19 happened on the 16th of April leading up to that and

20 then immediately thereafter.

21 I took with me to each of the meetings a

22 photocopied map of the area and some coloured pens and

23 invited each of the people that I was talking to to

24 explain to me on the map what had happened, which made

25 it far easier to work out when they were describing

Page 12429

1 events where they were, and then to start relating what

2 they were saying to the picture I built up in my mind

3 of where either the ECMM or UNPROFOR had said that

4 things had taken place.

5 Because I was working in each case through an

6 interpreter, as in the courtroom will get it right,

7 there was a delay between what they were saying and

8 then when I was coming back and asking my next

9 question, which gave me a chance to write down what

10 they were saying, in most cases or in many cases,

11 virtually the datum as it was coming from the

12 interpreter. I then used those handwritten notes,

13 typed up to form the basis of the report that I wrote

14 when I got back to Zagreb.

15 Q. I would like to show you a document now,

16 please, Mr. McLeod. Perhaps the exhibit could be

17 shown, please. Can you say whether you recognise that

18 document, Mr. McLeod?

19 A. Yes, this looks like a complete copy of the

20 report which I wrote.

21 Q. And what format does that report take?

22 A. What one has is my covering letter

23 distributing it, a list of the contents, a one-page

24 summary of my thoughts, having written the report, a

25 note on how I actually produced the report, and then a

Page 12430

1 series of annexes which are my typed notes, sometimes

2 with the odd comment which I added later on, and then

3 as appendices to the annexes, documents which I was

4 given by various people during the meetings.

5 At the back of the report is a table which

6 was the summary which I produced for myself at the

7 beginning of my tour out there of events as noted in

8 the daily reports or weekly reports of either UNPROFOR

9 or ECMM, and at the very back, there's a photocopy of

10 the map which I annexed to the back so that people

11 could, again, just identify where things had taken

12 place.

13 Q. Now, Mr. McLeod, at page 1 of the report

14 document itself, you actually set forth a text

15 containing a number of observations on your part.

16 Could you just briefly talk us through this and

17 indicate upon what bases you drew those conclusions

18 that you included in that report? Again, sir, I would

19 ask you to be mindful of the interpreters.

20 A. Certainly. The conclusion that I reached was

21 that on the 16th of April, the Croats had launched a

22 coordinated attack against the Muslim villages around

23 Vitez, of Old Vitez, which was the Muslim part of

24 Vitez. At the same time, it appeared that they had

25 arrested 13 leading members of the Muslim community in

Page 12431

1 Vitez --

2 Q. If I could interrupt at that point. Did you

3 look into that question of the supposed arrest of 13

4 persons?

5 A. Yes. I was given a list of people whom the

6 Muslims were keen to trace by the mayor of Zenica. I

7 discussed the list with the members of the Muslim

8 military that I met just outside Vitez and they told me

9 what they thought had happened to some of them. I then

10 met a number of men who had been arrested in the prison

11 in Busovaca, and I met one of the men who had been

12 arrested and then released in his house in Vitez.

13 Q. Thank you. Sir, you said you made the

14 observation that the Croats launched a coordinated

15 attack. Can you just explain why you drew that

16 particular conclusion?

17 A. It was quite clear from all of the reports

18 and what I was being told by both parties that early in

19 the morning of the 16th of April, fighting had broken

20 out in a number of places at the same time, and that in

21 itself suggested that there had been a coordinated

22 attack on somebody's behalf.

23 So the issue was then to work out -- I think

24 there was no dispute about the fact that this had taken

25 place, so there was no dispute about the fact that

Page 12432

1 events had started in a number of places at the same

2 time. It was then a matter of working out whether the

3 events had been started by one party or the other

4 party.

5 The most significant event which would

6 suggest that it was started by the Croats rather than

7 by the Muslims was that a number of people were

8 arrested early in the morning in their beds, and having

9 had personal experience of trying to pick people up in

10 Northern Ireland, I'm aware that you have to put quite

11 a lot of thought and effort into going in to collect

12 even one person, as opposed to a number of people.

13 So that event in itself appeared to me to be

14 coordinated, and, therefore, it struck me that if, as

15 the Croats suggested, the Muslims had attacked them and

16 they had been caught completely by surprise, then they

17 would have been defending their positions rather than

18 going out in a coordinated manner and arresting people

19 in their beds. Equally, if the Muslims had launched

20 this coordinated attack against the Croats, then the

21 very people that were arrested would have been at least

22 prepared for this and probably not asleep in their

23 beds.

24 Therefore, my conclusion was that since

25 nobody was disputing the fact that something had been

Page 12433

1 clearly coordinated, that one side was coordinating it

2 and one side was reacting to it.

3 Q. When you spoke to the various people,

4 however, whom you interviewed, did you get any

5 differing, as it were, theories or schools of thought

6 as to what had actually happened?

7 A. Yes. Basically, there were three theories

8 that were going around; two of them one can find fairly

9 easily attributed within the report, the third one

10 clearly I had picked up at that point, although it's

11 not attributed within the report, and those were, first

12 of all, that perhaps the Croats had launched an attack

13 on the Muslims. This was the Muslim point of view.

14 Secondly, that the Muslims had attacked the Croats.

15 This was one of the Croatian points of view, and

16 Colonel Blaskic, for example, said he had been

17 surprised by this attack and woke up in his bed.

18 There was also a theory being put about that

19 it was -- well, Ahmici particularly was actually the

20 work of Serb agent provocateur who were attempting to

21 stir up a conflict between the Croats and the Muslims,

22 but that, frankly, didn't seem to hold much water.

23 Q. You have clearly, in your report, opted for

24 one of those versions, so can you just give us an

25 indication as to why you -- what factual grounds you

Page 12434

1 ascertained to discount the others? Firstly, the Serb

2 one, I mean.

3 A. While it was quite clear that the Serbs who

4 had been attacking southwards from Northern Bosnia were

5 against both the Croats and the Muslims for a very long

6 time, were continuing to shell, for example, I think

7 Muslim areas and probably Croat areas before and after

8 these events took place, and therefore they would have

9 been quite happy if they could have found some way of

10 destabilising what, up until then, had been a fairly

11 satisfactory military alliance between the two

12 parties. I find it hard to believe that they could

13 have mounted a series of coordinated, covert attacks

14 and made them look like the work of one or other of the

15 parties without really having realised what was going

16 on. Therefore, as to whether it was a series of Muslim

17 attacks, while the Muslims could clearly have mounted a

18 series of attacks, and indeed there what I would see as

19 their counterattack was very nearly successful, so they

20 had the capability of doing something like that, then I

21 can't believe the Croats would have had the time to go

22 around arresting people in Vitez, amongst other

23 things.

24 Also, for example, having looking at Ahmici,

25 it was quite clear that the battle damage was all to

Page 12435

1 the Muslim houses as opposed to the Croat houses. I

2 think that if the Muslims had been attacking, then it

3 would have been the other way around, and therefore I

4 was left pretty much with the conclusion that I

5 reached.

6 Q. Sir, in the third paragraph of your

7 observations, you mention movement of Croat population

8 through propaganda. How do you reach that observation?

9 A. Well, this is based on what I was told by the

10 ECMM, by the UNPROFOR, and indeed by both the mayors of

11 Zenica and Vitez. There was no dispute about the fact

12 that a large proportion of the Muslim population of

13 Zenica had requested and attempted to move from Zenica

14 to Vitez. The overriding impression which I had,

15 having talked particularly with Jean-Pierre Thebault,

16 was that this was something which the Croats were

17 attempting to orchestrate possibly for a couple of

18 reasons; one, to make sure that it would not seem

19 unreasonable when there was a return of Muslim

20 population from the Vitez area, and a number of

21 different reasons all stemming from the same point.

22 But it would also, if there was a movement of

23 population, justify their view that therefore in order

24 to have an equitable balance, there shouldn't be any

25 Muslims on the Croatian side.

Page 12436

1 Q. Subsequent to the preparation and submission

2 of your report, have you come across or have you had

3 cause to look into any further matters that would in

4 any way alter your view or change anything that you

5 have placed in that report?

6 A. Well, having written the report and filed it,

7 I then simply carried on working in the theatre for

8 another year and a bit, and without actually going back

9 to the region or looking at these particular events

10 again, nothing that I learned over the subsequent year

11 would lead me to change my view.

12 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. McLeod. That

13 concludes my questions. Thank you, Your Honours.

14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.

15 Counsel Pavkovic, who is going to

16 cross-examine this witness?

17 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Mr. President.

18 Counsel Jadranka Slokovic-Glumac will cross-examine the

19 witness.

20 THE REGISTRAR: The Prosecution exhibit will

21 be 393, Prosecution Exhibit 393.

22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel

23 Slokovic-Glumac?

24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Good morning,

25 Mr. President. Good morning, your Lordships.

Page 12437

1 In this annex marked Annex R, it is evidently

2 a report submitted by the U.N. and the ECMM.

3 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:

4 Q. Are these the integral versions of these

5 reports? These reports are referred to in Annex R on

6 your report.

7 A. If I understand the question correctly,

8 you're asking whether this is the verbatim text of the

9 original reports.

10 Q. No, not whether it is verbatim, but is it the

11 integral version of the report? Is it the full text of

12 the report for these days? You're covering the period

13 between the 13th of April until the 30th of April. I'm

14 asking if these are full texts of these reports.

15 A. No. What I was doing was taking full daily

16 reports or weekly reports which would have a wide range

17 of information, some of it administrative, to do with

18 the ECMM, for example, and then highlighting those

19 elements of the reports which were relevant to building

20 up a picture of what had happened. So I think it's

21 safe to say that these were all of the key elements

22 which were reported by ECMM and UNPROFOR but certainly

23 not all the information in the reports.

24 Q. These are the key events, in your view, in

25 your eyes, is it, because you made the selection?

Page 12438

1 A. I think these are all the items -- I think

2 these are all the items which were reported, other

3 than, for example, administrative matters. It's rather

4 difficult, without having originals here, to be able to

5 make a comparison, but I think that is the case.

6 Q. And in that report, you cover a period --

7 you're covering the latter half of April; is that so?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. And the report opens with an event in

10 Travnik, where a conflict broke out between the HVO and

11 the BH army, in the centre of the town. That is what

12 it says. When you say here, if you look at the 13th of

13 April, you say, "Uncontrolled forces within the HVO and

14 the BH fought in the centre of the town or clashed in

15 the centre of the town." Does that "BH" mean the army

16 of BH?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Throughout the text, is it whenever you

19 mention "BH", referring to some military formations,

20 you mean the BH army; is that so?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And that day, it was reported that four HVO

23 officers were abducted in the Travnik area, allegedly

24 by members of the 7th Muslim Brigade; is that so?

25 A. That's correct.

Page 12439

1 Q. As for the 15th of April, 1993, in Zenica, a

2 rather important meeting was held related to the

3 security in the town and the investigation related to

4 the abduction of HV officers. Why is it that Zivko

5 Totic's abduction and the murder of his escorts are not

6 mentioned here? You must have heard or read that Zivko

7 Totic was the HVO commander in Zenica, that he was

8 abducted on the 15th of April, and that his escorts

9 were killed.

10 A. Yes, I had heard about that, but that was not

11 one of the items in the reports which were written by

12 ECMM or UNPROFOR. So I was aware of the event, people

13 were certainly talking about it, but it didn't occur in

14 the reports which I was going through.

15 Q. After that, on the 15th of April, there came

16 the report of the shelling of Putis in the Busovaca

17 municipality, an incident in Kacuni, and on the 15th of

18 April, fierce fighting broke out in the area of Vitez.

19 That is what your report says. After that, after a

20 period of time, several reports come in covering the

21 16th of April, saying that there is fierce fighting in

22 villages around Vitez, Rijeka, Vranjska, among the

23 villages mentioned, and then they describe fighting

24 around the sports stadium in Vitez and some combat

25 activities in Gornja Veceriska. Also on the 17th of

Page 12440

1 April, there is a report that ECMM is reporting about

2 some combat activities in Vitez which lasted almost

3 throughout that particular day.

4 Now, in view of these reports that you went

5 through and singled out, and in view of the interviews

6 that you had with a large number of people, did you

7 come to the conclusion that the BH army was present in

8 the Lasva Valley on the 16th of April, 1993?

9 A. Yes. It was quite clear that the two parties

10 had been working together, that a degree of tension had

11 then built up. This had broken down into fighting, I

12 believe, in the October of the year before. Then again

13 in January of that year, tension was clearly very high

14 and there were, as you have highlighted, a number of

15 incidents going on in the days leading up to the 16th.

16 And then on the 16th, the -- if you like, the

17 pace of the battle changed, it accelerated, and what

18 had been serious tension -- it was clear that people

19 had been digging trenches, for example, in villages

20 leading up to that point and people had been trying to

21 restabilise it, that all of that broke down for a few

22 days. And then, as you can see at the bottom of that

23 page, are three -- or over the next page, that there

24 was a ceasefire then signed on the 20th. So for about

25 four days, there was intense fighting.

Page 12441

1 Q. Right. So you concluded that it is beyond

2 dispute that the BH army was in the Lasva Valley on the

3 16th of April, 1993, that they were in Vitez and around

4 Vitez?

5 A. Yes, and I saw members of the BiH just

6 outside Vitez and in Stari Vitez, for example. So,

7 yes, they were there.

8 Q. In view of these developments, isn't it true

9 that on the 20th of April, a ceasefire was signed, and

10 does this mean, in your view, that the BH army was

11 quite strong in that area, that is, forces were quite

12 strong in that particular area?

13 A. Yes, and indeed it was, as it says in my

14 report, the view of Colonel Blaskic that if there had

15 not been a ceasefire between -- brokered by the ECMM

16 and UNPROFOR between the two parties, then the Muslim

17 forces would certainly have cut off, in his view, the

18 road between Vitez and Busovaca, and he was not quite

19 sure what would have happened thereafter.

20 Q. Does that mean, therefore, that the BH army

21 forces were stronger than the HVO forces? You are

22 saying that one doesn't know what could have happened

23 had it not been for the ceasefire. Is that what it

24 means?

25 A. I think Colonel Blaskic had been surprised by

Page 12442

1 the strength of the, in my view, counterattack. In any

2 case, he had been surprised by the strength of the

3 attack which the BiH forces were able to launch against

4 his troops following the 16th. That was the impression

5 I had.

6 Q. Did you believe General Blaskic at that

7 moment, when he told you that, about the strength of

8 the BH army?

9 A. I'm not sure that I made a value judgement

10 about the strength of the army, but I certainly

11 recognised that his description of what had happened

12 and his evaluation of the tactical situation was almost

13 exactly the same as that which UNPROFOR had given me a

14 couple of days before. So what he was saying matched

15 almost exactly what UNPROFOR had thought as well.

16 Q. I should like to ask you to have a look at

17 the annex to your report relative to the conversation

18 with the then Major Bryan Watters. Let me just find

19 it. It is annex J. You met him on the 9th of May,

20 1993. Have you found the text?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You say you had a long conversation with

23 Major Watters about the events of the 16th of April and

24 the following days. You do not have your conversation

25 recorded here in detail, but you drew four principal

Page 12443

1 conclusions from what he told you; is that so?

2 A. I think these were his four conclusions which

3 I noted, rather than my four conclusions. Certainly,

4 his second point was his view, and I had no way of

5 recognising whether that was true or not.

6 Q. Right. So when you go to the first item, it

7 says there -- he speaks about the attacks on Stari

8 Vitez, Vitez, Kruscica, and Ahmici and that these

9 attacks were coordinated, or, rather, looked

10 coordinated and that they were all carried out by the

11 HVO. That is something that we also saw in your

12 report, so you took over his conclusion.

13 Under 2, it says that it seems that Ahmici

14 was a very carefully chosen target because of the

15 determination of the holy land and because there was a

16 large number of imams there. Did you hear this

17 conclusion or this definition from anybody else but

18 Major Watters?

19 A. I'm afraid that now, six and a half years

20 later, I simply can't remember whether anybody else had

21 mentioned that. He certainly is the only person that I

22 have noted in my report, from memory, as having said

23 something like that.

24 Q. So you did not hear from anyone else that

25 Ahmici was attacked for religious reasons, to destroy

Page 12444

1 houses of worship or to destroy a village which had a

2 particular religious significance?

3 A. No, I can't remember anybody else saying

4 that, although clearly Major Watters must have heard it

5 from somebody or other people. But, no, I can't

6 remember anybody else saying that.

7 Q. In the third conclusion, it is said that

8 Croats evidently demonstrated the intent of removing

9 the Muslim population from Vitez but that they were not

10 prepared for the quick and efficient response of the BH

11 army. This is what you told us, that the BH army was

12 in the Lasva Valley and that, evidently, according to

13 Major Watters, it responded very well to the Croat

14 attack; is that correct?

15 A. Yes. That was his view and the general

16 consensus which UNPROFOR and ECMM seemed to have

17 reached.

18 Q. Fourthly, according to him, the HVO escaped,

19 the HVO was saved only owing to the ceasefire

20 concluded, owing to the good offices of the U.N. and

21 the ECMM. That was the fourth conclusion.

22 A. That was his fourth conclusion. It was also

23 a conclusion that I had reached.

24 Q. Does that mean this also would tally with

25 what General Blaskic told you; is that correct?

Page 12445

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And that means that the HVO forces were

3 evidently weaker or less strong than the BH forces in

4 that area.

5 A. I simply don't know how many troops there

6 were on both sides, but it was clear at that tactical

7 moment that the -- or it appeared clear at that

8 tactical moment that the ABiH were reacting more

9 forcefully and being more successful. That was the

10 impression which one got.

11 Q. Did the BH army have enough troops in that

12 area to launch an attack; that is, could it launch an

13 attack, an attack on the Croats, on the HVO?

14 A. Yes.

15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Could the usher please

16 show the witness P92? Could P92 be shown to the

17 witness so that I can find it? Excuse me. P82; it is

18 P82. I'm sorry.

19 Q. It is a report by the Human Rights

20 Commission. It was drawn up at about the same time

21 when your report was done, and it was based on the

22 conclusions of Payam Akhavan and [redacted]. Are

23 you familiar with that report?

24 A. No, I haven't seen this before.

25 Q. Had you met Payam Akhavan and [redacted]

Page 12446

1 at the time when you were in Bosnia, in May 1993? Did

2 you meet them then?

3 A. Yes, I did.

4 Q. Did you work together, or, rather, did you

5 meet with the same people or similar people and cover

6 similar topics? Did you also exchange your views or

7 the news that you had received, or the information that

8 you had received, did you exchange with them?

9 A. Yes, I met [redacted] before I went down

10 to the Lasva Valley, and it was his intervention with

11 the deputy head of the ECMM, which, in part, led to my

12 being sent down there to see what had gone on. I think

13 that both of them were present in Ahmici when I was

14 there on the 4th of May, and I then bumped into the two

15 of them again from time to time when I was working for

16 the International Conference because they had an office

17 in the compound. But I'm not sure that I actually met

18 them again while I was in Vitez, I simply can't

19 remember, in Vitez and Zenica.

20 Q. But you do remember being with them in Vitez

21 on the 4th of May, 1993? In Ahmici, I'm sorry.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And who else was with you on that occasion?

24 A. So there were, I think, three ECMM

25 ambassadors who were doing an even more rapid report

Page 12447

1 than I was doing who were there, and they went to

2 Vitez, Ahmici, and then they went straight down to

3 Mostar where things were also bubbling over; Bob

4 Stewart, who was providing the security; I think that

5 Payam and [redacted] were there; certainly, one of

6 them -- I think [redacted] was -- I think both of them were

7 there; Jean-Pierre Thebault, who was hosting the ECMM

8 ambassadors; and I was very much in the background.

9 Q. Was a SkyNews TV team with you also on that

10 occasion?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Who was behind such a high level visit to

13 Ahmici? Who organised it and what was the purpose of

14 that?

15 A. I think that Bob Stewart had organised it.

16 I'm simply not sure now whether Jean-Pierre Thebault

17 had asked for the ECMM ambassadors to be allowed to

18 visit Ahmici. I think that that was probably the case,

19 but I'm simply not sure what arrangements had been

20 made, since I arrived the night before and this was my

21 first day in the theatre.

22 Q. On that occasion, were some human remains

23 found in one of the houses and whether then it was

24 recorded on tape?

25 A. Yes.

Page 12448

1 Q. Did [redacted] say then that there were

2 human remains in the house and that one should go

3 there, see what it was about, and record it? Do you

4 remember that, that he was referring to the

5 communication from a witness from whom he had heard

6 that it was his family there?

7 A. Yes. I believe that [redacted] knew that there

8 was a house, and having walked up to the top of the

9 village, we then walked down through the village, and

10 he was attempting to find the house. They then located

11 the house and a number of people, including, I think,

12 the ECMM ambassadors, and Bob Stewart and [redacted] went

13 into the house. I felt that there was no need to go

14 and look myself at something quite as horrific as that,

15 so I didn't go into the house.

16 Q. What did you see there, after you entered it?

17 A. Well, I didn't go into the house because I

18 didn't particularly want to see human remains that had

19 been burnt. I stood next to the cattle barn, which was

20 actually outside the house, and one of the cows had

21 obviously been burnt, so it was still quite smelly.

22 Q. I should like to ask you kindly to have a

23 look -- even though you did not see this report, but it

24 refers to the same period of time and the same area --

25 to look at item 9, segment B. It says: "The town of

Page 12449

1 Vitez."

2 Will you please have a look or, rather, read

3 that passage?

4 A. I'm not sure how much you'd like me to read.

5 Q. Only this fragment, where it says: "Early in

6 the morning on the 16th of April, armed conflicts broke

7 out between the BH army and Croat HVO forces in the

8 town of Vitez."

9 I believe you agree with this wording. That

10 is what you confirmed to us, that there is no doubt

11 that there was an armed conflict between the BH army

12 and the Croat forces in the town of Vitez; is that

13 correct?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. It is also said that there was a simultaneous

16 and, obviously, concentrated attack of Croat forces on

17 adjacent villages. You will agree with that too, won't

18 you?

19 A. I'm not sure if it was the translator or

20 perhaps going from English to Croatian and back again,

21 but in the original report, it's a concerted, rather

22 than a concentrated attack, and therefore concerted

23 would be coordinated. But basically I would agree with

24 what's written.

25 Q. Then it says that it seems that the majority

Page 12450

1 of villagers managed to put up a defence, that fighting

2 went on and lasted for a while, with the exception of

3 Ahmici which is referred to later. Would you agree

4 with this part too, that is, that the majority of

5 villagers managed to fend off?

6 A. I think that in many cases, and I saw a

7 couple of villages, there was fighting which had gone

8 to and fro, and in some cases, the ABiH had mounted an

9 offence and, therefore, was still actually there and

10 present, and it did seem that Ahmici had been

11 completely run over.

12 I'm not sure to what extent there had been a

13 defence, but as I described earlier on, the majority of

14 bullet holes appeared to be and the destruction

15 appeared to be of Muslim houses rather than the Croat

16 houses, which were still intact.

17 Q. I'm sorry. There's been a misunderstanding.

18 I just wanted to ask you whether you agree with the

19 statement made that most villagers managed to defend

20 themselves and that fighting was still going on in

21 those villages. That's my question.

22 A. By the time that I was there, the fighting

23 had largely stopped because a ceasefire had been

24 signed. I'm not sure when this report was written, but

25 again there had been fighting. Many of the villages

Page 12451

1 remained under either Muslim or Croat control,

2 depending on which side was in control. Ahmici seemed

3 to be different.

4 Q. Very well. Thank you. There's another

5 sentence. I'm going to read it to you in the original

6 because there's a problem with a bit of the translation

7 of this text, but I would like you to read it just in

8 case. It reads as follows:

9 "... it seems to have changed hands,

10 although the town of Vitez is now split by the

11 confrontation line between the two forces which runs

12 through it."

13 So do you agree that it is primarily in those

14 areas where a certain party had a majority, that that

15 particular side managed to keep that area; that is to

16 say, Muslims managed to keep under their control where

17 they had a majority and the Croats managed to keep

18 those territories where they had a majority, again with

19 the exception of Ahmici?

20 A. I'm not sure in practice, given what various

21 people had said, whether a number of Croatian villages

22 were lost on the original contact line, as the Muslims

23 had pushed further south to try and cut the road --

24 that would be a possibility -- but, in principle, yes.

25 Q. Have you heard of the village of Poculica, a

Page 12452

1 Croat village, a village with a Croat majority before

2 the war? There is a report of the ECMM stating that

3 there is a prison somewhere in the area of Poculica

4 where there are Croat detainees and that nobody has had

5 access or control over that. Have you heard of that?

6 A. Forgive me. Since it's such a long time, is

7 that one of the things that's referred to in the back

8 of my report?

9 Q. All right. At any rate, from this part of

10 the report of the Human Rights Commission, you mainly

11 agreed with this, didn't you, with a few exceptions on

12 the Croat side and the village of Ahmici? This means

13 that villagers were defending themselves, that there

14 was a village defence that was organised in various

15 villages; that is to say, that there were some BH army

16 forces in these villages, is that correct, or, rather,

17 any other military organisations?

18 A. Without referring back to this report, which

19 I'm not sure actually states it, I think that I'm quite

20 clear that on both sides, villages were generally

21 defended, and one could see this pattern of digging

22 trenches around villages and then refilling trenches

23 around villages. That was just the pattern of the war

24 as it was progressing over those months.

25 Q. Trenches are not sufficient to defend a

Page 12453

1 village. People are needed too. So there was some

2 kind of a defence in every village, wasn't there?

3 A. I'm sorry. By saying the trenches were dug,

4 I was implying that, therefore, people had dug the

5 trenches and were then sitting in the trenches with

6 their weapons to defend the village.

7 Q. I'm talking about the period that refers to

8 an earlier stage, but we don't agree on all points.

9 However, we do agree that there was a defence.

10 Do you agree that in Ahmici, there was no

11 defence, and was that the only village in the territory

12 of the Vitez municipality that had no defence

13 whatsoever and that that is why what happened in Ahmici

14 happened, that is to say, the crime in Ahmici? What

15 was the position of Ahmici?

16 In your opinion, in view of all these other

17 villages and all these other examples, was there a

18 defence in Ahmici as well?

19 A. I'm not certain, since I was there after the

20 events took place. I can't imagine that there was no

21 defence of Ahmici. All I can conclude is that the

22 defence of Ahmici was not as robust as in other

23 places. I have no idea why that might have been the

24 case, but I find it hard to imagine that there would

25 have been no defence of the village, given the events

Page 12454

1 which I could see everywhere else. But, clearly,

2 whatever happened there overwhelmed whatever defence

3 there might have been.

4 Q. All right. There's also a factor of

5 surprise, and other military factors that I wouldn't

6 want to go into, that could be involved, but you

7 believe that there was a defence, don't you?

8 A. [No audible response]

9 Q. Thank you. I have completed this part now,

10 but I'd just like to go into a few other things.

11 Mr. McLeod, I would be interested in the

12 following: You said that the objective of your trip

13 and the objective of your investigation was to

14 ascertain what happened in the second half of April

15 1993. You are referring to the 16th only, but your

16 report shows that you actually covered a longer period,

17 that is to say, the entire second half of April.

18 A. Sorry. There was a question there. The 16th

19 of April was clearly the trigger which set off a series

20 of events. I went down to find out why that event had

21 taken place. In order to understand that, one had to

22 try and understand the context in which those events

23 had taken place.

24 Q. And your task was probably to give a report

25 on inter-ethnic relations and the conflicts in Vitez,

Page 12455

1 Busovaca, and Zenica in April 1993; at least, that is

2 the title of your report, isn't it?

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. You said that you talked to a large number of

5 persons belonging to various structures. You also said

6 that you received information from the military

7 authorities, the political authorities. I wonder if

8 you checked these data.

9 A. No. By and large, what I had was various

10 bits of paper which were given to me, and in order to

11 give as full a picture as possible, as rapidly as

12 possible, I think I kept just about everything that I

13 was given and attached it to the report, but given the

14 time, it was impossible to actually verify most of what

15 I was given, and I hope that that was clear from the

16 way I described my report.

17 Q. You said that one of the reasons why you

18 concluded that the 16th of April involved an attack of

19 Croats, the HVO, on the BH army was the fact that 13

20 prominent members of the Muslim community in Vitez were

21 arrested. I can't find this now. Is that right?

22 A. That is correct, and I think you'll find the

23 list you're looking for at A2-1, so that's appendix 2

24 to annex A.

25 Q. These pages are marked in a strange way, I

Page 12456

1 think, so that's why I have a problem all the time.

2 The report shows that you talked to Hasan

3 Sadibasic. He was the only person that you talked to,

4 is that right, out of the 13 Muslims arrested; is that

5 right?

6 A. No. I believe that I actually met some of

7 these gentlemen in the prison in Busovaca, although at

8 this stage, to go back and cross-reference between the

9 list of people that I met in Busovaca and this list

10 would take a couple of minutes. We could do that if

11 you wanted to.

12 Q. I'm interested in the following: You met

13 Sadibasic at his home. He had been released; is that

14 right?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Did you check these other people out? In

17 view of their importance and in view of the

18 significance of this information, did you try to

19 establish contact with these other persons mentioned in

20 the list?

21 A. With the exception of meeting some of them in

22 the prison, no.

23 Q. It says here that Munib Kajmovic, president

24 of the SDA in Vitez, was also arrested on that

25 occasion. Did you believe that piece of information?

Page 12457

1 A. I think so at the time because that's what I

2 was told. I think it's quite clear that under the

3 circumstances, one couldn't be aware of whether

4 everything one was being told was correct or not, which

5 is why I tended to write everything down and present it

6 so one could later on draw a conclusion when one had

7 better facts.

8 Q. You talked to Santic, who was the mayor of

9 Vitez, and Pero Skopljak. You were told that they were

10 trying to organise a meeting with Munib Kajmovic, who

11 was president of the SDA in Stari Vitez. This was a

12 man who had actually never been arrested. Did you put

13 the two facts together?

14 A. No.

15 Q. We heard the testimony of a certain witness

16 the other day, for example, that Batija Sivro, as

17 member of the war presidency, was arrested on the 19th,

18 the 19th of April, 1993, not, as it says here, on the

19 16th of April. The same goes for Nedim Zlotrg.

20 I wonder if this changes your perception or

21 your conclusion that the attack took place in the early

22 morning and that obviously it was an attack of the HVO

23 against the Muslim forces, if all of this is not

24 correct, that is to say, if these Muslims were arrested

25 three days later, after the conflict broke out?

Page 12458

1 A. My understanding is that if not all, then a

2 majority of these people were arrested early in the

3 morning on the 16th. If that is correct, and I suspect

4 that you have far better ability to verify whether it

5 is or not than I do, then my conclusion holds.

6 Q. All right. So this is a conclusion on the

7 basis of the facts as they were presented to you and

8 that you did not check out.

9 I'm also interested in the meetings that you

10 had with some of these persons. First of all, you

11 mentioned that you met the mayor of Zenica, Besim

12 Spahic. You talked to him about the situation in the

13 area and you got his description of the events after

14 the 16th of April, 1993. Tell us briefly, so that we

15 don't go into all of these details now, how did he

16 describe the situation, that is to say, the position of

17 the Croats from the 16th of April, 1993 onwards, that

18 is to say, until you had this conversation with him on

19 the 15th of April, 1993? What was the position of

20 Croats in Zenica?

21 A. There had been tension. There was fighting

22 going on. A large number of Croats who had been within

23 the HVO in Zenica had been arrested. A number of them

24 were still being detained. A number of -- a

25 significant, I think, number of people had been either

Page 12459

1 moved out or had left their houses. A number of houses

2 had been destroyed, things had been stolen, and clearly

3 this was a far-from-imperfect [sic] situation.

4 What he said he was trying to do about it was

5 that he was trying to stabilise the situation. He was

6 trying to arrange joint patrols to go out and monitor

7 events, and he was trying to encourage people to go

8 back to their houses. So therefore the impression was

9 that things were far from right and a number of things

10 had taken place which were clearly wrong, but he was

11 attempting to stabilise the situation. What he said he

12 wanted was to return to a multi-ethnic community. That

13 was what he was saying he was trying to achieve.

14 Q. In his report, it says that 2.000 people had

15 fled -- this is concrete data related to what you had

16 said -- that after the conflict 40 Croat houses were

17 torched and looted, that 16 persons were killed, but

18 not in a massacre. That is to say that there is quite

19 a bit of information related to this very bad position

20 of the Croats in Zenica.

21 Is it your assessment that the Croats in

22 Zenica at that time felt unsafe and insecure and that

23 they thought that it was not safe for them to remain

24 there?

25 A. I think that quite clearly the Croatian

Page 12460

1 population in Zenica had felt very insecure. As you

2 can see further on in the report, I had a very

3 difficult public meeting with a group of Croats just

4 outside Zenica who were quite concerned. You can see

5 the details that I was given by the two priests that I

6 met, and so it was quite clear that the Croatian

7 population in Zenica were unhappy, were not completely

8 confident. But again the impression that I was given

9 by the two priests was that things were trying to get

10 back to normal and that they were trying to get access

11 and were being given some access to the prisons, and

12 that bit by bit, the local authorities were attempting

13 to stabilise the situation. I would certainly not

14 characterise it as being perfection, and I would not

15 attempt to hide the fact that things were done to the

16 Croatian population which were quite wrong; not at

17 all. That's why I included all the information I was

18 given by the priests, for example.

19 Q. In the reports that were given to you by

20 these priests, there is a meeting with Father Stjepan

21 on the 7th of May, 1993. It says that 21 young men

22 were missing; that they were not in prison; that they

23 were probably in the music school; no one had access to

24 the music school; it was under the authority of the 7th

25 Muslim Brigade, that's what it seems, and also some

Page 12461

1 people were burned to their deaths in their houses in

2 Miletici; 250 families went in Nova Bila and

3 Grahovcici; that another 14 houses were burned; that

4 during the night, people were being taken away, so I

5 would be interested in the following.

6 You said the situation was not all that bad,

7 that efforts were being made to stabilise the

8 situation. However, from this report, we can see that

9 this was on a massive scale, and you said yourself that

10 quite a few persons remained detained, that is to say,

11 members of the HVO remained detained in the prison in

12 Zenica. After all of that, there is your conclusion

13 that the Croats moved out of Zenica only and

14 exclusively for propaganda reasons. Do you think that

15 it is really propaganda reasons that made Croats leave

16 Zenica, not all these events?

17 A. The conclusion that I reached at the time was

18 that the large majority of the people who were moving

19 were moving clearly because what was going on was very

20 unsettling. I would certainly not want to go through

21 that myself, and I doubt that anybody here would.

22 However, that there was a concerted effort being made

23 to move a large number -- to persuade a large number of

24 people to move, and at the time I believe that a large

25 number of those people were actually attempting to get

Page 12462

1 back to Zenica. This is something which Bob Stewart

2 was aware of and the ICRC were aware of, as well as


4 Q. Tell me about these Croats that wanted to

5 return to Zenica and could not have, probably due to

6 propaganda reasons as well. Which Croats did you talk

7 to? Who are these persons who told you that they

8 wanted to come back and could not?

9 A. I didn't speak to the people who were trying

10 to come back, but I did speak to members of BritBat,

11 who had been talking to them. Now, I'm afraid it's so

12 long ago that I can't remember the precise details, but

13 even at this length, that is an impression which is

14 still quite firm in my mind.

15 Q. So you think that primarily the reasons for

16 Croats to leave Zenica were of a propaganda nature and

17 that they were not threatened to such an extent that

18 they really had to leave; is that right?

19 A. I think what I said was that the majority of

20 people or a large number of people were being moved

21 amongst other things because of propaganda. I think it

22 is quite clear that a number of people were being

23 terrorised, some of them were killed, which is the most

24 extreme form of terrorism, and that for that reason,

25 some of them were leaving. I think there's no doubt

Page 12463

1 about that whatsoever. But I do think that there was

2 also -- the impression I was given and the conclusion

3 that I reached, and therefore that's what I thought at

4 the time, was that a large number of people moved,

5 amongst other things, because there was propaganda

6 being put out -- "propaganda" is possibly the wrong

7 word. It's a very strong word. There were messages

8 being sent out from Vitez, suggesting that people

9 should move.

10 Q. Do you perhaps recall through which channels

11 these messages were sent?

12 A. At this stage, not precisely, but I imagine

13 it would have been on the radio.

14 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, this

15 is probably a convenient time for a break. Do you have

16 many more questions?

17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Half an hour.

18 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. So we'll take a

19 30-minute break.

20 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.

21 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.

22 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.

23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,

24 Mr. President.

25 Q. The last question, Mr. McLeod, you answered

Page 12464

1 had to do with the manner that propaganda was conducted

2 among the Croat population in Zenica, and you said that

3 you thought that it was done by radio. That was what

4 you said.

5 Did you trust, did you believe those priests

6 you talked to during those meetings? Fra Bozo and

7 Stjepan, you believed them, you trusted them, you

8 believed what they said?

9 A. Yes. I have no reason to think they were

10 telling me other than what they thought was going on.

11 Q. In your report of the 8th of May, 1993, your

12 interview with Fra Bozo, at the end of page 2, you

13 said, and these are Father Bozo's words, that many

14 people who did not have houses wanted to leave but that

15 he was against it, that is, that Fra Bozo was against

16 it, but that they were not getting any information from

17 the local television and radio and that they were under

18 a complete media blockade. That is E-2, bottom of page

19 2 of that meeting. So, evidently, the propaganda was

20 not conducted in that way.

21 These reports, the ECMM's and U.N.'s, show

22 that some people try to go back to Zenica several

23 times, but that return never took place. Do you know

24 if those Croat refugees did go back to Zenica?

25 A. No, I have no idea whether eventually they

Page 12465

1 were able to get back or not.

2 Q. In view of the information you received about

3 the status of Bosnian Croats in Zenica, I should like

4 to know, how is it that you did not take note of this

5 in your report? Why is it that in your report you did

6 not say anything about the status, about the lot of the

7 Croat population in that part of the Bosnian territory?

8 A. In respect, I think I actually said in my

9 report -- because as far as I was concerned, the entire

10 document was my report -- exactly what I was told by

11 the Croats I met on the Muslim side of Zenica. The

12 conclusion that I reached, which is what was

13 highlighted on the first page of my report, was who had

14 started that particular round of events.

15 Q. I don't really mean to be boring, but just

16 now, you said you did not know if any part of the Croat

17 population returned to the territory of Zenica, that

18 is, any one of that large group of people, and you said

19 in your report, the fourth passage, that the majority

20 of the Croat population went back to their homes in the

21 Zenica municipality.

22 So your report is not quite accurate, is it?

23 You can see it also in the fourth passage of your

24 report.

25 A. I apologise. I thought that your question

Page 12466

1 was referring specifically to the people that we were

2 discussing earlier on who were being held outside

3 Vitez, close to the BritBat camp which we had

4 discussed. I refer back to our earlier conversation.

5 I don't know whether those people actually managed to

6 get back to Zenica.

7 I apologise if I had misunderstood your

8 question.

9 Q. But we were not talking about people who were

10 near the BritBat. We were talking about people in

11 Zenica, at least so far, and I ask you about them

12 specifically.

13 But tell me, please, at that time, you must

14 have known already that there was a brief lasting

15 conflict between the BH army and the HVO in Zenica on

16 the 17th of April, 1993? You did learn about that,

17 didn't you? On that occasion, the HVO surrendered and

18 on that occasion also, HVO members were arrested. Did

19 you know about that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In relation to your interview with Mayor

22 Spahic, you attached a conclusion which he made as the

23 president of the wartime presidency. It is A-4. He

24 says there that -- he orders there to set up joint

25 checkpoints, joint patrols made of MUP, BH army, and

Page 12467

1 HVO members.

2 Don't you think that it is a rather strange

3 conclusion, since at that time the HVO had already

4 become by that time an illegal and adversary army whose

5 officers had been captured? That is A-1 of the

6 conclusions -- item 1, sorry, item 1 of the

7 conclusions.

8 A. Annex 1, I believe. I think that there were

9 still -- I'm not quite certain, but I think that in the

10 area to the northwest of Zenica, there was still some

11 fighting going on, that there had still been some

12 fighting going on.

13 I think you're quite correct that the

14 majority of the HVO had been arrested and were being

15 held in prison; however, what I was told was that they

16 were attempting to set up joint patrols to go out and

17 monitor the situation.

18 Q. How can one organise joint patrols if one of

19 the armies is detained?

20 A. Well, I'd conclude that you let some of the

21 people out of prison and say, "Right. Let's now go and

22 carry out joint paroles." I can't remember exactly how

23 it was working. There was a very strong impression

24 that they were trying to set up joint patrols and that

25 the ECMM were involved in this process.

Page 12468

1 Q. Don't you think that they told you one thing

2 and doctored their conclusions and said a different

3 thing on the ground? Because from these reports, what

4 transpires is from the time you talked to them, 450 HVO

5 members were detained at the outset, another 280 were

6 in prison, and it was Fra Bozo who told you that. So

7 don't you think that they were saying one thing and

8 doing a different thing?

9 A. They were saying one thing, they were doing

10 something else, but I think they may have been

11 attempting to do a third thing. Again, I'd have liked

12 the benefit of having been there for a further month to

13 see what actually happened thereafter.

14 Q. Right. Thank you. But could you tell us, if

15 you know -- you told us that you had been to the Kaonik

16 prison and spoken to its administrator, Zlatko

17 Aleksovski. Did you also visit prisons in Zenica at

18 the time, that is, the penitentiary, the music school,

19 and the police prison?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Why not?

22 A. In practice, members of the ECMM had been

23 into one of the prisons, the details of which are noted

24 in the report, I believe, and I suspect that had I

25 pushed, I would have had the opportunity to do it. In

Page 12469

1 practice, I was running out of time. What I did do was

2 present a case to the ABiH, which suggested that they

3 would have a better negotiating position if they

4 started to unilaterally release prisoners rather than

5 holding prisoners, and this, indeed, is what they did.

6 Again, the details of that are contained in the report,

7 and the release of prisoners by the ABiH was witnessed

8 by the ICRC.

9 Q. You talked to Hadzihasanovic, the BH 3rd

10 Corps commander, and it was on the 7th of May, 1993.

11 One of the topics addressed there was access to prisons

12 for your organisation, the ECMM, and priests.

13 Hadzihasanovic said that he knew nothing about those

14 prisons, such as the music school or the police, so,

15 evidently, you did ask to be given access to those

16 prisons.

17 A. Yes. The issue was simply having enough time

18 to physically do that while I was there.

19 Q. But it doesn't transpire from this that you

20 were granted access to them. It even says that the 3rd

21 Corps commander knew nothing about those prisons, that

22 those prisons existed.

23 Could you please look at D-1? Could you look

24 at D-1, the contents of that particular meeting?

25 A. Yes.

Page 12470

1 Q. You were not curious about their denial of

2 the existence of the prisons? Because you must have

3 heard from Croats that they existed, that in the music

4 school, there were Croats detained, that the conditions

5 there were very bad, and that also there were cases of

6 very serious harassment, ill-treatment of Croats

7 there. Didn't that make you wonder?

8 A. It was precisely because we had heard that

9 people were being detained in these places that we

10 asked for access to them. I'm not sure whether I would

11 be surprised at him saying that they didn't exist or

12 not. The fact of the matter was that we were pressing

13 to get access to what was clearly there, and again I'm

14 not sure whether later on, during the following weeks,

15 my colleagues at ECMM were actually able to get

16 access. What I do know is that members of the ECMM and

17 the priests did have access to the main prison.

18 Q. Do you remember who had the control over the

19 music school, who had it under his control? Was it the

20 police, was it the BH army, was it parts of the BH

21 army?

22 A. I'm not sure that we actually established

23 that. I know that there was a debate going on as to

24 whether it was controlled by 7th Muslim Brigade, and

25 there was also a debate going on as to whether they

Page 12471

1 were controlled by the ABiH directly or not. And it's

2 clear from what -- this little bit of the report says

3 that Hadzihasanovic was attempting to distance himself

4 from it. Again, in practice, I'm not sure exactly what

5 the chain of command was.

6 Q. In relation to your meeting with

7 Hadzihasanovic, there is one thing which raises

8 doubts. He says that he would like the 7th Muslim

9 Brigade to be under the BH army control. Does that

10 mean that the 7th Muslim Brigade was not under the BH

11 army's control and that it was an army unto its own?

12 A. As I said, there was a debate within the

13 ECMM, as far as I can remember, about exactly what the

14 chain of command was. Clearly, what he was attempting

15 to say was that they were not under his control. I

16 don't know -- I suspect that it would be easy enough to

17 establish, but I simply don't know whether that was a

18 fact or not.

19 Q. Would you know who were members of the 7th

20 Muslim Brigade and where was it quartered, if you know

21 that?

22 A. Again, I don't know precisely. I seem to

23 remember that the discussion was that they were

24 sitting -- people suggested that they were sitting in

25 the music school and that perhaps there were members of

Page 12472

1 the Mujahedin being part of that formation. But,

2 again, these were what other people were saying. I'm

3 not sure I've actually met anybody from 7th -- excuse

4 me, 7th Muslim Brigade to establish whether that was a

5 fact or not.

6 Q. It also says here -- that is, Hadzihasanovic

7 says that he wants the 7th Muslim Brigade under his

8 control and that the Mujahedin are not under control.

9 Have you come across the term "Mujahedin" or did you

10 meet any people going by that name in the Lasva Valley?

11 A. People certainly talked about the Mujahedin

12 as being a group or groups in Central Bosnia at the

13 time. I don't think that I ever met anybody that

14 either claimed to be or that I would term as being

15 Mujahedin. It was one of those things that was fairly

16 hard to try and verify.

17 Q. Hadzihasanovic says that the Mujahedin are

18 one of the uncontrollable groups. Did Croats mention

19 the Mujahedin to you?

20 A. I'm sure that they did, and I suspect that

21 you probably have a reference in my report which I

22 can't remember at this stage.

23 Q. Could you also tell us, apart from these two

24 priests, Father Stjepan and Father Bozo, which other

25 Croats did you meet and talk to? Did you try to talk

Page 12473

1 to HVO commanders in Zenica, perhaps, or

2 representatives of political structures in Zenica,

3 because I see that on several occasions the mayor

4 mentioned the HDZ president to you, President Sakic,

5 and according to Besim Spahic, he asked to be detained,

6 to be arrested. That is what your report says,

7 annex A-2, page 2. Did you talk to those people?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Do you think that you gained an objective

10 picture of all the developments without talking to all

11 the representatives of the political or military power

12 there in an area which was the object of your

13 research?

14 A. I think that under the circumstances and

15 given the time constraints in which I was operating, I

16 produced a reasonable report. That's for various other

17 people to judge. I certainly regret not meeting some

18 of the personalities that would have been able to give

19 further insight. But under the circumstances, I did

20 the best that I could.

21 Q. But you talked to several people on several

22 occasions, and my only question is how is it that you

23 never met with the Croat political people there,

24 because on the Muslim side you met with several people

25 on several occasions, and that is why I'm asking you

Page 12474

1 that.

2 But just a few things more related to your

3 visit in Stari Vitez. You were there, weren't you?

4 You did go there once; at least that is what your

5 report says.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. In Stari Vitez, did you see any houses

8 destroyed or damaged?

9 A. Yes. On the contact line between Stari Vitez

10 and the rest of the town, there was significant battle

11 damage to buildings on the perimeter, so one noticed

12 that when you drove into the enclave and then again on

13 leaving.

14 Q. So these were the contact lines of Stari

15 Vitez, and presumably the Croat part of Vitez, you are

16 talking about the bordering areas, about the border

17 area?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. [No interpretation]

20 A. I'm sorry, I seem to have lost the

21 translator.

22 Q. What kind of damage -- I'm sorry -- what kind

23 of damage did you see from firearms? I'm asking what

24 kind of damage did you see on those houses in Vitez?

25 A. There was clearly damage from shooting,

Page 12475

1 small-arms fire and machine guns, and I'm sure there's

2 a video somewhere which would actually show you more

3 accurately than my memory.

4 Q. So houses were damaged during armed conflict,

5 isn't it, so marks of infantry weapons? There was no

6 arson?

7 A. I can't remember seeing shell holes, although

8 there were numerous reports, and some were included, I

9 think, in my report, of the fact that Stari Vitez was

10 being attacked with mortar and artillery fire. So I

11 can't actually remember seeing a shell hole. It was

12 the case that Stari Vitez was being shelled.

13 Q. But was there damage in other parts of

14 Vitez? I mean were houses in other parts of Vitez

15 damaged too? As far as you could see, of course.

16 A. It would be far easier if you could get hold

17 of some of the SkyNews video. However, there was

18 certainly a lot of damage on the outskirts, and then as

19 one drove through the town, it was clear that you were

20 crossing a contact line or what had been a contact

21 line, because there was a lot of battle damage, craters

22 in the road and so on. I'm not sure that there was

23 battle damage around the Croatian military headquarters

24 that I went into, which was in the middle of the town.

25 And then driving out to the southwest, again

Page 12476

1 it was clear that one went across a contact line as one

2 crossed from Croatian-controlled territory through to

3 the village in the southwest that I visited.

4 Q. When you were in Stari Vitez, did you see

5 members of the BH army, do you remember seeing them,

6 and do you also remember who you were staying with who

7 you possibly talked to? Did you perhaps talk to any of

8 the top military people in Stari Vitez?

9 A. I certainly saw armed soldiers in Stari

10 Vitez, ABiH. I didn't actually go into the meeting

11 that took place. I sat on top of a Mercedes and had a

12 look to see what was going on.

13 Q. You also attended a meeting with Hakija

14 Halilovic, commander of the 1st Battalion in Kruscica,

15 on the 8th of May, 1993. Can you say -- that is Annex

16 H, H-1. Can you say what it looked like? How was

17 Kruscica -- or rather how many military men were there,

18 and were there any trenches there?

19 A. I can't remember seeing trenches. I probably

20 met half a dozen or a dozen soldiers.

21 Q. Did you know what happened to the Croat

22 population in Kruscica?

23 A. I would imagine that they had left the

24 village and moved into Vitez.

25 Q. Do you think that that was also due to

Page 12477

1 propaganda?

2 A. I have no idea. I would suspect that they

3 decided it was the safest thing for them to do, under

4 the circumstances.

5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. Thank you,

6 Mr. McLeod. I have no further questions, Your

7 Honours.

8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Blaxill.

9 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. President. I

10 just have a few questions.

11 Re-examined by Mr. Blaxill:

12 Q. Mr. McLeod, we've heard reference to your

13 seeing troops of the ABiH in Stari Vitez. Did you see

14 troops in other parts of the town of Vitez at that

15 time?

16 A. Yes. The only other soldiers that I actually

17 saw in Vitez then were Croatian military.

18 Q. Can you give any indication of the respective

19 numbers in Vitez, taking account of Stari Vitez as

20 well? Was one or another force predominant in numbers?

21 A. Yes. I'm quite sure that the Croatian

22 military were in the majority in the Vitez area.

23 Q. So you've described what -- in your report,

24 you refer to the action by the Croatian forces. Can

25 you offer us any further information as to the facts

Page 12478

1 upon which you were able to ascertain and form a view

2 that the first strikes came from that side?

3 A. Parties on both sides said that the other

4 side had started it. A number of people gave fairly

5 lucid descriptions of what had happened, suggesting

6 that either they had been caught in their beds asleep

7 or, indeed, they had been caught in their beds asleep

8 by the other side.

9 The U.N. observation posts, I think, were

10 fairly clear about when fighting had started, because

11 they had reports, they could hear what was going on, so

12 there's no doubt about what time events started because

13 you could hear the gunfire, I assume. I think that the

14 U.N. reports were fairly clear, where they could see

15 it, about who seemed to be attacking whom.

16 In terms of who actually started things in

17 Vitez and in Ahmici, since one has opposing views on

18 both sides, from my point of view the most compelling

19 evidence would be the fact that people appeared to be

20 being arrested in the morning, and as I've said a

21 number of times, I'm not quite sure that I can tie that

22 back to a surprise attack by the Muslims on the Croats

23 since there were a large number of Muslims who were

24 arrested by the Croats.

25 Q. If I can move on from that, you've also

Page 12479

1 referred to the actions of the Bosnian army as being a

2 counterattack. Is there anything further you can add

3 in that respect as to why you say that was specifically

4 a counterattack?

5 A. I think it was the conclusion which had been

6 drawn by BritBat and my discussions with them, and it

7 was also that the nature of what happened was

8 consistent with the story that I was given by Colonel

9 Blaskic, in terms of the way that they had responded,

10 the only difference with his story being that as far as

11 he was concerned, they had actually started, so he said

12 it had been an attack as opposed to a counterattack.

13 If my conclusion is correct, then clearly it was a

14 counterattack rather than an attack. If my conclusion

15 is wrong, then it could have been an attack.

16 Q. You've been asked about what political

17 leaders you may have met on the other side, i.e., the

18 Croat side. Isn't it correct that you spoke to the

19 mayor of Vitez --

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. -- and a gentleman called Mr. Skopljak?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. I would refer now to your penultimate

24 paragraph on page 1 of your report, where you make a

25 statement regarding the apparent aims of the Croats in

Page 12480

1 Vitez. Could you, sir, just explain a little further

2 how you reached the conclusion that you state in that

3 paragraph?

4 A. The conclusion that I reached there was

5 largely distilled from the conversation that I had with

6 Mr. Santic, where he had set out, I think very clearly,

7 what the Croatian political objectives were, and he

8 said very clearly what they had been attempting to do,

9 what he believed ought to happen was that the

10 International Community should form a buffer between

11 Zenica and Vitez and that the populations should be

12 balanced with a majority of Croats or, indeed, just

13 Croats on the Vitez side and Muslims on the Zenica

14 side, and that once that had happened, then they could

15 implement the Vance Plan because they could have

16 democracy, as he put it, elections, which would

17 demonstrate, because of the way the populations were

18 then balanced, what people wanted.

19 Q. Thank you, Mr. McLeod.

20 MR. BLAXILL: I have no further questions,

21 Your Honours.

22 Mr. President, if I may, sir, I would like to

23 formally move into evidence Exhibit 393, which is the

24 report prepared by Mr. McLeod.

25 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection? No

Page 12481

1 objection. It is admitted into evidence.

2 I have one question, Mr. McLeod. It's about

3 your meeting with [redacted] when you went to

4 Ahmici. Actually, I take up the question which was put

5 to you by Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, and I have the

6 feeling that part of the question was not answered.

7 You went with Mr. [redacted] and an ambassador

8 and other people to visit a house. You didn't enter

9 that house where there were corpses, burned corpses and

10 so on, and Counsel Slokovic-Glumac asked you whether

11 you had heard from [redacted] that he had been told

12 by a witness that that was his family's house, his

13 family was there, the corpses were of people belonging

14 to his family.

15 Did [redacted] tell you that this

16 particular witness had spoken of his own family?

17 A. What [redacted] said, not to me but to the

18 various people that were there, was that he had heard,

19 having interviewed somebody -- I have no idea who that

20 person was -- that they believed that in this

21 particular house, there would be bodies of, I can

22 assume, his family -- I'm not sure what the connection

23 was between the person that [redacted] had spoken to and

24 that house -- and, indeed, what he was then attempting

25 to do was to identify the house that he had had

Page 12482

1 described to him, which he did, and then in that house,

2 as evidenced, I think, by what various people saw and

3 the video footage, they found some bodies. I thought

4 that for the benefit of my mental health, I wouldn't

5 actually go and have a look for myself.

6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you so much

7 for giving evidence in court, Mr. McLeod. You may now

8 be released.

9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.

10 [The witness withdrew]

11 [Trial Chamber confers]

12 JUDGE CASSESE: This is the close of the

13 rebuttal case. You don't have any more witnesses. We

14 may now then call Vlatko Kupreskic as a rejoinder

15 witness, only on the rebuttal evidence.

16 Counsel Krajina.

17 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, I can say to you

18 that the Defence of Vlatko Kupreskic will not call

19 Vlatko Kupreskic to the stand again. Thank you.

20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So we are now

21 left only then with the court witness who is coming

22 tomorrow, I understand, and is not here in The Hague.

23 Yes, Counsel Krajina.

24 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, we have been

25 informed by the witnesses unit that this witness should

Page 12483

1 arrive in The Hague tonight.

2 We shall try to establish contact with that

3 witness tonight in order to interview him, which is

4 necessary; however, if the witness arrives too late

5 tonight in The Hague, and if we are not in a position

6 to talk to him, then we would kindly ask the Trial

7 Chamber to postpone this witness's testimony tomorrow.

8 It can take place tomorrow, but perhaps later, after

9 the break, so that we could have contact with the

10 witness before that. However, we do hope that we will

11 be able to talk to the witness tonight and that it

12 won't be necessary for any postponement. Thank you.

13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

14 [Trial Chamber confers]

15 JUDGE CASSESE: First of all, let me ask you

16 whether you confirm that this is the only rejoinder

17 witness the Defence is calling. So you don't have any

18 witnesses, any other witnesses. All right.

19 MR. KRAJINA: I do not, Mr. President. That

20 is the only witness.

21 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Since you need

22 some time to interview the witness, I think we could

23 start tomorrow, say, at 10.00 or 10.30. So you would

24 have some time in the morning. What do you prefer,

25 10.00 or 10.30? Shall we say 10.15?

Page 12484

1 MR. KRAJINA: 10.30, that is what we would

2 really prefer.

3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. We will adjourn now

4 until tomorrow at 10.30.

5 Counsel Radovic.

6 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I would just

7 like to put a question to the Prosecutor. Could he

8 finally state his views on whether his case has finally

9 been completed and concluded now and that he has no

10 further witnesses or material evidence? Please.

11 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier.

12 MR. TERRIER: Yes, I can confirm that we have

13 no further witnesses.

14 JUDGE CASSESE: Please, Counsel

15 Slokovic-Glumac.

16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, could

17 you please allow me to inform the Court that we are

18 going to have two witnesses after all but both will be

19 very brief. One is (redacted) and the other one is

20 Liljana Sapina; both will be related to the statement

21 made here by (redacted). Tomorrow, we are going to

22 present a report on the interview that was held with

23 them, and we are going to give this to our colleague,

24 the Prosecutor.

25 This other witness will not be heard as an

Page 12485

1 expert witness but as a fact witness related to the

2 army and the functioning of the army at that time, and,

3 indeed, it is going to be a very brief statement. We

4 assume that on Wednesday we will have finished within

5 two hours.

6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Wednesday, yes,

7 it is agreed. All right. So tomorrow we just have one

8 witness, the Court witness, starting at 10.30, and on

9 Wednesday, two witnesses, but then again, we will start

10 at 9.00 so that by 1.30 we must be through.

11 There are no other matters to be discussed?

12 All right. We will adjourn now until tomorrow at

13 10.30.

14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

15 11.45 a.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

16 the 5th day of October, 1999,

17 at 10.30 a.m.