1 Monday, 25 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
9 versus Prlic et al. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Today
11 is Monday, the 25th of June, 2007. I'd like to greet everyone in this
12 courtroom. I'd like to greet the Prosecution and especially Mr. Mundis.
13 I'm very pleased to see him back with us after a very long period of
15 I would also like to greet the Defence counsel and the accused
16 and, more particularly, Mr. Coric, who is back with us as well. I won't
17 forget to mention all those helping us, assisting us here.
18 I would like first to give the floor to the registrar for some IC
19 or e-court numbers.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, again, Your Honour. Several parties
21 have submitted lists of documents to be tendered through Witness Azra
22 Krajsek. The list submitted by OTP shall be given Exhibit number IC 608;
23 the list submitted by 1D shall be given Exhibit number IC 609; the list
24 submitted by 2D shall be given Exhibit number 610; while the list
25 submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit number 611.
1 Thank you very much, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar. I want us
3 to move into private session for a few minutes, please.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 20387-20389 redacted. Private session
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
17 MR. MURPHY: Mr. President, I have three matters to raise. Well,
18 I had three. I think I now have a fourth to raise. I will do so as
19 briefly as possible.
20 The first an oral application for an extension of time. There
21 are, as you know, a number of motions filed by the Prosecution relating to
22 the admission of documents and witness statements which the Defence is
23 trying to deal with on a joint basis. We hope to submit joint responses
24 for each of these because we know that's the Trial Chamber's preference
25 and ours as well. And all of these motions involve a great deal of
1 documentary reading, of course, and analysis. I'm responsible for
2 compiling a response on the motion for admission of certain statements
3 under Rule 92 bis pertaining to the municipalities of Capljina and Stolac,
4 and, Your Honour, my application would be that the deadline for those --
5 for that motion, to respond to that motion, be the same as Your Honours
6 have already granted in two other cases and that it be deferred until the
7 12th of July. So I would make that oral application.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about the Prosecution?
9 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no objection, Your Honours.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We grant the application
12 made by the Defence, and you will have until the 12th of July 4.25 to file
13 your response.
14 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, thank you very much.
15 Your Honour, the second matter is one I hadn't intended to mention
16 but really has arisen today when Your Honours made the decision regarding
17 the present witness to reduce the amount of time available to the Defence
18 from eight hours to six hours.
19 Your Honour, I make this observation: When the Trial Chamber does
20 this at the last moment, it not only hinders the Defence in preparing
21 efficiently for cross-examination of the witness, but it also deprives us
22 of necessary time. The -- it also places our fate in the Prosecution's
23 hands, because it means whenever the Prosecution decides belatedly to
24 reduce the time devoted to direct examination, they know at the same time
25 they can reduce the time for cross-examination.
1 Your Honour, with this particular witness, and I think in the case
2 of most witnesses, the -- the time necessary for a proper direct and for a
3 proper cross are not logically related. It really does not hinder the
4 Prosecution's presentation of its case very much, if at all, to reduce the
5 amount of time for a direct examination. In fact, in many cases they can
6 and have taken a witness originally scheduled as a viva voce witness and
7 dealt with the witness under 92 ter with a certain amount of viva voce
8 direct examination. And if it means, Your Honour, that at the
9 Prosecution's discretion they can come in on a particular day and say, by
10 the way, we've decided to reduce the time by two or three hours and we
11 expect the Trial Chamber now to reduce the time for cross-examination by
12 the Defence, it places the right of the accused to cross-examine within
13 the Prosecution's control and, Your Honour, that, with all due respect, is
14 not a fair way to run the trial and it prejudices the Defence because
15 we're now in a position of having less time than we need and thought we
16 would have. And I would ask Your Honours to take the position that if the
17 Prosecution decides to reduce the time, nonetheless the Defence should
18 have the time originally allocated for cross-examination.
19 The time is available. We are going to be sitting this week. The
20 witness is scheduled for this week, and it can do no harm whatsoever
21 either to the trial schedule or to the Prosecution to give the Defence
22 full time for cross-examination. So I ask the Trial Chamber to please
23 reflect upon that and perhaps to reconsider that -- that decision.
24 Your Honour, the remaining two matters are matters that arose
25 during the hearing on the 20th of June and on which we seek the Trial
1 Chamber's guidance. The Trial Chamber will remember firstly that during
2 cross-examination of last week's witness, His Honour Judge Trechsel
3 indicated that the Trial Chamber's view of its ruling of the 13th of
4 November was that the tendering of documents through examination of a
5 witness operated rather differently in the case of the Prosecution than
6 the way it does in the case of the Defence and that ordinarily it might
7 not be possible for the Defence to tender documents through
8 cross-examination of a witness, certainly in a case where the witness did
9 not -- well, there might be a misunderstanding.
10 Your Honour, let me just put this it this day: I think there is
11 an uncertainty among the ranks of the Defence as to where that issue
12 stands and we would appreciate just a clarification. I don't mean
13 immediately but within a short time, perhaps as to the true meaning of
14 that order so that we -- we know where we stand in regard to the use of
15 documents on cross-examination. That can be done, I think, by way of oral
16 clarification. We would appreciate that because otherwise it's difficult
17 for us to know how to conduct the cross-examination.
18 The last matter, Your Honour, is -- is this: It's -- I want to
19 put this matter as delicately as I can. It is a somewhat delicate matter.
20 During the same hearing an issue arose regarding the treatment of
21 the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia, and some discussion
22 developed during cross-examination about the treatment of refugees
23 generally, including at other place where is they might have been held,
24 and I -- I recall that during that discussion there was an intervention by
25 His Honour Judge Prandler. This is at page 78, line 25 through page 79,
1 line 21, in which His Honour seemed to suggest that he had personally been
2 present during -- at a camp or more than one camp in Hungary where such
3 refugees were being held and was in a position to comment on the
4 conditions under which they were being held there.
5 And, Your Honour, our concern is only this, really, that clearly
6 inevitably from time to time there will be a situation where a Judge from
7 the Tribunal has some personal knowledge of facts that might be relevant
8 to the Trial Chamber's decision. Obviously all the members of the Trial
9 Chamber and of the Tribunal as a whole, the Judges, are men and women with
10 long and distinguished careers in public life which have taken them into
11 various duties in international law and diplomacy. But it becomes a
12 matter of concern if there are facts within the knowledge of the Judge if
13 the parties are unaware and which could, of course, ultimately bear on the
14 factual findings that that Judge may be disposed to make. Obviously we
15 don't know the extent of that; it may not be significant. But I would
16 like to very respectfully invite Judge Prandler at a convenient moment to
17 advise the parties as to the extent of any personal knowledge that he may
18 have arising from his distinguished career on behalf of the Hungarian
19 government or otherwise, just so we know where we stand on that and so
20 there can be no question of the Judge perhaps substituting personal
21 knowledge for the evidence.
22 I hope, Your Honour, that I've put that respectfully. I intend it
23 respectfully but it is matter which we would invite the Trial Chamber to
25 Your Honours, those are the matters I wanted to raise. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will give the floor to
2 Judge Prandler, but with respect to points four of your comments, when
3 Judge Prandler took the floor, as far as I understand he did so to stress
4 that in a refugee camp you have a number of rules that apply. What he
5 wanted to say, but of course he will give you further explanation about
6 this, what he wanted to say is that a refugee camp works according to
7 specific procedure, and his comment was made following another comment.
8 I was not particularly surprised by this comment or this question.
9 I myself had taken the floor previously and said that I was surprised to
10 see that we had not been given all the laws, all the texts pertaining to
11 the refugee status in Croatia, whereas we were dealing with the status of
12 refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a witness who was only competent
13 as far as refugees in Croatia.
14 So that's the background in which you have to place the comments
15 made by Judge Prandler, but of course he will answer himself.
16 Now, as for your third point, what Judge Trechsel said about
17 documents he will most probably respond himself, but as for the rules that
18 apply in this, when the Defence cross-examine a witness they may submit a
19 document to that particular witness and the document may be admitted.
20 We've been doing so for about a year now. There is no ambiguity
21 whatsoever as long as the document is relevant and reliable, the document
22 may be admitted into evidence. I don't see any problem there.
23 As for your second point, the reduction from eight to six hours.
24 As I said last week, based on the information provided by the Prosecution,
25 who thought that they needed six hours, we had decided that we would grant
1 two extra hours to the Defence, but since the Prosecution has withdrawn 11
2 documents and reduced its time from six to four hours, we decided, so as
3 not to prejudice the Prosecution, we decided to cut the time allocated to
4 the Defence by two hours.
5 Obviously if it appears necessary, if need be, and we'll see what
6 happens during cross-examination, we might reconsider our position, but it
7 will all depend on the relevance of this witness and what he says during
8 examination-in-chief and cross-examination. And you also have to take
9 into account the fact that a number of documents submitted or -- that will
10 be submitted by the witness have already been -- by the Prosecution will
11 have already been submitted to previous witnesses.
12 Let me give the floor to Judge Prandler.
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Mr. President, the question which was asked and put by Mr. Murphy
15 is, of course, an important one. As far as I know, a Judge is not obliged
16 to clarify his or her position concerning some questions or comments, but
17 nevertheless I would like to make a few observations on that issue.
18 First of all, I would like to thank Maitre Murphy for his very
19 polite way to raise this question, as he has already raised it during
20 the -- that time when we talked about this issue last week.
21 Let me first of all emphasise that I indeed had some knowledge and
22 experience about the camps both as being involved with issues of -- of the
23 former Yugoslav crisis, and also since I was also involved and in a way
24 active in the field of the Hungarian Red Cross movement and the
25 international aspects too. I mean, also at that time I had contacts with
1 ICRC. On the other hand, I believe that the context that my question --,
2 not my question, but my remark has been done is the following: That the
3 Defence asked the lady, the witness, if in her view wasn't it the -- the
4 treatment of the refugees the best in comparison with other countries. At
5 least it is what I understood the question. I do not have before me now
6 the record. But since this question was formulated in this way, if she,
7 the witness, was aware of the very fact that in Croatia the treatment and
8 approach to refugees was the best one from among those other countries
9 where -- where refugees were accommodated, therefore I said in my view it
10 is very difficult to ask a witness to determine the answer to this
11 question since we have to speak and we have to speak about several
12 countries, and as you know very well, those several countries included
13 Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, because Turkey was in a way counted --
14 in a way counted also among those countries and even probably, I'm not
15 quite sure, but Bulgaria and some other countries also they were involved.
16 So in this very complex situation, where there were hundreds of
17 thousands of refugees abroad, when there were several countries, almost
18 let's say, ten where refugees -- ten countries where refugees were given
19 shelter, in my view it would have been really rather impossible for a
20 witness who -- that with the refugees in Croatia, though, but she was not,
21 as far as I know, she was not given the possibility to go to other
22 countries and to check what is happening with the refugees in other
23 countries. I really felt that this question was not very well considered,
24 and therefore I said that -- that the very level of the treatment, in my
25 view, is not to this expert -- I'm sorry, to this witness to determine
1 because she -- she was mainly aware and dealt with the situation in
3 And I still maintain this, that -- that without any prejudice to
4 the situation in Croatia I may admit the situation there was quite good.
5 I do know, and I do recognise that the -- most of the refugees had been
6 accommodated in Croatia. Nobody questions this, and it is not the issue.
7 The issue was for me that in my view the witness cannot make a comparison
8 between and among various countries which were in a way involved by giving
9 shelter to the refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, from Croatia proper, et
10 cetera, et cetera.
11 So it is my position, and therefore I do not think that I have
12 to -- to go any further. I believe that my question was on the right
13 wavelength with the situation which then prevailed, and I keep my position
14 that this kind of comparison is very difficult to expect from someone who
15 already worked in Croatia proper and not in other foreign countries.
16 Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, just dealing quickly with three
19 matters, but starting with the point that Mr. Murphy made in relation to
20 His Honour Judge Prandler.
21 Your Honour, we -- we subscribe to the fairly simple essential
22 point made by Mr. Murphy which is that where a Judge does have possession
23 of knowledge outside just the normal commonsense scope of what the
24 practical purpose is judicial notice that may relate to the case, then
25 bearing in mind that the essential principle that cases must be decided on
1 the evidence, then the request that in those circumstances that should be
2 made clear to the parties, it's just a standing request and I say nothing
3 at all about the particular detailed matter. We've heard Judge Prandler's
4 explanation this afternoon. I certainly don't propose to criticise or
5 pursue that particular matter but the general point we do subscribe to.
6 Secondly, in relation to the point Mr. Murphy raised on the effect
7 of the order in relation to documents. We're not entirely comfortable
8 that the exchange yet covers that point so we would again support
9 Mr. Murphy. It might be helpful if the Court were to look at the
10 discussion last week, look at where we are on that, give us some
11 indication as to where we stand and then if it is necessary to have some
12 further submissions and discussion in court that we can deal with it.
13 And then going back in effect of what might have been the first
14 point on the list. The question of the time for examination-in-chief and
15 cross-examination. Mr. President, you spoke in terms of avoiding
16 prejudice to the Prosecution. Our submission is that that particular
17 point is, with respect, fundamentally misconceived. Where the Prosecution
18 are saying that they only need four hours for their evidence in chief,
19 they have got what they want and need for the purposes of presenting their
20 case so far as that witness is concerned, and the spurious equalities or
21 near equalities and calculations by saying, well, it's either the same or
22 it's some proportion or a proportionate reduction of the Defence time
23 isn't achieving the essential purpose of allowing each party fairly to put
24 its case.
25 The Prosecution are saying they don't need more than four hours to
1 present their evidence in chief. The Defence are saying we do still need,
2 in this particular case, eight hours, and Your Honours, unless
3 Your Honours are looking very specifically at the content to say, well, in
4 the light where we now see matters have gone, it's clear the Defence don't
5 actually need as much as they previously had. The position should stand
6 as it has been directed in relation to time and Mr. Murphy's point is
7 valid and it isn't any question of prejudice to the Prosecution. This
8 idea that the Prosecution suffer prejudice if we get more time for
9 cross-examination than had in chief is seriously flawed as an inflexible
10 or even semi-flexible rule of thumb.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel is going to
12 answer as far as his concern and then we'll have the witness brought in.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Mr. Murphy, I thank you for having raised this because quite
15 apparently, it is a misunderstanding that has arisen. To the extent that
16 I am responsible for that, which I do not exclude, I apologise.
17 The issue that I referred to did not concern the presentation of
18 documents during cross-examination at all. I only had in mind number 6 of
19 our decision on the admissibility of evidence of 13 July 2006 which grants
20 in the present phase of the proceedings to the Prosecution, but it is my
21 assumption that when the Defence case is up it will be a similar rule for
22 the Defence or an equal rule. But now it is only the Prosecution that by
23 the virtue of this decision is given the possibility of introducing, under
24 certain conditions and circumstances documents, they could not present to
25 a witness outside a court hearing.
1 I have recalled this, but there is no connection to
2 cross-examination and to presenting documents during cross-examination. I
3 hope this clarifies the matter, and I'm sure it's no surprise to the
5 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Judge Trechsel, and I appreciate the
6 clarification. I just want to make sure that I understand it because I
7 was, to be frank about this, I was under the -- maybe the misconception
8 that where the Defence had documents that it believed it could use with a
9 particular witness, but did not have sufficient time, the Defence would
10 also have the opportunity to have those documents admitted under the same
11 more or less criteria, that is, you have to state your reasons why you
12 didn't present it to the witness, what the relevance is, and so on and so
13 forth. That was my understanding. And I say that because there are times
14 when we had a lot of documents that go to a particular witness that
15 directly relate to the direct examination, not to a portion of the Defence
16 case, for instance, and by that I mean something that one would be
17 expected to put on if a Defence were to put on a case. And when we don't
18 have sufficient time, I mean we're in this dilemma.
19 You see, I understand the Judges' positions that the Defence
20 lawyers, when conducting cross-examination, should not necessarily be
21 putting on their case first, for instance, and then trying to rebut
22 whatever evidence came in through direct examination, but, rather, they
23 should be conducting the cross-examination on the basis of what the
24 Prosecution has done. And that's why, for instance, the rule if you're
25 going to go beyond the scope of direct examination, while you may do so,
1 the circumstances should be such that you would -- you would ask open --
2 open-ended questions as opposed to leading questions. That's my
4 So -- but I think if we have documents that directly relate to
5 issues raised on cross-examination, but because of time limitations we are
6 unable to confront the witness with these documents, the only other
7 alternative we have is to bring that witness back during our case. So I
8 just throw that out for your consideration. Maybe you have considered it,
9 but in any event, to be honest that was my understanding. Maybe I didn't
10 read guideline 6 correctly. That's number one.
11 Number two, I just wanted to assure Judge Prandler that our
12 concern, and of course we -- maybe we don't have to be concerned because
13 we're dealing with professional Judges, but at least I was always trained
14 that even the Judges, you know, because they're human, they shouldn't be
15 bringing in experiences from outside and factoring that in as part of the
16 evidence. Of course, in other words, if they have some medical knowledge
17 and then there's medical testimony, expert testimony, they say, I discount
18 this medical expert because my wife tells me who's a doctor, that
19 such-and-such. In other words, the evidence comes from here. That's our
20 concern. It's not an attack; it's just that, when we hear that sort of
21 stuff, because of our training, a lightbulb goes off and we feel in the
22 best interests of our clients, for transparency, we raise it. We mean no
23 disrespect, we mean no harm. I think it was done in an appropriate manner
24 and I hope Your Honour understands that.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to stop
1 this discussion because we have been discussing for close to
2 three-quarters of an hour on procedural matters. We are going to look
3 into what Mr. Karnavas rightly said. Guideline -- the guideline only
4 dealt with Prosecution documents when they were presenting their case, and
5 the decisions we made did not concern the Defence, but it may be that in
6 certain cases there may be problems. Only last week or last time when
7 Mr. Praljak told us that he had 95 binders on the issue that had been
8 raised, that obviously he was not in a position to bring the 95 binders
9 with hundreds of documents.
10 Maybe in such a situation it might be wise to think of a procedure
11 whereby, on the basis of the amount of documents, the Defence might be
12 allowed to file in writing or to ask for these documents to be tendered
13 when they are cross-examining a witness.
14 We're going to look into this because this is a very complicated
15 matter. We're going to discuss this in the hours to come.
16 Yes, Ms. Alaburic. I see you are on your feet.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just two
18 sentences from me with respect to the guidelines.
19 I'd like to remind you that at a discussion of the 16th of
20 November, 2006, the transcript pages were 9533 to 9542, we discussed this
21 same topic then, and it was Mr. Murphy who raised it. I'm not going to
22 quote his words, but he said that he considered that there was a mistake
23 and that quite obviously in point 6 of the guidelines it should
24 say "Parties" and not "Prosecution."
25 And the Presiding Judge, Judge Antonetti, said, and I'm going to
1 quote, he said the following: "[In English] Third point, a technical one,
2 and you are quite right there. We substitute the term 'Prosecution'
3 for 'Parties'."
4 So that, Your Honour, we considered that as of the 6th of
5 November, 2006, this is an oral amendment to the guidelines, and that is
6 why we were surprised to hear the interpretation by His Honour
7 Judge Trechsel and what I just said and the quotation I made can be
8 checked in the transcript of course.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to look into this
10 matter very shortly, and we'll arrive at a solution, the most practical
11 solution possible.
12 We're going to have the witness brought in.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 WITNESS: KLAUS JOHANN NISSEN
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Can you
17 please state your first name, your surname, and your date of birth. Wits.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My first name is clause. I was born
19 of the 10th of the 12th 1937. My family name is Nissen.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current occupation
21 or are you retired?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a retired colonel from the
23 German army in Germany, and I live mainly in Berlin. Otherwise, in Allgau
24 in the south of Germany.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, have you been a witness
1 previously before an international tribunal as to the events at that took
2 place in the former Yugoslavia, or is this the first time that you're
3 going to testify?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the solemn
6 declaration handed over to you by Madam Usher. Please read it out.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Please sit
11 Colonel, allow me to give you some explanations as to the way
12 these hearing days are going to unfold for your testimony. First of all,
13 you'll be answering questions put to you by the OTP representatives. I
14 guess you met them yesterday or this morning. And you will be provided
15 with documents to be found in binders. You'll find the numbers -- also
16 the numbers of the documents, because each document has a number.
17 Once the Prosecution has asked their questions, you have the
18 Defence counsel on your left-hand side or the accused who can ask
19 questions of you as part of the cross-examination.
20 The three Judges who are in front of you can also ask questions of
21 you as provided by the rules at any time, but we endeavour to put our
22 questions once the parties have put theirs. But sometimes, exceptionally
23 so, we do intervene because we have a document in front of us and we think
24 it's necessary to ask our questions then.
25 Please, try to be as precise as you can in your answers. If you
1 fail to understand the meaning of a question, do not hesitate to ask the
2 one asking that question to reformulate it.
3 We have breaks every 90 minutes for 20 minutes so that you can
4 have a rest. Also, to change the audiotapes. If at any time you do not
5 feel well, do not hesitate to ask for a break.
6 Also, I have learned that at times if questions deal with people
7 that you met personally, that you know, then we can move into private
8 session that their names do not appear or anything related to them appear
9 in the transcript. I'm thinking of people you may have met as part of the
10 mission you then carried out.
11 So this is, generally speaking, the way the hearing is going to
12 take place. I know also that you speak English perfectly, and French as
13 well, which is good, because this will avoid any translation problems.
14 You have a screen in front of you, and everything that is being
15 said here is transcribed into English so that if need be you can look at
16 it. But generally speaking, I had rather the witness looked at the person
17 asking the question. I think it's much better that way.
18 So the floor is yours, Mr. Kruger.
19 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
20 Your Honours. Good afternoon everybody in courtroom.
21 Examination by Mr. Kruger:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel. Colonel, if we may start with a few
23 biographical details. You are retired from the German army. When did you
24 retire therefrom?
25 A. I retired at the end of September, 1992.
1 Q. How long had you -- had you served in the German army?
2 A. Thirty-six years.
3 Q. At the time when you retired what position were you occupying? In
4 what section were you serving?
5 A. I was a colonel in the -- it's a department of the defence
6 ministry in Bonn. I was head of department. And in the last 20 years, I
7 was responsible for NBC defence.
8 Q. And what does NBC defence stand for?
9 A. Yes. As I've just said, N for nuclear, B for biological, and C
10 for chemical.
11 Q. Thank you. After your retirement, when did you become a monitor
12 for the European Commission Monitoring Mission?
13 A. I became a monitor on the 1st of March, 1993.
14 Q. How did it come that you were appointed a monitor after your
16 A. It was presumably the German Foreign Ministry applied to the
17 Ministry of Defence and asked that they would select a suitable person for
18 this mission, and I was the person appointed.
19 Q. Before going to the theatre of your mission did you is receive any
20 briefings from the Foreign Ministry?
21 A. That was an extremely short briefing, and it had to do with the
22 procedures and formalities, not on the contents of the countries
24 Q. Sir, now if we could just briefly look at the periods of your
25 mission. When did you first arrive in -- in the territory of the former
1 Yugoslavia, or when did you arrive in theatre for the first time round?
2 A. I started on the 1st of March, 1993, in Zagreb, and from there I
3 was sent to Albania. I spent four weeks in Albania, in the north of
4 Albania, in Fukespansuri [phoen] in the area near to Kosovo, and then
5 approximately on the 1st of April, I came to Zagreb, to Split, and then to
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and finally I was in Siroki Brijeg.
7 Q. When did you arrive in Siroki Brijeg?
8 A. Well, there were flights, flight connections. We travelled with a
9 car, with a shuttle. I think it was the 3rd of April.
10 Q. And during your period as a monitor, is it correct that you also
11 took a period of leave?
12 A. Yes. I had a period of leave from about the 6th of May to the
13 25th of May, 1993.
14 Q. From your arrival on -- early in April until you departed on
15 leave, were you in Siroki Brijeg or with a team associated with that area
16 all the time?
17 A. Our accommodation was in Siroki Brijeg, and there I was with a
18 team, with another monitor, and with the then-head of the CC Mostar.
19 Q. Who was the then-head of the CC Mostar?
20 A. That was Christopher Beese at the time.
21 Q. The other monitor on whom you were -- with whom you were on a
22 team, what was his name?
23 A. That was Kiki Salamanca.
24 Q. Sir, upon your return from leave where did you go then and what
25 did you do?
1 A. Then I went back to Siroki because this was our headquarters, and
2 then there I started as the head of CC Mostar. I was responsible for this
3 control centre, and this is where I stayed.
4 Q. Until when did you stay as the head of CC Mostar?
5 A. I was there until the end of this mission, and I completed this
6 about the end of July, 25th, 26th of July, round about then, 1993.
7 Q. Who took over from you as the head of CC Mostar?
8 A. The -- my follower was Sir Martin Garrod.
9 Q. After this period when you left as head of CC Mostar did you then
10 return to Germany?
11 A. Yes. I went back to Germany.
12 Q. After returning to Germany did you ever return again for a further
13 stint as a monitor?
14 A. Yes. I went on another mission to the same area, mainly to the
15 same area from the 1st of June, 1994, until the 12th of August, 1994.
16 Q. Now, sir, if we can return to your period when you first arrived
17 in Siroki Brijeg. What was the name of the team that you -- that you
18 actually joined in CC Mostar?
19 A. Well, the CC Mostar at the time was called CC Grude because this
20 is where it originated, but its headquarters were in Siroki Brijeg. And
21 the team that I worked with, this was the M1 team, responsible more for
22 the area of Jablanica and Konjic to the north of Mostar, but we were also
23 partly active in Mostar.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, the Court has already heard evidence about
25 the structure of the CC Mostar team, so I will not go into that further
1 with you. The Court has also heard of the reporting structure and the
2 reporting system from the teams up to RC Zenica and further up to Zagreb
3 and from there onwards, so I will also not deal with that aspect in
5 The one question I will ask you is during your period with this
6 team, is it correct that there were regular reports that were written and
7 which were sent up the chain of communication?
8 A. There were daily reports. There were weekly summary reports, and
9 in -- sometimes ad hoc reports if something had happened, and there were
10 also sometimes reports which were a general overview of the region and the
11 situation which were always reviewed and supplemented.
12 Q. Now, sir, if we can look at the period when you arrived during
13 April, I would like to focus first on the village of Doljani. Did you
14 ever during April visit the village of Doljani or that area?
15 A. I visited the area of Doljani several times.
16 Q. How many times did you visit?
17 A. Well, three times, I think at least. Certainly three times, maybe
19 Q. When was the first time you visited Doljani?
20 A. I must be rather careful with the dates. I can give you the
21 approximate date from my memory, but I think it was round about the 7th or
22 the 8th, yes, of April. Round about.
23 Q. For what purpose did you visit Doljani at that time?
24 A. That was at a time -- first of all, it was for a general
25 orientation of the overall area we were. Kiki Salamanca knew this in
1 part; I knew it not at all. But the purpose was also to see for the first
2 time to what extent rumours were true that the HVO were engaged in
3 skirmishes from Jablanica towards Doljani, to see if this was true. This
4 was the primary intention of going there.
5 Q. And what did you observe when you went there, if anything?
6 A. Yes. We went into the village. We saw things going on as
7 normally. We saw a few women on the streets, a few children were playing,
8 chickens in the yards, and then on the bottom right there was a small
9 river and near the river, there was a small path down, we saw some
10 Croatian soldiers. We met them and we spoke to them. They were something
11 like a company, a small firing post, and some of the names was Stipe Polje
12 [as interpreted]. I just remembered.
13 Q. Now, sir, if you say that you saw some Croatian soldiers, what do
14 you mean by "Croatian soldiers"?
15 A. I meant those soldiers who were at the firing post. I didn't see
16 any in the village or in the houses or anywhere else, only at this post,
17 just as calm as a firing post can be.
18 Q. Yes, but what I would like to know from you is you describe them
19 as being Croatian soldiers, and I just want to check with you what you
20 mean by that.
21 A. Well, I was imprecise, but I meant soldiers of the HVO.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, when did you next return to Doljani?
23 A. That was after the 15th of April. 17th, 18th of April, round
24 about then.
25 Q. Now, sir, can you describe to the Court what you observed at this
1 time? And I would ask you not to describe any people by name. If that
2 becomes necessary, we can move into private session.
3 A. I saw -- first of all, there was an armija check-point. They had
4 set up barricades at the entrance to the valley at a certain point. These
5 were heavy barricades on the street, on the road, but you could still pass
6 it with a small vehicle.
7 When we arrived in Doljani, there wasn't an open fire but one
8 house was burning, and the doors of the house were open. Part of another
9 house were destroyed. This house seemed to have caved in. There were no
10 civil people on the square. So this image of women and children as 10
11 days before. But there were HVO soldiers, and there was a leader, and
12 they stopped us and the leader said, "You have nothing to do here. You
13 should disappear." He didn't immediately threaten us, although he made us
14 understand that this was his final statement and that we should not doubt
16 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if we may briefly move into private
17 session, please.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please, Mr. Registrar.
19 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
23 MR. KRUGER: Now -- thank you.
24 Q. Sir, you mentioned that you were prevented from going to Siroki --
25 I'm sorry, Sovici during that second visit. Did you at a later stage
1 again try to go to Sovici?
2 A. At a later moment I went to Sovici again -- no, I passed Sovici,
3 to be precise. And it was at a time -- that was a few days later, quite a
4 few days later. It was only possible with the Spanish Battalion, because
5 the check-point that I've already mentioned was -- that had been closed
6 with major blocks, barriers, and the Spanish Battalion used engineers and
7 they pushed these blocks aside so that with a Spanish battle tank we could
8 cross. And on that occasion we saw further houses that were destroyed in
9 Doljani. Not that many, but some. And we took that road to the end of
10 the valley without really seeing anything. Then we approached Sovici, and
11 even then I didn't see any open firing there, but smoke and -- smoke in
12 various places. We would have to go right into Sovici because Sovici is
13 about two kilometres off the main road which leads then up to the
14 mountains. And we were escorted by HVO soldiers, and they told us that in
15 Sovici -- we shouldn't really go to Sovici.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. There is a
17 technical problem.
18 MR. KRUGER:
19 Q. Sorry, sir, it seems that is technical problem.
20 THE INTERPRETER: It's okay again.
21 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it's okay again.
23 MR. KRUGER:
24 Q. Yes, we can hear you.
25 A. So we took that route which led up the mountain but couldn't go
1 into Sovici where we saw fire or we saw smoke. We wouldn't go in there
2 because we were escorted by HVO soldiers who told us to stay on this road
3 that led up to the mountains, and the Spanish commander of the tank didn't
4 really want to contravene what he had been told.
5 Sovici is about two kilometres on the right-hand side.
6 We then kept going up, up to the highest point where, from the
7 valley of Doljani, there is the plain of Tomislav. And there was a big
8 group of soldiers, HVO soldiers, in a mixture. They were a bit upset, a
9 bit irritated, maybe because they had to stay behind, because we were
10 coming along and soldiers, as they are, they were a bit impatient and
11 teasing each other. Then the local leader told us we were not supposed to
12 go to -- back to Doljani, but what we should do instead, we should go
13 round to Tomislav, to what's Medjugorje, which would really be three times
14 as far. This was just really to annoy us.
15 We didn't do that. The commander of the battle tank agreed to
16 turn round. So that was the end of this episode, so to speak.
17 Q. Can you recall how long after your second visit to Doljani this
18 event occurred?
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kruger, I'm sorry. May I make an observation
20 as to translation. You have spoken of a Schutzenpanzer. Isn't that
21 right, General?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It is a battle -- a battle
23 tank but a lighter tank. It was a -- you could call it a personnel
24 carrier. A kind of personnel carrier.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ... Exactly
1 that. That is my point. It was translated by battle tank and I think
2 that evokes a wrong impression. The better term would be APG, an Armoured
3 Personnel Carrier. Would you agree with this? It's just for the record.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is true.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, for that clarification, Your Honour, I
6 think it's APC though.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, APC.
8 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
9 Q. Sir, just to return to that last question, can you remember
10 approximately how long after your second visit to Doljani this event took
12 A. I can't just try and limit the time. There was a further visit,
13 but that I didn't take part in. That was on the 5th of May, after a
14 longer conference between the Generals Halilovic and others in Jablanica.
15 But there was another monitor present. So it was quite some time before
16 that moment in time. So I'm talking about the 25th of April, but I can't
17 really tell you for sure. But you would have to look at the daily reports
18 to be certain.
19 Q. If we can turn to another matter, and I would like to turn to a
20 conference that was held on the 18th of April, 1993. Do you recall such a
22 A. 18th of April. You probably mean a conference in West Mostar, in
23 the hospital of West Mostar, but which, if I remember correctly, was
24 followed up by further conversations in Mostar itself close to the
25 headquarters of General Pasalic in an HVO building that changed. The
1 location changed over two days.
2 Then on the 19th or 20th, that was already the day of the
3 departure of the delegation.
4 Q. So could you tell us the conference at the hospital in West Mostar
5 on 18th of April, what was the purpose of that conference?
6 A. I was not present at that conference, just to say that, and also
7 Mr. Salamanca was not in the conference. CC Mostar and RC Zenica were
8 present. I think there were quite a few people there. I don't think
9 there was any further reason for those people present.
10 As far as I can remember, the subject that was discussed were the
11 usual things. Cease-fire, because in the meantime a great deal of things
12 had happened. So north of Jablanica-Konjic, and in Mostar quite a few
13 things had happened. So it was about cease-fire and a withdrawal of
14 troops or disciplining of troops. Also, free -- it was about free access
15 to middle Bosnia and also the transport of some supplies. I think these
16 were the major issues. Then also minor issues that I didn't really hear
18 Q. Can you recall who the participants in this meeting were from
19 Bosnian Croat side?
20 A. Yes. I shall try using my notes because I forget the time. On
21 the Bosnia side: Mr. Ganic and Mr. -- General Halilovic, and persons
22 accompanying them. On the HVO side: Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic,
23 General Petkovic, and accompanying persons.
24 Q. Now, sir, you mentioned Mr. Ganic, and just to avoid confusion,
25 Mr. Ganic from -- who was he? Do you know?
1 A. Mr. Ganic -- I have to be careful with the proper name. He was
2 the deputy Prime Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I'm not quite sure about
3 his precise title. A high-ranking official next to President Izetbegovic.
4 Q. And, sir, you mentioned another person. I didn't quite get that
5 name. I thought the translation came through as Mr. Galilovic [sic].
7 A. General Halilovic. Yes, he was present.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, on that day did you personally have the occasion
9 to speak to any of these people personally, or did they speak to you
11 A. I just want to say straight -- straight away that personal
12 conversations were quite rare, just to explain that. When I was in the
13 room in front of the -- of the conference room, then Mr. Prlic came from
14 the outside. He saw me as an ECMM monitor and he talked to me in English.
15 He said, roughly speaking, such an international organisation such as the
16 ECMM didn't have any function, no meaning. Like many other international
17 organisations, it wasn't relevant and he was wondering what we were doing
18 here. We should, rather, go home, he said. It was a bit aggressive, but
19 not very aggressive.
20 Then it turned out that I was German, and then he added that
21 German supported Slovenia and Croatia. They should also support us,
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, that is the -- the community of Herceg-Bosna,
23 and should not ally to the other western states who had something against
24 them, by which he meant Croats or Croatia in general, but I think mainly
25 Herceg-Bosna. But to conclude it, I think, our conversation I only said,
1 "Mr. Prlic, I'm new to this mission, new to the country and I hear what
2 you're saying, but I can also imagine because of my idea of politics, if
3 all this comes to an end, what is happening here, you will certainly need
4 Europe. You might need us." And that concluded our conversation.
5 Q. Was that the first time that you had met Mr. Prlic?
6 A. Yes. Later on I was told who he was. When he was introduced,
7 where he certainly said his name, then my -- at that moment in time I
8 really didn't catch his name. Only afterwards I knew who he was. It
9 was -- I was told later on it was Mr. Prlic. I think it was by Mr. Beese.
10 Q. Sir, you have mentioned a conference which took place around about
11 the 4th or the 5th of May. Could you tell us about this conference, where
12 it took place and what the purpose was?
13 A. Just a moment, please. On the 4th and 5th of May. Yes, it was a
14 conference that mainly was held in Jablanica in a tent with the Spanish
15 Battalion, but it also took partly place in Mostar and there was a to'ing
16 and fro'ing with the cars. There seemed to be a correlation. I didn't
17 quite catch it because some didn't want to attend the other -- the other
18 occasion. The main conference took place on the 4th and 5th of May in
19 Jablanica in this tent.
20 Do you want me to carry on?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. So the main people present at this conference were
23 General Petkovic and General Halilovic, and next to General Petkovic, I
24 assume General Lasic and other HVO soldiers. I forgot. On the Muslim
25 side there was General Pasalic, and on the Muslim side there were
1 so-called brigade commanders. I can remember some of them being present
2 in the room. Among others there was Zuka Nihad.
3 Q. And what was the purpose of this meeting?
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] My apologies. I don't think my
7 learned friend has noticed at line 22, the witness said that Zuka and
8 Nihad were there. The "and" was dropped and now it seems that this is
9 just a single name belonging to one person, whereas in reality these are
10 two different people.
11 MR. KRUGER: Thank you for my learned colleague. That is indeed
12 correct. Thank you.
13 Q. If we could just confirm for the record you mentioned -- is it two
14 people Zuka and Nihad?
15 A. Yes. There are two people, two persons. Nihad -- I must always
16 tell you always how people introduce themselves. I can't know it. Zuka
17 was the boss of Nihad. Nihad was his deputy.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. Colonel, the last question that I asked you
19 before this was: What was the main purpose of this meeting?
20 A. Yes. I think it was a practical attempt by both
21 Generals Halilovic, General Petkovic, to get clarification about the
22 situation in the various areas in Jablanica, Konjic, and Doljani. So not
23 an attempt to do it on -- from one's desk with letters and agreements but
24 to see what we're interested and what we do not know about this region and
25 what -- what do we want to get. But as we were just listening, everything
1 sounded very complicated, so I can't say anything further about it. But I
2 can tell you something about the result. Do you want me to do that? Do
3 you want me to try and do that?
4 Q. Yes.
5 MR. KRUGER: But I think before we do that, Your Honour, I think
6 it may be the appropriate time to have the break.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We'll have a 20-minute
9 --- Recess taken at 3.41 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing has resumed.
12 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Witness, before the break we were talking about the meeting on the
14 4th of May, which took place in Jablanica, and could you now tell us what
15 was the result of this meeting, what happened as a result thereof?
16 A. Although the HVO and then the armija were concerned about their
17 people in Konjic and Jablanica and the northern regions and in Doljani, in
18 particular, it was such, the armija wanted to know what about our people
19 in Doljani. The HVO wanted to know what is up in Kostajnica and in the
20 other towns north of the lake like Novi Straca [phoen] and such places.
21 And the Croatian side wanted to know what about -- what happened after the
22 attacks in Konjic with our Croatian soldiers and the Croatian civil
23 population, Konjic.
24 This was the purpose of the meeting. And for this purpose there
25 were three very strong reconnaissance troops set up to go into the
1 individual regions made up of UNPROFOR, the Spanish Battalion, whatever
2 was available, ECMM, the respective representatives of the HVO and the
3 armija. In each reconnaissance troop, there were people from the armija
4 and HVO soldiers in the Spanish APCs. And the UN officers were there, the
5 UNMOs, the United Nations -- observation officers of the United Nations.
6 For example, I was together with someone from New Zealand. And then the
7 two generals, Petkovic and Halilovic, they said they would go along with
8 each -- or one of these troops. Petkovic would go across the bridge to
9 Kostajnica. Whether this actually took place or not, I don't know,
10 because the entire convoy of this patrol was very long and rather unclear,
11 but I suppose they did. And General Halilovic wanted to go to Doljani,
12 but I can't confirm that.
13 On the ECMM side -- well, I wanted to say also there were also
14 ambulances with us. If injured persons had been found, then they would
15 have been transported off in the ambulances. This was the intention. So
16 there was also -- this was also linked to humanitarian point.
17 In the ECMM, the monitor mission, those present were for the troop
18 to Doljani, Nigel Milverton who represented me on my leave from the 5th of
19 May to the 25th of May, and he was an experienced monitor from other
21 To Konjic there was also a Canadian monitor, and I went in one of
22 the Spanish troop transporters.
23 In -- on this vehicle, apart from the Spanish soldiers, in my
24 immediate proximity there was also, as I mentioned before, the observation
25 officer of the United Nations and Mr. Cibo. This was as far as I know, or
1 as we were told, at least, he was a man -- on the mandate from
2 President Izetbegovic and responsible for the area of Konjic and this
3 wider area. So this was at the beginning.
4 Do you want me to continue my report? Okay. Well, I'll report
5 now on what I saw afterwards in my part. Yes. I said I went to
6 Kostajnica. I think I said that.
7 Q. And could you tell very briefly what you encountered in your part?
8 A. Yes. At the beginning we had major problems crossing the bridge
9 at Osasac [phoen], because the check-point of the armija didn't want to
10 let us pass. There we had to use our powers of persuasion so that the --
11 on the part of the armija officers who were travelling with us, but
12 somehow it did work. And then we proceeded very slowly to Kostajnica.
13 And this region around Kostajnica was something which I knew relatively
14 well by the very numerous visits I made in April. So I know Sagolj
15 relatively well, the commander there and others. And the situation was
16 such there was a relatively large number of population on the road, as it
17 was explained to me, Croatian population and I assume that that was true.
18 They were congregated round about the church, and they were afraid,
19 frustrated. They gave the impression of helplessness.
20 Although we then went on further and the aim was, if my
21 pronunciation is correct, to go to Pazaric this is in the north. Pazaric,
22 or something like that, is the name of it. At least, I knew this from the
23 previous day, and this was one of the control points the armija. We
24 didn't actually go there, I can't say why not because I was not at the
25 head of the convoy. We went off to the right and we moved towards the
1 villages as I've mentioned before. Novi Straca, Obrije [phoen], and some
2 others which I really haven't retained in my memory.
3 Then we saw a great deal of destruction in these villages, and I
4 had seen this in part at the end of June, sorry, end of April when I was
5 there already, but this was a series of villages had been destroyed and
6 people were along the road in a state of helplessness. There were
7 telephone lines which had been separated or shot down. And then at some
8 time we were stopped. Somehow or other we couldn't go on.
9 And Mr. Cibo said to his armija people, obviously we have been
10 stopped by armija soldiers, they said that they should let us through
11 because we wanted to reconnoiter the situation or the area. And this was
12 not successful. He was unable to persuade his armija people, and this had
13 to do with some sort of local matter that I didn't really understand,
14 something about dead armija soldiers who should be exchanged or something
15 like this. It was for me an unclear situation. But the result was we
16 turned round the entire convoy, and I was with Cibo at the front of the
17 vehicle. After we turned round the others were behind us. We turned
18 round and we turned along the same road.
19 And the Spanish, the UNMOs, the observation officers of the UN,
20 and myself said that we were presumably in one of these places like Novi
21 Straca. And we saw night was falling and we saw in the twilight human
22 faces behind glass, behind a large glass pane. We got out and we looked
23 at them, and this was obviously a women's prison, for women, children, and
24 elderly people. They were in the building of something similar to a bank.
25 I'd say a bank more, because, as I found out one year later it had been a
1 bank. Otherwise, it would have simply been a low office window with large
2 windows and they were in some sort of room there.
3 We thought there were about a hundred to 150 people there who were
4 in the building in a state of fear. And the children were weeping. We
5 couldn't hear them through the glass but we could see them.
6 We went on, and in Kostajnica, I spoke to Mr. Sagolj whom I knew
7 relatively well from a series of conferences in April. I said,
8 "Mr. Sagolj, you are a soldier. What is going on with those prisoners?"
9 And Sagolj, I would say he wasn't happy in his own skin. He said,
10 however, "I must keep these Muslim people there, the women, children, and
11 elderly people. I hope it's not going to last too long, because the
12 armija has attacked the HVO, has killed HVO soldiers, and has also
13 evacuated Croatian people. If I don't keep them in prison, then I will be
14 killed by my own people, or they will be killed by my own people."
15 And we went back to Jablanica, and the whole matter was concluded
16 there, for me at least. Of course, we reported this to the Red Cross. We
17 made the usual reports, of course. That is a matter of course.
18 Q. A few questions just to clarify a few issues. In the first place,
19 when you refer to Sagolj, who was he specifically?
20 A. Sagolj was a brigade commander. I must say, at least this is how
21 they introduced themselves to us and how I got to know him at the time.
22 He was a brigade commander of the -- of a certain brigade in Kostajnica.
23 Q. And for which army?
24 A. For the HVO.
25 Q. You mentioned that you saw a series of villages which were
1 destroyed on the way up during this -- on the travel -- on the first leg
2 of this investigation or trip you made. Do you know which villages those
3 were or who inhabited these villages?
4 A. Yes. I can't say entire villages but, rather, individual houses,
5 and -- because these houses aren't -- these villages aren't huge. They
6 are only a group of houses.
7 There were some houses, and in these buildings - we knew less of
8 this at the point in time. It was something that was confirmed later - It
9 was mainly Croatian population in these villages.
10 Q. Now, the place where you saw the women and children being held in
11 the building which later turned out to be a bank, do you know which
12 village this was, or where approximately this village was situated?
13 A. I'm relatively sure it was Novi Straca but I can say with this
14 gesture perhaps. It was a bend in the road. The road went like this from
15 east to west and then went up towards the north. And in this corner, it
16 was located there. I can't be more precise than that from my memory,
17 because of course I don't know these places so well from my memory, and I
18 can't recall them.
19 Q. Now, Colonel, did anybody else suggest that you also visit this
20 area after you had actually visited this area?
21 A. A particular request to go there later, this is something I can't
22 really recall, but it's true, of course, that the -- on the HVO side
23 Mr. Stojic and Mr. Bojic but also other people said to us the ECMM, you
24 must look more closely at the Klis region and not spend so much time in
25 other areas where you think that we Croatians have done something. Don't
1 stay here, but look after us and our compatriots round about this area,
2 round about Jablanica and Konjic. So indirectly but not in concrete
3 terms. This was sort of an ongoing request.
4 Q. Sir, I see in the record it says on line 16 of page 42, Mr. Stojic
5 and Mr. Bojic. That Mr. Bojic, that the person that you are referring to,
6 or whom are you referring to specifically? Could it be a Mr. Bozic?
7 A. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. That was my mispronunciation. It was
8 Mr. Bozic. I hope my pronunciation is correct now.
9 Q. And Mr. Bozic, who was he, according to your recollection?
10 A. No. That was simply a slip of the tongue.
11 Q. Yes, but do you know who he was at that time, what position he --
12 A. Yes. I'd rather talk about his function. There will be no
13 mistake. Mr. Stojic, he was the minister of defence of the HVO, and
14 Mr. Bojic was the deputy defence minister of the HVO.
15 Q. Mr. Bozic. Sorry, I --
16 A. Yes, Mr. Bozic.
17 Q. Sir, we may get back to this aspect a bit later on. Just one
18 aspect very quickly. Did you ever speak to anybody during your period as
19 a monitor concerning the question of Mostar as the capital the Croatian
20 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
21 A. That was an ongoing subject on the HVO part, but also on the part
22 of the armija, everyone. There was no occasion where this subject did not
23 come up. It always came up.
24 Q. Now, sir, Mr. Berislav Pusic, when was the first time, if at all,
25 that you met Mr. Berislav Pusic? Could you just tell the Court about that
2 A. Yes. I saw him a few times in the conferences, but the first time
3 I'm quite sure it was in Jablanica, although I can't say precisely what --
4 at what time this was. It must, I think, have been before the conference
5 on the 4th and 5th of May. Round about the end of April. And with many
6 other people we met together in an office building of the electricity
7 works of Jablanica. And in the first meetings, it was to do with a minor
8 point. We had to go somewhere to find something out, and he said no, he
9 wasn't coming with us, or something like that, because there was a -- had
10 been a meeting with armija soldiers, and he didn't want to come with us.
11 So the situation was something like this. It's very difficult for me to
12 reconstruct this.
13 Q. Then, sir, you went on leave to Germany, and if we can focus on
14 when you came back at the end of May. When did you actually travel,
15 according to your recollection and arrive in the theatre?
16 A. I haven't looked up the dates of my journey, but I'm sure that it
17 was the 24th of May, in the evening, I arrived in Siroki Brijeg, and on
18 the 25th, early, I took part in a conference in the west of Mostar. After
19 I'd been away for three weeks this situation was very confusing because of
20 the developments as a whole.
21 Q. Could you tell the Court what happened on the 25th of -- of May in
22 Mostar? What did you observe specifically on that day?
23 A. The first thing was that I was in this conference that I had
24 previously mentioned, and we were talking about practical things like
25 water supply, electricity supply of East Mostar. This was led by
1 observation officer of the United Nations. I'm really not in a position
2 it say what the results were. Sometimes these discussions remained open
3 without result, so I can't really say. Yes.
4 Q. This conference or the meeting you refer to, who were the other
5 participants or which parties were participating in this meeting?
6 A. The participants were, although I must be careful here, were civil
7 persons from East and West Mostar whom I can't really describe
8 individually because I think I probably saw them for the first time, at
9 least most of them, so that I can't really give you any further details on
11 Q. Let's move on from there and what happened after this conference.
12 A. Yes. In the evening of the same day, and I thought about it
13 again, it could have also been the evening of the following day. I cannot
14 exclude that completely. It could have been the 26th. Then the other
15 monitor with whom I cooperated and I, we went to West Mostar in one of the
16 main roads which -- perpendicular to the Neretva. It was a kind of
17 theatre close by, or it could have been a cinema as well.
18 Now, I cannot tell you why we went there. There was a rumour, I
19 think, where we got a piece of information that persons were to be
20 exchanged between East Mostar and West Mostar.
21 When we arrived there at about 7.00 p.m., 1900 hours, then we
22 heard, according to rumours that people from East Mostar had come to
23 West Mostar whom I had not seen, however. I can remember that I saw some
24 people arriving by bus. They got off the bus. But I can remember that
25 some of these buses, I think we're talking about five, roughly, were in
1 the direction of Neretva, lined up one after the other, and on these buses
2 there were families, women, children, also elderly people.
3 I did not recognise any men between -- let's say between 16 and
4 50, who you might have declared to be fighters. And these people looked
5 rather frustrated, unhappy, looked apathetic, looked frightened but
6 indifferent, just -- it was warm. Sometimes doors were opened. Windows
7 were opened in order to get some fresh air. Otherwise, they didn't seem
8 to get any supplies. Nobody looked after them.
9 Some HVO soldiers were guarding these buses, and the man who
10 was -- who look after these soldiers, who was in command, was Mr. Pusic.
11 Mr. Pusic also came towards us and said roughly that was not our business;
12 it was his business, and we should go away. We should move away from the
13 area. We didn't do that. He didn't do it physically, but verbally he
14 told us, "Just leave."
15 We then asked the HVO soldiers and also asked Mr. Pusic and also
16 people who were coming by - occasionally people were going by - what this
17 was all about, and it then emerged to us that these were Muslim families
18 who were transported from East Mostar to West Mostar. It went on until
19 about 2300 hours, and then the buses left in the direction of Neretva.
20 Then we went back to Siroki Brijeg, to our headquarters.
21 Q. A few questions. Just for clarity, I don't know if this came out
22 correctly in the record, these people, did they actually get off the bus
23 or stay on the bus when these buses arrived, when you saw them?
24 A. When we arrived, then they were already on the bus. We did not
25 see them outside of the bus at all. The image, the picture that we had of
1 them were the people on the buses.
2 Q. Furthermore, sir, you say that Mr. Pusic was in command of these
3 HVO soldiers or the soldiers. From what did he say that you say he was in
4 command? What did you observe?
5 A. First of all, I recognised him again. And also the other monitor
6 knew him. Yes, that could be recognised, the way in which he behaved,
7 like a leader of the few HVO soldiers who obeyed him. He was obviously
8 the leader, the one who said what they should do.
9 Q. Do you recall whether Mr. Pusic was in uniform or not on that day?
10 A. Surprisingly, I can't tell you. I cannot remember.
11 Q. Sir, if we can turn to some exhibits and with the help of the
12 usher if we could perhaps just provide the witness with the exhibit
14 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Madam Usher.
15 Q. Sir, the first exhibit that I would refer you to is Exhibit 02557.
16 P 02557. 2557.
17 A. [In English] This document from -- [Interpretation] So the
18 document of the 29th of May.
19 Q. That's correct, yes. It's marked as ECMM restricted, EC monitor
20 mission team report for 29 May. And it is signed by Brad Koskie or in the
21 name of Brad Koskie and Ivan Simovcek. Have you seen this document or do
22 you know of this document?
23 A. Yes, I know it and I have seen it.
24 Q. Sir, I'd like to refer you to one aspect of this document,
25 paragraph 1, General situation. It refers in the second line to treatment
1 of the Muslim minority in the south remains in question.
2 If we turn to paragraph 6 the theme continues. "Both UNHCR and
3 ICRC report the internment and eviction of Muslims in Mostar and the towns
4 to the south." And then a few lines down, in the middle of paragraph 6:
5 "The UNHCR and ICRC report that Muslim families on the west bank were
6 evicted last night in organised raids, their homes occupied by Croat
7 families with permits to occupy the flats."
8 My question, sir, is in light of what you saw upon your return,
9 could you comment on this document from that perspective?
10 A. So from the point of view of the ECMM monitors, they're saying
11 what they have heard, learned from others. And the matter that is raised
12 about west bank Mostar in the lower part of paragraph 6, that might refer
13 to what I mentioned before of what happened on the 25th or 26th. Now,
14 whether further such movements happened between the 26th and the 29th in
15 Mostar, I really do not know.
16 Q. Sir, if we can move on from -- from this document --
17 MR. KRUGER: And, Your Honour, for this section of the witness's
18 evidence, if we could move into private session for about five minutes,
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please, private
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 20433-20434 redacted. Private session
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're back to open session, Your Honours.
18 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Now, sir, upon your return from leave at the end of May, what was
20 the situation for the ECMM regarding access to Mostar?
21 A. The headquarters of ECMM was still in Siroki Brijeg. The teams
22 with Nigel Milverton at their head reported that in May there was hardly
23 any or practically no access to Mostar. Then at a later stage, I could
24 see that for myself but this was not at the same time when I heard about
25 it but later on when I could go there, what I could see was that the
1 building was where the headquarters of the 4th Corps Armija where
2 General Pasalic was, that this had been partially destroyed. The walls
3 were black because of smoke and -- so the building still existed, but
4 there were major traces of fighting. Also, the outside showed a great
5 deal of traces of fighting. For example, benches had been turned over.
6 You could see some impacts of bullets, et cetera.
7 Q. Did the ECMM at that stage have any problems to go through HVO
8 check-points to enter Mostar?
9 A. No problems to access the check-points. No, we didn't have that.
10 I'm talking about the -- I'm not talking about when I wasn't there. We
11 could get to the check-points and then we were told no, along those lines.
12 Q. Now, I'd quickly like to refer you to two documents concerning
13 activities in June. The first one is Exhibit P 02807. P 0 --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, before --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please accept my apologies. I find
16 it is a bit confusing.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please answer this
18 question, because I'm under the impression that you answered in a
19 different way as to the check-points.
20 The Prosecutor asked you whether there were -- whether it was
21 possible to enter Mostar, to go through the check-points, and you seem to
22 say yes, on the one hand, and then you say when we would get to the
23 check-points we wouldn't be allowed to go through. So could you be more
24 specific? Was it possible for you to move around freely, and if you could
25 not, why was it not possible to go through the check-points?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The check-points didn't let the
2 monitors go through. That's what I -- that's the report that I got. It
3 said they were told no, you cannot go to Mostar.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This was reported to you. But
5 you yourself, did you encounter any problem?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the beginning of June that I can
7 recollect, I could not get into Mostar because I was also turned down by
8 the check-points. But soon in June, might have been around the 10th of
9 June or something like that, then I went on several occasions to the
10 eastern part of Mostar and the path which -- the path we used, the way we
11 used, was so-called Dam Bridge in the north of Mostar. And then an HVO
12 check-point let us go through. And then on the road to south we went into
13 Eastern Mostar and were in the headquarters of Pasalic on several
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Sir, the exhibit is 2807. 2807.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You have the document before you? Sir --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The title of this document is an ECMM report from Klaus Nissen in
22 Jablanica to the German delegation, headquarters Zagreb, and it's dated
23 the 16th of June, 1993. Do you know this document?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you prepare this document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Sir, if we look at the top, it says from M1, HCC Mostar. Were you
3 HCC Mostar at this stage?
4 A. I was at that time HCC Mostar, and with my team in 1, I worked
5 there immediately because we got some new monitors that I wanted to brief,
6 hence this display here.
7 Q. Now, just before looking at the contents of the document, just for
8 the record in the bottom right-hand corner there's a signature and a date
9 in October 2002. My first question is: Is that your signature?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And can you tell the Court when you signed this in October 2002?
12 What occasion was that?
13 A. The occasion was that I was asked by the Tribunal to make a
14 written statement about another case, about -- I had already been heard
15 in May 1998 at home, and on that day I went to The Hague and made a
17 Q. That was before an investigator of the Office of the Prosecutor?
18 A. Yes. In both cases, that is in 1998, which preceded this one, and
19 also in 2002, when I was here.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, if we can look at the first paragraph of
21 this document. This deals with negotiations of a team of UNHCR, UNMOs and
22 ECMM members to get four people free. This team went to the entrance of
23 Konjic to meet there the SpaBat. Two platoons and the UNMO who negotiated
24 with a local HVO commander. And then the interesting part: "All
25 negotiations failed, even a fax from Mr. Petkovic, to set the four locals
1 free -- local people free. Did not impress the local HVO commander."
2 Could you first tell the Court what was this about, these four
3 people who were mentioned in this?
4 A. Can I go -- can I go a bit more -- can I tell it in a bit more
5 detail in order to make it more understandable? Near Kostajnica there was
6 a so-called pocket or an HVO enclave in the hills. It was called Konjic
7 pocket or Zabrdje pocket. And so this was a Croat population which
8 was surrounded by, on the one hand, by the Serbs, on the other hand by
9 Muslims, and they stayed there. But at the same time there was the main
10 road leading to Konjic, and there was a check-point and it was closed
11 occasionally. Over and over again when we went to see minorities, we also
12 heard, in that conjunction, we heard about this particular Konjic pocket
13 for various reasons. And none -- nobody of these organisations had been
14 there for weeks or over the past weeks. So we got together and said we're
15 going there.
16 The UN officers from UNMOs arranged this, and I think they
17 arranged it with Sagolj, because as far as I can tell he was also
18 responsible for this pocket with his deputy or one of his leading
19 officers, subordinate officers. It happened, and we agreed upon a date.
20 We then went in the morning with four vehicles of this organisation, ECMM
21 as well, waited for a long time, and then were escorted to the hill, to
22 the mountain, and then saw several small houses which were located on the
23 top of the hills and farmhouses. Then we talked to the commander, and
24 then he informed us there about the population, that wasn't very well of
25 course because they didn't have enough to eat, and they were cut off of
1 all kinds of things. They couldn't move outside the pocket either.
2 It was a very calm conversation. What -- but we had a -- we had
3 some more trouble with -- I'm quite sure it was an HVO military police
4 officer who looked like Rambo, had an ammunition belt. He was quite
5 aggressive, and he wanted to get rid us of as quickly as possible. I do
6 not know the man's name though.
7 Because of his intervention, the visit which had -- was supposed
8 to be a confidence building visit was quite -- was much shorter. And then
9 we pointed out that we wanted to see some prisoners because it was also
10 part of the agreement that we would see some prisoners, that we would go
11 back to Konjic. We would then see prisoners from other areas.
12 So very briefly. It was a matter of minutes. We saw some
13 prisoners in a room which were against -- leaning, sitting against the
14 walls and they didn't look too bad. They looked roughly normal, whatever
15 you mean normal if you're sitting there. They didn't look particularly
16 hard up. But it was just a fleeting visit, just about five minutes, and
17 then we were told to go. But in the meantime I saw the following, and
18 that was so important for me because it was the only time when it happened
19 during my mission. I saw the Serbian soldiers in two vehicles. About six
20 soldiers with Bosnian Serb uniform. I don't want to create any confusion
21 here, with a hat, caps, and also marks on their vehicles. They put boxes
22 on their vehicles. There could have been ammunition there, also supplies,
23 food supplies, troop supplies -- food, tins with food. So they put
24 several boxes on the vehicle.
25 We didn't have contact with them, but it was interesting to me
1 because it was the only time where I saw Serb, Croat soldiers from
3 We then left quickly and we were escorted down the mountain. And
4 after about 500 metres, there was massive firing from the front and the
5 rear. The convoy was stopped and we were forced to leave the vehicles,
6 and we were herded together, about 18 people, 16 to 18 people, and we were
7 more or less herded together because of the shooting. No one was injured,
8 and no one was immediately hit, but there was shooting round about us and
9 into the earth.
10 We sat in a kind of bush alongside the road, and we sort of
11 cowered down beside this bush. And it was the soldiers round about us
12 that were relatively calm and we thought they were grinning to themselves
13 because of this overall situation, as if it was a pre-planned action
14 and "We want to show them," but the leader of this group seemed to us to
15 be extremely frustrated personally. He was highly aggressive, and you
16 couldn't see any grin on his face. We had to assume that at any time it
17 could be a matter of life and death.
18 Then we said those we recognised as native inhabitants, we wanted
19 to find out who they were. There were four Muslims, four men and a woman,
20 an interpreter, who had to separate themselves from us, and we tried to
21 intervene and say, No, we're not going along with that. And so they shot
22 into the bushes in front of us so that we were afraid, and we thought that
23 this -- these tactics would not work out. Maybe somebody would be
24 injured. So we separated from the others, and then they said to us, "You
25 disappear with your vehicles and those four, they stay here," and that's
1 what happen.
2 We drove down the mountain, and at the bottom we consulted,
3 deliberated on this. We went to the Spanish Battalion, and then the whole
4 reporting business started to the HVO, the armija, to Zagreb and others to
5 say that they really should look after these people who had been taken
7 Do you want me to continue my report? Because this comes into
8 another phase. But this was the current situation.
9 Q. And tell us about how you obtained the fax from Mr. Petkovic.
10 A. Well, if I recall, I didn't receive a fax personally from
11 Mr. Petkovic, but I know in this case through UNMOs or the Spanish
12 Battalion, I have to say this is secondhand, that General Petkovic sent a
13 fax to his people in the pocket saying that these prisoners should be
14 released immediately. And this was on the same day, and obviously this
15 didn't happen on the same day because they said no.
16 Why I'm saying so clearly they said no is based on another source
17 which I only received a few days later. It was a handwritten letter from
18 this pocket, from the people there, but at least from the leader there,
19 saying that "we have taken them prisoner because no one is bothering about
20 us. We are alone. We will be rubbed off and no one will be bothered with
21 us any more. There was not," and this was a decisive point, "there was
22 not this support from our own people. No one is bothering about us,
23 neither the Herceg-Bosna nor Croatia." This was the line going through
24 the fax. "So we had to resort to our devices." This was the summary.
25 And this basically confirmed our previous impression of isolation there.
1 Q. And if you say, "they said no," this is to the release of these
2 people. Who do you refer to by "they"?
3 A. Well, you mean who was released, or perhaps I haven't quite
5 Q. No. My question is if you say, "they said no," who is "they" that
6 refused you?
7 A. No. I wasn't actually quoting, but I'm saying this was the result
8 of what I've -- I've just summarised, is the result of what the commander
9 said. But I tried to put it in the context that I can only say this
10 explicitly in terms of Mr. Petkovic, because I didn't know this actually
11 on the very day. On that day I didn't know that Mr. Petkovic had written
12 this letter. This was something which emerged later.
13 Q. How was the release of these people eventually obtained, these
14 four people?
15 A. Then in the night of that day and the following morning, there
16 were various links. The International Red Cross had intervened, for
17 example, with Mr. Pogarcic in Grude. Contact was made and there were many
18 other contacts especially to Mr. -- or certainly to Mr. Petkovic and
19 Mr. Stojic, presumably, and the other deputy defence minister. And then I
20 heard of SpaBat. This is not my personal knowledge, that
21 General Petkovic, with a SpaBat armoured vehicle, had tried to get to
22 Jablanica and then to Konjic to release those hostages, to convince his
23 people on site. And he failed according to the Spanish Battalion because
24 the armija check-points south of Jablanica, in Dreznica, further to the
25 south, didn't let him through.
1 Obviously, the verbal pressure, however this was built up, I don't
2 know the details, led to the situation that they relented and the Spanish
3 Battalion received a report that they could drive to this place on the
4 road before Konjic and fetch these four people, which they did. This took
5 place on the late afternoon or the early evening of the following day.
6 These people were uninjured. They were completely clothed. They
7 had all their money on them. Nothing had been taken from them, and they
8 had been treated properly. The men said they had been slightly
9 threatened, but they said that it wasn't really serious. And the young
10 lady who was with them said that they behaved correctly.
11 And then they were taken by the Spanish Battalion, taken back to
12 Jablanica and back to their colleagues.
13 Q. Sir, if we look at the document, and it's the end of -- or it's
14 about the fifth or sixth line in paragraph 1 where it says: "The fax from
15 Mr. Petkovic to get the four local people free did not impress the local
16 HVO commander." From your experience of this situation and your
17 knowledge, can you comment on how this reflects, if at all, on
18 Mr. Petkovic's ability to exert authority?
19 A. Well, I believe that this says little about his authority, because
20 I know from other situations, because leaders who are not confronting
21 those they are leading eye-to-eye really don't much opportunity of having
22 their commands carried out. I must say this in all clarity because there
23 was a lack of confidence whether the order was correct or not. It was
24 questioned. Perhaps someone else gave the order and used his name. What
25 they people -- they up there know about us? If they knew how we were
1 doing, then they would never have issued the order.
2 So there are many pros and contras, but basically this really
3 doesn't say much about his authority. On the contrary. You could seen
4 say that he was obviously aware of this fact because he had tried to
5 intervene personally. He knew the interpretation that I had given. He
6 probably knew this better than I did.
7 Q. Thank you. Sir, if we can step off this document, and if we can
8 look at document 2947. 2947. That's exhibit -- the very next one.
9 Exhibit P 02947.
10 This document says from ECLO Kiseljak. Do you have the document?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. My first question is: Do you know what ECLO stands for?
13 A. Yes. This is the abbreviation for the liaison officer of the ECMM
14 at the headquarters of UNPROFOR in Kiseljak. European Community Liaison
15 Officer. This is the English title.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, this document is dated the 25th of June, 1993,
17 and it is addressed to various instances but also to CC Mostar. Now,
18 would that have been to your team on the ECMM?
19 A. Yes. And as a matter of routine, we received such reports as
20 Kiseljak received reports from Zenica as a matter of routine. And we can
21 say that unless there were technical difficulties, we received these
22 reports and used them.
23 Q. Sir, if I can refer you to paragraph 7(B). Paragraph 7 deals with
24 the SpaBat sector. Do you have that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, 7(B) deals with Mostar, and what I would like to refer to is
2 the third bullet under that, the very end of the page. "During one of the
3 clashes, one Muslim girl was wounded through the shooting of HVO snipers."
4 My question to you is at this time, this is towards the end of
5 June 1993, were you aware of sniping taking place in Mostar?
6 A. In -- this individual case is one that I don't know from the
7 report, but I know of the snipers in Mostar who targeted East Mostar more
8 and more, rather than by reverse, because I personally witnessed such
9 shootings. Not aimed at us, but as I reported in June, even -- in June
10 when I visited the command post of Pasalic, sometimes there was more
11 shooting, sometimes less, sometimes none at all, and sometimes the bullets
12 impacted the building and the plaster fell off the walls. But I didn't
13 experience mortar firing.
14 In June there was a team of the UN -- the English term is the --
15 well, to the observers of the initially -- or of the UN was in Mostar and
16 had moved into quarters in the east part of Mostar, and we visited them of
17 course too and it was rather courageous of them to move up there and they
18 barricaded the house with wood and they used the rooms in the cellar
19 rather than rooms on the first floor. And they weren't targeted
20 particularly, but often snipers were out there and they had reported of
21 grenades and mortar shells, whatever.
22 Q. If I can briefly refer you to - in line with what you've just said
23 now - Exhibit 2658. 2658. Do you have that?
24 A. Yes, I have it.
25 Q. Sir, this is a report dated the 7th of June, 1993. It's an ECMM
1 team report, and it's in the name of Brad. Have you seen this report
2 previously? Do you know of it?
3 A. Yes, I know it.
4 Q. Sir, what I'd like to refer to is simply paragraph 8, the second
5 sentence. "UNMO have deployed a team to the east bank of Mostar on a
6 permanent basis." And my simple question is when you say that you
7 experienced sniping in the UNMO location or base on the -- in East Mostar,
8 how does this relate to what we read in paragraph 8, "UNMO have deployed a
9 team to the east bank"?
10 A. UNMO wanted to observe the particular situation in East Mostar.
11 We, for example, the first time we wouldn't have been able to do so
12 without approval, but we were bound to refrain from night operations, and
13 we weren't out at night unless by chance. But they, from their
14 headquarters, were able to observe the entire situation over a number of
15 days, and this is why they were particular witnesses, because they were at
16 the top of the mountain and they experienced every single shot.
17 Q. Thank you. Sir, if we can step off that document and -- actually,
18 if we can very briefly return to the previous document, 2947. 2947.
19 A. Yes. I've got it.
20 Q. And if we can turn to paragraph 7 once again. Now, we have --
21 we've looked at 7(B). If we can turn the page and go to 7(C), and there
22 we see Jablanica-Konjic. Do you have that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The fifth bullet under that: "According to ECMM reports they saw
25 one video with killed HV soldier, ID card from special forces of Croatia."
1 I don't want to ask you about that specific incident. My simple
2 question to you is did you as an ECMM officer have any specific
3 instructions regarding HV presence in Herceg-Bosna?
4 A. Well, in fact from the very beginning there was a general mandate
5 to have the borders between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, we should
6 observe this to see if there were movements of troops. There was a
7 particular instruction about the end of June, the beginning of July of
8 this year when there were uprisings, we'll come back to that, I think, of
9 the armija in the north of Mostar, maybe in the south as well there was
10 such uprising.
11 And we assumed from Zagreb that this could be the reason to bring
12 Croatian troops into Bosnia. So there was a particular mandate to observe
13 the border and to take every opportunity to go to the border and to keep
14 our eyes open.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, if we can turn to the end of June. On the
16 30th of June, 1993, the Court has heard that the ABiH launched an attack
17 to the North Camp in Mostar. Were you aware of that attack?
18 A. Yes. On the 13th of June we found out about these events, yes.
19 Q. Now, if we can turn to document 3069. 3069.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You have the document?
22 A. Yes, I have it.
23 Q. Now, sir, that is ECMM report for the 1st of July, 1993, and it's
24 in the name of Brad and Christ. Do you know of this report?
25 A. Yes, I know it.
1 Q. If we look at paragraph 3 of this report dealing with meetings,
2 it's reported that "The meeting with brigade commander Colonel Obradovic
3 was cancelled. We were not allowed through the HVO check-point en route
4 to his headquarters approaching Stolac. Specific orders were given
5 barring the ECMM and other international agencies."
6 My first question was did you know who Colonel Obradovic was?
7 A. I had never seen Colonel Obradovic myself, but I knew of him from
8 the very beginning. From the beginning of April, he was the brigade
9 commander in - I don't want to confuse the places - in Capljina. In the
10 south of Capljina, yes.
11 Q. Now --
12 A. At the moment, I'm not absolutely sure of the place, but I think
13 it was the south of Capljina.
14 Q. Now, Colonel, can you comment on the fact that he had cancelled a
15 meeting on the day after the attack on the North Camp? Was there a link,
16 do you know?
17 A. On the 1st of July when this report arrived I could conclude from
18 the general picture as to why this had happened, why this report was set
19 up, because on the 30th of June, late afternoon, we learnt from various
20 sources that single soldiers, probably also some troops, parts of troops,
21 but, rather, single soldiers of the armija who served under the HVO had
22 risen against the HVO, against their leaders, and there had been
23 shootings. And also losses on both sides had occurred. There were
24 dead -- dead people or injured -- also, people were injured among the
25 civilian population. At least in the north. I don't know about the
2 Q. Now, if we look at the final paragraph or sentence that I -- that
3 I've read to you already in that first bit under paragraph 3: "Specific
4 orders were given barring ECMM and other international agencies." And if
5 we can turn from there perhaps to the assessment at the bottom, paragraph
6 6. "Preparations are being made for a counter-offensive and the world is
7 not invited to watch."
8 Can you comment on this?
9 A. It's not easy, but from the information that I personally got of
10 the 30th of June, I could assume that at any rate the HVO, because of the
11 uprising on the 30th of June reacted vehemently. As to what that was like
12 in single incidents whether you can talk about counter-offensive, whether
13 you can see it quite like that or whether it was just a local reaction, I
14 cannot tell you. At least at this moment in time. Later on the whole
15 matter took quite a different direction though.
16 Q. From this time onwards, so the 30th of June, the 1st of July
17 onwards, what was the situation of the ECMM regarding access to Mostar
19 A. After this date we no longer had access to Mostar, and I'm sure I
20 personally never went to Mostar again until the 25th or 26th of July, when
21 I finished the mission. A lot of attempts were made, and a lot of
22 discussions took place, also at a level above my level, that is with
23 Zagreb, and people who were on the -- on location with Mr. Bruno Stojic
24 and also Mr. Bozic, we -- attempts were made to gain access. There were
25 discussions at a later stage but it never happened.
1 Q. If I can refer you to the next document in the binder?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we go to that, if we could make sure that we
3 get the name of the second individual for the record. Page 66, he
4 mentioned two names. On line 25, he mentioned two particular names and I
5 don't believe that it was caught because we have new interpreters.
6 MR. KRUGER:
7 Q. Sir, yes, if you could perhaps help. The names I heard, the first
8 one Mr. Bruno Stojic, and then another person.
9 A. Maybe I mispronounced it. Maybe I'm going to mention his
10 function. The deputy defence minister of the HVO.
11 Q. Thank you. Would that be Mr. Bozic?
12 A. Yes. I always thought that these -- that there was a little hook
13 on the z, but it seems to be wrong. Maybe that's the right pronunciation.
14 Q. Thank you, sir.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you to my learned colleague.
16 Q. Sir, the very next exhibit in the binder is 3162. Exhibit 3162.
17 And this is a handwritten note or letter titled "Protest. Regarding
18 freedom of movement ECMM," and it's dated the 3rd of July, 1993, addressed
19 to Mr. Bruno Stojic. Do you know this document?
20 A. Yes. I have also signed it myself.
21 Q. And who wrote the document itself? Whose handwriting is it?
22 A. That was written by the other monitor who worked in this function.
23 It was Toon van der Grinten.
24 Q. Just before looking at the document, you mentioned when you
25 returned on the 25th in West Mostar, when you saw the five buses with
1 people on them, that you were with a colleague. Which colleague was that
2 at that stage? I omitted to ask you previously.
3 A. That was the same one who also wrote this document, Mr. van der
5 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, if Mr. van der Grinten, if he wrote this,
6 did he also compose the letter or was that composed in a different manner,
7 the content?
8 A. We did -- we did the wording together, and he was the one who was
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, did he write it in
12 English or in B/C/S, that letter?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the original
14 text that he wrote down, as he wrote it down, and it was translated into
15 Serbo-Croat by our translator and both letters are handwritten by Mr. van
16 der Grinten and the translator and then were sent off by fax.
17 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Sir, we've been looking at the English document. If we turn the
19 page there is a second document, also handwritten. Is this the
20 handwritten version you refer to that was translated?
21 A. Yes, this is the translated version. I have to make sure that I
22 don't get the papers confused. It could also be another text, but it is
23 the text.
24 Q. Now, sir, if we look at the first paragraph of this letter, in the
25 third line, well, second line, "... On 12 May 1993 we strongly protest
1 against restricting the ECMM team Mostar to enter the city. Three
2 days 'Team Mostar' tried to contact Mr. Stojic without success." Could
3 you comment on that?
4 A. Just to be sure, you're talking about the 12th of May?
5 Q. Yes. It's as contained in your -- sorry, it's -- sorry. Just to
6 remove all doubt, I may be misleading or confusing the Court. This is a
7 reference to a memorandum of understanding signed on 1 October at
8 Sarajevo, and the agreement signed on 12 May 1993. "We strongly protest,"
9 and then it goes on.
10 A. So this document of the 12th of May, this is an agreement that we
11 concluded and that we signed. It was the Generals Halilovic and Petkovic,
12 and General Morillon from France, and the head RC Zenica, Mr. Thebault.
13 And then several paragraphs are mentioned. From memory, I can say there
14 was talk about cease-fire, a transfer of troops, freedom of movement of
15 international organisations, as well about transports to -- with access to
16 middle Bosnia, if I recollect correctly. This was the document, and this
17 was a high-level document. You might say that that should have been quite
18 important, but I'm putting that into question by the way I'm saying this
20 Q. Sir, tell us about what happened regarding this letter, whether
21 any steps were taken, whether there was any result to this letter that you
23 A. I myself haven't seen any results, and I don't think other people
24 either, and the people concerned didn't see any either. At least at a
25 later meeting which I think took place on the 18th of May on a higher
1 political level, there were the Generals Halilovic and Petkovic or
2 Pasalic, I'm not quite sure who was concerned, they also conceded that
3 their order of the agreement of the 12th of May, which had then been
4 translated into orders, that it didn't have any effect. That was their
5 own statements. I read this in the minutes, possibly in some of the
7 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, is this a good time for a break perhaps?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. We'll break for 20
10 --- Recess taken at 5.29 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, you may proceed.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Witness, just before the break we were still looking at the letter
15 of protest that you had sent to Mr. Bruno Stojic on the 3rd of July, 1993.
16 In this letter if we look at the second paragraph, towards the end it
17 says: "We like to meet Mr. Stojic in person or any other high-ranking
18 authority who can give us that important information."
19 Did anything come of this? Was there any subsequent meeting to
20 this letter of protest?
21 A. Afterwards there was a first meeting on the 5th of July between
22 the minister of defence and myself, and interpreters and so on. And
23 afterwards on the 10th and 11th of July there were meetings.
24 Q. The meetings of the 10th and the 11th of July, with whom were
25 those meetings?
1 A. They took place with the minister of defence and the deputy
2 minister of defence on the one hand and representatives from Zagreb from
3 the ECMM, from the headquarters in Zagreb, in particular the then-Belgian
4 General Pioge, and the deputy for military operations Colonel Ford, and
5 also the RC Zenica was represented by Mr. Thebault, at least for part of
6 the time.
7 Q. If we can turn to the first meeting which you refer to on the 5th
8 of July. Was that with Mr. Stojic himself?
9 A. Yes. That took place between Mr. Stojic and myself, yes.
10 Q. Where did this meeting take place?
11 A. The meeting took place in a hotel restaurant in Siroki Brijeg.
12 Q. And what transpired or what happened at this meeting?
13 A. Mr. Stojic put forward very many arguments to tell me why at the
14 time he did not want international organisations and ECMM, to let these
15 organisations into Mostar. There were many other things. Mr. Bruno
16 Stojic at the time outlined the situation of the 30th of June. That is
17 when the Muslims had this uprising, as we talked about. That was one
18 point. And then he said that because of the uprising of the armija
19 soldiers, the HVO was weakened. He didn't admit it, that they were
20 weakened, but this was something that you could derive from the context,
21 that the HVO was in a difficult situation and were annoyed.
22 He also confirmed that in the south, in the area of Branovic that
23 we talked about before, to the south -- or perhaps that was the wrong
24 name, but in the south of Mostar soldiers were -- took place in an
25 uprising and it was said that the HVO had taken many armija soldiers
1 prisoner, and consequently the HVO was weakened on two counts. On the one
2 hand they had lost soldiers from their own ranks and, secondly, they had
3 to look after these prisoners. So the HVO had lost combatants at that
4 time. And from a military point of view, I don't want to talk about other
5 political issues in this context, but they had to take measures to master
6 the situation again, to fight the armija and to defend themselves against
7 the armija and to make sure that they had supplies and provisions looking
8 at it from a purely military point of view.
9 Q. What was Mr. Stojic's position regarding the ECMM access to
11 A. At least he admitted that there was basic justification. He did
12 not deny this, because on the basis of this -- these documents, but he
13 said our security would not be guaranteed sufficiently in Mostar and at
14 the moment he could not guarantee this. He then said possibly he could
15 bring an ECMM team together with an escort into his office to discuss
16 something or to look at the situation there. But this did not take place
17 either. What is questionable is if it had come about would this have been
18 any use? Because the intention was not to come into the office by direct
19 means. We then could have stayed in Siroki Brijeg, but it did not take
21 Q. Colonel, did you respond to the position of Mr. Stojic that the
22 reason you didn't have access was for your own safety or to protect you?
23 A. We -- or I, of course, said to him that we are prepared and
24 willing if we have an armoured vehicle to look after our own protection,
25 and understandably enough he pointed out the MOU and the document of the
1 12th of May and said from his point of view the security of international
2 organisations is described here, or it is ordered here, and he could not
3 relinquish his duty simply on my order. I think in diplomatic terms that
4 was correct. So there was no success.
5 Q. Sir, if I can refer you to Exhibit 3196. 3196. Do you have that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. This is an ECMM daily summary for the 5th of July, 1993, and if we
8 look at paragraph 2, it says: "Political activity. When we met HVO MOD
9 Bruno Stojic..."
10 And my question is: Is this the report on the meeting that you
11 had that we've just been talking about?
12 A. What I said -- these are my recollections on this text which
13 reflects more precisely what was said because it was precise at the time.
14 Q. Now, if we just look at the last page of this document, it
15 says, "Best regards, HCC Mostar and The Flying Dutchman." HCC Mostar is
16 you. Who is The Flying Dutchman?
17 A. Well, it's perhaps not according to the book, but this is a Dutch
18 monitor. I can't give you his name spontaneously. I know it of course,
19 but I have to think about it. I don't have it on the tip of my tongue.
20 It was The Flying Dutchman but it was not according to the book.
21 Q. If we look at paragraph 1 of this document, "General situation,"
22 then we see the second paragraph as it were: "On local radio -- on local
23 radios, HVO has done several announcements concerning that soldiers should
24 go to their units, money should be given to support the country. Soldiers
25 still living in other areas should come to serve the HVO. And then
1 there's talk of a curfew. Closing of most of the shops and restaurants
2 has been announced again."
3 At this time or during your time as a monitor, were you aware of
4 the radio being used as a medium to communicate with people in the area
5 where you were a monitor?
6 A. That was something that we were aware of on several counts. And
7 from the text, you see that there are these inverted commas. This is an
8 original quotation because, amongst other things, one of our interpreters
9 who worked for us was an employee of the radio in Siroki Brijeg, and this
10 report refers to the radio in Siroki Brijeg. I don't know about other
11 transmission stations.
12 Q. The last sentence of that paragraph says: "For HVO there is a
13 serious situation." Can you comment on what is meant by that?
14 A. Yes. What is meant is what I mentioned in another context, that
15 is on -- because of the uprising, the armija soldiers and the
16 consequences, the HVO was in a very difficult situation at the moment, and
17 they didn't have the superiority which presumably they had had before in
18 the area of Mostar.
19 Q. Now, sir, if we can step off this document. If we can look at
20 Exhibit 3175. Exhibit 3175. Do you have the document before you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, sir, this is a daily report from the ECMM, and it is dated
23 the 4th of July, 1993, and it is in the name, at the end, of Brad. This
24 document, do you know of this or have you seen it before?
25 A. To recognise it again I would have to read parts of it, but I
1 think I do, yes.
2 Q. I will refer you to a specific part, and that is paragraph 6.
3 Now, if we bear in mind this is the day before the meeting you had with
4 Mr. Stojic regarding ECMM access, paragraph 6 says: "Other points:
5 Colonel Obradovic gave his account of the current conflict." And then a
6 few lines down: "In response to the perceived internal threat, all Muslim
7 members of the HVO under his command have been removed. The shortages
8 have been made up by the general mobilisation. In addition, all Muslim
9 males between the ages of 18 and 60 within the Capljina municipality and
10 the villages of -- south of Mostar have been arrested. This involves
11 military and civilian police."
12 Can you comment in general on this. Were you aware of these
13 activities taking place?
14 A. I can't say that so precisely because I don't know these places
15 individually, but it was basically south of the line of Buna-Blagaj. This
16 was the line where the armija and the HVO were confronting each other.
17 And I would like to point out briefly there was a document at the
18 beginning of May from General Pasalic saying clearly that he was aware of
19 the fact that many soldiers of the armija had collected in the area of the
20 line I mentioned up to Metkovic. Perhaps not quite so far to the south,
21 but he was very well aware of this fact. The other side were aware of
22 this fact.
23 Q. Have a look at the third last paragraph of paragraph 6. It's at
24 the top of the next page, on the second page of the document. And that is
25 the sentence which -- which states: "Colonel Obradovic stated that
1 restrictions to movement were done for our safety and could be expected to
2 be lifted very soon."
3 This sounds pretty much like what Mr. Stojic told you the next
4 day. Do you have any comments on that paragraph, on that sentence?
5 A. Well, I don't know precisely his opinion, but I think he referred
6 to his area of operations as a soldier, although the ECMM team, as far as
7 I recall, only once or in one of the following days experienced some
8 restriction within his scope of command. So things were relatively good
9 as far as access was concerned. Perhaps from other reports I may have
10 had, we can come back to that, from SpaBat they were subject to more
11 stringent restrictions and that they were able to move about unarmed.
12 Q. Sir, let's turn to Exhibit 3221. Do you have the document?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. This document, dated the 6th of July, 1993. It's an ECMM report,
15 R3 to RC Zenica, and it's in the name of Brad and Peter. In the second
16 paragraph, there is political activity reported referring to Mr. Markovic,
17 mayor of Capljina. Do you recognise this document? Had you seen it
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, sir, the second paragraph on political activity, this deals
21 with the Cap Anamur, refugee camp, and it deals with the freeing of
22 refugees from that camp. Were you aware of that situation?
23 A. Yes, I knew of the camp personally. Not at this point in time but
25 Q. What is being reported here about the closure of the camp? Did
1 you gain any knowledge of what was happening at this period of time?
2 Perhaps if we -- if we just look a bit further down. My apologies.
3 Referring to the removal of these Muslims from the camp, in the
4 middle of that paragraph: "The mayor insisted on statements that were
5 leaving voluntarily and for proper forms to be filled out." And further
6 down: "The forms are to prevent this accusation, and that is that there
7 is a concern that the municipality of Capljina will be accused of ethnic
9 Can you comment on that?
10 A. I can say that the International Red Cross, above all, was always
11 in an ambiguous situation. On the one hand they wanted to help people.
12 They wanted to help them to come and to go into safe areas. For example,
13 there was the question of moving them to Germany and a wagon camp, but on
14 the other hand the International Red Cross was immediately then
15 criticised, that is, that they would support ethnic cleansing or the
16 transfer of people. So the mayor, Markovic, takes up again this kind of
17 reasoning, this argumentation, because at this moment in time it's not
18 ethnic cleansing, it's a voluntary movement.
19 Q. And what was your own view on the voluntariness of this movement,
20 if you are in a position to comment on that?
21 A. If whatever, if pressure is exerted, if then persons are being
22 harmed physically and psychologically in single incidents, if people are
23 being treated badly or even killed, then in my opinion then such pressure
24 mounts up for the larger community that you can no longer talk about
25 voluntary movements no matter how this is actually done. So that applies
1 to all areas in my opinion.
2 Q. Sir, if we can move to another document, the very next document in
3 the binder or exhibit, 3223. Exhibit 3223. Do you have it before you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This document is from ECLO, European Community Liaison Officer
6 Kiseljak, and it's dated. It's a daily information summary for the 6th of
7 July, 1993. Would you have received this in the normal course of events?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, sir, if we can turn to paragraph 6 of this document. And
10 that is the paragraph which starts with "SpaBat sector." Do you have
12 A. Yes. Next paragraph, 6.
13 Q. This paragraph says: "The fighting continued in Mostar and
14 Jablanica-Konjic area. HVO started to arrest ... People through the whole
15 area." And on the next page, the second bullet, "HVO is arresting Muslim
16 civilian people as well as trying to disarm the Muslims still enlisted in
17 its units." Do you have any comments to add to this about what you had
18 already perhaps said regarding the previous document?
19 A. Basically, no. I think, first of all, the Muslim soldiers were
20 arrested that were deemed to be the perpetrators or the ones who had
21 staged the uprising or people who had been in hiding, who hadn't declared
22 themselves openly so that further investigation were carried out, and then
23 further arrests were being made. That might be a possible explanation.
24 As far as the civilian persons are concerned, I cannot say
1 Q. Sir, let's turn to the next exhibit. It's the next exhibit in the
2 binder as well, 3278.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, regarding the last
4 document, can you please go to paragraph 6, item (4) in this paragraph.
5 It is stated that the new commander of the 41st Brigade of the ABiH in
6 Mostar is Semir Dublic Lovac, a former commander of the ABiH snipers in
7 Mostar. Can you see that sentence?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can see the sentence.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you have information as to
10 the fact that the new person in charge of the 41st Brigade was a former
11 commander of the ABiH snipers or is that something that you are
12 discovering? That's just the way I do now on reading this document.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was not aware of
14 that, hasn't didn't -- I haven't been aware of that fact, and I don't know
15 the name either.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Kruger.
18 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Sir, the next document or exhibit was 3278. It's the next one in
20 the binder. Do you have it before you?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. And once again, this is a European Community Liaison Officer
23 Kiseljak, daily information summary for 7 July 1993. Would you have
24 received this document as well?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, sir, if we can once again turn to paragraph 6. It seems that
2 the structure of all these reports is pretty much the same. The relevant
3 paragraph will always be paragraph 6. "SpaBat sector." Do you have that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If we look at (B), the third bullet: "Reports about people inside
6 a tunnel used as an ammo store by the JNA in Dretelj," but I assume that's
7 a misspelling of Dretelj.
8 This stage or perhaps subsequently, had you heard about a tunnel
9 in Dretelj?
10 A. I have heard rumours about such a tunnel and people being in it.
11 Also, previously, but I haven't seen this tunnel personally.
12 Q. The fourth bullet -- sorry, the fifth bullet refers to, "According
13 to BiH sources, 6.000 Muslims were arrested in the Heliodrom." Are you
14 aware of that or do you know anything about that?
15 A. Again, there were rumours or indications or people -- or talks
16 about it, but nothing tangible.
17 Q. Thank you. Sir, if we can move to the very next exhibit in the
18 binder. That is 3298. And this is once again European Community Liaison
19 Officer Kiseljak, daily information summary for the 8th of July, 1993.
20 Would you have received this report too?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Just at this stage, do you know from what information the
23 information contained in these reports was compiled?
24 A. I can only something very basic because it always happened like
25 that. The liaison officer received his information from an UNPROFOR unit
1 in Kiseljak, plus the observations of the UN observers. And on occasions,
2 and we also did this, they used reports that came in from other
3 international organisations. So that applies to that report as well as to
4 other reports.
5 Q. Sir, if we can turn to paragraph 6 of that report once
6 again, "SpaBat sector." Do you have that?
7 A. Yes, I've just seen the annex.
8 Q. It's --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That was "SpaBat sector."
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. (B) "Mostar," and if we look at paragraph or bullet (1) at
13 least. "All UNPROFOR movement on entering the city is still restricted."
14 On this date did this -- was this also applicable to other
15 international organisations apart from UNPROFOR?
16 A. I don't know whether it applied totally to everyone or whether
17 exceptions were being made but, basically, yes.
18 Q. And if you say "yes", what do you mean by "yes"? Sorry. Just for
19 the record.
20 A. So the access to Mostar was barred to everyone. I just want to
21 exclude that there might be an exception about which I do not know
22 anything about.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. So single vehicles for -- of the International Red Cross. I just
25 gave an example.
1 Q. Sir, if we can turn to Exhibit 3361. 3361. Do you have that?
2 A. No. 3361. I'm not sure -- 3298; is that correct? My apologies.
3 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Madam Usher.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a misunderstanding. I
5 thought you were also referring to the numbering of the old report, and
6 this is we're talking -- I have you've got the new report in front of me
7 now. It's okay now.
8 MR. KRUGER:
9 Q. Sorry, my mistake. This exhibit is once again European Community
10 liaison officer Kiseljak, daily information summary for 10 July, 1993, and
11 as with the others, would this report have come to you as well?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, if we turn to paragraph 6 once again. Do you have that?
14 A. Yes, "SpaBat sector."
15 Q. And then if we turn to (C) "Mostar" at the bottom of that page,
16 and this reports then on the 10th of July, "All UNPROFOR movements in the
17 area of responsibility, particularly in the HVO-controlled areas are even
18 more restricted." Could you comment on this and perhaps also from the
19 point of view of ECMM access?
20 A. I assume that what they mean is that the freedom of movement of
21 the Spanish Battalion south of Mostar because they had their command post
22 in Medjugorje, and there was their troops there and they had to go back to
23 Medjugorje so that they had the freedom of movement within that area.
24 This is my assumption. As far as ECMM is concerned, I can only reiterate
25 it's only -- there was only a single incident that I recall because I was
1 also in that place where next to Medjugorje there was a crossroads that
2 was barred, and you couldn't just go across but you were directed onto the
3 left-hand side. There was a barrier but only for a short spell of time.
4 Q. Now, sir, if we look at the second bullet: "It is believed that
5 the HVO has arrested hundreds of civilians, so they do not want witnesses.
6 Local Muslim sources claimed that." On the next page: "All Muslims in
7 the Capljina-Stolac area have been expelled from their homes and most of
8 them are now imprisoned in Dretelj and Gabela."
9 My question is, was the ECMM able to gain access to these areas to
10 see or verify any of these things being reported at that stage?
11 A. As far as the report of the ECMM at that moment in time are
12 concerned, I can't really say anything.
13 Q. Sir, let's turn to the next document. The next exhibit would be
14 Exhibit 3346. Do you have the document before you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Sir, this is a document entitled, "Agreement on the passage of
17 humanitarian convoys." And it appears that this document comes from round
18 about the 10th of July, 1993. Were you aware of such an agreement being
20 A. I only learned about it afterwards, that is, after the meeting.
21 Q. We see in -- in this document on the third page there's a list of
22 people who attended -- there's a list of people who attended the meeting.
23 It says: "For the Croatian Defence Council, Dr. Jadranko Prlic." Are you
24 in a position to comment on his authority regarding matters such as these,
25 humanitarian convoys, to conclude such an agreement?
1 A. I think he was authorised to conclude such an agreement, because
2 he was the head, as I might call him, of the HVO, and it concerned the HVO
3 as a whole, politically and militarily, to agree to such convoys to the
4 north, to middle Bosnia.
5 Q. Sir, I'd just like to focus your attention on two matters which
6 will be relevant for the next few documents, other documents we may be
7 looking at. Paragraph 6 of this document. That's on the second page,
8 paragraph 6. Do you have it? Paragraph 6 --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- says that "The representatives of the Croatian Defence Council
11 and the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in there respective
12 areas of responsibility, without stopping and controlling, guarantee the
13 movement of humanitarian convoys."
14 And then paragraph 9. Once again the same two parties, the HVO
15 and the ABiH: "... Shall assure the unhindered passage for all
16 international humanitarian convoys as well as convoys of non-governmental
17 organisations ..."
18 Just before stepping off this document, are you aware or after
19 this agreement was concluded, to your knowledge was there unrestricted
20 access for humanitarian convoys to all areas which would have been covered
21 by this agreement, if you know?
22 A. Well, my area of responsibility I can say that these convoys would
23 have to go through Mostar, through west or east, and that didn't take
24 place. I repeat --
25 Q. Sorry, I've got music in my ears. Thank you. Sorry, we just had
1 music in our ears for a moment.
2 A. Do you want me to repeat? Do you want me to repeat?
3 Q. Perhaps just for safety, yes.
4 A. So in my area of responsibility, such convoys had to go through
5 the main link through Mostar, and that certainly didn't happen, as you can
6 very well imagine, or as you know straight away. Also, not through
7 Jablanica and Konjic. Another route went through from Grude to north,
8 Tomislavgrad via the mountains, et cetera. Such convoys always played an
9 important role, and if there had been a breakthrough, a decisive
10 breakthrough, then I would have learned about it. But when my successor
11 arrived and when I briefed him, Sir Martin Garrod, which was almost at the
12 end of my time, 23rd of July, roughly, then we went to Zenica, and then we
13 went to -- through Puzel [phoen], and then on this trek through the
14 mountains we saw vehicles who were driving north, roughly speaking. But
15 whether this can retrace back -- can be traced back to such a document, I
16 don't know.
17 Q. One final thing on this document. If we turn to page 3 of the
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The second -- the two last lines there, or the second last line,
21 it says that for the government of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Mate
22 Granic, was also present. Could you provide any comment as to why the
23 Republic of Croatia would be involved in such an agreement such as this?
24 A. Well, for the opening of the supply routes it was necessary to
25 drive through Croatia at the -- starting from the port of Ploce and
1 possibly also using airports, and this was areas under Croatian
3 Q. Okay. Sir, let's turn to Exhibit 3410. Exhibit 3410. Do you
4 have it?
5 A. Not at the moment. I'm still looking. Now I have it. Thank you.
6 Q. Sir, this is a report or a document from CC Mostar, dated the 12th
7 of July, 1993. And if we see in the subject heading: "Special report
8 concerning the meeting with General Pioge and COO Colonel Ford with deputy
9 minister of defence, HVO, Mr. Bozic. 11 July in Siroki Brijeg. Also
10 present, Klaus Nissen HCC Mostar." Do you recall or have you seen this
11 document, first of all?
12 A. Yes, I have seen the document.
13 Q. The meeting which is reported on -- in this document, do you
14 recall that meeting?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That was the purpose of this meeting?
17 A. Well, from our point of view, first of all the question had to do
18 again with the access to Mostar, and this was subsequent to the protest to
19 the minister of defence. It was all seen in a temporal context.
20 Furthermore, because of the visit of the higher staff from Zagreb, the
21 invitation, of course, went to the minister of defence and the deputy
22 minister of defence to meet these people to discuss the situation in
23 general terms, and he accepted this invitation.
24 Q. Now, COO, just for the record, would that stand for chief
25 operations officer or something else?
1 A. Yes. That's what it means.
2 Q. Now, if we look -- in this document we see that Mr. Bozic, in
3 paragraph 4, was asked, and this is the fourth last line of paragraph
4 4: "... Asked Bozic if he could help in ensuring free movement for
5 international agencies." Do you recall what the reaction of Mr. Bozic
7 A. Well, whether he gave a different answer to that we heard from the
8 minister of defence or not is something I cannot recall.
9 Q. Can we just look at the very last paragraph, paragraph 11 on the
10 last page. "In spite of three separate attempts during a two and a half
11 hour meeting to persuade him to give the answer on the question of freedom
12 of movement, Bozic did not respond at all."
13 Can you perhaps just comment on that. Do you have anything
14 further to add to that?
15 A. No. I think he had agreed with the minister of defence and again
16 said if the opportunity occurs and if it fits in with our considerations
17 then we could do something with an escort to start with, but I can't say
18 any more on the score.
19 Q. Thank you, sir. Let's turn to Exhibit 3427. It's just the next
20 document in the -- in the binder. Exhibit 3427. Do you have it in front
21 of you?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. Sir, once -- or this is a document from CC Mostar, so an ECMM
24 daily summary for the 13th of July, 1993, and at the top it says:
25 "Including DR and M9." Who is M9?
1 A. This abbreviation M9 was used by us for the head of CC Mostar.
2 Q. And would that have been you at that stage?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you know of this document?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Under "Political activity," we see "HCC and designated HCC
7 Mostar." It starts with that. HCC would be you then; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And who was designate -- designated HCC at that stage?
10 A. That was Sir Martin Garrod, who, if I may add, at this particular
11 point in time did report for me because his English, of course, was much
12 better than mine.
13 Q. So the first paragraph where we have just started says that you
14 and Sir Martin Garrod, then, "Today had a meeting with Mr. Zubak,
15 vice-president of HVO in the ECMM house in Siroki Brijeg." Do you recall
16 that meeting?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The very next paragraph: "Mr. Zubak explained that the UNHCR
19 meeting in Makarska, a protocol had been signed following the 10th of May
20 protocol." My question on that. Does this refer to the agreement that we
21 have just looked at about 10 minutes ago on humanitarian convoys?
22 A. Yes. He meant this agreement with this, and there was a sort of
23 precursor of Makarska.
24 Q. Sir, what happened at this meeting?
25 A. I'm sorry, you mean with Mr. Zubak?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. This meeting? Well, to give you some more information, since June
3 there was a comparatively closer cooperation between CC Mostar, without
4 taking sides here, with the vice-president Zubak. He came to us
5 repeatedly -- or we saw each other repeatedly. And the first reason for
6 this was to stick to this tradition, and Sir Martin Garrod was to be
7 introduced to Mr. Zubak. And so we had a general political discussion,
8 talked about the current situation. So it was a visit of politeness,
9 first of all, and from that we took part in lengthier conversations.
10 Q. Now, if we look at the first page, the very last line. "Mr. Zubak
11 said that in the moment when there is the fighting, ECMM cannot do
12 anything, but they are very important. Then there is a little chance of
13 peace. And then he invited us to see him and Mr. Prlic as soon as
14 possible -- as soon as it could be possible in his office in Mostar."
15 Can you perhaps just comment on this portion of the document?
16 A. I'm relatively sure that it was not only a matter of politeness.
17 It could appear to be so. But this was his inner conviction, that things
18 had to move on once the war is over.
19 Q. Let's have a look, then, in light of what you say at the
20 assessment, paragraph 8. The same document, at the bottom. And the last
21 half assessment it says: "The main idea of Mr. Zubak to see ECMM today
22 could have been not to lose contact because ECMM are cut off from
23 information now but may be needed in the future. The offer to meet
24 Mr. Prlic is an additional indication of that."
25 Can you add anything to that?
1 A. Yes. This corresponds to what I just said. I can't add anything
2 to that.
3 Q. Thank you, sir. Let's -- ah. Before we move to another exhibit,
4 Mr. Zubak, did you have any other meetings with him?
5 A. He was present at meetings, as far as there were, in Medjugorje in
6 May and then in June, and beyond that, in comparison with other political
7 figures, we had regular meetings, maybe five, six meetings with him
8 personally in Siroki Brijeg. And to repeat myself, without taking sides,
9 for a short period of time this was almost like his office. Because of
10 the development in the federation afterwards, it was justified.
11 Q. When you say, "this was almost like his office", are you referring
12 to the ECMM office in Siroki Brijeg?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Earlier today you made mention of an incident with Mr. Demirovic.
15 Can you tell us about that and in the context of your dealings with
16 Mr. Zubak? Perhaps starting off with when this was.
17 A. A meeting with Mr. Demirovic. Now, I must be careful with the
18 date. I think it was at the end of May, but I'm not absolutely sure. But
19 I think it was the end of May. And this took place in Siroki Brijeg, in
20 an inn, and the head of RC Zenica was there, Mr. Thebault, Mr. Zubak, an
21 interpreter, and myself. And Mr. Demirovic whose name had been known to
22 us for some time, he had been appointed by Izetbegovic, or commissioned,
23 so to speak, because I don't know exactly what his position was, but he
24 had the responsibility for the area, Mostar in particular. It might have
25 expanded towards the north, but there were various rumours as to where he
1 might be. He couldn't be found, he was in hiding, he was in prison, and
2 so on. And in this case I talked to Mr. Zubak several times about it
3 because we could talk relatively openly with each other, and he organised
4 this meeting on that account.
5 Q. And during the meeting with Mr. Demirovic, did the aspect of the
6 safety of the family of Mr. Demirovic, was that discussed?
7 A. Yes. Mr. Demirovic said that so far his wife and daughter, as far
8 as I recall, had not been pestered. That is, his son was in another
9 prison and probably in Ljubuski, presumably. And he had asked us,
10 therefore, to release him but at least to treat him correctly. And then
11 Mr. Zubak, as far as I remember, said, without looking at the document
12 again, "We'll look into it, and I will ask Mr. Pusic to make sure."
13 Q. Did you take stage -- did you take stage know who Mr. Pusic was
15 A. Yes. At that point I did know, although the distribution of the
16 actual task was something I wasn't sure about. Sometimes it was about
17 displaced persons. Sometimes it was prisoners of war, sometimes refugees.
18 So it wasn't quite clear how sharply delineated this was.
19 Q. After this meeting do you know whether anything further happened
20 regarding this matter, the release of Mr. Demirovic's son?
21 A. Mr. Zubak at a later point in time explained that release at that
22 point was not possible. Presumably he had talked to other members of the
23 government. He had been designated vice-president, and this shows that
24 Mr. Zubak, perhaps it don't appear so, that he of course quite clearly had
25 the interests of his own citizens in mind, and he kept track of it. And
1 I've found indications in other areas I do recall.
2 Q. Sir, let's turn to the next exhibit in the binder which is Exhibit
3 3453. Exhibit 3453. Do you have it? Yes.
4 A. Yes, I've got it.
5 Q. This is a further European Community Liaison Officer Kiseljak,
6 information or daily situation report for the period 14 July. Sorry. Are
7 you aware of this document?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, sir, if we can turn once again -- this one is different. On
10 the second page, the bullet marked (D), or the section marked
11 (D), "Southern BH command." Do you have that?
12 A. Yes, I have.
13 Q. It says: "(1) Mostar. All UNPROFOR vehicle movement towards
14 Mostar continues to be forbidden." This is the 14th of July. Can you
15 comment on that and on ECMM access at this stage?
16 A. That was the general situation that applied to everybody, and that
17 also applied to us.
18 Q. Let's turn to Exhibit 3471. That's two documents further on in
19 the binder, Exhibit 3471. Do you have the document?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. This is European Community Liaison Officer Kiseljak, and it's the
22 daily situation report, also 14 July, but this is a subsequent date. It
23 was -- at the top we see the date 15 July. If we turn to the second page,
24 paragraph (D) once again, and I think here we see the very same thing
25 again. "(1) Mostar. All movements of UNPROFOR vehicles towards Mostar
1 are forbidden."
2 Sorry, I just wish to check that this is not the same. These are
3 indeed two different documents.
4 Paragraph 1: "Mostar. All the movements of UNPROFOR vehicles
5 towards Mostar are forbidden, and also the access to Capljina." And do
6 you have anything to add to that further to what you've already said?
7 A. No, I can't. I don't know whether an exception had been made or
8 whether ECMM was not able to get to Capljina either. I don't know whether
9 it would have been possible if we had had the opportunity or the time.
10 Q. If we can turn to the next exhibit. That is Exhibit 3470. That's
11 the exhibit immediately before this document we've been looking at. You
12 have it?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. And this is an ECMM report, a daily summary for the 15th of July,
15 1993, and if we look at the end, it says: "Best regards, Jesus, acting as
17 Do you know why Jesus Amatriain would have been acting HCC at that
19 A. I think it was at that moment when I and Sir Martin Garrod went to
20 a briefing to Zenica. That means that the moment that I mentioned
21 previously, when I talked about supply vehicles in the area of Prozor.
22 Q. Sorry. Perhaps you could repeat that name for the record.
23 A. Yes. He was leading the HCC, Jesus Amatriain, because at that
24 moment in time I was on the way to Zenica with Sir Martin Garrod and to
25 get a briefing so it was a -- the plan was to go there together for the
1 hand-over, and I mentioned this previously were supply vehicles were
2 traveling to the lake north-west of Jablanica, or south-west of Prozor.
3 Q. Thank you, sir. If we look at paragraph 9, the intentions and the
4 very last sentence there: "M4 will" -- sorry not that one. The first
5 paragraph under "Intentions." "M2 will try to enter Mostar as every day
6 and talk to -- and talk to the soldiers and the CPs" -
7 check-points. "Also they will try to phone the HVO authorities in Mostar
8 in order to arrange future meetings." Can you comment on that, what's
9 meant here?
10 A. At that time, whoever was present had -- went daily to the western
11 check-point, to Siroki Brijeg just not to miss any opportunity. Of
12 course, it meant we had to use a great deal of petrol and also time.
13 Q. And were these successful, these efforts to enter or not? I see
14 you were shaking your head.
15 A. No. No, they were not successful.
16 Q. My final question on this document, and this relates back to the
17 question of HV troops. If we look at paragraph 6, but it is indeed on the
18 second page of the document, at the top we see: "SpaBat has provided us
19 with the following information." And then the first bullet point: "There
20 were heavy combats last night south of Mostar, although the city was
21 calm." And then: "It is said that the HV troops, special forces, and the
22 41st HV brigade from Split are carry out a counter-attack in this
23 area ..."
24 Can you comment on that or did you have any other information than
25 only that provided by SpaBat at this stage?
1 A. We did not have information, but I can remember that we talked
2 about this, that Jesus Amatriain, that you heard more noises of fighting
3 than would have been the case usually, or you might say combat noises. So
4 that might be a confirmation of this matter, but nothing that happened
5 right on this spot.
6 Q. Thank you, sir.
7 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, that might be an appropriate time.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, you will
9 give me the time used by the Prosecution. It should be around three
11 Colonel, you're under oath. Therefore, you're now the witness of
12 the court, the witness of justice, and as such you are not allowed to have
13 any contacts with anyone before tomorrow's hearing, and we'll resume
14 tomorrow at 2.15. The Victims and Witnesses Unit will take care of you.
15 Yes. I've just been told that the Prosecution has used two hours
16 and 58 minutes. You will therefore have one hour and two minutes left,
17 Mr. Kruger.
18 We'll reconvene tomorrow at 2.15.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day
21 of June, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.