1 Thursday, 16 August 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [B/C/S on English channel]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic et al.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we'll start our hearings
9 again this Thursday, 16th of August. I want to welcome all the present in
10 the courtroom. The Prosecution, the counsel -- [B/C/S on English channel]
11 THE INTERPRETER: It should be resolved now.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I hear French
13 interpretation, English, and B/C/S. Apparently everything is working.
14 So I was saying that we are starting our hearings again, and I am
15 welcoming all those present. As you know, we have a witness, which is
16 coming for two days. As for the schedule, today we are sitting until
17 1.00, and we will resume at a quarter past 2.00 until 7.00 p.m. For the
18 orderly continuation we will continue until 10.45. We will have a break
19 of 30 minutes, and we will resume and go until a quarter past 2.00.
20 Originally the Prosecution had provided for -- for the document.
21 The Prosecution could maybe in three hours finish the -- finish the
22 examination-in-chief. The Defence will need three hours, or each accused.
23 If the Prosecution needs more than three hours we will allot more time to
24 the Defence, of course. So this is what I can now indicate.
25 Also, during the summer recess, I was told that for reasons which
1 have to do with the other trials and interpreters' problems, we will not
2 be in a position next week to sit on Tuesday and Wednesday because other
3 trials have been scheduled. And also, Monday there was to be a witness
4 who is not coming on Monday. Next week we have no hearings on Monday,
5 Tuesday, and Wednesday, but we do sit on Thursday, and the week after we
6 have also been told that on Wednesday we couldn't sit because there's
7 another trial.
8 I'm very sorry about all that, but this was for me a fait
9 accompli. Presently there are seven trials which are ongoing for three
10 courtrooms only. Therefore, normally with the turnover some hearings will
11 have to be postponed or cancelled.
12 We are now going to see the new witness, and before the
13 examination-in-chief starts, Mrs. Usher, could you go and get the witness.
14 Yes, Mr. Coric.
15 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your
16 Honour. I have a request to make. At the stage when my Defence team is
17 being replaced we had two ex parte sessions. Since after that my former
18 Defence counsel has made several appearances --
19 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour.
20 Maybe we should move into private session.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Closed session. Just a moment,
22 Mr. Coric.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 21253-21255 redacted. Private session
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 WITNESS: LARRY FORBES
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
4 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please tell us your
6 name, first name, and birth date?
7 THE WITNESS: My name is Larry Charles Forbes. My birth date is
8 September 20, 1949.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your profession today?
10 THE WITNESS: I'm retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
11 after 36 years of service.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified at
13 this Tribunal or is it the first time you come as a witness?
14 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour. This is the first time.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like you to read the
16 declaration, please.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
18 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You can
20 sit down.
21 A few explanations are in order for this hearing. Since you are a
22 mounted police, an ex-mounted police from Canada, you know about the
23 proceedings when witness are being heard. First you will have to answer
24 questions which will be asked by the Prosecution on your right hand and
25 which you already met in order to proof and prepare this hearing. Once
1 these questions will have been asked, counsel from the Defence which are
2 on your left, perhaps even the accused, may ask you some questions within
3 the framework of cross-examination. The three Judges which you can see in
4 front of you may at any time also ask questions from you, but we prefer as
5 much as possible wait until both parties have finished asking questions to
6 ask our own questions.
7 If at any time you don't feel well, don't hesitate. Let us know.
8 We have pauses every hour and a half for about 20 minutes in general, and
9 today we are supposed to hear your testimony today and tomorrow morning.
10 In general, this is the explanations I wanted to give to you on
11 the way this hearing will go on, especially for your testimony it.
12 So I now give the floor to the Prosecution, whom I also greet.
13 MR. FLYNN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning to you, Mr.
14 President, Your Honours. Good morning to Defence counsel and to everybody
15 else in and around the courtroom.
16 Examination by Mr. Flynn:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Forbes?
18 A. Good morning, sir.
19 Q. I think you just told Their Honours you're a retired member of the
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Could you briefly describe for us your training and your
23 background within that service, please.
24 A. Yes, sir. I joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at
25 Fredricton, New Brunswick and I immediately was sent to Regina,
1 Saskatchewan to start my basic training. I had six months of basic
2 training in Regina, Saskatchewan and then was posted to an isolated
3 northern detachment in Manitoba which was only accessible by air or by
4 train. I finished six months of field training there and then another six
5 months on detachment, and I was transferred to Ottawa, our nation's
6 capital, and at Ottawa I was on three months of equestrian training
7 learning to ride.
8 At the end of that I was transferred back to northern Manitoba
9 where I worked in Thompson city and Flin Flon city detachments doing
10 general city policing, general police work. At the end of that, I was
11 transferred to Winnipeg Manitoba, the capital city of Manitoba and the
12 largest city in Manitoba, where I worked on assistance investigations for
13 outlying detachments and also on warrant detail. I then was assigned to
14 highway patrol duties on the outskirts of Winnipeg for 10 months doing
15 general traffic duties, and then I was transferred to our customs and
16 excise section in Winnipeg, which was a five-year posting, plain clothes
17 investigations of smuggling into Canada but also involved some smuggling
18 out of Canada. Most of the things that I worked on involved the smuggling
19 of guns, liquor, and pornography.
20 Just before going on to that section I should mention that I spent
21 a time on a public relations unit, the centennial mounted unit for
22 Manitoba, which was basically riding my horse in my dress uniform of boots
23 and breaches, red tunic and Stetson as public relations for the RCMP.
24 At the end of my five year posting in customs and excise, I was
25 transferred to a smaller rural town south of Winnipeg, a farming
1 community, and I did rural policing there for three months, general police
2 duties -- pardon me for three years, Your Honours. At the end of that I
3 was transferred to Selkirk detachment which is a small city north of
4 Winnipeg, and I was stationed there for six years, and I worked on the
5 municipal detachment doing city policing and on also on the rural
6 detachment doing policing outside the town. At that time, too, I'd also
7 taken a course I'd applied and was accepted and passed the undercover
8 operator's course.
9 And so during -- from that time I -- I passed my course in the
10 fall of 1985 and from 1985 besides my other duties, I was an undercover
11 operator and would be called on numerous times to work undercover all
12 across the country. I was fortunate enough to do about 30 undercover
13 operations, and I got to work in every province in Canada from
14 coast-to-coast except for Newfoundland.
15 Q. Can I ask you there, did there come a time when you decided to
16 volunteer for overseas service?
17 A. That's correct. I volunteered -- I was already transferred from
18 Selkirk into Winnipeg into a specialised unit doing VIP security and
19 explosives disposal, and it was when I was in Winnipeg that I had the
20 opportunity to volunteer to work with the United Nations in peacekeeping
21 duties in the former Yugoslavia --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly request both counsel and
23 witness to speak more slowly and observe pauses between questions and
25 MR. FLYNN:
1 Q. In what capacity did you volunteer for the United Nations service?
2 A. To work for a six-month tour with UN CIVPOL as a civilian police
4 Q. And did you undergo any training for the mission prior to your
6 A. Yes, once I was accepted we were sent to Ottawa for a week where
7 we had a week's briefings and also attended to administrative needs that
8 we would need for the mission, and -- but basically it was just a
9 week's -- a week's training and what we could expect.
10 Q. Do you remember when you actually arrived to the Balkans?
11 A. Yes. I arrived in Zagreb on the 25th of August -- pardon me, on
12 the 25th of May, 1993.
13 Q. And when you arrived there did you receive further training or
15 A. Yes. We had a couple of days of briefings in Zagreb, and then I
16 was transferred down to Sector South. I went to Knin and just spent one
17 day there overnight and then I went to Gracac, and I was stationed there
18 until the -- I was transferred to Mostar station on the 28th of June,
20 Q. Now, can you describe for us the structure of UNCIVPOL as it
21 existed at the time of your arrival to the Balkans in 1993 starting from
22 the top down if you would, please.
23 A. Yes, sir. At the top the CIVPOL was broken down into five sectors
24 being east, west, north and south and sector Sarajevo. In headquarters
25 Zagreb the commissioner for CIVPOL at that time was a Canadian mounted
1 policeman by the name of O'Reilly, and he was overall in charge. They
2 would have also a deputy commissioner there. They would have an
3 administrative officer, an operations officer, a duty officer, all with
4 respective areas of responsibility.
5 Each of the sections or -- each of the sections was organised much
6 the same way with a section commander in charge. They would have an
7 administrative officer, operations officer, et cetera, and then the
8 sectors were broken down into stations, and there would be a number of
9 stations. When I went to sector Sarajevo, there were only three CIVPOL
10 stations within Sector Sarajevo. One was in Srebrenica, one was in
11 Mostar, and the other one was in Sarajevo itself.
12 Each station or detachment would have the station commander and
13 would also have a deputy commander, an operations officer, an admin
14 officer, depending on the size of the station and the number of manpower
15 they had there. When I went to -- first arrived at Mostar station, I was
16 the operations -- made the operations officer in charge of investigations
17 and the liaison officer for East Mostar, and I -- I was also later on
18 became the deputy commander of Mostar station.
19 Q. Just for the record, we've been referring to UNCIVPOL, the acronym
20 UNCIVPOL. What was the complete name for it?
21 A. United Nations Civil Police Monitors, I believe.
22 Q. And can you tell us what was the mandate or function of UNCIVPOL
23 or United Nations Civil Police?
24 A. Their mandate were to monitor the local police in the areas that
25 they would be stationed in to make sure that the minority in that
1 particular area. At that time basically everywhere in the former
2 Yugoslavia one of either the Croatians, the Serbs, or in Bosnia the
3 Bosnian Muslims controlled an area and there would be minorities of the
4 other groups of people in each of those, and the job of CIVPOL was to
5 accompany the police on their patrols and to make sure that the minorities
6 in the area were treated fairly and humanely.
7 Q. In the course of the CIVPOL duties did you work independently or
8 with other UN agencies?
9 A. We worked quite closely with other United Nations agencies. We
10 worked very closely with civilian affairs, UNHCR, also International Red
11 Cross, and the military UNMOs and whatever battalion happened to be in the
12 area that you were in.
13 Q. Did part of your duties overlap with those other agencies in terms
14 of perhaps identifying humanitarian needs for groups of people affected by
16 A. That's correct, sir. You would -- if you identified a need you
17 would have of course pass on that information to the agency that was best
18 able to help out in that regard.
19 Q. Now, you mentioned that you were posted to Mostar at the end of
20 June 1998. Were you actually based in the city of Mostar?
21 A. No, sir. On arriving at Mostar we lived in the town of Medjugorje
22 south-west of the city of Mostar. At that time Medjugorje was in control
23 of the Bosnian Croats, and on arriving at Medjugorje it -- the town was --
24 you would never know that there was a war going on in a lot of regards.
25 There was no damage or anything like that there, and this is where we
1 stayed when -- and patrolled out of from Medjugorje.
2 Q. And what was the distance between Mostar and Medjugorje?
4 A. It would be approximately -- I would estimate it to be about 30
5 kilometres. It sometimes took quite a long time to actually get there,
6 and so I'm not really certain on the physical distance, but I would -- I
7 would estimate 30 to 35 kilometres.
8 Q. And what was the actual area of responsibility attached to the --
9 the station of Mostar?
10 A. Well, because of the war situation in Mostar, we weren't able to
11 carry out regular patrols and to go with the police and carry out our
12 regular mandate as such, and when I became able to enter into East Mostar
13 and become the liaison officer there, because of the war situation I had
14 to go in in an armoured vehicle, stay overnight in the armoured vehicle
15 and --
16 Q. We'll come to that in a moment, but I'm just interested to know
17 the specific area of responsibility, the area of the Mostar station.
18 A. I see.
19 Q. You have East Mostar. Was there another area?
20 A. Yes. The -- the station itself was responsible for all of the
21 area around Mostar that we could get access to and so that was mainly all
22 of the area to the south and west of Mostar and Mostar.
23 Q. And were there other UN organisations and organisations based in
24 Medjugorje or nearby Medjugorje?
25 A. Yes, sir, there was. The United Nations battalion that was
1 stationed there were a Spanish Battalion, and the Colonel in charge was a
2 Colonel Morales. There was an UNHCR office there as well, and I believe
3 the gentleman that was in charge of that was Mr. Jerry Hume. There was a
4 civil affairs unit stationed in Medjugorje, and there was Mr. Albert
5 Benabou, there was a Mr. David Joseph, and there was another gentleman, an
6 Irish gentleman. I can't think of his name right now, but the three of
7 them. There was also UNHCR -- or, pardon me, there was also International
8 Red Cross representatives in Medjugorje as well.
9 Q. And would it be correct to say that you had regular dealings with
10 these agencies?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. Who was your station commander in charge of the Mostar station in
13 the Medjugorje station when you arrived?
14 A. When I arrived it was Mr. Leo Sorensen from Denmark.
15 Q. And did you receive a briefing from Mr. Sorensen about what the
16 position was on the ground in Mostar?
17 A. Yes I did. In general terms he advised me that the HVO or the
18 Bosnian Croats controlled all of the area around Mostar, on the east side
19 of the river in East Mostar the BiH or Bosnian Muslim forces controlled
20 that, and they also had a small foothold in a few little pockets on the
21 west side of the Neretva River in Mostar, and they were basically
22 surrounded in there.
23 Q. So as I understand it, you had largely -- you had largely Croatian
24 forces on the western side, Muslims on the eastern side. Who was situate
25 to the north and who was situate to the south if anybody?
1 A. There was Croatian forces to the north. Further north I
2 understood that there were Serbian forces. However, I never came into
3 contact with any Serbian forces once I left the Krajina.
4 Q. And to the south?
5 A. And to the south that was all Croatian forces.
6 Q. And as you say --
7 A. HVO.
8 Q. -- effectively the Bosnian Muslim forces situate in Mostar were
10 A. That's correct, sir.
11 Q. Now, did you have a reporting system when you were working from
12 the station in Mostar or in Medjugorje and, if so, could you indicate to
13 whom reports were made and how that worked?
14 A. Yes, sir. The -- the system was when you received a complaint and
15 you started an investigation or an incident came up that you investigated
16 and took part in you would make a complete report on that which would -- a
17 copy of that would be kept at the -- at the station or detachment. A copy
18 would go to the sector headquarters, in our case being Sarajevo, and a
19 copy would go -- would eventually end up at headquarters in Zagreb if it
20 was important enough.
21 There was also a daily sitrep report that each CIVPOL station
22 compiled, much like a daily occurrence report, very -- just -- just the
23 very basic facts. This would be -- usually it was sent in by telephone to
24 the sector headquarters or to the Zagreb headquarters. When I first
25 arrived in Mostar station, a lot of our reports only went directly to
1 Zagreb because of the difficulty of getting things into Sarajevo at that
3 Q. And the reports that you mentioned earlier about where you would
4 be taking reports of complaints, what were the titles of those reports?
5 What were they known as?
6 A. The -- the one was known as a sitrep is the one I've just
7 described which is very brief reports that would be sent in daily as I say
8 mainly by telephone. The other reports would be the incident reports
9 which would be more detailed, and they would be written and delivered by
10 mail if possible. Later on as I got involved in more serious
11 investigations in East Mostar, it was decided that my reports for security
12 reasons would have to be hand-delivered to Sarajevo, which meant that I
13 would have to go to Sarajevo once a week via Split, fly in from Split to
14 deliver the reports. I would overnight at the PTT building in Sarajevo
15 and then return the same route back to Medjugorje and Mostar.
16 Q. I wonder if at this stage with the assistance of the usher I could
17 present to the witness the binder of documents which I have prepared.
18 A. Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Forbes, for the benefit of the Court I wonder if you could
20 turn to Exhibit 05009 on the binder of documents which I have before you.
21 A. Did you say 05, sir?
22 Q. It should be marked there as 5009. For the record it will be
24 A. Yes, I have it here.
25 Q. And what we apparently have there is a document titled "Incident
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And on the second line of the tabulated indication at the top you
4 have -- it's dated the 13th of September, 1993.
5 A. That's correct, sir.
6 Q. And to the right of that CIVPOL name Larry Forbes?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Does this incident that this is an incident report prepared by
10 A. Yes, it does.
11 Q. And perhaps you could just take us through it very, very quickly,
12 the first page, and indicate what -- how it's laid out?
13 A. Yes, sir. The format you fill in the blanks basically on the top
14 part here dealing with if the person might have been a victim, a
15 complainant, a witness, a suspect and in this particular case it's other,
16 and underlined as other, and it was Mr. Zamo Maslesa. He was the chief of
17 the BiH police in East Mostar. The second one was deputy chief of police,
18 Mr. Salko Zuljevic, deputy chief of police in East Mostar.
19 Q. And moving on down we find that there's a brief summary --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. -- of what the report contains?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And then the following pages - and I don't propose to go into them
24 at this point in time - but the following pages, am I correct in saying
25 that these would be the expanded version of the report, a more detailed --
1 more detail of what the summary contained?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. And were all the incidents reports prepared in this format?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. And are these reports that you yourself drafted on an independent
6 basis or in collaboration with your colleagues?
7 A. These ones with my name on them would be -- would have been
8 prepared by myself.
9 Q. And can you tell me when -- when these incident reports were
10 usually drawn up?
11 A. These would be drawn up as soon as I would be able to get back to
12 Medjugorje and be able to sit down at the computer to do -- to type them
13 up. And it was normally -- if it wasn't the same day, if I got back
14 fairly late, it might be the next day, but it wouldn't be any more than --
15 than overnight before they were completed.
16 Q. And the contents of the reports would be based on your
17 recollection of events during your mission to Mostar that day or the
18 previous number of days; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct, sir.
20 Q. And the originals where did they go?
21 A. The originals say eventually -- originals stayed on detachment
22 copies went to headquarters and to the sector headquarters.
23 Q. And often times originals would contain statements, am I correct?
24 A. That's correct. And they would eventually - the original
25 handwritten statements I understood - would eventually end up in Zagreb
2 Q. Now, you mentioned it briefly but the two principal protagonists
3 in Mostar at the time were the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. Am
4 I correct?
5 A. That's correct, sir. I was told that before I arrived that the
6 Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims had been on the same side in
7 fighting against the Serbs, and once the Serbs were driven from the area
8 then the -- the Bosnian Croats attacked the Bosnian Muslims and they
9 became -- they began fighting with one another.
10 Q. And as a result of that attack, what were the consequences for the
11 Bosnian Muslims?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour, I just want to make sure
13 that we understand each other here. Now the Prosecution is trying to
14 elicit testimony as if this is the gentleman's understanding, this is what
15 the gentleman was told, so perhaps he could preface the questions with
16 what were your told because obviously this is pure hearsay.
17 MR. FLYNN:
18 Q. Well, I think when you arrived first you were given a general
19 briefing by your senior officer; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. And from what you're telling us at the present, are you telling us
22 on the basis of what you had been told? Are you telling us on what you
23 know from personal experience?
24 A. As far as the fighting between the -- with the Serbs that had
25 taken place before I arrived, and I was just from, what I was told, I have
1 no direct knowledge of that fighting.
2 Q. Now, you said that most of your work was in East Mostar, with
3 whom --
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I understand it's inconvenient for the
5 Prosecution to go back, but he indicated that he was told that the Croats
6 attacked the Muslims. Now, that's hearsay. Obviously something happened
7 before his arrival. Now, it begs a few questions, you know, what
8 happened, what did he learn, who did he learn it from.
9 MR. FLYNN: Well, I will deal with it later when he is in a better
10 position to deal with it from having spent time on the ground.
11 Q. As I was asking, you said most of you work in -- was in East
12 Mostar. With whom on the local level did you have contact?
13 A. I had contact with the BiH police, usually with either the chief
14 of police or the deputy chief of police, and in some cases with a
15 Mr. Sejic [phoen], who is chief of detectives for East Mostar.
16 Q. And do you remember the name of the chief of police?
17 A. Yes, that was Mr. Zamo Maslesa and the deputy chief of police,
18 that was Mr. Salko Zuljevic.
19 Q. And had both of these men been present in Mostar when the conflict
20 had started as between the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats?
21 A. Yes, sir, I believe they were.
22 Q. And did you get further briefing and information from these
23 officers who had been on the ground?
24 A. Yes I did, and also from civilians that I spoke to in East Mostar.
25 Q. And while I know it's hearsay, can you tell us what in general
1 terms you were informed had happened, when you were informed by the chief
2 of police, had happened in Mostar at the time the conflict started?
3 A. I was told that the BiH had been attacked. It was a surprise. A
4 lot of the Muslim policemen who were over on the west side were captured
5 and taken prisoner or had ended shot or whatever in the fighting. Deputy
6 Chief Zuljevic, he had been over on the west side, and he had come over
7 and was visiting with friends on the east side then night when the trouble
8 started, and he told me at one point that that was the reason he wasn't
9 probably captured right off the start.
10 Q. Were you told what consequences the conflict had for the
11 Bosnian --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Flynn, you're saying that
13 Zuljevic told you but Mr. Zuljevic does not speak English. Did you have
14 an interpreter?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. It was translated to me by an
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the interpreter, was he --
18 was it a Croatian interpreter or a Muslim-Bosniak interpreter?
19 THE WITNESS: He was a Muslim Bosnian, Your Honour.
20 MR. FLYNN:
21 Q. And in your meetings with the chief of police did he inform you
22 what the consequences for the Bosnian Muslim population were as a result
23 of the conflict which had commenced as between two protagonist forces?
24 A. Yes, he had told me that they were surrounded. They were cut off
25 from all supplies. There had been about a two-month period where hardly
1 any food got in whatsoever. He also advised about the water situation,
2 there being almost no potable water available. And also of medical
3 supplies and medicine, and being surrounded as they were, there was -- it
4 was very hard for them to get in any kind of supplies other than through
5 like a mule trail through the mountains, and they were in quite desperate
7 Q. Did you receive any information or were you made aware of any
8 detentions or expulsions that had occurred on the western side?
9 A. Yes, sir. I was advised that there was groups women and children
10 and old people that were being forced across the line almost on a nightly
11 basis, and over -- I received this information from the BiH police, but
12 also from our UNMO military observers and from civilians that I met and
13 spoke with through an interpreter in East Mostar, and as a result of the
14 conversations with them it wasn't known for sure exactly how many people
15 were forced to cross the line, how many Muslim people were forced to cross
16 the line in this manner, but it was estimated that it was about 2.000
17 people in the four-month period.
18 Q. Now, apart from your contacts with the BiH police, did you have
19 contacts with the Bosnian Croat police or Bosnian Croat military?
20 A. I didn't myself, sir. The only time I would have contact with
21 them would be when we would be stopped at a roadblock before -- the first
22 time I was able to go into East Mostar was with the first convoy to get in
23 there in a number of months and that was on the 21st of August, 1993.
24 Before that we had attempted to get into Mostar and to go in through
25 West Mostar, but we were always stopped by the HVO police and turned back.
1 Q. And how -- how would you normally travel into Mostar if you were
2 attempting -- even when you were attempting to get in?
3 A. Well, at this -- the only way I ever got into Mostar except for my
4 very last night, my very last trip into Mostar, East Mostar, was in an
5 Armoured Personnel Carrier.
6 Q. And which forces?
7 A. And that belonged to the United Nations, the Spanish Battalion.
8 Q. And were these personnel carriers distinctively marked?
9 A. Yes, sir. They were painted white and they had big black letters
10 saying UN on them.
11 Q. And which route did you normally take when you were going into
13 A. The most common route that we took was to leave from camp Dracevo,
14 which was south of Medjugorje down toward Metkovic, Metkovic, and we could
15 come up the east side of the Neretva River through the Croatian-held
16 territory, crossing over the no man's land at the old airport, and then
17 into the area of East Mostar that was controlled by the BiH forces.
18 Q. And can you tell us who was in control of the access roads leading
19 into Mostar?
20 A. The Bosnian Croats were in control of all of the access roads
21 going into Mostar.
22 Q. When you say all of the access roads, did you ever try to take
23 alternative routes in?
24 A. Yes, sir. And a couple of occasions, we did go up on the west
25 side through Citluk and cross the bridge. They used to refer to it as the
1 broken bridge, and cross over to that side there. I also attempted a
2 couple of times before I was ever successful in getting in to go in
3 through West Mostar, but we were always turned back and couldn't proceed
4 into Mostar that way.
5 Q. And who was it that turned you back?
6 A. That was the HVO police and in some cases the HVO military.
7 Q. And were there any reasons given to you for turning you back?
8 A. They would just say that we weren't allowed to go further and no
9 real good explanation why we couldn't. It was just forbidden.
10 Q. You mentioned that you would travel in the Spanish Armoured
11 Personnel Carriers. Why was it necessary to travel in these armoured
13 A. Because of the war situation, sir. There was shelling and sniper
14 fire was quite prevalent. On a number occasions going into East Mostar
15 our -- our APCs were shot at and they also came close to usually high
16 explosives were usually from mortars. And so in order to be safe, we used
17 to batten down the hatches and stay inside until we were through the
18 battle line and into a safe position in East Mostar.
19 Q. Now, you mentioned shelling and sniping. From where was this
20 coming if you know?
21 A. Yes, sir. It was coming from the west side of the Neretva River
22 in the area of Mount Hum. And also there had been shelling I saw coming
23 from further north and west. There was a lookout in the north-west area
24 of West Mostar on the high ground. There was shelling and shooting coming
25 from there as well. Also, I had noticed on a couple of occasions, and I
1 was able to triangulate where launch sites of rockets were being fired
2 above on the high ground, the west side of the Neretva River, west of
3 Buna, and I was able to fairly accurately plot these shots by observing
4 and taking a compass reading and then moving to a new position, taking
5 another compass reading, doing that a third time and where the readings
6 intercepted -- intersected to give us a fairly accurate position of where
7 the rocket fire had been coming from.
8 Q. And are you in a position to say where this shooting and shelling
9 was aimed at?
10 A. Yes, it was aimed over at East Mostar and the BiH-controlled area.
11 Q. When you were in East Mostar when you were conducting your duties,
12 did you observe whether or not the shelling and shooting was aimed at
13 military forces?
14 A. Most of shooting and shelling that I saw was either
15 indiscriminate, fired into the civilian areas, or and in some cases
16 targeted at ourselves in the UN vehicles.
17 Q. Would this be a frequent occurrence that the UN vehicles would be
18 targeted or would it be a once-off situation?
19 A. I wouldn't say that it was an everyday occurrence but it did -- it
20 did happen fairly often.
21 Q. Were there any injuries or deaths caused to the UN forces that
22 you're aware of as a result of this shelling or shooting?
23 A. Yes, sir, there were. There was a Spanish lieutenant that was
24 killed just before I arrived in Mostar, and I helped in the investigation
25 of his death. There was also an incident where a number of Spanish
1 soldiers were hit by fragmentation and shrapnel from mortars. I witnessed
2 the UNMOs' house being shelled and I saw -- it actually didn't hit it, the
3 high explosives, but I was in there one night sleeping when the bullets
4 were whacking against the sandbags that protected the west wall of the
5 building and four of them through the night passed over where I was
6 sleeping, and one of them hit a picture of a deer in a painting just above
7 one of the United Nations UNMO -- UNMOs who was from Egypt.
8 Q. Well, can I take you back for a moment. You mentioned that there
9 was a Spanish lieutenant killed as a result of the shooting and sniping.
10 Was it known from where the fire had come that had killed him or was it
12 A. Yes, it was, sir. As a result of the investigation that we
13 carried out, at first because of where he was hit, he was hit in the
14 shoulder --
15 Q. Perhaps you could just explain for the panel, just give a brief
16 description of the incident, what you know of the incident?
17 A. Yes, sir, the --
18 MR. MURPHY: Before the witness does that could we have some
19 foundation of what role the witness place in the investigation so that we
20 know what he did and what was relayed to him by others please.
21 MR. FLYNN:
22 Q. As a result of the killing of the Spanish lieutenant, was there an
23 investigation ordered by your superiors?
24 A. Yes, there was, and there was given a special mandate from UN
25 headquarters in New York to carry out the investigation.
1 Q. And were you -- did you receive orders to carry out this
2 investigation with your colleagues?
3 A. Yes. I wasn't ordered personally but I -- I assisted in the
4 investigation and -- and helped in preparing the report.
5 Q. And before we actually deal with that, can you just briefly tell
6 us the circumstances of the lieutenant's death?
7 A. Yes. The lieutenant was a crew chief in one of the United Nations
8 Armoured Personnel Carriers. They were proceeding into East Mostar from
9 West Mostar across the Tito Bridge, and on crossing the Tito bridge he had
10 been hit in a straight stretch there we were able to determine where he
11 was, that it took place in that particular spot, because the driver of the
12 Armoured Personnel Carrier turned around and saw that the lieutenant was
13 standing in the hatch. The driver then had to -- he turned and
14 concentrated on his driving, but just before he had to make a left turn,
15 he glanced back again. And in that short period of time the lieutenant
16 had been hit and had fallen down into the inside of the APC. So we knew
17 that he was hit in a small area -- in a short distance. We were able to
18 say where he -- where he was when -- when the bullet hit him.
19 Q. Can you tell us how you went about conducting your investigation?
20 A. From doing interviews with the other crew members in his APC and
21 from the results of the autopsy and the physical evidence of the bullet
22 entrance wound in his flak jacket and where it had exited gave us a bullet
23 path which way had it come from, and what it did come from?
24 At first we thought it may have been an accidental shooting --
25 MR. MURPHY: I'm sorry to insist, but if the witness is going to
1 be asked to give an opinion or to speculate, I still don't know what part
2 he played in the investigation, what he did as opposed to what he may have
3 been told by others. And I understand that hearsay may be admissible but
4 I think it's important to understand his opinion to know exactly what the
5 witness did personally and what was the result of information he was given
6 by others. Mr. Flynn still hasn't made that clear.
7 MR. FLYNN:
8 Q. Perhaps you could just expand little bit clearer as to your actual
9 personal involvement. Take it step-by-step detail by detail.
10 A. Yes, my personal involvement would be to -- listening to the
11 Spanish soldiers witnesses. The other information regard --
12 Q. Did you -- did you take statements from them?
13 A. I was there when they were taken.
14 Q. But you -- you yourself didn't actually take the statements?
15 A. No, I didn't sign them I did.
16 Q. But you were present?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you heard what was said?
19 A. That's correct. And also the other information, I didn't do the
20 autopsy myself of course, and the physical evidence was just from what I
22 Q. Who was it who conducted the autopsy if you can remember?
23 A. I don't know, sir.
24 Q. And did you conduct any --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can't understand what you're
1 saying. Apparently you were entrusted with an inquiry mission. This is
2 what you've said. How is it possible then that you didn't yourself note
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. I wasn't the primary investigator
5 in it. I was just there assisting. It was Mr. Sorensen, the deputy
6 commander, who was in charge of the investigation.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. But did he take
8 statements from the witnesses?
9 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
10 MR. FLYNN:
11 Q. And were you present at the time he took the statements from the
13 A. Yes, for -- from the Spanish soldiers that were in the APC. That
14 was the only witnesses that I was present when --
15 Q. Apart from the Spanish soldiers, were there statements to your
16 knowledge taken from other people to assist in the investigation?
17 A. Yes, I believe there were. They interviewed people on both the
18 BiH side and on the HVO side as to what they saw or what they did, but I
19 had no direct knowledge of that. I just read about the -- read it
21 Q. How many people were in the investigative team?
22 A. Altogether there were I would say four.
23 Q. And --
24 A. And I had a very minor part in it.
25 Q. Did you attend the crime scene, if we want to call it for a better
1 word? Did you conduct a -- did you -- did you conduct an investigation of
2 the crime scene?
3 A. No, I didn't personally.
4 Q. Did you go to where the Spanish lieutenant had been shot at any
6 A. I didn't personally, no.
7 Q. Do you know whether any photographs were taken?
8 A. Yes, I believe there were photographs taken.
9 Q. Did you see those photographs?
10 A. I did see some photographs, yes.
11 Q. Were you present or did you see -- were you present when the
12 autopsy was conducted?
13 A. No, I wasn't sir.
14 Q. Did you see the autopsy report?
15 A. Yes, I did, sir.
16 Q. What other expert reports were prepared to assist in this
17 investigation if any?
18 A. The ballistic reports.
19 Q. Who was it that prepared those?
20 A. I -- I believe it was the -- the HVO were involved in it, and I
21 think Mr. Sorensen was involved in it personally as well, but again I'm
22 not absolutely certain on that.
23 Q. Do you know how long the investigation took place, how long it
24 took to conduct the investigation?
25 A. The entire investigation, no, sir, I'm not sure.
1 Q. Did you have access to the file, the report file, upon completion
2 of the investigation?
3 A. Yes. I actually helped write the final report. It was -- I was
4 the only English speaker really, and the language of the mission was
5 English, so I helped with the writing of that report.
6 Q. And how did it come about -- how did it come about that since you
7 played such a minor role, in your own words, that you helped to write the
9 A. From all of the statements that were before me and from what
10 Mr. Sorensen was explaining to me as we wrote it.
11 Q. And do you remember what the conclusion of the report was?
12 A. The conclusion of the report was that the Spanish soldier, the
13 Spanish lieutenant, had been shot from above and behind, the bullet coming
14 from fairly high up on the west side of Mostar, from the HVO-controlled
16 Q. Could I turn you -- ask you to turn to your booklet of documents,
17 and if you could turn to Exhibit 041 -- 03415, please.
18 A. I have that, sir.
19 Q. Do you recognise this document?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The title is: "Subject: Death of 1st Lieutenant Fernandez
22 Francisco, concerning conclusion chief investigation -- investigator
23 Station Commander Leo Bang Sorensen, Detective Chief Inspector."
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Is this the report that was prepared by your team arising from the
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Did you participate and --
4 A. Yes. I actually did the typing of it and -- of this report.
5 Q. And have you read through the report and having read through the
6 report, do you agree with its contents?
7 A. Yes. I haven't read it for 14 years but --
8 MR. MURPHY: I object I object to this. First of all the witness
9 has already said he played a very minor role in the investigation. His
10 participation in preparing the report was apparently because he spoke
11 English and was asked to type it, and I don't recall from Mr. Flynn's
12 introduction of the witness that he has any expertise despite his long
13 police experience in ballistics or crime scene investigation or detective
14 work generally.
15 So, Your Honour, we've already had a great deal of evidence from
16 other witnesses on this subject. We may have more. I submit this -- for
17 this witness to express such an opinion is no value.
18 MR. FLYNN: I'm merely --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have here a report
20 in front of us which is 3415, signed by Mr. Sorensen, on the 4th of July.
21 According to what you say, you are the one who typed out this report. Is
22 that true?
23 THE WITNESS: That's correct, sir, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When you typed it,
25 you started by saying that on the 11th of June, approximately around 19.35
1 and so on, is it somebody who is telling you to type that or is it
2 yourself who is typing this from other documents you -- we can see?
3 THE WITNESS: No. Mr. Sorensen is there, and he's talk and I'm
4 putting it into the proper English and typing it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, what is written here
6 is dictated, is said by Mr. Sorensen, and you're just typing.
7 THE WITNESS: That would be fair to say, yes, Your Honour.
8 MR. FLYNN: And the purpose of presenting this report to this
9 witness is merely to authenticate the report, Your Honour. He had a small
10 part playing in the investigation and he prepared the report, so he's in a
11 position to say that he's the one that prepared the report. It's a matter
12 for the Trial Chamber to decide whether to accept the report and its
13 contents from what is heard already or from other witnesses.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: But that was -- Your Honour, with all due respect
15 to my colleague, and I think we need to be somewhat more intellectually
16 honest with the Trial Chamber. He was asking the gentleman to confirm the
17 conclusion, and in order for the gentleman to do so, he would have to lay
18 a foundation that the gentleman is some sort of an expert. I think
19 Mr. Murphy beat me to the punch when he indicated exactly why the
20 gentleman was not competent to render such an opinion.
21 So to now say that they wanted to merely introduce the report,
22 they could have said that five minutes ago by merely stating is this a
23 report that you typed out based on dictation and that would have been the
24 end of it. Now we that we have to bring in somebody else to interpret
25 this report for the benefit of the Trial Chamber.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We know that this report has
2 been typed by the witness.
3 Mr. Flynn, I'm a bit surprised because in this document I see that
4 there are photographs, and these photographs we don't have them.
5 MR. FLYNN: And neither do we, Your Honours. This report in its
6 present form is all that we have. And my purpose was merely to ask the
7 witness to authenticate it. He did play a minor role in the
8 investigation. He was present when soldiers who assisted in the
9 investigation and who were able to clarify the facts gave statements. So
10 he was in a position to give some form of conclusion. He prepared this
11 report, and I believe he is a proper person to authenticate the report.
12 If my colleagues want to argue the contents of the report of
13 course that's a different matter, and I that regret that I'm not in a
14 position to furnish the trial panel with the photographs attached to the
15 report. I don't propose to ask him any further questions in relation to
16 the report, and obviously when I submit the final list of exhibits my
17 colleagues have -- have the right to object to the admission of that
18 exhibit at that stage, and it will be a matter for the trial panel to
19 decide on the facts and what the witness -- what evidence the witness has
20 given and other evidence that has been presented before the Trial Chamber
21 to decide whether to admit this or not to admit it. Perhaps the best
22 thing would be to move on from here.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can continue. Please
25 MR. FLYNN: Thank you.
1 Q. So you have spoken about this officer's death, and you also gave
2 us some other examples in which UNPROFOR -- UNPROFOR forces were targeted.
3 Was there a bad relationship existing between the HVO and UN agencies?
4 A. Yes. It was -- I believe that they felt that -- because we were
5 trying to take in supplies of food and humanitarian relief to the BiH that
6 we were assisting their enemy, and so as a result we were not -- we were
7 not very popular at all as could be expected, imagined.
8 Q. Do you know whether or not there were any protests filed by the UN
10 A. Yes. I know that there had been protests made after different
11 incidents where the UNMOs' place was shot up in East Mostar. I was myself
12 in a convoy that went in, and we had an Armoured Personnel Carrier rolled
13 over by accident and we were sniped at for most of an afternoon from 2.00
14 -- pardon me, from noon until about we were able to get out of there at
15 around 4.30 in the afternoon. It wasn't constant but they would shoot at
16 us. The bullets were actually hitting the overturned APC that we were
17 hiding behind and whizzing off of it and bullets were coming close over
18 our head. One bullet came over my left shoulder, and I saw it strike
19 between two young boys. The bullet bounced back off the rim of the tyre
20 and struck one of the boys in the arm actually burning and tearing and his
21 sweater and bruising his arm. I took a photograph of that particular
23 There would be times when there would be no shooting for a while,
24 and we would have a lot of civilians come out. At one point an older lady
25 came out with a silver coffee service to bring us some coffee and while
1 she was coming down a sniper started firing again and bullets were hitting
2 all around her and she lost her coffee pot. And there was another
3 incident of an old gentleman who had come out into the open, and he was
4 shot at and he lost one of his shoes quickly took cover.
5 Q. As a result of these protests that were filed, do you know if the
6 HVO forces took any remedial action to prevent any attacks on UNPROFOR
7 forces or UN agencies?
8 A. I never saw any results of their actions making things better. It
9 didn't seem to improve. However, I'm not -- I don't have knowledge of
10 what was said to them or...
11 Q. I'd like to show you another exhibit, please. If you could turn
12 to 4557. Do you have it?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. This a document dated the 27th of August, 1993 signed by brigadier
15 Miljenko Lasic, who was the commander of the Bosnian Croatian forces in
16 Mostar, and it's entitled attitude towards the UN forces. And it's
17 addressed to the HVO command with regard to the fact that members of the
18 HVO have recently acted rationally towards the UN forces. And if you look
19 at paragraph one, it's an order, and if you look at paragraph 1 you'll see
20 to it, Brigadier Lasic's credit, he says all levels of command shall be
21 obliged to undertake all measures to avoid clashes with UNPROFOR
22 particularly, by responsible individuals and groups.
23 Now, this appears to be a letter addressed to the HVO command in
24 an attempt to control its forces. After the 27th of August, 1993, can you
25 tell us whether or not there were other attacks on UNPROFOR or UN
2 A. Yes. That incident I just described, that was on the 7th of
3 October, 1993. In November -- it was in November 1993 the other incident
4 I was describing when I was sleeping in the UNMO house in East Mostar and
5 it had been shot at all night long and the four bullets actually passed
6 through into the room that I was in. There was another incident. I'm not
7 really sure of the date. I think it was around the 27th of September when
8 one of the UNMOs armoured trucks was hit by mortar and caught fire and
9 burnt up. And there was an incident when -- when we were in East Mostar
10 between the 22nd and 29th of August when I was -- I was hit with shrapnel
11 from a mortar blast that straddled the APC that I was on, and there was a
12 bullet through the bumper of the UNMOs' vehicle, one of their soft skin
14 Q. Can you tell us which of the protagonists forces, either the
15 Bosnian Croats or the Bosnian Muslims, were better armed?
16 A. The HVO were the better armed. I saw that they had tanks, heavy
17 artillery. I witnessed some sort of rockets that they -- they would
18 launch. People they used to call them Katyusha rockets, but I'm not sure
19 if they were. I saw that they had big mortars, I would estimate they
20 would probably be 88-millimetre mortars, as well as smaller mortars and
21 on the end -- their personal weapons and small arms, I saw a Bofors gun
22 mounted on the back of a truck at one point. It looked like a Bofors
23 anti-aircraft gun, and I seen the results of it one time when it was fired
24 over at a mosque in East Mostar.
25 I -- as far as the BiH forces went I never saw anything that
1 they had bigger than their personal rifles, and they used to make, with
2 plastic explosives, they used to make a hand bomb that they used to throw
3 and I believe it was made with Semtex.
4 Q. Now, during your period -- the period of your tour within Mostar,,
5 did you see the HVO use this heavy weaponry that you've described?
6 A. Yes, sir, I did. As I said earlier about the watching the rockets
7 being launched and triangulating where they were being fired from, and I
8 witnessed while in East Mostar heavy shells coming in. As a matter of
9 fact at night when there was -- it was to dangerous to sleep on top of the
10 cab, we used to take turns standing in the hatch and listening to the
11 shells come in, and the bigger shells of course they would whistle before
12 they struck. There were some on some occasion they would whistle in, and
13 I'd duck into the APC, and then I could actually smell the smell of the
14 explosive after it hit. With the mortars that dropped in normally, we
15 didn't hear anything until they exploded. But it was obvious from the
16 impact angle on the road of the smaller mortars that I saw and from the
17 fragmentation patterns, you could tell that the mortars had been coming
18 from the west and -- and that was the direction that they came in.
19 Q. And -- and this shelling and mortgaging that you described, was
20 this a sporadic or was it continuous over the period of your tour of duty?
21 A. It was pretty well continuous every time I was in East Mostar.
22 There was always small-arms fire, and there was usually always mortar or
23 artillery or tank fire. Sometimes heavy, sometimes to a lesser degree.
24 Q. Now, can you tell us how often did you travel into Mostar from
25 Medjugorje to conduct your duties?
1 A. Well, when I eventually was able to get in as I say the very first
2 time was on the 21st of August, 1993, and then the second time I went in
3 with the convoy was the 25th of August, and that we were detained there
4 four days. The next -- I went on my CTO which was my accumulated leave of
5 six days, and I had some other leave, so I was gone for a while. I came
6 back and my next trip in was on the 13th of September. It was a very
7 short trip in with Mr. Sorensen and three of our monitors, and it was just
8 an introduction of those monitors to the BiH police. Then I went in a
9 couple of days later, and the plan was I was to go in on a 24-hour
10 rotation with the Spanish Battalion. I had to go alone because of the
11 limited sleeping accommodations in the Armoured Personnel Carrier. Then I
12 would be out for 48 hours and would -- would be to go back in, but this
13 never ever occurred because when we get in there, we wouldn't be allowed
14 to come out, or we wouldn't allowed to be in. So and then after the -- I
15 believe it was after the 8th of October and the 11th of October because of
16 the -- some of the statements obtained, that's when it was decided that I
17 had to hand deliver my reports to Sarajevo. So that was taking two days
18 of every week. So it was normally maybe once a week that I was getting
19 into East Mostar.
20 Q. And how long on average of those trips did you stay over one day
21 or --
22 A. On average -- on average it would be two days because there were a
23 number of occasions it would be only one night and I would come out the
24 next day but there were other times when I'd be in there three days, and
25 so I would say on average two days.
1 Q. And did you ever encounter hindrance when you were attempting to
2 carry out your duties from any source?
3 A. The only hindrance that I received was on -- when we would be
4 going in, we were usually always stopped at a roadblock somewhere and made
5 to wait for a number of hours and -- and then finally allowed to proceed
6 and again on several occasions we weren't allowed to come out, or they
7 wouldn't allow the other patrol in to relieve us so we would end up
8 staying an extra day or two in there. As far as hindrance in East Mostar
9 from the BiH, I was advised that they had announced over their radio that
10 I was to be given all cooperation of any armed authority of the BiH, and I
11 was told that I could take any photographs I wanted, photograph anything I
12 wanted, and I was never hindered in my investigations in East Mostar.
13 Q. Now, during the period you were conducting your tour of duty, was
14 there on going fighting in the city?
15 A. Yes, there was. The fighting was going on constantly. However,
16 there would be -- in that period of time there would be bigger battles.
17 For example, in September I received a request from Zagreb to try and
18 locate 27 people who had been queried by their families and whatnot, they
19 didn't know where they were, and I wasn't able to get in to Mostar
20 actually until the 28th of September, eight days, because there was a very
21 heavy shelling and fighting going on at that time in there.
22 Q. And did the fighting that took place was between the two main
23 protagonist forces; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And during all of this fighting, how would the Bosnian Muslim
1 population who were situate on the east side fare? What were the
2 conditions for them?
3 A. Their conditions were terrible. They -- their -- I described in
4 one of my reports and I know it -- it doesn't sound possible it sounds
5 like an exaggeration but it wasn't. In the area that I had access to
6 there was literally not a square metre of any building or vehicle that
7 didn't have some sort of war scar on it, be it bullet holes, shrapnel, or
8 fragmentation scars. The infrastructure, there was no -- no electricity.
9 The -- there were a few generators. There was one located at the
10 hospital. That was used sparingly to dimly light one main hallway and to
11 light one operating room, and this hospital had apparently been the
12 library at one time. There was a generator in the police station. Again,
13 it didn't -- it wasn't powerful enough to provide much light there.
14 I remember in one incident having to because of the heavy shelling
15 we had to go down to the basement, and I had to take some statements using
16 my little Mag light, holding it in my mouth and writing out the statements
17 to see.
18 The water there was not enough water to go around. At the
19 hospital this one night I was there on the 26th of August, the hallway was
20 covered in blood. There was blood on all of the stretchers and litters
21 that were there. There wasn't enough water to wash it away. The smell of
22 blood was very, very strong. It was very hot in there. And at one point
23 I went outside to get air, and when I was out there there had been a lot
24 of mortar shots coming in in the vicinity of where the noise of the
25 generator was. The night was very dark, and I took some air outside in a
1 -- laying on the floor of an ambulance that was parked behind, and I
2 decided because of the mortars coming in I should probably go back
3 inside. And on my way back in a mortar hit, and I was fortunate enough to
4 be protected by the big stone stairs but some of the fragments that were
5 fairly well spent hit me in the -- in the foot.
6 Q. Do you know whether the hospital was spared from the shelling and
7 shooting that you described earlier?
8 A. No, it wasn't. As I say, at that particular time there was
9 mortars falling through the night all around it. I recall on one patrol I
10 made in there on the 4th of September that -- or pardon me on the 4th of
11 October, the night of the 4th into the early morning of the 5th the
12 hospital was shelled and one doctor and two other people were wounded.
13 Q. You spoke very -- a few moments ago about the water situation.
14 Had the population of Eastern Mostar increased as a result of the conflict
15 because of movement from west to east?
16 A. Yes. It was hard to judge from -- because most of the people were
17 staying indoors away from the shelling and the sniper fire, but every
18 morning when I would be there they used to have a water truck that would
19 pull up and park beside the Spanish Armoured Personnel Carriers and people
20 would begin before daylight coming to collect water from the water truck.
21 This truck was out in the open but it was where it was located it was
22 fairly well-protected from sniper fire and from direct artillery fire by
23 the two big buildings and the one that our APCs were sheltering behind.
24 However, on one occasion I remember a mortar coming in when the street was
25 full of people to get water and it hit fortunately on the roof of the
1 house across the street and it exploded, and all of the shrapnel and the
2 fragmentation went up and above the people. If it had have been 30 feet
3 short then I would assume everybody in the street probably myself would
4 have been killed.
5 Q. And was this on a once-off situation this happened --
6 A. No, I saw this happen quite often when mortars would come in. On
7 one -- one night I was in there, I'm just trying to remember the date for
8 sure, that would have been the night of the 7th.
9 Q. 7th of?
10 A. Of October 1993. It was -- we had got in there late, and we only
11 had the two Armoured Personnel Carriers. That was the night -- they day
12 that the one had rolled over, and we'd been under sniper fire all
13 afternoon. That particular night I remember at one point there were five
14 heavy explosions from what I assume to be mortars very, very close to us,
15 within a hundred metres of us, and those five came in in less than five
17 Q. From what you described of people queueing for the water and the
18 mortars coming in, would it be a fair assessment to say it was a pretty
19 risky business in queueing for that?
20 A. It was very risky, and it was so easy for -- you know, as I say 30
21 feet on that one particular incident would have killed a number of people.
22 The people were very desperate though to get water, and I recall one
23 incident that really sticks out in my mind. I was in there and we were
24 getting ready to leave, another platoon came in of APCs to relieve us, and
25 as I was sitting on top of the APC, the one I was going to be going out
1 in, a fight broke out in the line between two HVO -- pardon me, between
2 two Muslim BiH soldiers, and one of the soldiers pulled his pistol from
3 his holster and cocked it and put it to the head of the other soldier and
4 that soldier, he pulled a hand grenade from his vest and pulled the pin
5 out of the hand grenade and was hanging on to the soldier who had the gun
6 to his head. And I saw this and I tried to settle them down and calm them
7 down and was asking them to, you know, put their weapons away. And one of
8 the BiH policemen who happened to be in the area, he saw it as well and
9 he'd come and he got between them. And the man with the pistol
10 reholstered his pistol. The other man put the pin back into the grenade,
11 bent his pin and put it back in his vest. And the thing that really
12 amazed me about the incident is that all of the people right beside them
13 in line for the water, none of them moved away to lose their position in
14 the line -- the line despite the danger of gunfire or a grenade explosion.
15 Q. Is this indicative to you of how desperate they were for the
17 A. That's correct, yes, water was like gold.
18 Q. And apart from water how about other commodities, flour, rice, oil
19 were these readily available in Eastern Mostar during the period that you
20 were touring?
21 A. No, sir, they weren't. And when the first time I went in there, I
22 really saw that the people -- they basically looked like they were
23 starving, starving to death slowly. And after UNHCR convoys started
24 coming, in the situation became a little bitter but at no time did I ever
25 see any food for sale in any kind of a shop or market or anything like
1 that. I believe the only way that they would get it would be meted out by
2 the authorities.
3 Q. And given the desperate situation that the Bosnian Muslim
4 population found themselves in, what was the situation in Mostar from July
5 through to August from 1993 specifically on the movement of -- of convoys
6 and the movement of humanitarian aid?
7 A. In -- in July there were no convoys of food or humanitarian aid
8 getting into Mostar at all that I was aware of.
9 Q. Why was that?
10 A. They had been -- they wouldn't let the convoys go in the HVO
11 wouldn't let any convoys into Mostar at that time.
12 Q. How are you aware of that? Are you aware from personal knowledge
13 or reports?
14 A. Yes, I was stationed there and at that time we would be trying to
15 get in ourselves, and we would always be turned back at the check-points.
16 And it was the same thing for UNHCR and all of the other agencies. We
17 used to generally on Monday mornings have a meeting of all the agencies
18 and that meeting would be held at the Spanish battalion's headquarters in
19 Medjugorje, and there would be representatives of each of the United
20 Nations organisations and the International Red Cross, and they would all
21 give a brief report on any progress they made and at that time no one was
22 being allowed in.
23 Q. Well, I think you said that a relief column did get through in
24 August 1993?
25 A. Yes, the very first one that went in was on the 21st of August,
1 that was a Saturday, and it was primarily medical supplies. One of the --
2 there was a so-called cease-fire in effect, and - however there was still
3 sniper fire coming in from the west side - we were able to take one of the
4 APCs that was filled with the medical supplies to the hospital old
5 library, park in the back there and unload it. And then we had to walk
6 alongside of the -- the APC on the sheltered side of it to get back across
7 this one particular sniper area to -- where the rest of the APCs were.
8 Q. And how long did that -- how long did that convoy remain in the
9 city, and was it able to leave safely?
10 A. Yes, it was able to leave safely. We were only in there I would
11 say about three on a half hours.
12 Q. And in relation to another convoy you were present with the convoy
13 that was held up in the city?
14 A. That's correct. The very next convoy to go in left on the 25th of
15 August. It was supposed to leave in the morning. However, it was held up
16 held -- held up and we were still negotiating getting it in. And we were
17 finally able to leave the Spanish Battalion camp in Medjugorje, and we
18 went as far as Citluk. And at Citluk there was a demonstration going on
19 by the civilians there, and the road was blocked. And we were held up
20 there for a further -- about a further six hours I guess. And then we
21 were finally allowed to proceed, and we made it as far as the airport.
22 And at the airport we were -- we conducted a body exchange, and during
23 this whole time that this body exchange was going on it was -- it started
24 at approximately 2200 or 10.00 p.m.. There was still fighting going on
25 there was -- we could see tracer bullets going over top of us fairly high
1 up, and we were seeing explosions hitting on the -- on the BiH side.
2 There was a fire, I recall, up on the hill from the explosions, and of
3 course the smell was terrible because the bodies on both sides, a lot of
4 them had been buried for a number of months and were dug up to be
5 exchanged, and we were finally allowed to proceed in. And it was well
6 after midnight that we got into East Mostar, and we -- myself and
7 Mr. Sorensen, we tried to meet up with the BiH police to re-establish
8 contact for CIVPOL, and we did this. We had a meeting.
9 And with Mr. Salko Zuljevic, and then we were getting to get
10 ready to get back on the APCs to leave, and we were told that the civilian
11 population of Mostar weren't going to let us leave and they'd at first --
12 first sign of it was that they wouldn't unload the last truck, and then
13 finally a truck was pulled across and blocked the exit for the convoy, and
14 then a bus was pulled in the middle of the convoy effectively dividing it
15 into two sections.
16 Q. And could you tell us why -- why ultimately you learned that you
17 couldn't leave?
18 A. Yes, from my talks and Mr. Sorensen's talks with Mr. Zuljevic we,
19 learned that the HVO had just completed an offensive and had taken the dam
20 and they had controlled the water level and raised the water level cutting
21 off some of the supply crossings that the BiH had to supply their small
22 pockets on the west side of the Neretva River and that they feared an
23 all-out attack that would come and wipe out the population on the east
24 side, and so they were wanting to keep the United Nations people there and
25 the world press that was there with us at the time as protection against
1 that happening.
2 Q. Ultimately did you -- was the release of the convoy negotiated and
3 did you leave safely?
4 A. Yes, sir. After -- on the fourth day we were able to negotiate a
5 release, myself and Mr. Sorensen took an active part in those
6 negotiations. And in the end I was able to get the driver of the truck
7 that the bus had been removed earlier, so we were able to get the convoy
8 into one unit again, and then I -- I directed traffic out through a sniper
9 started shooting at that point and some of the trucks stopped. So
10 Mr. Sorensen had to run ahead and keep them going, and I directed traffic
11 until the last truck that was going through, and I stopped it and jumped
12 in with a couple of British drivers, and we left East Mostar.
13 Q. Do you know from where the sniper fire was coming at the time?
14 A. Yes, sir. It was coming from over on the west side of Mostar in
15 the HVO controlled area.
16 Q. And was it being directed at any ABiH military positions that you
17 could see?
18 A. No BiH military positions that I could see. It was being directed
19 at the UNHCR trucks as they were coming through openings where there was
20 an angle of fire.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. FLYNN: I have a number of exhibits that I wish to put to the
23 witness, Your Honour, but perhaps now might be a good time to take a
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we will have a break now and
1 we will resume at 11.15.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.44 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.17 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We resume our session.
5 MR. FLYNN:
6 Q. Mr. Forbes, just before I deal with some exhibits, could I just
7 ask you, during the currency of your tour, was there a defined
8 confrontation line between the protagonist forces in Mostar that you were
9 aware of?
10 A. Yes, there was. It might shift a little teeny bit from time to
11 time but there was a line.
12 Q. And can you tell us that line was it situate on the west bank or
13 the east bank of the river?
14 A. It was on the west bank of the river as the high BiH held a little
15 bit of territory on the west side of the Neretva that I was aware of.
16 Q. And the area on the east bank occupied by most of the Bosnian
17 Muslim population, were there any large concentration of ABiH troops that
18 you saw in those buildings?
19 A. I never saw any barracks or any large number of BiH troops at any
20 time. About the most I would see would probably be maybe 20 soldiers
21 going along the street at one time going either north or south past our
22 positions and 20 would probably be the -- by far the most I'd ever seen
23 together at one time.
24 Q. Now, I'd like you to go back to exhibit 5009 if you would for me.
25 You looked at it earlier.
1 A. Yes, I have it.
2 Q. And you described this. This is the incident report that -- the
3 example that you gave to Their Honours of what the incident report looked
4 like and you described the first page. Could you turn over to the second
5 page, please, where it says form 2.
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. And you have a number of boxes and you have two -- the first two
8 boxes are filled in?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And this appears to be basically an expansion of your report as to
11 what you did on that occasion; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct. It -- the top box as it says on there the
13 complaint/witness explanation, and the second block is the description of
14 the scene of the action or the scene of the crime.
15 Q. And on that occasion if we look at the first box briefly it
16 appears that you introduced two new monitors to the BiH police, and on
17 that occasion you were being established as the liaison between BiH and
18 CIVPOL; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct, only there were three new monitors being
20 introduced to them at that time. There was Frederick Garcia who is a
21 gendarmerie from France, Constable Jancewicz who is a Canadian, and
22 Mr. Jodlowski who was from Poland.
23 Q. And second paragraph in the first box, the second last line says:
24 "Small-arms fire is constant and mortars land at very frequent intervals."
25 Was that something that you saw yourself or were told -- was told?
1 A. No, I saw that myself.
2 Q. Indeed. And if we look at the second box it says: "East Mostar
3 has been very badly shelled, and there is hardly a building or vehicle
4 that has not been damaged to some extent." Again, was that something that
5 you personally observed or were told by the officials who you met with BiH
7 A. That's something that I personally observed.
8 Q. And these buildings which had been badly damaged and shelled, this
9 goes back to my earlier question whether the ABiH forces occupied these
11 A. No. There were not military personnel in those vehicles or --
12 pardon me, in those buildings that I was aware of. These buildings were
13 just -- a lot of them had been stores or private homes, but there were no
14 military buildings that I saw.
15 Q. Is there any reason --
16 A. There was one building that I understood had been a military
17 headquarters that had been blown up, but I'd never seen troops in there.
18 Q. So these buildings which you saw, is there any particular reason
19 that you know of or were informed of that they should be targeted by the
20 opposing forces?
21 A. Not legitimately, no.
22 Q. If you turn over to the third page, you have a notation there in
23 the centre of the page, the 16th of September, 1993. Did you return again
24 on the 16th of September, 1993, to Mostar?
25 A. Yes, I did. I went back in with the Spanish Battalion's patrol,
1 and I was the only CIVPOL monitor at that time going in.
2 Q. And on that occasion, or if we look at the last paragraph, there's
3 reference to heavy shelling that occurs about every night, and it says:
4 "It was learned that two days previous to this date the shelling had been
5 particularly heavy. Rockets, heavy artillery, large-calibre mortars, and
6 tank cannons had laid down a very heavy barrage." Is that what you were
8 A. Yes, and I could see a lot of new damage as well, but from
9 interviewing civilians through my interpreter and through interviews with
10 the BiH police, I was told that -- and also from the UN UNMOs that told me
11 as well, and they were there during that period.
12 Q. Your report on the next page page 4 at the top it says: "It was
13 reported that several were killed and wounded." Did you see any of these
14 people? Did you witness the bodies or did you visit any of the wounded to
15 be able to verify that had been killed -- people killed or wounded?
16 A. Just down -- it would be one, two -- about four to five blocks
17 down further south from where we parked was a mosque that the space in
18 front of it had been -- was being used as a graveyard, and it was
19 always -- there was always open graves there being filled on a daily
20 basis, and the -- I observed the wooden markers on the graves, and I could
21 see from the dates on there that it was an ongoing thing, that people were
22 dying every day.
23 Q. And did you know whether or not those people who were buried,
24 whether they had died from natural causes or as a result of the conflict?
25 A. Most of the people and the names, I also noted that their ages
1 were very young, and it would be highly unlikely that that many young
2 people would be dying of natural causes and I just assumed that it was
3 from the war.
4 Q. Now, just looking at page 4 again in the second paragraph, during
5 this visit is it correct that during the time of your visit you were
6 present during shelling?
7 A. That's correct. It was considered to be moderate to light by
8 Mostar standards, and it was usually around three heavy shells an hour
9 were landing at that time.
10 Q. On that occasion did you receive information from UNMOs with
11 regard to further population displacement from the west to the east?
12 A. Yes, they advised that people were still being forced across --
13 across the line from west over to East Mostar.
14 Q. And did they indicate when this had taken place and the manner in
15 which it had taken place?
16 A. They were -- it always happened at night in the dark, and it was
17 an ongoing thing. It was almost a nightly occurrence.
18 Q. Now, would you look now, please, to the next exhibit in your
19 bundle, which is Exhibit 5215.
20 A. I have it here, sir.
21 Q. If we look at the front page again, this is an incident report,
22 and it's dated the 20th of September, and it's on the right-hand side, a
23 CIVPOL name Larry Forbes. Is this a report prepared by you?
24 A. Yes, this is one of my reports.
25 Q. And if we look down at the bottom of the front page it has a brief
1 summary and largely this refers to a request for tracing and results of
2 tracing, tracing of missing persons?
3 A. That's correct, sir.
4 Q. And if we open the second page, you will see at the top that
5 there's a date, the 1st to the 10th, 1993.
6 A. Yes, that's correct. The reason that the original date on there
7 is the 20th, that would have been the date that the requests -- we
8 received the requests from Zagreb to do this tracing, but because of the
9 heavy fighting I was unable to get in there until the 28th of August.
10 Q. And if we look in second page which is marked form 3, the first
11 paragraph, it says halfway down the paragraph: "It was impossible to get
12 into East Mostar due to the extremely savage shelling that took place
13 there last week. At times there were up it a thousand heavy shells an
14 hour falling in Mostar." Was this information reported to you?
15 A. Yes, it was.
16 Q. From who?
17 A. From the United Nations UNMO personnel who were in the city, in
18 East Mostar.
19 Q. And if we look then at the next exhibit which is 5539?
20 A. Yes, I have it sir.
21 Q. Is this another incident report?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. And again in fact this is dated the 1st to the 10th, 1993, also.
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And is this a more expanded version of your report relating back
1 to the tracing --
2 A. Yes --
3 Q. -- request?
4 A. Yes, it is and also what else had taken place during that
5 particular patrol into East Mostar.
6 Q. And looking at the first page last line it says: "From the last
7 visit by CIVPOL, it was felt that things could not get worse than they
8 already were. This was a false assumption. However, things -- however,
9 because things in fact were worse. In the last week East Mostar has
10 undergone an extremely heavy shelling by artillery, heavy mortars, and
11 tank cannons. UNMOs advised at least 20 heavy impacts a minute were
12 hitting East" --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Would you kindly read more slowly, please.
14 MR. FLYNN:
15 Q. This is related to the last report that you mentioned; is that
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Now, you mentioned at an earlier stage that the position with
19 regard to water and what people had to do for water, if we look at third
20 paragraph on page seven of this report. It says it begins with the people
21 begin to line up for the water truck which comes to the location beside
22 the Spanish APC vehicles very early in the morning. Is this to what you
23 were referring to earlier when you gave evidence that people were queueing
24 up for water?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Flynn, slow.
1 MR. FLYNN: I beg your pardon.
2 THE WITNESS: That's correct, sir.
3 MR. FLYNN:
4 Q. And halfway down the paragraph it says: "Everyone, young and old
5 alike, are forced to run across this area with every chance of being shot.
6 This is only one of several areas that are exposed to sniper fire during
7 this visit."
8 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
9 Q. I thought you had indicated earlier that there were tall buildings
10 that protected where the truck was parked.
11 A. There were. However, about a hundred feet further -- no, not a
12 hundred feet. About a hundred metres further north of where the truck
13 would be parked, there was an opening where there was a line of fire and
14 it was subject to sniper fire when people would cross that particular
15 opening. Sometimes the line would be so long that some people would be
16 actually on the other side of that sniper opening, and they would wait
17 until there was room and then dash across and then be on the line on the
18 safe side of it further south to get the water from the truck.
19 Q. And you mentioned the delivery of the water in the morning. Was
20 this once-off delivery every day or a number of times during the day to
21 your knowledge?
22 A. It used to come once a day that I was aware of, early in the
23 morning as I say, and people would start queueing up before daylight.
24 Q. And was there sufficient water to go around for all of the
1 A. The people that would come, they would usually have containers
2 maybe about a maximum of 10 gallons, possibly as high as 15 gallons per
3 person, and that would have to do them the day for their drinking,
4 washing, cooking, whatever they were using. It was not really adequate
5 for the people's needs.
6 Q. Now, if we look at the next exhibit, please. It's Exhibit number
7 5625. Do you have that?
8 A. Yes, I do, sir.
9 Q. And again is this an incident report dated the 6th of October,
10 1993, and was it prepared by you?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. And if we turn to the second page, the second box. You say that
13 on that date East Mostar was still controlled by the BiH forces. It has
14 been the scene of very heavy shelling. On each visit, more and more war
15 damage is evident. There is not a building or a vehicle in the area of
16 the city that Monitor Forbes has been able to patrol that has not been
17 hit --
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. -- by shell fragments or bullets."
20 A. That's correct, sir.
21 Q. If we turn then to page 6 of that report.
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. There's reference made to a visit that you took. Did you take the
24 opportunity on that occasion to visit, to see the conditions that people
25 were living in?
1 A. Yes, sir, I did. I visited some of the basements where the people
2 were living. Just about everybody that could find space was living
3 underground at this particular time because it was dangerous to be living
4 above ground with the shelling. And I visited some basements of big old
5 concrete and stone buildings. Would you like me to describe --
6 Q. Yes, please.
7 A. The -- the basements were generally concrete floors, concrete
8 walls. People were living in mattresses -- on mattresses, on the floors.
9 It was quite crowded this these places. There was no electricity or
10 running water or bathroom facilities that I could see. They were lit in
11 most instances by candlelight. In some of the buildings I was in, they
12 had made little stalls like vegetable-type bins and a family would have
13 one of these stalls and sometimes they would hang a blanket to give a
14 little more privacy and whatnot for their family, but they were very
15 crowded and it was very dirty and dusty down in there. And as I say, no,
16 no real amenities that I could see.
17 Q. Why was there not the electricity available to the population?
18 A. Because of the war situation and the HVO controlled the power in
19 the area.
20 Q. Did people venture out in public during the days that -- during
21 the day that you saw? Would you see a lot of people strolling on the
23 A. No, not very often. I would just see people on the streets in the
24 day time other than when they would be lining up for the truck to get
25 their water. It was quite dangerous to just walk around outside.
1 Q. So where would most people spend their time?
2 A. I assume that they were all inside either in the basements or
3 inside other shelters. The one exception was we used to get a lot of the
4 little kids would come and climb on the Spanish APCs and play around
5 there, and it was considered dangerous situation, and the BiH police as
6 well as the Spanish soldiers did their best to discourage this and keep
7 them away.
8 Q. Now, you have referred on -- on a number of occasions during your
9 testimony today to either -- either reports received from others, UNMO,
10 BiH otherwise as to forced transfers of Bosnian Muslims from west side to
11 the east side. Did it occur, did it happen that you conducted interviews
12 with individuals who claimed to have been forcibly removed from their
13 homes on the west side to the east side?
14 A. Yes, sir. I recall on the 8th of October, 1993, two Jordanian
15 UNMOs and their interpreter picked me up at the Spanish APCs and we went
16 to a building that had apparently had been a department store before the
17 war, and up on the second floor it was a big sturdy stone and concrete
18 building and in a big open room on the third floor there was 34 people who
19 had been forced across the -- the line in the night -- the night before,
20 and a couple previous nights as well. Thirty-four were there at that
21 particular time. There were some mattresses on the floor that they could
22 sleep on. There were three or four chairs, as I remember, and maybe one
23 or two tables and other than that there was no other -- no other furniture
24 there was no toilet facilities that I could see there, no -- again no
25 running water or electricity.
1 Q. And did you conduct on that occasion an interview of Bosnian
2 Muslims who had come from the west to the east?
3 A. Yes, sir. I --
4 Q. I don't want you to mention any names for the moment, please.
5 A. Okay.
6 Q. So you did conduct an interview on that occasion; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, I did. I actually took a statement from three people, and
8 then I had to leave because the UNMOs' interpreter had to leave and
9 because of the situation I had to go with them to back to the Spanish
10 parking area.
11 Q. I'd like to refer you to -- but before I -- to one of your
12 exhibits, but before I do I think, I should apply to go into private
13 session here, Your Honours, because these exhibits not only the refer to
14 expulsions but there's also reference to assaults of a delicate nature, a
15 sexual nature, on a number of females, and their names are mentioned.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 21312-21329 redacted. Private session
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. By this time there was a -- Mr. Cedric
10 Thornberry and a number of higher up United Nations authorities had
11 arrived in Medjugorje, and we also had a young United Nations press
12 officer or reporter by the name of David Belham from New Zealand, who was
13 very concerned about the situation too, and he was doing everything he
14 could to help us resolve it. And we had approached Mr. Thornberry trying
15 to stress the seriousness of the situation and to get some sort of help in
16 resolving this that he was -- they -- he told us that they had a plan that
17 they were going to try and get a convoy in, and this was the results of
18 that was finally the convoy that went in on the 21st of August.
19 The situation did eventually resolve itself in that the men were
20 released from the Heliodrom, and they had to sell off all of their
21 property at rock-bottom prices, but at least the families were allowed to
22 leave as families and they were -- all left for different places. I'm not
23 sure exactly where they all ended up.
24 Q. In relation to this incident did you meet anybody within the HVO
25 military to discuss the matter with them?
1 A. There was one -- one day myself and Leo Sorensen we continued on
2 the road past Ljubuski, and it follows -- I remember quite well it follows
3 a valley, and up this valley we had -- I believe as one HVO policemen had
4 mentioned who we had been talking to, and he had some English, he had
5 mentioned that there was a general staying along the road. So we ended up
6 tracking this person down, and he seemed to be shocked that we actually
7 found him, and he was -- I don't remember his rank insignia, but I do
8 remember that he was treated with great deference by the other soldiers
9 who were nearby and by that one police officer.
10 We explained as best we could, I believe he had some English, and
11 we were able to explain that was going on. He appeared to play -- pay
12 lip-service to us, and we did tell him about this situation.
13 Q. Do you remember what that officer looked like?
14 A. I remember he was a big man. I remember he had a full head of
15 silvery grey hair. I would say that he was approximately 5, 10 to 5, 11
16 inches in height.
17 Q. Did he have any other distinctive features such as mole on his
18 check, a moustache such as you're carrying?
19 A. I'm sorry sir, I can't honestly say that I remember this long that
20 far back, a real good description of his face.
21 Q. And do you know the name of this general?
22 A. No, I didn't.
23 Q. Did you know at the time?
24 A. I heard that it started with P, but I don't know what the name
25 was. I used to have problems with pronunciation and spelling of the
1 names, and I couldn't say for certain what his name was.
2 Q. And this brings me almost to the end of the -- of your testimony.
3 How long did you stay in Mostar?
4 A. I stayed there until the end of November into early December and
5 we were -- we went out to leave. We had the -- a medal parade in Croatia,
6 but then our -- our mandate -- our mission got extended one week, so I
7 went back to Mostar. And when they found out I was coming back, I was
8 told that they wanted me to come in and it was sort of like a little
9 surprise party, but they had to let me know that it was going on, and I
10 was able to get into East Mostar one more time, and this time I went in in
11 a soft-skinned vehicle with a new Spanish soldier to the area who didn't
12 realise the danger. And a lot of -- he didn't speak English, and he
13 didn't speak Serbo-Croatian. A lot of the people were yelling at him that
14 he's going to get shot any minute, and I was trying to explain this to him
15 too, but we eventually made it to the UNMOs house. From there I went and
16 attended a farewell gathering in the police station.
17 There was myself, chief Maslesa, deputy chief Zuljevic, Mr. Sejic,
18 the chief of the detectives, and there was one other police officer who
19 had been on courses with the RCMP in Canada at one time, and they gave me
20 a drawing the Stari Mostar bridge and a few little mementos. After that I
21 went back up to the UNMOs house, and I must I have to admit that at this
22 time there was a bit of a battle going on, because there were shells
23 falling in the East Mostar area at the time, and I'd have to at times run
24 across open areas. And I finally went back.
25 And then I went with a couple of Jordanian UNMOs, we were going to
1 supervise an air drop of food packets from American C 130 Hercules, and
2 the packets -- it was supposed to be secret, were going to be dropped
3 higher up on the mountain because an earlier air drop of food packets, the
4 people had been hit by mortars and machine-gun fire while they were
5 gathering up the food. So this was higher up the mountain, and I remember
6 as we climbed up there I would run into people on the mountain, mainly
7 older people. And I remember running into a couple of men were just in
8 their undershorts and jackets, they had taken their jeans and they had
9 tied the legs together and stuffed the pants with food packets extra food
10 packets, and they were sort of carrying them like horse collars over
11 around their neck. And I supervised that, well, as the best we could up
12 in the dark there, and I remember too that at that time there was a
13 four-gun emplacement over on Mount Hum with of 155-millimetre guns, I
14 recall that's what they were.
15 Q. Who occupied Mount Hum at the time?
16 A. Mount Hum was occupied by the HVO. And I remember at one point
17 the whole top of the mountain lit up as if a brilliant flash of lightning,
18 but there was no sound of course. And then about seven seconds later we
19 are could hear the heavy shells whistling in, and they exploded with
20 tremendous force down in the valley below us.
21 And then I finally left in the morning from the UNMO residence,
22 and as I was leaving it was getting on going on to daylight there was
23 fires burning from the fighting the night before and that was my last view
24 of East Mostar.
25 Q. And at the time you were leaving, end of November start of
1 December, did you notice any reduction in the spate of shelling and
2 shooting that was coming from the western side to the eastern side?
3 A. It seemed to go in spurts. There would be times when the shelling
4 would be very, very heavy and it would appear like -- and then there would
5 be a bit of a respite as if they had to resupply because they would be low
6 on -- on heavy shells and explosives. And so after a period of very heavy
7 shelling, there would usually be a respite where the -- the firing of
8 heavy guns and mortars would be light to moderate by Mostar standards.
9 But at the end that particular night when I left it was as bad as ever.
10 Q. And the deportations or the transport -- the deportations of
11 people from the western side to the eastern side that you have described
12 and reports that you received of it, did you continue to receive reports
13 of this up to the time that you departed, or was there a period that they
15 A. No, basically up to the time I departed this practice had still
16 been going on.
17 Q. Do you know from the reports that received, do you know what
18 happened to the accommodations and property of the Bosnian Muslims that
19 came from the west to the east?
20 A. No, sir, I don't know what became of it.
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. FLYNN: At this stage I don't have any further questions, Your
23 Honours. Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Forbes, as far as I'm
25 concerned, I would have some questions I would like to put to you in line
1 with -- in the same line as the questions that have been put to you by the
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My first question: You said at
5 a certain time that on this line, the separation line between the front,
6 you had seen about some 20 soldiers from the BiH soldiers, and I was quite
7 surprised to hear that because when there's a separation line you may
8 think that there are forces on both sides of the line in quite a great
9 number, but here it seems that you said that you have seen some 20
10 soldiers. Did I misunderstand what you said, or could you say that more
12 A. Yes, Your Honour. Those 20 soldiers that I saw were actually
13 in -- on the street I believe it's called Malesa Tita street, where we
14 used to park the APCs, and that was the most soldiers I saw at any one
15 time on that particular street.
16 As far as the soldiers who were actually on the confrontation
17 line, when we would cross over the line we always battened down the
18 hatches in the APCs, so I really didn't have a chance to see the soldiers
19 on either side right at the front line, and where we were -- where we were
20 parked and where and I operated to go to the police station and whatnot, I
21 didn't actually have a direct view of the line of confrontation.
22 So I can't say how many soldiers on either side of that line there
23 were, and the soldiers that I were referring to at the time I saw maybe 20
24 at the most, they were just going -- it looked like a line of maybe miners
25 on their way to work at the mine just walking up the street, and they were
1 going north at that time on Tito street.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this element of
3 precision. One more question: When you were in East Mostar during the --
4 the time you carried out your responsibilities in the frame of your
5 mission, were you able to see by yourself the fact that the people living
6 in East Mostar were somehow not in the possibility of leaving East Mostar
7 because of the presence of HVO, or do you believe that the inhabitants of
8 the East Mostar -- do you believe they would have been able to leave the
9 area if they wanted to? What is your own feeling on the freedom of
10 movement of people living in the east part of Mostar?
11 A. Yes, Your Honour. They weren't able to leave. They weren't
12 allowed to leave and go back across the HVO lines. As a matter of fact, I
13 had one incident. There was a lady whose name was Sana, and she was born
14 in Italy originally, and she was, I believe, a fairly wealthy lady at one
15 time and she seemed to be a very classy person. Her husband who was sick,
16 and as a result he couldn't fight for the BiH, and she lived there with
17 her husband and her grandfather. And in order to be of use and to be able
18 to get a better ration, she had been acting as an interpreter. And the
19 way I understood, it at first she was an interpreter for the BiH military
20 but she also did some interpreting for us on the first -- on the incident
21 when the whole convoy was held up.
22 She had -- I got to know her a little bit, and she had asked me
23 if it would be possible that I might be able to send a letter for her to
24 Italy so that they could send her Italian documentation and that she may
25 be able then to arrange passage out of Bosnia to Italy, and I did this
1 when I was on my -- on my cumulated leave. I sent the message for her,
2 and she did in fact receive her documents, and the BiH allowed her and her
3 husband and her grandmother to leave. And that was on the trip -- the
4 trip of the 28th, 29th, and I guess it would have been on the 30th of --
5 of September that we were coming out, and she and her husband and
6 grandmother were in the ambulance APC.
7 Just to explain, Your Honour, our patrol, there were six Armoured
8 Personnel Carriers, four normal ones, the ambulance APC was fifth in the
9 line, and then the command APC with the lieutenant and the one I travelled
10 in was sixth in line. So we ended up leaving, and we were heading out and
11 we got to the first check-point in HVO territory on the east side of the
12 Neretva River north of where the American bridge was located. It would be
13 in the Buna area, south of the Buna area, and the first four Armoured
14 Personnel Carriers of our patrol were allowed to proceed and they stopped
15 the last two, the ambulance one and the one that I was in, and the HVO
16 were demanding that the APC be opened so that they could search it, and we
17 were refusing to do that. And after a period of time we were held there,
18 they had placed anti-vehicle mines across the front of the road in front
19 of our two APCs with dowelling in them which controlled a trip mechanism
20 on the top, so that if you tried to pass by, you hit the dowelling and
21 that would trigger the mine.
22 Eventually through negotiation we were eventually allowed to
23 proceed, and we did proceed. And to make a long story short, we ended up
24 getting back into Medjugorje, and her and her husband and grandmother were
25 eventually allowed to go back to Italy. But the word got around that I
1 had helped arrange for someone to get out, and a lot of people used to
2 come to the APCs where I was -- at night where I was, and request -- and
3 you know there was nothing I could do to help them, and they weren't
4 allowed to leave.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] From your answer it seems that
6 the HVO from the check-points was able to check the movements of the
7 people, but how can you then explain that at a certain time you said that
8 the BiH could be supplied using mules. You said that at the beginning of
9 this morning's session. Was there a possibility for East Mostar to be
10 supplied through passages where HVO did not have any check-points?
11 A. As I say, I never personally saw this path, but I was led to
12 believe that a small amount of -- of supplies were able to get through the
13 mountains, but it was my understanding that this was very, very difficult
14 terrain and very difficult to go anywhere that way, and it was basically
15 going north towards Sarajevo. And I personally never did see that trail,
16 Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question has to do with
18 a document which I would like you to have a look at 553 -- 5539. This is
19 a report made by you, and please look at the second page of this report,
20 and also I'm telling the Prosecution that the second page apparently has a
21 number 7. Obviously some pages are missing in this document, but I just
22 want to ask questions about page 7. And, Mr. Forbes, please look at the
23 third paragraph of page 7 where you speak about the water, the truck, the
24 people who are coming to get water from the truck, and I can read that you
25 say that there is an open area where snipers on the HVO side can see the
2 Now, this sentence caused me to ponder, because according to what
3 one could understand in your report, you were on the premises yourself.
4 So could you confirm that what you describe here, you have saw it with
5 your own eyes.
6 A. Yes, sir, I did see it with my own eyes. Once I would get back to
7 the APCs after my meetings and work and in the evening when it was
8 starting to get dark there was nowhere that you could basically go, so I
9 used to sit up on top of the Armoured Personnel Carrier and watch what was
10 going on. And I used to watch the different methods that people use
11 running across. Some would crouch down and make themselves as small as
12 possible, others would run stand straight and run, and some would run in a
13 zigzag pattern, and on several occasions I saw near misses where these
14 people would be fired at, and it didn't make any difference if they were
15 women, men, or children, they would all be fired at. There was only one
16 person that I recall that used to walk, it was an old lady who everybody
17 said was crazy, and she used to walk back and forth across that opening
18 and they didn't shoot at her. And it almost seemed like she was trying to
19 commit suicide, but they didn't shoot her. But everybody else were taking
20 their own lives in their hands when they -- when they crossed that open
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What I am interested in is what
23 you say concerning the fact that snipers were in the HVO area. What
24 enables you to say so?
25 A. The angle of fire that was coming -- where the bullets were coming
1 down and the angle that they were hitting the street. They were coming
2 from the west and the higher ground over on the west or the higher
3 buildings on the west which were HVO-controlled areas. The people that
4 were being shot at, some of the men that were going across were BiH
5 military who would be off duty and walking down the street and the same
6 with the civilians. They were all Muslim civilians, and I'm sure that the
7 HVO wouldn't be shooting at their own soldier -- I mean the BiH wouldn't
8 be shooting at their own soldiers or their own women and children.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You indicate, on line 13 of page
10 89, that this came from higher-up buildings. You noticed that there were
11 buildings which had a certain height.
12 A. I didn't do -- spend much time, sir, actually looking around the
13 corner but, yeah, from where the -- the way this opening was, it was a
14 line of fire or an alley of fire that came from the west side.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you are affirmative on
16 this? You confirm that there is no ambiguity?
17 A. Yes, sir. I'm sure of that, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will ask my
19 colleagues if they have any questions for the witness. Right.
20 We said that we would stop the hearing at 1.00, so perhaps we'd
21 better pause now, have a break now so that everybody can rest, and we will
22 resume at a quarter past 2.00.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.38
24 --- On resuming at 2.16 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I
1 believe is somebody from the Defence wants to intervene. Is that you,
2 Mr. Murphy?
3 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, yes. May we go into private is session
4 for just one or two moments.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 21342-21343 redacted. Private session
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Regarding the time
21 granted to the Defence, the Prosecution did not use three hours as
22 scheduled but only two hours and 22 minutes; therefore, the Defence will
23 have three hours. Each counsel may have 30 minutes according to -- or
24 depending on changes.
25 Who wants to start?
1 Ms. Nozica.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I'm going
3 to begin first. Since I have been given some time from Mr. Pusic's
4 Defence, I think that I will need time until 3.00 or five past 3.00, maybe
5 10 minutes exceeding my time.
6 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
7 Q. Witness, good afternoon. I'm addressing the witness. Good
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] May I please ask the usher, before we
10 begin, if we can be efficient and if he can give the witness the binder
11 that I will be using, and all the others in the courtroom have received
12 that binder.
13 Q. Sir, I would like to begin with your mission's report under number
14 503415. It's a report on the death of Lieutenant Francisco. It's a
15 report, as we can see on the last page, dated the 13th of July, 1993.
16 A. Ma'am, what was the number again, 5039?
17 Q. 3415. 3415.
18 A. I have found it, ma'am.
19 Q. At the beginning, there is no date, so could you please confirm
20 that on the last page near the signature there is that date? Can you just
21 confirm that this report is of the 13th of July, 1993; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, ma'am.
23 Q. You said that you typed this report?
24 A. That's correct, ma'am.
25 Q. You also said you partly participated in the investigation or
1 rather, that you were present when members of the Spanish Bat were
2 questioned. Did I understand that correctly?
3 A. Yes, ma'am. I was, as I say, after most of the investigation was
4 over, some of the Spanish soldiers that had been involved I'd heard what
5 they had to say.
6 Q. Can you please tell me, also confirm, that you know that a
7 post-mortem was carried out and that you had information about that at the
8 time; is that correct?
9 A. I was informed, yes, that the post-mortem had been carried out. I
10 had no direct knowledge or hadn't attended the post-mortem or anything of
11 that nature, ma'am.
12 Q. Also, you said today that an analysis of the flak jacket was
13 carried out of the one that the late Lieutenant Fernandez was wearing.
14 Did you have information about that at the time the investigation was
15 being carried out?
16 A. Yes. Just what I was told about it. I didn't have first-hand
17 knowledge of it, just what I'd been told about it.
18 Q. We heard today that the attachments that are mentioned in the
19 report, the photo documentation; and by the last page, I think that there
20 was some five attachments. At the time when the report was drafted, did
21 you see those attachments, and perhaps did you see them at any point
23 A. I -- I remember being shown some photographs by Leo Sorensen.
24 Q. According to your information, sir, was this the final report
25 about the death of Lieutenant Aguilar that was drafted by the UN civilian
2 A. I believe, yes, this was the final report. I know that -- or I
3 believe that it was the final report that came from our station, Mostar
4 station out of Medjugorje, yes.
5 Q. At the time when you questioned the witnesses, when you directly
6 took part in the drafting of that report by typing it and looking at the
7 photographs, can we agree that the report does not definitely establish
8 where the bullet was fired from, the bullet that struck Lieutenant
10 A. Yes. We -- it couldn't be determined to the exact foot or
11 anything like that. It was just determined what area it came from.
12 Q. Now you are telling us that the report did establish, beyond
13 dispute, that it came from a specific area of the town; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. I felt that it was beyond dispute. The -- the exact
15 location of the APC, when he was hit, could not be determined, other than
16 within a few yards in a straight line, because the way it was determined
17 where he was, when the driver of the Armoured Personnel Carrier looked
18 back, he was standing, and then when he looked back he was drive; and
19 before he was to make the left-hand turn, he looked back once again, and
20 the lieutenant was hit and had fallen down into the APC. So we knew that
21 it had to happen in a certain -- a certain stretch; but exactly where in
22 that stretch, it couldn't be determined.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you. I would like to ask you now to look at
24 exhibit in the pink binder that you have in front of you. It's the third
25 exhibit from the back numbered 2D 00117. You can just tell me when you've
1 found the document?
2 A. I've found it, ma'am.
3 Q. I assume that you did not see this document before, but there is
4 some information in the document that you could possibly confirm, so I
5 would like to ask you to look at the document section by section. You
6 also said that you know that a committee was put together by members of
7 the HVO and members of the Spanish Battalion that was supposed to
8 investigate and establish who was responsible for the death of Lieutenant
9 Aguilar. Am I correct?
10 A. Yes, ma'am.
11 Q. In the first paragraph, it says -- well, the document is dated the
12 14th of June, 1993; and in the first paragraph, it says that a meeting was
13 held, attended by the head of defence department, Mr. Stojic; head of
14 defence department assistant, Ivica Lucic; and chief of the military
15 police, Valentin Coric; together with the representatives of the Spanish
16 Battalion of the UNPROFOR. They were also joined by Colonel Castro and
17 Major De Salas, and it was agreed for the -- Mr. De Salas to go to the
18 Dracevo military base, where they would establish facts necessary to solve
19 the case of Lieutenant Fernandez's death, and then it says what was
20 established in here.
21 The first paragraph speaks about the bullets coming from the left
22 side under a certain angle. Do you recall that you, in the report that
23 you typed out or during the investigations and interrogations of certain
24 witness, you also reached the conclusion that the bullet came or the
25 damage to the vehicle occurred on the left side?
1 A. No, I didn't have knowledge of that.
2 Q. In your report that we looked at before, the same thing is stated,
3 but never mind. We will continue.
4 Did you know that Captain Alvarez found a steel bullet mass, and
5 there was an analysis carried out of the type of bullets that were fired?
6 A. I heard that there had been, yes.
7 Q. Very well. In the next paragraph, the post-mortem is mentioned,
8 which you said you were aware had been carried out but that you did not
9 take part in it, and certain details were mentioned that were established
10 during the post-mortem. I would like to draw your attention to this
11 sentence towards the end of the passage which says: "Taking into
12 consideration the height of the vehicle, taking into account the height --
13 the path of the bullet through the body, it is determined that the bullet
14 is fired from the height of a two-storey building, taking into
15 consideration the height of the vehicle, in which Captain Fernandez was
16 standing on the floor and leaning to the left side."
17 So did you reach any conclusions about the position in which
18 Captain Fernandez was standing, and what would be the possible location or
19 the building from which the bullet could have been fired which killed
20 Captain Fernandez?
21 A. From the information I was given - and, again, I didn't have this
22 first-hand; I didn't actually do this part of the investigation myself -
23 but the information that I had from the CIVPOL investigators, and from how
24 the lieutenant was standing in the APC, I felt that the bullet had to come
25 from a higher angle than a two-storey building, and that I witnessed how
1 the crew commanders normally stood when they were squatting or bent over
2 to look through the gap in the sandbag shield that they built on top of
3 the Armoured Personnel Carriers. So I don't actually agree with this that
4 it came from only a two-storey height.
5 Q. All right. That is your opinion. Can we move to the next
6 paragraph, please, and that is the conclusion in this report about the
7 position or the building from which it -- the bullet was possibly fired.
8 The passage says: "On the basis of statements from the HVO commander and
9 HVO soldiers at the bank and gymnasium positions, we determined that none
10 of them were in the -- were at the advance positions at the given time,
11 and that none fired at that time. So based on expert analysis of the
12 calibre and type of the weapon, we determined that they could not produce
13 the mentioned effects with the weapons that they had.
14 "Finally, from the bank and the gymnasium 's most advanced
15 positions, there is that optical visibility of the scene of the event
16 which we also documented with photo and video records, which we submitted
17 for review to Spanish Bat representative, Major De Salas, and UNPROFOR
18 civilian police representative, Mr. Sorensen."
19 My question is: If you know that this is what happened, that
20 Mr. Sorensen received certain video and photo material made by
21 representatives of the HVO in this investigation, which they conducted
22 together with members of the Spanish Battalion?
23 A. And the question -- I'm sorry, ma'am, the question was?
24 Q. The question is: If you know if Mr. Sorensen received this
25 material from HVO representatives as it is stated in this report? This
1 would be the photographic material of what was seen from the two positions
2 from the building and certain video footage about the incident.
3 A. Yes. I can't say that I knew that. It's 14 years ago, and I
4 don't recall ever actually seeing this report or actually ever hearing
5 from the HVO what type of weapon it was that he was shot with, other than
6 it being a high-powered rifle.
7 Q. Sir, we probably didn't understand one another. I would like to
8 go back to the photographs. In the report, it says that the most
9 prominent positions of the bank and the gymnasium - these are two
10 buildings that were mentioned in your report, as well as possible places
11 of the source of the fire - so this report mentions that there is no
12 optical visibility of the place of the incident from those two buildings,
13 that this was photographed, and that those photographs and video footage
14 were handed over to Mr. De Salas, who is a member of the Spanish
15 Battalion, and Mr. -- representative of the civilian police, Mr. Sorensen.
16 I'm just asking you if you know if such photographs were made and
17 handed over to Mr. Sorensen.
18 A. I don't know for sure, no, I don't.
19 Q. Sir, do you know or can you tell the Court the following: The
20 photographs you did see, when you were drafting the report, you said you
21 saw certain photographs. Can you establish the source of the photographs
22 that are mentioned in your report of the 13th of July? Are those the
23 photographs that were actually taken by the HVO and handed over to the
24 civilian police for -- to use them as in their investigation? Do you know
25 the source of the photographs that you saw?
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] For the transcript, I want to say we
2 don't have the photographs because the Prosecutor said during the
3 examination-in-chief that he does not have the documentation that was
4 actually attached to the report.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, I'm sorry, ma'am. I'm not sure what the source
6 of those photographs were or who had taken them.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. It's mentioned in the report, but I don't think that
9 you are in a position to confirm that, but here it says that: "Major De
10 Salas, with our operatives, visited our most advanced positions. He
11 climbed to the places where our soldiers are never positioned, because it
12 is too dangerous. He made video recordings, and he made sure there is no
13 possibility of shooting from these positions."
14 Can we agree, in the report, you don't have to know that that the
15 HVO in this report cited that you could only fire at colonel -- Lieutenant
16 Fernandez from the east side, or rather, from the side of the army of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It says, at the end, something about a topic that
18 I don't wish to dwell for a long time with you, and it has to do with the
19 accusations posed by the Spanish Minister.
20 And, at the end, I would like to ask you to look at the last
21 sentence of this report, which says: "The case is quite clear. As far as
22 we are concerned, we are convinced that the death of Lieutenant Fernandez
23 is being manipulated with, and that the UNPROFOR civilian and military
24 police, with our assistance and the assistance of the department of the
25 Ministry of Internal Affairs of the HVO, have reconstructed the events and
1 will give their final decision."
2 Sir, this report that we have just read is dated of the 14th of --
3 of June 1993, and you have said that your final report was dated the 13th
4 of July of 1993. Then it is obvious that in the meantime this
5 investigation was carried out. Can you agree with me?
6 A. It would appear so. Like I say, I -- I cannot comment. I don't
7 agree with this result, but I must -- to be fair to everybody, I'm only
8 basing it on the information that I learned from Mr. Sorensen and the --
9 the Spanish soldiers that had described how the lieutenant was standing.
10 To be very fair, you know, I cannot really be the one to dispute
11 any of this, and it would -- would take somebody who would be more
12 involved in the investigation to really fairly comment on it.
13 Q. Thank you for this suggestion, sir, but you're a witness and these
14 questions were put to you by the Prosecution, so I would like to see,
15 through you, what you can help us with and what you know.
16 Now, could you please look in my binder of documents, 2D 00118.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This is the second document from the back. Have you found it?
19 A. I -- yes, I have, ma'am.
20 Q. Can you please look at this document. Just look at it briefly,
21 and can you please tell me if you are familiar with this document. Did
22 you see it? This is document.
23 I, for the transcript and because of you, would like to stress
24 that the document has the same date as the report that was marked P 03415,
25 which you described as the final report on the death of Lieutenant Aguilar
1 Fernandez Francisco.
2 Can you please tell me if this letter is known to you, if you're
3 familiar with this report. It's very brief, and I would just like to ask
4 you to look at the document, to acquaint yourself with it.
5 A. Yes, ma'am, I'll just read it over quickly here. Yes, ma'am, I've
6 read it over. And you were wondering if I was familiar with it?
7 Q. That's correct. That was the first question.
8 A. I -- I don't remember this. Reading through it, I can see that,
9 at that particular time, Mr. Sorensen would have been correct in that we
10 couldn't get in to meet with the chief of police, Maslesa, in East Mostar
11 to carry out inquiries. So I would agree this is probably right, but I
12 didn't --
13 Q. Sir. Sir, let's take this step-by-step. We'll get there. My
14 question now is as follows -- the first question is: Are you familiar
15 with this report? Have you already seen it? Did you see it on the day
16 that it was drafted or at any subsequent point in time?
17 A. I may have, but I don't -- I don't remember it. The other report,
18 when I glanced at it, I remembered it right off the bat. I'll explain one
19 of the reasons I remembered it. The city in Canada that I come from, the
20 daily paper is known as "The Gleaner," and I started using that word in
21 reports as a young constable. Reading it over, I noticed my use of the
22 word in there, and I remembered that report. But in all fairness, I can't
23 say that, after 14 years, that I do remember this -- this one.
24 Q. Could you confirm that this is Mr. Sorensen's signature on the
1 A. I couldn't now. No. I can't remember his signature that well
2 after all these years. I'm sorry.
3 Q. Let's have a look at a report again, since you have said that you
4 can't remember it. Just a minute, please.
5 MS. NOVICA: [Interpretation] The document I'm interested in is P
6 03415. I'd like to have a look at the last page of that document.
7 THE WITNESS: If I could just take a second to glance at some of
8 the other reports I have that Mr. Sorensen has signed, I could -- I could
9 compare them to see if they look similar and that than might be helpful.
10 Would that be all right?
11 MS. NOVICA: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Of course. Of course. Thank you. That's why I asked you to have
13 a look at P 03415. That's the report that you typed out, a report that we
14 had a look at a minute ago. 3415. Let's have a look at the last page.
15 You have two separate binders, and it's very easy to compare the
17 A. Yes, they certainly look to be the same. I would -- I would say
18 yes that's -- that's his signature. The same as the one on this report.
19 So I'm not being an expert in handwriting, but that certainly looks like
20 that to me.
21 Q. Thank you. In order to identify the document, you can see that it
22 says "Memo" at the top, "UNCIVPOL Memo," and you can see the date. And
23 can you confirm that some of the words from the report are familiar to
24 you? You used such words and, therefore, are familiar with them. So can
25 you confirm that it is an UNCIVPOL memo?
1 A. Now you're speaking about the letter here dated the 13th to
2 commissioner CIVPOL Zagreb?
3 Q. Sir, both letters are dated the 13th of July. I would like to say
4 this for the sake of the transcript and for your sake, I'm now referring
5 to the letter you can see in my binder, and the number is 2D 000118.
6 So it's a letter sent by Mr. Sorensen, and it is entitled "The
7 Investigation into the Killing of Lieutenant Aguilar, the Mostar Spanish
8 Battalion." Is that the document that you're actually looking at the
10 A. Yes, it is ma'am. And reading it over, there's nothing specific
11 that triggers my memory in the wording here about it.
12 Q. A minute ago, you yourself said that you remembered that it was
13 necessary to speak to the head of the HVO police, the chief of the HVO
14 police, Mr. Filipovic, and the chief of the BH police, Mr. Maslesa. You
15 were to talk to them about results of the investigations; is that
16 correct? Do you remember it was necessary to have these conversations
17 with them?
18 A. No. What I was reading here was that Mr. Sorensen, in his letter,
19 said that it was part of the agreement stated that: "On completion of the
20 investigation by both sides, Mr. Leo Bang Sorensen should consult with the
21 chief of the HVO police, Mr. Filipovic, and chief of police BiH,
22 Mr. Maslesa, on results of this inquiry." I'm just reading this from --
23 from the letter.
24 Q. Correct.
25 A. And --
1 Q. And my question is: Do you know that this is what had been
2 agreed? Do you remember Mr. Sorensen telling you, in the course of the
3 investigation, that this is the agreement that had been reached? It's
4 precisely stated here. According to the agreement, at the end of the
5 investigation, Mr. Sorensen should meet both of them. Do you remember
6 such an agreement?
7 A. I -- I don't personally remember the agreement, and I'm sorry, my
8 memory fails me about that.
9 Q. Sir, do you remember the last paragraph in the letter? It says:
10 "UNCIVPOL is not in a position to fulfil this commitment because the
11 CIVPOL investigation team has been transferred out of Mostar." Do you
12 remember that happening on the 13th of July?
13 A. No. And I -- when I first glanced at this and you had mentioned
14 it, I agreed that it would be difficult not being allowed access into --
15 into East Mostar to meet with Chief Maslesa on the results. But I'm
16 sorry, again, I do not remember it, no.
17 Q. Once more, I would like to ask you to have a look at something.
18 I'm not talking about the possibilities facing Mr. Sorensen. I just want
19 to demonstrate that, on the basis of this report, we can see that on the
20 13th, when you drafted that report, the investigation quite obviously
21 hasn't been concluded because Mr. Sorensen, on the very same day wrote, a
22 letter in which he said that it wasn't possible for him to fulfil part of
23 had his commitment, with regard to the investigation, because he did not
24 meet both sides, "and I did not hear the results of the investigation."
25 Sir, these two documents contradict each other, or what you can
1 remember is in contradiction with this document, because you said that the
2 report you typed out was a follow-up report. But this demonstrates that
3 your investigation wasn't concluded on that date because in the last
4 sentence it states that he wasn't in a position to carry out this
5 obligation, that the UNCIVPOL was not in a position to fulfil its
6 commitment because the investigation team had been transferred out of
8 I'm asking you whether you're aware of the fact that this team was
9 moved out of Mostar, because it's quite obvious that this is a document
10 that I have not seen. I'm asking you about what happened in the field.
11 Was the UNCIVPOL investigation team moved out of Mostar, as is stated
13 A. I'll have to agree with you, ma'am, that, from what it does say
14 there, that it would appear that there was going to be further
15 investigation, but the last I remember of it was that previous one. But I
16 do have to agree with you that, yeah, if he wasn't able to do that, that
17 maybe somewhere down the line maybe they would continue to do more.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. Given that you stated that this report was a
19 final one, I put these questions to you. And, finally, with regard to
20 this subject, have a look at the following document P 02723. It's the
21 third there the bottom in my binder.
22 A. That was 2 Delta 0017, ma'am?
23 Q. P 0 -- in my binder, P 02723. It's on the screen, but I hope
24 you'll be able to find it in my binder. It's the third from the bottom,
25 at the back.
1 A. Yes. I believe I -- I believe I have it, ma'am. P 03027.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It's the third from
3 the top.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Sir, in my binder, it's the third from the top, 2723, 2723.
6 P 02723. Have you found it now?
7 A. Yes, I have, ma'am.
8 Q. Can you tell the Court whether you are familiar with this kind of
9 report? Have you already come across such reports? Did you come across
10 such reports during your mission in Mostar? I'm just asking you about the
11 form and about the first page. It's obvious that it's a report from the
12 military police of UNPROFOR. It's about a serious military incident.
13 I'm asking you a question about the form. I would like to know
14 whether you had any contact with such reports from the UNPROFOR military
16 A. It -- it is different from the form that we used in CIVPOL. I was
17 involved, though, in the investigating -- the investigation of a shooting
18 of a Spanish soldier that we determined was a suicide, and also military
19 police investigators were involved. And I may have seen this same type of
20 form in that investigation, but I cannot say for sure because it was so
21 long ago.
22 Q. Very well. Very well. What confuses me somewhat - and I want to
23 point this out for the sake of the Court. This is an exhibit or something
24 that has been shown in this court already - but what confuses me is that,
25 on the first page, we wouldn't really be able to see the date of this
1 report. The report is also concerned with the death of Mr. Aguilar, but
2 we can't see the date.
3 Sir, could you find item 9 in the report which will help us
4 determine the date concerned. Have a look at item 9. It's on the last
5 page of the report. Let's see what the date is first of all, and then
6 we'll deal with the contents. When you have found item 9, under A, on the
7 last page, it says that this incident was investigated, and then there are
8 some abbreviations that concern ranks and names.
9 It says before their repatriation, before they returned. That was
10 on the 29th of July, 1993. It says non-professional translators spent
11 five weeks translating documents and statements in SpaBat.
12 For the sake of the transcript, I'm putting this question to you:
13 Although we don't have the date on the first page, it's quite obvious that
14 this report must have been drafted after the 29th of July, 1993. Isn't
15 that correct?
16 A. I'm sorry, ma'am. Item 9 in -- that I'm looking at here appears
17 to be in Serbo-Croatian, and I don't -- I don't know what it says.
18 Q. You also have the English version. If not, then that's a serious
19 mistake. I will provide you with that version, but you should have been
20 provided with the English version in my binder at the outset.
21 A. Would it still be under P 02723?
22 Q. Yes, yes. Yes. That's the same number, and I suggest to you that
23 it's item 9 on the last page of the report. In the English version, page
24 9 is not that legible; but if you have a look at the last page of the
25 report, then it's the first, second, third, fourth, fifth sixth, seventh
1 eighth paragraph from below or perhaps in the middle of the page itself.
2 It's on the very last page of the document. It's actually on the screen.
3 Have you got it now?
4 A. I think so, but I can't see which one is 9. There's some -- oh, I
5 think I have it, yes. Where the one that says: "It must be stressed
6 that, although there is a reason to believe that Lieutenant Aguilar was
7 killed by a person from the HVO position, there is no direct physical or
8 technical evidence available to confirm the suspicion." That is the one
9 you're referring to, ma'am?
10 Q. Sir, you're rushing somewhat. Have a look at 9(a). It's in the
11 middle of the page, 9(a). We'll get to that conclusion too.
12 First of all, I want to determine the date of the document. It's
13 very important because it's not at the beginning of the document. Under
14 (a), it says that this incident was "investigated by," and there are some
15 abbreviations. It says it was investigated before the repatriation on the
16 29th of July, 1993. Non-professional translators took five weeks to
17 translate statements and documents in SpaBat. So that's what I was
18 referring to.
19 Would you agree with me, if that's what it states in this report,
20 then this very same report must have been drafted after the 26th of July,
22 A. It would appear so if that... [No interpretation]
23 Q. So, sir, this report was drafted, or rather, the UNPROFOR military
24 police drafted it -- let's say it was a day later on the 30th, but it was
25 drafted 15 -- or rather, 17 days after the report that you said you had
1 drafted and that you said was a final report. Let's have a look at what
2 the conclusion of this report is.
3 We had a look at what is stated under (a). Let's have a look what
4 is stated under (b): "It wasn't possible to visit the scene of the
5 shooting because of the fierce combat activity, and as a result no
6 technical or relevant physical evidence could be collected."
7 A. Yes, I see where it says that.
8 Q. And under (c), it states the following: "It must be stressed
9 that, although there is reason to believe that Lieutenant Aguilar was
10 killed by a person from an HVO position, there is no direct physical or
11 technical evidence available to confirm this suspicion."
12 Item 10 states the following, and it's signed by the gentleman who
13 drafted the report. It states: "Sir, this concludes my report. Should,
14 however, any further information come to light, it will be the subject of
15 an additional report."
16 Sir, this report is one that perhaps you didn't see or hadn't seen
17 before, but it does show that the UNPROFOR military police came to the
18 conclusion -- or rather, concluded the investigation and stated that they
19 could not find direct physical or technical evidence demonstrating that
20 Lieutenant Aguilar was killed from an HVO position. Isn't that what is,
21 in fact, stated in the report?
22 A. Yes, it is, ma'am, and I would like to apologise. When I said
23 that the final report was a final report that I remember having anything
24 to do with, these other ones I had never seen. So -- and it's obvious
25 that they were after the final that -- that I had something to do with.
1 Q. And, finally, sir, one more question: After that final report of
2 yours, dated the 13th of July -- or perhaps after this report from the end
3 of July and the beginning of August, did you see anything or find anything
4 out about this incident, apart from what is stated in this report? Did
5 you have any information? Did you gain any information about this
6 incident after, let's say, the 30th of July, 1993?
7 A. No, ma'am, I don't remember anything. As I say, the last thing I
8 remember is the report that I had something to do with. And the rest of
9 these things I have never seen before and I don't recall them, and I had
10 no knowledge of them.
11 Q. Thank you. That concludes that subject matter. Now I have
12 another three questions about three subject matters.
13 In your report of the 25th of August - we don't have to have a
14 look at it, you can listen to me. It will be quicker - I'm referring to
15 the report of the 25th of August, 1993. It concerns the entry of the
16 convoy into Eastern Mostar. It's a very detailed report of over 10 pages.
17 You and Mr. Sorensen signed it. I don't want to go into all the details
18 of the report. But as far as you can remember, when you read this report,
19 you can draw the conclusion that during those dramatic days, in Mostar,
20 you had certain problems with UN civil mission and with their
21 representatives. And there's detailed information about this in the
22 report; is that correct?
23 A. That's correct. There certainly were some conflict there between
24 Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Benabou, and that's correct.
25 Q. So that everything that is stated in the report demonstrates this,
1 and this is the information you personally had. You were there during
2 those days, so that's information that you personally had.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Now could you have a look at document in the
5 Prosecution binder, P 05861. P 05861, a document in the Prosecution's
6 binder. This is your report on the incident. I've selected this one as
7 an example. Have a look at form 3. That would be the third page of the
8 report. At the top, it should say "Form 3." This is number 1. Tell me
9 when you've found form 3. These are reports of your own, so I'm sure
10 you're quite familiar with them?
11 A. Could you just give me a number again. I don't have a P 0 number,
12 just a number. It was 58 --
13 Q. 5861. Let me see whether it's been correctly recorded in the
14 transcript. You can then have a look at the transcript. It's in the
15 Prosecution's binder. P 0 --
16 A. I believe I have --
17 Q. 5861.
18 A. I believe I have the report you're referring to. It's dated the
19 13th of October, a report that I wrote; is that correct?
20 Q. Correct. The 13th. The 13th of October. Have a look at it now.
21 Have a look at Form 3. It's the third page in your report as far as I can
22 see. Have you found it?
23 A. Yes, I have, ma'am.
24 Q. Sir, in the first paragraph, which I won't read out - I don't have
25 the time - you can see that these individuals didn't want to reveal their
1 identity, the individuals who gave these statements; is that correct?
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 Q. And it shows that the BH authorities, the civilian or military
4 police, were aware of the identity of those individuals because they
5 revealed their identity to them; is that correct?
6 A. I believe that the BiH police would know it, but they were
7 concerned that reports in the United Nations going through what they
8 considered their enemy territory might fall into the hands of the HVO and
9 be used against them. So I think that was the reason why they didn't want
10 to give their names in this report. I -- and I can't say for sure that
11 the BiH did have them, but I feel they did.
12 Q. Sir, in your report, you state the following, and you signed the
13 report, you say that: "If peace is ever established," I'm reading through
14 the first paragraph, it says, "they hope," and you have the BH authorities
15 in mind, "that they will conclude the investigation and file complaints
16 against those who are responsible." You said: "They had the full names
17 and addresses of the prosecutors."
18 It seems that the BH authorities had the names of those who
19 provided you with these statements. That's what this document shows.
20 Isn't that correct?
21 A. No, I don't see where you're reading that. And I remember at one
22 time saying that the -- in my statement that I gave to the UN investigator
23 when he came to Canada was that I thought that the BiH should have the
24 names, but I don't have definite knowledge that they did.
25 Q. Sir, I wanted to be brief, but the first paragraph, Form 3,
1 says: "Action taken: As already noted, this is an intelligence report
2 alone. CIVPOL cannot take any action with regard to these crimes." Can
3 you see that first sentence?
4 A. In English in my report, and what I've written says:
5 "Action taken: As noted before, this is an intelligence report
6 only, and there is no action that CIVPOL is able to take regarding these
7 crimes. The BiH have a file containing hundreds of similar war crimes.
8 They are unable to take any police action concerning these crimes as
9 present because they took place on the HVO controlled area and were
10 committed by their enemy.
11 "If peace is ever restored, they hope to complete their
12 investigations and lay charges against those responsible."
13 That's what the BiH hoped to do, and not just referring to the
14 people I interviewed in this particular case, but that they had hundreds
15 of complaints.
16 Q. And then we have this sentence that follows. What do you go on to
17 state? I'm having a look at the English version. It's identical. What
18 is the following sentence? Please, tell us. Do read out your own
19 report: "They have the full names." Isn't that what it says?
20 A. "They have the full names and the addresses of the complainants.
21 The four people CIVPOL were able to interview would only agree to give
22 statements to the United Nations CIVPOL officers on the condition that
23 they didn't have to give their names. They were -- they say they fear
24 retaliation by the HVO, if they were ever to find out that they have made
1 And I believe that to be true.
2 Q. Sir, sir, that's fine. That's fine. I didn't say anything to the
3 contrary. All I wanted to say is that at the time that you gathered these
4 statements, at the time you obtained statements from all the complainants
5 as you call them, the BH side had their addresses and they were conducting
6 investigations into war crimes at the time. But they said they couldn't
7 conclude the investigation at that time because of the ongoing war. They
8 said it would be continued at a subsequent date.
9 So all I'm saying is that the BH authorities were aware of these
10 individuals and probably had all the information that you had. Isn't that
11 correct? Am I right?
12 A. I believe that they would have had more information than I
13 actually had.
14 Q. Can you please tell me, here you say in the first paragraph, you
15 say that Forbes and Riggs spoke with these people alone and translation
16 was provided by somebody from the B and H police. Is that what it says
17 here? You did not use your own interpreter; is that right?
18 A. No, it was -- I used an interpreter from the East Mostar named
19 Dragi [phoen]. And I'm sorry, after all these years, I cannot remember
20 his name.
21 Q. Sir, excuse me. My time is taking. It says here that an
22 interpreter from the BiH police was used for translation. So not a
23 translation was used from your own mission, but a translator from the B
24 and H police was used; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. No, we couldn't bring in a translator. It was too dangerous
1 for us to bring in the young lady who was our interpreter, so I used the
2 one that was available in East Mostar.
3 Q. And my final question: Sir, in your report - you don't have to
4 look for it, just listen to me please. We will go faster - of the 13th
5 [as interpreted] of September - and for the transcript, I would like to
6 say that it's a report, P 00009 - you say, on the third page in English
7 and the fifth page in Croatian, under the date of the 16th of September,
8 you say that: "On this day, Observer Forbes returned with the convoy of
9 the Spanish Battalion to East Mostar, to continue the job started during
10 his previous visit."
11 In the second paragraph, you say that: "The B and H police will
12 place at their disposal an office in their building and Observer Forbes
13 can use it as his own office."
14 Mr. Forbes, can you please tell me, was this something that was
15 allowed under the regulations or how can we say it? Did that made it
16 possible to be objective if such a mission was located in the building of
17 the civilian police on one side? Because I know where you were supposed
18 to maintain your objectivity. And this position, was this something that
19 was permissible? It's a little bit strange for me that you would be
20 located in the building of the civilian police in Eastern Mostar.
21 A. It never came to pass that I actually did get an office or ever
22 did sleep there, but there was no rule prohibiting that, that I know of.
23 And in most -- under the terms of CIVPOL, most of the other places, where
24 the war situation wasn't so bad, we had monitors travelling with the
25 police on all sides. And by being with the police, they were able to it
1 observe what they were doing and to be able to -- to monitor their
2 actions, to make sure that they were treating the minority fairly.
3 If there had been any Croatian people or Serbian people in there,
4 my myself, having contact with the police, I would have been able to watch
5 and see and help to protect their rights. And this was one of the reasons
6 why, in all of the different sectors and all of the different stations,
7 this is the way that it was to be run, where you would actually be
8 assigned with the police of that particular area.
9 In this case, I'll have to admit that mention were a bit different
10 because of the war situation, and there wasn't really any minority
11 population there to protect, except for some prisoner of war. And I was
12 allowed at one time to go, and I did inspect where they were being held
13 and talk to those prisoners, as best I could, and saw the conditions they
14 lived in.
15 Q. Yes, yes. I would just like to ask you -- I will be warned
16 because I'm outside of my time that has been allocated to me. So at the
17 end I would like to ask you -- I asked you something that is very, very
18 simple. You said you were not in the best of relations with members of
19 the HVO. Do you believe now from this distance that precisely that
20 closeness that you are describing with the civilian police in Eastern
21 Mostar could have been the reason -- could have been the reason, in fact,
22 for that kind of intolerance shown to you by the HVO? Can you please tell
24 Yes, yes. I did have the intention of asking you that question.
25 You just said you visited several Croats that were in prison. Did you see
1 citizens of eastern Mostar? Did you look for them? If you were supposed
2 to protect the minorities there, didn't you have any information that
3 there were some Croats living on the eastern side? Or perhaps there
4 weren't any there. Didn't anyone give you any information?
5 I see that you have a lot of information about what happened to
6 Muslims or Bosniaks. Did anybody give you information that there were any
7 Croats there, or did you get information that there weren't none there?
8 A. I didn't have any information. I couldn't locate any Croatian
9 people there. The HVO never ever came to us and said, "We have people on
10 that side. Can you check on them and look for them for us?" They never
11 ever come forward to do that, and I didn't -- I never ran across any or
12 saw any.
13 Q. Sir, did you receive information about possible Croats on the east
14 side from police on the east side police that belonged to the army of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
16 A. No, I didn't receive any information about them.
17 Q. Thank you. I would like to continue on this topic.
18 Unfortunately, I have used up my time, and I cannot continue.
19 Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And you used up all
21 the time given to Mr. Pusic because you used nearly an hour.
22 Next counsel, please.
23 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to clarify
25 that I gave 15 minutes to Mr. Stojic's Defence, so maybe there has been
1 some confusion about the calculation of the time.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move on to
3 Mr. Praljak.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. If
5 I may just have the lectern, that would help me because I have some
7 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Witness. Good day, Mr. Forbes.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. I'm going to put some very technical matters to you, so I would
11 like to have some brief answers. I'm going to ask you exclusively things
12 that you do know. Not information from -- not second-hand or third-hand
13 information, but only about things that you personally saw and know, and
14 you can give your answers accordingly. We are going to go in order.
15 At one point, you said that you saw, in Medjugorje, soldiers of
16 the Croatian army from the 4th Corps. Can you please tell me, can you
17 recall the date when this was, how many soldiers you saw?
18 A. I can't recall the -- I cannot recall the dates, sir, and I can't
19 tell you the exact number, too. I remember a couple of trucks with tarps
20 on them, and I could see that there were soldiers in the back; but how
21 many, I don't know for sure.
22 Q. You then said -- all right. You cannot tell how many soldiers
23 there were. You said that they bore insignia of the 4th Corps. Do you
24 know that there was never any 4th Corps that existed in Croatia? There
25 was no 4th Corps in Croatia.
1 What precisely did you see? Did you see HV insignia, or did you
2 just see some coat of arms that you don't know anything about, but that
3 seemed to resemble some sort of motorised formation?
4 A. The -- the insignia that I saw, and those were the soldiers that
5 were in the cab, was just the Croatian flag -- shoulder flash without the
6 HV or HVO on it, and what -- the 4th Corps, what I remember was the crest
7 on the side of the truck, saying "4th Corps." My memory's quite vague on
8 it. It's been so long ago, but what I remember is it looked like a
9 motorcycle gang crest than the type of military crest that I would be
10 familiar with in Canada, with coats of arms and whatnot, and also from
11 information that I received from people who had told me that they were 4th
13 Q. Sir, I would like to ask you -- there is no 4th Corps. Again,
14 please, do not give me information that you got from others. Can you
15 please only specifically answer about what you saw.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, you should not discuss with the
17 witness. If the witness says he's seen it, that's it. The rest you are
18 doing is you are giving testimony on what the army was, and that's not
19 your task. You have to ask questions, please.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Trechsel.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please do not discuss, but exercise
22 cross-examination properly.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I am doing that Your Honour.
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think there was a
25 problem in translation. Mr. Praljak asked the witness to respond to what
1 he saw himself and not about things that he heard, and it seems that there
2 is some sort of a misconnection there because then you intervened, and
3 Mr. Praljak, I think, quite properly responded to what you said.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, according to the interpretation,
5 Mr. Praljak was giving testimony on whether there was or not a 4th Corps
6 in the Croatian army, and that's giving information. That's not asking a
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'm asking if the gentleman
10 knows the fact that if there is a 4th Corps in the Croatian army or not.
11 THE WITNESS: I do not personally know the make-up of the Croatian
12 army, at that time, either in 1993.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please, sir, the question is very simple. And if you help me, we
15 will proceed very simply without a lot of explanations. It's a simple
16 question: Do you know if there were corps in the Croatian army, and among
17 them the 4th Corps, yes or no?
18 A. I would have to say no.
19 Q. Then say "no," if you have to say that. I'm asking you the next
20 question. On the 28th of June, you came to Medjugorje in 1993. Do you
21 know that on the 30th of June, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the
22 area of the northern Logor and the northern part of Mostar, Crveno Polje,
23 carried out an attack and captured those areas towards the north, linked
24 up with the forces from Jablanica and captured Rastani? Does this mean
25 anything to you? Do you know this or not?
1 A. No, sir.
2 Q. Are you aware that, on the 13th of August, it began a large attack
3 from Blagaj towards the south, towards Buna; that Brdo Kicini [phoen] was
4 captured; and that the HVO, after a few days of fighting, managed to take
5 back those positions? Are you aware of this or not?
6 A. I do remember something about that, yes, but my memory on it is
7 very vague. But I do remember that the BiH had -- went on the offensive.
8 They captured some land. But not having any heavy weapons or anything,
9 they weren't able to hold it and the situation was basically the same as
10 it was before in the end, is the way I understood it, but I could be
11 wrong, sir.
12 Q. Mr. Forbes, please. I am asking a precise question, so just
13 please answer what I'm asking you. Here is the next question: You're
14 claiming that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had no heavy weapons.
15 You said that several times. Please, tell me. Where do you have the
16 information that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 4th Corps, did
17 not have heavy weapons? Did you directly have insight into those facts or
18 is this information coming from third- or fourth-hand?
19 A. No. What I meant, and I think what I did say, was I never saw any
20 heavy weapons on the BiH side in East Mostar.
21 Q. Can we believe that, based on the fact that you didn't see these
22 weapons, this weaponry does not exist? Is that what you're saying? If I
23 didn't see the weapons, they don't exist? Is that what your case is, or
24 are you just saying, "I did not see any heavy weaponry?"
25 MR. FLYNN: I object to the question. It's not a fair question,
1 Your Honours.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Okay. Did you see the weapons? No, you didn't. Did you know if
4 the heavy weaponry existed or not?
5 A. I did not see any heavy weapons on their side. I did not observe
6 any heavy weapons being fired from their side, and that's all I can say on
7 the matter, sir. I don't know. That's all I can say.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me if you know how many soldiers
9 were there in the 4th Corps of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was
10 stationed in Mostar?
11 A. No, sir, I don't know.
12 Q. Do you know how many civilian police officers of the army in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina there were in Mostar, in East Mostar?
14 A. No, sir. I don't have that number.
15 Q. According to your testimony, is it correct that civilian policemen
16 in Eastern Mostar wore camouflage uniforms?
17 A. That's correct. They had asked if I could help get them blue
18 serge material and light blue material for shirts, but they --
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. FLYNN: I would ask that the witness - he's asked a specific
21 question - that he be permitted to finish his answer. I mean, he was
22 giving a relevant answer, and I don't think it's fair to cut him off
23 halfway through.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Forbes, if you have not
25 completed answering, please continue it.
1 THE WITNESS: I have completed it, Your Honour. They asked for
2 blue material to make uniforms, but they weren't able to get any. And the
3 police I saw were wearing more of a military uniform.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Forbes, I'm somewhat amazed
5 because Mr. Praljak had put a question to you as to the number of civilian
6 police members, and your answered you didn't know. Looking at the
7 documents produced by the Prosecutor this morning, we can see that you had
8 very close links with the two people who were in charge of the police.
9 You even said in one document that one had asked you if his wife could go
10 to Denmark.
11 So upon reading all this, I thought that you must have been
12 speaking for hours with the heads of the police, and I can understand this
13 all the better since you yourself had been a policeman in your country.
14 But during these conversations you had with them, did those men not tell
15 it you how many there were police officers?
16 THE WITNESS: No. The number of police officers in their force
17 never did come up.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like
19 you, once again, just to understand that this kind of cross-examination
20 that is a little bit perhaps causing some kind of disturbance is just a
21 question of time available.
22 Q. Sir, are you aware that on the 20th of September, 1993 - and in
23 your testimony, you mentioned that as a date when there was a major
24 bombing on Mostar - that on that day, as part of the offensive Neretva
25 93 -- first of all, did you ever hear of an offensive of the army of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina by the name of Neretva 93?
2 A. I don't recall that name, sir. You were asking about how I'd
3 heard about the offensive that was going on in that period of the 20th
4 through until the 28th, when I finally got in there. It was information
5 that was coming from the United Nations UNMO people about heavy fighting,
6 and my commander, station commander, wouldn't allow me to go in because of
7 that fighting.
8 Q. Very well. Do you know that, on the 20th of September, 1993, a
9 major attack began by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina on western
10 Mostar, on Hum Hill, except for its northern part. Do you know -- do you
11 personally know anything about this?
12 A. I'm sorry, sir. I knew there was heavy fighting going on. But as
13 far as tactics and who was attacking who, I didn't know.
14 Q. Do you know that the commander of the army of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, and it's southern sector, Satovic [phoen], writes in his book
16 that on that day they had excellent support from the artillery of the army
17 of Republika Srpska. Thus, on that day, the army of Republika Srpska
18 fired from its artillery at the town of Mostar, western Mostar. They talk
19 about quite substantial support. Do you know anything about that or not?
20 A. I'm sorry, sir. I didn't read that book. I missed that.
21 Q. Sir, my question had to do with whether you yourself had seen
22 anything of that when you were out in the field in Medjugorje. I wasn't
23 specifically asking you whether you knew about this from this particular
24 book. The book is not so relevant, but did you yourself know anything
25 about this, yes or no? No?
1 A. No, sir. I never witnessed any incoming heavy fire from the BiH
2 side at any time.
3 Q. Thank you. Can we please reconstruct the following things:
4 According to what I read in documents from the Prosecution - and I cannot
5 point out to you all of them - you were in Mostar for the first time for
6 one day, on the 28th of August; and then on the 25th of August, you came
7 with a convoy until the 29th; and then you were there on the 13th of
8 September for one day; the 14th -- the 16th of September, 1993; the 4th
9 and the 5th, on the morning, you came back; and then on the 8th and the
10 11th of October, you were in Mostar on two occasions.
11 Other than the dates I specifically mentioned, were you in Eastern
12 Mostar at any other time; if yes, can you please tell us?
13 A. In that time period that you were just referring to there, sir, I
14 did go in on the 4th, and I was in -- overnight on the 4th and the 5th,
15 and, of course, as you've mentioned the 8th and the 11th. And from that
16 period that you mentioned till then, those were the only times.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may just --
18 THE WITNESS: But I was in later if that's what you mean.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may draw your attention to line 16,
20 Mr. Praljak. You say on the 28th of August and then on the 25th.
21 Probably you wanted to name a different date the first time, the 21st; is
22 that correct?
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. The 21st of
24 August, because of the hospital; the 25th of August, four days; the 13th
25 of September; the 14th of September; the 4th; and then on the 5th in the
1 morning, you returned; and then on the 8th and the 11th of October. That
2 is what you mentioned. I'm not going to go into that any more. So these
3 are the periods --
4 A. [Previous translation continues] ... I was there for the 7th and
5 the 8th.
6 Q. All right. Thank you very much. This is in 1993, October. The
7 7th and the 11th of October, 1993.
8 Now I would like to ask you this, while we are waiting for the map
9 to be shown, 3D 01064, 3D 01064. While we're waiting for that map to
10 appear on the monitor, you have that in the binder, but it will be good in
11 colour on the screen, sir.
12 Until we're waiting for that, can you please look at the map to
13 the right of you, behind you, the big map where we see the town of Mostar.
14 The gentleman from our team here will give you marker and you can
15 mark on this map the Hum hill, and can you try to mark where the positions
16 of the army and Bosnia and Herzegovina were in Mostar and where the
17 positions of the Croatian Defence Council were.
18 A. I will try my best. I'm sorry, sir. I can't pick out specifics
19 on this map. I have to apologies for my eyesight not being as good as it
20 used to be, but it's very confusing to me just looking at that. And I
21 couldn't, in all fairness, actually point out the different positions from
22 14 years ago, because --
23 Q. Thank you --
24 A. -- My memory --
25 Q. -- Mr. Forbes. I quite understand. Can you look at this map here
1 now. Based on what you know - and you talked about some military matters
2 quite a lot - can you approximately indicate the positions of the army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina from Mostar from the south to the north, where the
4 positions of the Croatian Defence Council were, and where the positions
5 the army of Republika Srpska were?
6 You've said a lot about how there was firing, what was firing, at
7 whom there was firing. So let us see how much you actually know about the
8 military situation at the time you were there. If you don't know, you
9 will just tell us that you are unable to make these markings.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] It would be better if we
11 could perhaps zoom in more on the map, and if we can focus on Mostar
13 THE WITNESS: Looking at the map, I can -- I can make it out a
14 little bit better, now that this is bigger.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
16 THE WITNESS: I can -- from looking at this map here, and -- can
17 you just make it a little teeny bit bigger.
18 From where I was, and in Medjugorje and whenever I patrolled the
19 areas that I patrolled, it was always in HVO-controlled territory, other
20 than when I was on the east side of Neretva in East Mostar, which was BiH
21 at that time. I had never been anywhere in this area where the Serbs were
22 stationed, and I have no personal knowledge of what their locations were.
23 I don't know where all of the HVO military positions were. The UNMOs and
24 ourselves used to be turned back when we got close to any --
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Forbes, I am sorry, but we're going back to the military
2 observers again. They have been here and they have testified. So please
3 can we draw the following conclusion, it's quite simple: You, from your
4 position, as a civilian policeman, were not aware of where the Republika
5 Srpska had its positions. You didn't know where the BH army had its
6 positions toward the north and south of Mostar, and you don't know exactly
7 where the HVO positions were; is that correct? These were things that you
8 were not aware of.
9 A. Only my personal -- the only personal knowledge I have are the
10 ones that I saw, and, no, I would not know where all of the HVO positions
11 were or where all of the BiH positions were because, you know, I was only
12 confined to a certain area. I had to -- once we got in the APC, I
13 basically had to go on foot. So the area that I could cover and actually
14 have a view of was quite limited.
15 Q. Thank you. Thank you, sir. I don't doubt that, but what I want
16 to know is with regard to the north of Mostar, since you say yourself that
17 Mostar was encircled. Well, can you tell me, to the north of Mostar, in
18 Bijelo Polje, across the Bijelo bridge, Vrapcici, et cetera, well, was the
19 route free towards Jablanica and Konjic there? Did you ever pass through
20 that way? Did you ever go to the north of Mostar?
21 A. No, sir, I never drove to the north. We were always stopped by
22 the HVO roadblocks and not permitted to go up that way. The only time I
23 was basically north of Mostar, when I was in Bosnia, was when I would fly
24 from Split into Sarajevo by air.
25 Q. Sir. Sir, on the 30th of June - and the Judges know this - the BH
1 army took northern Mostar. Can you tell me the date when you tried to
2 move from the north of Mostar and were stopped by an HVO patrol? We have
3 to be quite precise. We're before a tribunal here, and very precise
4 matters are being decided on here. When you went to the north, you say
5 you were stopped by an HVO patrol. When?
6 A. I cannot give you the exact date, sir, as I don't have a note on
7 it, and it was 14 years ago. But I distinctly remember in July of that
8 year, before I was actually able to get into Mostar, attempting on several
9 occasions to get north, and I remember on one occasion driving north. We
10 were allowed partway into -- we were allowed to -- the overlook would be
11 on the north part of Mostar, and there was a high ground there and a good
12 view down into the city, and that was the farthest I ever got or were
13 allowed to go bill the HVO. And that would have been in July of that
14 year, sir, but the exact date. I'm sorry, I can't remember after these
16 Q. Thank you. As to whether it was in July, well, the Judges will
17 compare this with other testimony and the situation in Mostar in July
18 1993. My following question, sir, is follows: Have a look at the
19 following document. I'll ask you about the house of the military
20 observer, the house hat you slept in. The document concerned is P 09303
21 [as interpreted]. P 09303.
22 Mr. Forbes, do you remember that the house was in Eastern Mostar,
23 and it was quite high up on a hill below the main road from Sarajevo to
25 A. Yes. I remember this house. This was the UNMOs' house. Their
1 call-sign was Mike 5, as I recall. This is not where we lived. We lived
2 in a pension in Medjugorje that belonged to an HVO soldier.
3 Q. Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes, unfortunately, since time is short, we
4 can't go into all of this. My question is quite simple: What we can see
5 before us, well, was it part of the house facing north? I want to
6 determine certain logical and mathematical facts. My question is as
7 follows: Is this part of the house facing north?
8 A. I believe it is, yes. It's kind of dark and a little hard to make
9 out, but I believe that, yes, that would be on the north side.
10 Q. That's better now.
11 A. Yes, that's a better picture. It is a little more restricted, but
12 it does appear that it's the north side.
13 Q. Sir, listen to this simple question: We can see that it's been
14 hit by bullets, and is this part of the house facing north? You are a
15 professional policeman. You were involved in investigations. So could
16 this house be hit from any of the HVO positions, according to the
17 information you have?
18 A. This is -- I believe this is the north-facing wall. Again, I'm
19 not just exact on how the house was situated, but I remember more to the
20 west wall. And I remember sleeping in the upper floor, and there was
21 sandbags on the west wall.
22 Q. I'll show you some other photographs of the northern part. Let's
23 have a look at P 1000 [as interpreted], P 1000. This is a photograph that
24 another, a different witness showed us. It's a photograph of the same
25 house, but it represents the part of the house facing west. So it would
1 have been possible for the HVO to fire on this part of the house. Do you
2 know what the distance was between that house and the first HVO lines,
3 well, let's say at the Bulevar? Do you know what the distance was between
4 the house and the first HVO lines that the HVO had at the Bulevar?
5 A. That's -- that is the west wall I recognise, or what I assume to
6 be the west wall. And the exact distance to the HVO lines from there, I
7 don't know what they are. I was never able to take any kind of
8 measurement or anything like that.
9 Q. I understand that you didn't have the possibility of taking
10 measurements, but you're drawing a conclusion, and I ask you how. Can you
11 show us on this house where we can see the sandbags that were hit? And
12 given the distance and kinetic force, et cetera, can you show us where the
13 wall or the ceiling were penetrated, and where some kind of a picture was
15 So where did the bullet come through? Where can you see
16 significant damage to the sandbags, to the sand coming out? So show me,
17 after this intense shooting, how many bullets hit the facade of the house;
18 and show me where the bullets, which bullets actually penetrated the wall;
19 and show me which sandbags were ripped apart as a result of the shooting?
20 A. Do you know when this picture was taken, sir? Was this taken in
21 late November or when was it taken? It may have been taken long before I
22 was ever there and long before this incident that I described ever
23 happened. So I can't -- I can't comment on that at all, because I don't
24 know when it was taken, you know. That picture might have been taken
25 shortly the day that those sandbags were put up there before anything had
1 happened there. So, I'm sorry, I can't help you on that question.
2 Q. Mr. Forbes, well, the logics is quite correct. And if we followed
3 such logics, I would be very happy. But this demonstrates, this proves
4 that -- or rather, it's an exhibit tendered by the Prosecution in order to
5 demonstrate what was going on there. My questions are simple. I only had
6 two questions. Where was the damage do the house? Where did the bullet
7 penetrate the western side? What was the distance to the front line and
8 to the north?
9 Since you were there and you're a professional policeman, you
10 could answer such questions before doing anything else. Could the bullets
11 to the north -- northern side have come from any HVO positions? Well,
12 these are my questions. Try and answer them if you can.
13 A. I'll do my very best, sir. As far as the damage to the outside, I
14 can't comment on that at all because I don't know when this picture was
15 taken. All I can tell you is, from my personal knowledge, I was sleeping
16 inside the house. I heard the bullets hitting the sandbagged area outside
17 of the house. I remember, when I woke up in the morning, that there were
18 four bullets that had come through into the house that hadn't been there
19 the night before when I went to sleep, and that one of these bullets had
20 hit a picture of a deer.
21 I recall this -- the painting. There was a scene of three what
22 appeared to be me white-tailed deer in it, and it caught my attention
23 because I am a hunter back in Canada. And it reminded me of a scene in
24 Canada, and one of these deer was hit above in the painting where this
25 Egyptian UNMO had been sleeping.
1 But on the outside, I never did go around and inspect what kind of
2 damage there was on the outside. And, as I said, without being able to
3 know when this picture was being taken, I feel I'm not able to comment on
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may just one question. Can you on this
6 picture indicate behind which opening you were sleeping.
7 THE WITNESS: Like I say, I was on the inside sir, and I think
8 it's probably in the area of where these first sandbags were. But in my
9 memory, I believe there were more sandbags. At that time, they had added
10 more sandbags to it and more of an area was covered by sandbags. But I
11 would, again, without being able to see the inside of the house, it's
12 really very difficult for me to say, with any accuracy, where exactly I
13 was on the inside.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: You're welcome.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It's going
17 to be time for the break and, in fact, you've used up quite a lot of time.
18 Do you have more questions?
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we agreed that
20 I would have 15 minutes from Mr. Pusic's Defence. Ms. Senka -- well, I
21 don't know about that. But I have a few more technical questions, if I
22 may put them to the witness. I don't know how to deal with such matters.
23 You hear a lot of information.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise. I
25 wouldn't want to prejudice Mr. Praljak's Defence. I got a bit carried
1 away. I wasn't pay attention. So perhaps he could be given 15 minutes
2 that I used up, and perhaps you could subsequently take away those 15
3 minutes from my further cross-examination. It's my mistake. I apologise.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now 4.00. We're going to
5 have a 20-minute break, and then Mr. Praljak will have another 15 minutes
6 and that's all.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.59 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.23 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have 15
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. Mr. Forbes --
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could we go into private
14 session, please, because there are some documents I would like to tender.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 21388-21389 redacted. Private session
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry for the interruption. Your Honours, we're
19 back in open session.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. According to your information, can you tell us, where the 4th
22 Corps of the ABiH command was, where the command of the 1st Mostar Brigade
23 was, where the command of the military police was, where the command of
24 the civilian police was, the civilian police in camouflage uniforms, the
25 logistics base of the ABiH? Do you know where they were located in the
1 eastern part of Mostar?
2 A. The -- I was told, at one time, this one big stone building had
3 been their headquarters of the 4th corps, and it was on one of my
4 subsequent visits in there. The first time I was in there, on the 21st
5 and the second time between the 25th and the 28th of August, it was still
6 in good condition. But the next time I came in, it was all blown to
7 pieces and that was object Tita Malesa Street. Am I saying at that right,
9 Q. Sir, please. Marsal Tito, yes. Sir, please answer my question
10 precisely, without providing any additional explanations as to how things
11 were damaged. My question is as follows: Do you know that when crossing
12 the Marsal Tito bridge or the Old Bridge, well, there were ABiH soldiers
13 who crossed over the bridge and they were carrying arms and had
14 ammunition. Are you aware of that fact?
15 A. I have no personal knowledge of that, no, sir.
16 Q. Are you aware of the fact that, when crossing the Marsal Tito
17 bridge, they often used the protection of certain international
18 organisations, vehicles, et cetera, and they crossed the bridge by walking
19 behind a vehicle that belonged to some international organisation? I'm
20 referring to the ABiH. Are you familiar with this fact?
21 A. No, I have no knowledge of that, and I've never seen anything like
23 Q. In one of your reports, it says we -- or rather, it says that the
24 SpaBat would park its armoured vehicle in the vicinity of a very high
25 building in order to reduce the possibility of being hit by artillery
2 Are you familiar with the trajectory of a mortar shell if it's
3 fired from a distance of three or four kilometres? Did you ever analyse
4 the trajectory of a mortar shell, where it came from, from the HVO
5 position or from Republika Srpska position? Did you ever carry out an
6 analysis of such a kind?
7 A. I have a limited knowledge of the trajectory. And as a bomb
8 technician in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, I have been on courses on
9 post-blast investigations. And I would note from the seat of the
10 explosions of some of the mortars, that would hit in the street, I could
11 tell they came from the west due to the fragmentation pattern around
12 the -- the crater at the seat of the explosion.
13 Q. But let's say, if the vehicle was parked by a house and the
14 parabolic trajectory from the HVO side, well, did you ever tried to
15 calculate whether the trajectory was such? You say that two mortars, for
16 example, on both sides of the vehicle exploded; and after such an event,
17 did you go to see, to determine whether such a trajectory was possible,
18 whether it was possible for a shell to fall on both sides of the vehicle
19 in a narrow street, for example, and if the vehicle is next to a building?
20 A. When I was pulled in to the APC, by the others that were in there,
21 just as the second mortar hit, my memory of it is like being in the middle
22 of the fireball and I had been hit in the flak jacket with pieces of
23 shrapnel; and after that, checking that my pants weren't full, I didn't go
24 anywhere looking for the trajectory.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I have a comment. In
1 answering a question, you've said something very important here that no
2 other witness, thus far, has said, which is that you are a bomb technician
3 and a technician with knowledge of explosives. And you've just said that,
4 when you examined the impact of this mortar and examined the pieces of
5 shrapnel, you were able to determine where the mortar had come from. And
6 you said that it came from the west, in your opinion. Is that what you
7 have just said? Did I understand correctly?
8 THE WITNESS: You misunderstood, Your Honour. Not that I was
9 talking about those two particular mortars that came in and straddled the
10 APC I was on. I was talking about in the parking position behind the
11 buildings, the mortars that I had seen struck in the street, the craters
12 that were located there, and I was able to examine them. And I also
13 recall, on one occasion, a mortar hitting on the roof across the street
14 above us. If it had have been 30 more feet, short it would have landed
15 right in the middle of the street where all the people were gathered to
16 get their water.
17 But I think the -- misunderstanding was that I was speaking about
18 those craters in the road, and not the ones when the APC that I was on was
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, but in the street, the
21 craters in the street, on the basis of your technical analysis, you
22 believe that the shots came from the west; is that correct?
23 THE WITNESS: That's correct, sir.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Can you tell me how you establish that it came from the west?
2 You're talking about these two that I'm talking about. You didn't look at
3 the trajectory, how it could have come there, what the distance was. I
4 don't see those two shots that I am talking about. Did you correct them
5 and came to the conclusion that they both fell from the side of the HVO
6 and not from the army of Republika Srpska?
7 A. That's -- that's a fair question. I didn't do an investigation
8 and try and find out exactly where those two shells had come from that
9 we're speaking of there now.
10 Q. Thank you very much. And the shell that hit the roof, when a
11 shell hits a roof, can you please tell me when it strikes and all you can
12 see after that are shards or fragments. Can you please tell me how you
13 determine that it came from the west and not from the side of the
14 Republika Srpska? Did you establish that it did come from the west, from
15 the part of the HVO, or did you just establish that it came from the west?
16 A. It came from the west. It whistled over the building and, it came
17 down in an arc from the west and hit onto the roof.
18 Q. Thank you very much. His Honour, Judge Antonetti, asked you when
19 people were in line for water and they were running past and so on first.
20 Can you please tell me where exactly was this in Eastern Mostar? What is
21 that part called, the street? Where was this?
22 A. That would be on Marsal Tito Street. If you're familiar, sir,
23 with the hospital and where it was located, the former library, as I
24 understand, well, just a block down, there is a fairly wide intersection,
25 and then there's a building where the -- they used to unload a lot of the
1 flour and things like that. And we were just a little bit to the south of
2 that, and that's where we were located, in those two big buildings that
3 were there.
4 Q. Very well. Please, when you were there and you turned towards the
5 west, which HVO position and which building were you able to see optically
6 as a place that that place could be hit? Which HVO building or Hum? How
7 far are they and which one of them had the optical visibility? When you
8 enter Mostar - and I was there for two years and after that came to visit
9 my parents - what can he seen from that street towards the west in
10 relation to any position of the HVO, and what would be the distance from
11 there to there?
12 A. From where we were on the APC there, you wouldn't be able to see
13 any of the positions to the west; however, that particular mortar that
14 came over, it came over. And I could see it coming over the building from
15 the west and hitting at an angle from the west on top. And this being the
16 street full of some women and children, all Muslim women and children, and
17 the odd off-duty soldier who was there, too, I didn't think the HVO would
18 be shooting in their own direction there.
19 Q. So what you are saying is that the soldiers were constantly mixed,
20 intermingled with the civilian population on the eastern bank, that they
21 were together with the civilians. They were sleeping there. You say you
22 saw some 20 people. They went running past. Is that true or not that you
23 were constantly seeing groups of soldiers walking around the streets of
24 Eastern Mostar with weapons? Is that correct?
25 A. No. You would -- you would occasionally see one or two soldiers
1 with weapons going. But when I'm saying that some people that would have
2 on the brown camouflage uniforms, they apparently must have been off duty
3 because they weren't carrying sidearms. But, occasionally, you would see
4 a soldier or a group of soldiers going up the street to a different
5 location, but it wasn't a common thing to see them mixing with the
6 civilian population there.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have already
8 used 45 minutes, and normally your time is up.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] My last question --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My fellow Judge says, well, it
11 is up.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] This is my final question,
13 and, Your Honour, you took up two minutes. Last question.
14 Q. On the 25th of August, 1993, a convoy with humanitarian aid
15 entered Mostar. Did you see me in that convoy sitting on the first APC
16 from Citluk until the very first check-point on the approach to the city?
17 Did you see me sitting there with that convoy, yes or no?
18 A. I don't remember seeing you, sir. No, I don't.
19 Q. Please, the Judges saw your report and the reports of five other
20 organisations here. Can you, as a representative or a public contact, how
21 is it possible that five reports do not mention the commander waving his
22 arms about and saying something there and sitting on the APC and waving it
23 through, allowing it to pass through to Mostar? Is that some kind of
24 failing, or was it something that was intentional?
25 How was it possible that this was not mentioned in any report?
1 Were you a good rapporteur then or not?
2 A. You're -- you're talking about when the convoy was allowed to
3 leave Citluk and start to proceed at Citluk? Is that where you're
4 speaking of, sir?
5 Q. That is correct.
6 A. Okay. I was on an APC further toward the back; and once it
7 started moving, I believe I was sitting down inside the APC, and I didn't
8 see exactly who was directing traffic or anything at that time. There had
9 been some rocks being thrown by children and what on, so that's why I was
10 sitting down inside the APC.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Forbes, a follow-up
12 question. Apparently, Mr. Praljak argues that if this convoy was able to
13 proceed, it was thanks to him. Now, how is it possible that if he had a
14 positive contribution, that the internationals present on the spot did not
15 mention in a report, that it was due to his intervention as an HVO
16 commander that the humanitarian convoy was able to proceed and meet its
18 A. Your Honour, as I say, I was just a passenger going in with the
19 Spanish. I had no involvement in the negotiations to get it released from
20 Citluk, and I didn't -- I didn't see him. I don't -- I can't comment on
21 what the others said or what they reported, but I didn't see it myself,
22 sir, Your Honour.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
24 Mr. Forbes. Your Honour, thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Next counsel.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have two corrections
2 for the transcript, and we can register that right away if I may be
3 allowed. On page 130, 1-3-0, line 2, the exhibit number is P 0903. The
4 correct number should be P 09303. Yes.
5 And then on page 131, line 4, it says P 1000, and it should be
6 four 0's because it's P 10000. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Ms. Alaburic.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone in the
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
12 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Forbes. You told us today, Mr. Forbes, if I
13 understood you correctly, that from Muslim police and the population of
14 Eastern Mostar, you found out that the HVO attacked the army of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, and that that is how the clashes between these two armies
16 began. Did I understand you correctly?
17 A. Yes, ma'am, that's what I was told.
18 Q. I conclude from that that you did not talk about the beginning of
19 the conflict between the HVO and the ABiH with the Croatian police or the
20 citizens of Western Mostar; is that correct?
21 A. No, ma'am. I don't recall having a conversation with anyone
22 telling me from that -- from that side where or how it had started.
23 Q. Very well. In response to Mr. Flynn's question about the bad
24 relationship of the HVO towards the UN agencies, you answered today how
25 these UN agencies attempted to supply the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 with food and humanitarian aid; that the HVO, for that reason, considered
2 that those agencies were aiding the enemy; and that this was more or less
3 the reason of the attitude of the HVO towards the UN agency.
4 This was recorded on page 36 of today's transcript. Am I correct
5 in stating this, Mr. Forbes?
6 A. If I said that about supplying the army of the BiH, then I
7 misspoke because the UN agencies were trying to supply the civilian
8 population of East Mostar and not the army.
9 Q. I'm going to tell you exactly what you said. You mentioned
10 neither the civilians nor the army; but you said on page 36, line 4, I
11 will read did in English: "[In English] Because we were trying to take in
12 supplies of food and humanitarian relief to the B and H."
13 A. Yes, I believe that's correct that I said that.
14 Q. [Interpretation] So B and H, as a rule, you used when you refer to
15 the army.
16 A. I'm sorry, I just used to refer to that as the Muslim side. I
17 didn't realise that it was specifically referring to the army.
18 Q. Very well. Mr. Forbes, can you please tell us, describing the
19 task of the civilian police of the UN today, you said that its tasks were
20 to oversee treatment of the local police towards the national minorities,
21 and that is why I was asking was it the task of your institution, of your
22 agency, in any way to assist the local population in supplying them with
23 food and humanitarian relief in general?
24 A. That wouldn't be our primary mission. Our primary mission would
25 be actually to monitor the police. However, we had to -- whenever the
1 situation arose, we would natural tell the sister agencies. The ones that
2 could help with the problem most, the information would be passed on to
3 them, and that's why we would do that.
4 Q. Can we agree - and I think that this is not in dispute - that
5 other UN agencies were in charge of supplies and that you were a kind of
6 support for the UNHCR and other similar agencies or institutions; is that
8 A. Yes, ma'am, I would say that's a correct statement.
9 Q. Very well. Mr. Forbes, in reference to the shelling of Eastern
10 Mostar, you told us quite a lot, and I am trying to summarise everything
11 you said in three items; and then we will see if I understood you
13 First, in the period that you were there, according to the reports
14 which we saw today, the shelling of Eastern Mostar was frequently quite
15 strong, savage, heavy; that there were periods when a thousand shells an
16 hour rained over Eastern Mostar; and that there were periods when 20
17 projectiles and minute dropped on Eastern Mostar.
18 Second, as for the targets, you said that most of the shelling was
19 in the civilian sections, and that there were no military facilities and
20 no military targets hit.
21 And, third, that you did not see the army of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina opening heavy fire.
23 Did I correctly summarise your statements referring to the
25 A. Yes, ma'am.
1 Q. Very well. Now, I would like to move into private session,
2 because I would like to try to compare these witnesses' statements with
3 some documents that are protected.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel would like to put
5 a question.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I think it is rather to put something in
7 correct perspective. Ms. Alaburic has suggested that the witness had said
8 that they were taking supplies to the BiH, but one has to read the whole
10 The question was: Was there a bad relationship?
11 And the answer was: "Yes, it was. I believe that they felt that
12 because we were trying to take in supplies to the BiH we were assisting
13 their enemy."
14 So the witness has not asserted that they have done this, but he
15 has said that they believe that we did it. So there is no contradiction
16 on what he said on cross-examination to what he said earlier on page 36,
17 lines 3, 4, and 5. I think that was a misunderstanding.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that we
19 clarified that the witness said the Muslim side, primarily civilians, and
20 that there was a correction in the sense of army of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. But my modest knowledge of English says that his statement
22 still should be interpreted differently, because he says... [No
23 interpretation]... from which it arises that they were trying to bring in
24 food and supply the population, and that he thinks that the HVO, because
25 of that, let's say, had a relatively bad relationship or attitude towards
1 the UN agencies. I think we clarified that, but thank you very much in
2 any case.
3 Your Honours, if we can move into private session now.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 21403-21420 redacted. Private session
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
7 THE WITNESS: Most of my contact would more be with the deputy
8 chief, Mr. Salko Zuljevic rather than Mr. Ramo Maslesa.
9 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. What is important to me is just to tell me, when we're talking
11 about the B and H police in this instance, we're talking about the
12 civilian police, and when we're referring to these two gentlemen. This
13 was in Eastern Mostar, and so it was your mandate mostly to be in contact
14 with the civilian police. Am I right on that?
15 A. Yes, ma'am.
16 Q. This is a question already put to you by Mr. Praljak today, and
17 you said that there was a problem with the uniforms because the civilian
18 police in Eastern Mostar wore camouflage uniforms and did not have the
19 classic blue uniforms that a regular civilian police force would need to
20 have; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct. They asked if I could help to get material
22 so that they could make that type of uniform.
23 Q. Can you please tell me, if you know, whether in general, in Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina and in the area of Eastern Mostar, it was known that the
25 provision of the army with uniforms was rather worse than better, and that
1 there were situations also when people who did not belong to any unit
2 actually wore uniforms, that it was some sort of trend? Are you aware of
3 this occurrence?
4 A. Yes. There was a number of people who had army-type uniforms on
5 but no insignia.
6 Q. Are you aware that members of the military police of the HVO,
7 regular members who actually belonged to the military police force, had to
8 have insignia on their uniforms which stated "VP HVO," white cross belts,
9 and badges? Did you know that?
10 A. I didn't know that that was a regulation, but it sounds quite
12 Q. I hope that I will not have to open up documents and, therefore, I
13 will not have to move into closed session, because I notice you remember
14 well the four incidents that you discussed previously with the Prosecutor.
15 So all I will say for the transcript is these are document 505730 and
16 document -- P 05730, and document 505800 [as interpreted]. These are
17 those instances of expulsions from apartments. These were two cases. The
18 transcript has it down wrongly; P, like Poland, 05800.
19 These were two instances of expulsions from apartments. In both
20 cases, they -- there were situations in which persons came introducing
21 themselves as members of some unit, or not introducing themselves at all,
22 wearing uniforms without insignia. Do you recall that this was like that
23 in reference to these incidents?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Would you agree with me that when a person appears at the door who
1 does not introduce themselves and they're wearing a uniform without
2 insignia, or it's a group of people wearing different uniforms and the
3 persons are not known to the victims, that it is practically impossible to
4 identify those people as members of a specific unit and to put a name --
5 first and last name to them?
6 I said practically impossible and not practically possible. This
7 is a correction of the transcript.
8 A. Yes. If they didn't know the personally, it would be hard to
9 identify them.
10 Q. You also responded to questions today of the first attorney who
11 put questions to you, my learned friend, Ms. Nozica, that these persons in
12 these four incidents did not want to give you their names because they did
13 not wish to be identified by the HVO authorities; and from that I draw,
14 the conclusion that they did not wish to report what happened to them to
15 the HVO authorities but exclusively to the authorities of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina in Eastern Mostar and later to you, of course, without
17 providing their names in order to protect themselves. Is this correct?
18 A. Yes, ma'am.
19 Q. And this then means that the HVO authorities did not know about
20 these four incidents at the time that you were drafting your report. Is
21 this correct?
22 A. I don't believe they did, no. No.
23 Q. One of these incidents, and I will ask to move into private
24 session because I will have to mention some details if this is possible.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will move into private
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 21425-21426 redacted. Private session
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, I hope that on the occasion of your arrival in Eastern
20 Mostar you acquainted yourself with the structure of the civilian police
21 in Eastern Mostar. Is that correct?
22 A. I didn't know -- as I say, as I testified earlier, I didn't know
23 exactly how many police officers they had. I knew who the chief was, who
24 the deputy chief was, who the chief of detectives was, but I really didn't
25 have a knowledge of their rank structure or how many people they had and
1 if they had different specialised units and whatnot. I didn't know
2 anything of those things.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you know what the extent of the duties of the
4 civilian police in Eastern Mostar was in wartime conditions?
5 A. In wartime conditions, I realise it would be very, very hard to
6 carry out proper investigations the way you would do in peacetime, but I
7 would expect that they would be -- as a civilian police, that they would
8 investigate crimes committed against the different people within their
9 jurisdiction, try and solve these crimes, and bring the people involved to
11 And I know, I realise, too, that in that sort of a situation
12 probably the courts were shut down, and there was a -- it would be quite
13 difficult to do a lot of the things that would normally be done in
15 Q. I agree with you. My next question is: When you talked as a
16 professional policeman with officials of the civilian police in Eastern
17 Mostar or police staff in Eastern Mostar, did they present to you the
18 results of their work? For example, the number of criminal acts,
19 protection of property, protection of persons, protections of goods,
20 traffic control, and other general crimes. Were you able to oversee their
21 results of work, yes or no?
22 A. No. When we were able to talk, we would be -- we would be
23 discussing cases that we had information on and were trying to find out
24 about. And when we did have time to just spend some time talking as
25 police officers, as policeman to policeman, it was Mr. Salko Zuljevic
1 who -- I found his police stories very interesting, and it was obvious to
2 me that he took great pride in being a good policeman and solving a
3 difficult case.
4 Q. Do you remember at least one of those serious cases that the
5 deputy chief, Salko Zuljevic, solved at that time in Eastern Mostar?
6 A. I remember one case he was telling me about. It was a fraud
7 investigation, and him and Mr. Sejic also worked on it. And the suspect
8 had torn up some documents and flushed them down a septic tank, and they
9 dug up that septic tank and got into it and recovered the documents. And
10 I thought that was quite dedicated.
11 Q. Witness, did you ever ask Mr. Zuljevic - Zuljevic, since I know
12 him personally so I do know what his name is - did you ever ask him about
13 the process of Croats and Serbs leaving Eastern Mostar? Did you ever
14 discuss that subject?
15 A. The process of Croats and Muslims leaving Eastern Mostar? Oh, and
16 Serbians leaving it? No. I don't recall a conversation about that.
17 Q. Very well. And you said that your task was to protect minorities
18 in certain environments, so who did you protect then? Who was to be
19 protected? That's what I'm interested in.
20 A. We would have protected anybody. If somebody had come to us with
21 a complaint, if somebody from the HVO side, for example, who were
22 concerned about relatives in East Mostar and felt they might have been in
23 some sort of trouble, you know, we would have gladly gone and checked on
24 them and made sure that they're being treated fairly. But I honestly can
25 say I never actually met any Croatian or Serbian people in East Mostar
1 when I was there, but we certainly would have if we had received a
2 complaint from someone we would have went and see them, if we could find
4 Q. Witness, with regard to Eastern Mostar, do you know how many
5 Croats, Serbs and Muslims, lived there before the war, yes or no?
6 A. No, sir.
7 Q. So you didn't know that. Did you at that time in Eastern Mostar
8 only several dozen Croats lived in Eastern Mostar, and apparently you did
9 not succeed in meeting a single one of them.
10 A. Sir, it just has jogged my memory. I do remember meeting one
11 elderly Croatian woman. Would you like me to explain that?
12 Q. I don't have the time. I have a few more questions for you.
13 In the western part of Mostar, was there a UN Civilian Police
15 A. That's where our station was located; not in the western part, no,
16 in Medjugorje. We didn't have a UN Civilian Police station in Western
17 Mostar. We weren't able to get in there. The guys that were working on
18 that side, they weren't able to go into West Mostar.
19 Q. Did you ever meet any officials from the civilian police from
20 Western Mostar during that period of time and anywhere and at any time?
21 A. Yes, I did, sir. And in the period when I first arrived there
22 through July, I met a number of HVO police and had had some dealings with
23 them on a couple of investigations. One of them walls the suicide of a
24 Spanish soldier. Another time, down in Capljina, I visited the police
25 station down there to check on some -- two German nationals who had been
1 arrested, and went down there to see if we could effect their release and
2 they were released the next day, and they had not been mistreated or
3 anything like that.
4 There were other occasions, too, that I met with some policemen
5 and --
6 Q. And my last question. You did meet officials of the civilian
7 police from Western Mostar, from Western Herzegovina. What was your
8 impression of them? Were these people professionals when it came to
9 carrying out their duties?
10 A. In the case of the suicide of the Spanish soldier, I thought that
11 they did a very good job. They were quite professional in that case. And
12 on a one-to-one basis with the different policemen I met, I didn't really
13 experience very much difficulty with them, and we were able to achieve
14 what we were trying to do.
15 Q. Thank you very much, Witness. I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have any questions,
17 Mr. Ibrisimovic?
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And Mr. Karnavas?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
21 Your Honours. I do have some questions. I won't be long.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
23 Q. Sir, we speak the same language so we'll have to sort of have a
24 pause, and I do tend to speak quickly and sort of fire away rapidly with
25 the questions. So let's give the interpreters a break after this long
2 First, let me introduce myself. My name is Michael Karnavas;
3 with me is Suzana Tomanovic. We represent Dr. Jadranko Prlic.
4 Now, you've indicated in -- you gave a statement to the Office of
5 the Prosecution.
6 A. The statement in Canada that I gave to Investigator Cameron?
7 Q. That is correct.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In that statement, you indicated that you did not have any
10 personal dealings with any of the religious dealers in Medjugorje, nor
11 with the HVO military leaders; you said that?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. When you say "HVO military leaders," is that in general or are you
14 just specifically speaking about that particular location?
15 A. I didn't -- you know, I wasn't meeting with them or negotiating
16 with them or anything like that.
17 Q. Would it be also fair to say that you didn't meet with any HVO
19 A. Oh, I met a number of HVO civilians.
20 Q. Civilian authorities.
21 A. Authorities? Yes. As I say, we dealt with them on those cases I
22 just mentioned. Another case was one time I had my flak jacket stolen,
23 and I went to the -- the police station in Citluk and that was the first
24 time I realised there was actually a branch of the police that looked
25 after tourist-type claims.
1 Q. When you're talking about authorities, you're talking about police
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Would it be fair to say this was your first venture outside
5 of Canada on a mission like this?
6 A. That's correct, sir.
7 Q. And you are a trained police officer, not a trained military
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. All right. Is it also fair to say that your knowledge, albeit you
11 did get one week of training, was rather limited on the former Yugoslavia?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. On the conflict that was -- that was ongoing at the time; right?
14 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
15 Q. And, in fact, when you arrived you -- sorry. When you arrived,
16 and that would have been in Mostar, it would have been sort of at the end
17 of June 1993; right?
18 A. Yes, sir. I spent a month before that in the Krajina.
19 Q. Right. Different location?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Different situation?
22 A. Exactly.
23 Q. Different players?
24 A. Exactly.
25 Q. And when you got there, on 28 June 1993, is it fair to say that
1 you knew little, if anything, about what was going on?
2 A. Yeah. I was certainly no expert. That's for sure.
3 Q. Okay.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please pause between answer and
5 question. Thank you.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
7 Q. It would be fair to say by the time you left you were no expert
9 A. Yeah. I wouldn't be an expert, but I did know a lot more about
10 the history of the area than when I came.
11 Q. Okay. Now that history, that knowledge that you learned, given
12 that it would appear that from your own testimony, was spent primarily on
13 the east side, would have been sort of from one of the warring factions;
15 A. Yes, but I also I lived on the west side. Our interpreter was
16 Croatian, and most of the people when I was off duty that I socialised
17 with and dealt with were Croatian people in Medjugorje. And they were
18 always happy to try and tell me their side of what things were, so I
19 actually got a good chance to listen to both sides.
20 Q. Okay. But when you were interacting with the folks in Medjugorje,
21 those were civilian?
22 A. That's correct. Civilian police, oh, yeah, and civilian people,
23 and some -- yeah, mostly civilian people.
24 Q. Okay. Whereas, on the east side, you were dealing with these
25 military officers -- I mean, police officers; right?
1 A. That's correct. But I did have -- I have a chance to speak to a
2 number of civilians, some who had limited English, and we were able to
3 communicate back and forth.
4 Q. All right. Now, I got just a couple of topics. One is this
5 convoy issue where it was stopped in East Mostar. Do you recall that
6 incident; right?
7 A. Yes. You're referring to the one on the 25th of August?
8 Q. 25th of August.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. There you go. Now, I noticed, I was looking for it in your
11 statement, and I didn't find it. I didn't find much, if anything, in
12 there. Was there a particular reason why this was not prominently
13 featured - in fact, it wasn't featured at all - into your statement?
14 A. Why "which" wasn't sir.
15 Q. The fact that you had -- you were a participant in that event on
16 August 25th.
17 A. Yes. I was a participant. I was there, yes.
18 Q. I know but I don't see that in your statement. I don't see that
19 anywhere where you, really, where you explain what was happening and why
20 it happened in your statement. Was there a reason why that information
21 was not given, or was it simply that whoever interviewed you was not
22 interested in that information from you.
23 A. I think what he -- he had a copy of the report, the incident
24 report, which basically explained everything, and he was going to use that
25 for the information and it wasn't --
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. -- necessary to have a detailed statement on that.
3 Q. Now, today, on page 48, you told us what you believe were the
4 reasons why that convoy was blocked, and you had indicated that it was
5 Mr. Sorensen who had talked to Zuljevic; and from him, he had learned that
6 there had been an HVO offensive, and that there would be another one
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Okay. Now, that was information that Mr. Sorensen then told you,
10 and then you're telling us.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Sorensen didn't do any investigation to find out whether, in
13 fact, what he had been told was actually correct.
14 A. I'm not sure he did any investigation on it or it would be
15 possible for him to do it.
16 Q. Well, I didn't -- possibility another section, another -- I mean,
17 but you don't know whether he made any efforts?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. All right. Now, but would it be fair to say if it came from
20 Mr. Zuljevic, you would all, for intents and purposes accept, it as being
21 true, accurate, and complete?
22 A. Not at that time. I didn't know the man very well at that time.
23 Later on, when I got to know him better, I felt that he was sincere and I
24 would have -- after having known him for a while, I would have believed
1 Q. Okay. But at that point, since nobody really knew him, it would
2 at least be worthwhile to check and make sure whether Mr. Zuljevic was, in
3 fact, being truthful at the time; right?
4 A. It would have been good to be able to do that, but it would be
5 actually impossible to try and do a follow-up under those circumstances.
6 Q. Okay. For -- well, you could ask him, for instance, where exactly
7 did this incident take place? You could ask him that; right? And then,
8 then, since there were lot of internationals around, SpaBat and others,
9 you could then ask another question, maybe even three or four questions,
10 and maybe find out whether an incident had occurred and had occurred in
11 the manner in which it was being described to you by Mr. Zuljevic. That
12 could have been do; right?
13 A. But you would still be in the same situation. Would you asking
14 him questions and relying on his answer.
15 Q. Very well.
16 A. It was impossible to move around freely to actually go and check
17 these things for yourself.
18 Q. All right. I'm not asking about checking. I'm asking about, you
19 know, asking other internationals that were there. All right.
20 Now, I want to -- we may need to go into private session, Your
21 Honour, because of the document, and it's P 01717?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 21438-21439 redacted. Private session
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Thank you, sir.
4 Q. Now, I believe, I believe you were shown this morning a document,
5 and it's 4511. This was generated by Mr. Sorensen, and I suspect that you
6 are familiar with this document. It's a P document. It's a Prosecution
7 document, 4511.
8 A. I can look it up for certain.
9 Q. Okay. It should be coming up shortly. If you don't have it, we'll
10 give you a copy of it. But this was the document also that my colleague,
11 Ms. Nozica, had asked you about. That one question was whether what was
12 contained in this document concerning Mr. Benabou and the way he was
13 described by Mr. Sorensen was accurate and correct. And you, in fact,
14 indicated that that was in fact true, and that will be on page 111 of your
15 testimony today.
16 A. Yes, sir, your question.
17 Q. Now, I just want to make sure you -- you have it there?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And, obviously, you've seen this document before?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you were a participant in those events?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. You were there live as the situation was unfolding?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And you were able to see here and sort of synthesize exactly what
1 was happening, especially the way Mr. Benabou was thinking, speaking,
3 A. I was a witness to some of it, to some of the cases -- some of
4 his -- him and Mr. Sorensen's confrontations. I didn't happen to be
5 present when they were happening, but I did see that there was quite a bit
6 of tension between the two of them.
7 Q. Okay. Now, you weren't present at all or were you present --
8 A. Sometimes. At some of the meetings, I was there and witnessed
9 what was going on, and there were other times when there were
10 conversations that I didn't actually see.
11 Q. Right. Now, I don't want to go into too much of the specifics as
12 to who did what or who said what and what have you. First of all,
13 Mr. Benabou, what exactly was his position, you know? We know that he was
14 with civilian affairs. You were with civilian police?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. He was with civilian affairs, and help me out here. Is he above,
17 is he below, is he parallel? Where is he in the --
18 A. In the structure?
19 Q. -- in the structure?
20 A. I would think that he's probably equal.
21 Q. Okay. So now we're speculating?
22 A. Yeah. He may have been considered above the UN, but I didn't -- I
23 didn't consider him a superior.
24 Q. Okay. You didn't consider him a superior, because you were -- you
25 just looked at your superior as your superior, and that was it; right?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Okay. So, in other words, Mr. Benabou didn't have any authority
3 to order you; and if he did --
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. -- it was de facto wasn't recognising it?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. And nobody told you he had that authority?
8 A. No. I did find quite a bit about Mr. Benabou many -- quite a long
9 time later, but --
10 Q. Okay. That's what I want to get to. Because from reading here,
11 from what I read here, I see Mr. Benabou as being somebody who is out of
12 control, angry, doesn't know how to negotiate, for sure, can't be trusted,
13 indivisive, and perhaps lacks judgement?
14 A. I --
15 Q. So help us out here, because this is a report generated by your
16 supervisor, and you said that you were an observer of some of these
17 events. Well, help us out with this Mr. Benabou.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Before you answer,
19 Mr. Flynn, how many minutes do you need should you have additional
21 MR. FLYNN: I think five minutes should do.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we will be able
23 to conclude.
24 Mr. Forbes, please respond.
25 THE WITNESS: I was my feeling, again, my feeling --
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. Well, you were observing?
3 A. Yeah. So, if I can offer my opinion. I'm not sure if it's
4 permissible in the court, but my --
5 Q. Hold on here. Hold on here. You were offering opinions all day
6 long, and I didn't hear you equivocating when it came to the Prosecution
7 saying, "Gee, Judges, don't accept my opinion." So, now, I've got a live
8 police officer who is retired, albeit; lots of years on the street; knows
9 people; knows how to read people, right; testified many times in court.
10 Is that a yes to all my questions?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Okay. There you go. So give it to us.
13 A. Okay.
14 Q. Give us your opinion.
15 A. I felt that it wasn't completely out of control. I felt that he
16 had an agenda and that he was acting the way he was for a certain reason,
17 and I believed at that time that possibly he was trying to hinder the
18 Muslim cause; and that years later, when I was guarding the Israeli
19 ambassador to Canada, it turned out I found out that Mr. Benabou worked
20 for, as he described it, "The Institute," or Mossad, and that he was still
21 in their employ when us guarding the Israeli ambassador at that time.
22 Q. The Mossad?
23 A. Yes. I must say, too, that Mr. Benabou -- and I later on when I
24 had occasion to explain that, you know, what I found the roundup of all
25 those civilians with the searchlights and loudspeakers was very similar to
1 Warsaw Ghetto in 1944. And I think Mr. Benabou actually started to come
2 around and agree with me, to a certain extent, that I saw good and bad
3 people on all the sides, and you had to keep an open mind. And I think it
4 was my own feeling that he had an agenda.
5 Q. Okay. Now, let's step take it step-by-step. First, you indicated
6 that you learned later on that he was Mossad?
7 A. That was indicated to me by the Israeli ambassador to Canada.
8 Q. It's not in the transcript, but I assume it will get in the
9 transcript at some point. Now, just for the transcript, let's make sure,
10 what is Mossad? I mean, I think I know what it is, but some of us may not
11 know. What is it?
12 A. It's the Israeli Secret Service that operate outside of Israel
13 gathering intelligence. They also have been known to do offensive
14 operations to discredit who they consider to be their enemies and, you
15 know, they've done a lot of different things outside.
16 Q. Okay. All right. Now, it says here, at some point, he had to be
17 told, basically, to step aside because he was hindering the negotiating
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Okay. And he was yelling at people?
21 A. That's right. He was, yes.
22 Q. He was yelling at those like the -- well, I guess the people that
23 he would have to negotiate with, the Muslims, right?
24 A. Right. He was upsetting them so much that actually one of the
25 reporters from the Washington Post came to us and said, "You've got to get
1 him out of here. He's just going to cause lots and lots more trouble."
2 Q. Okay. And then, at some point, you indicated that he sort of
3 disappeared. He and Thornberry found, I believe, accommodations for
4 themselves and were --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- nowhere to be found --
7 A. Yes, and we didn't --
8 Q. -- in the middle of this crisis?
9 A. We didn't know where they were and we were trying to get hold of
10 them, because we were negotiating to get an ambulance with four critically
11 ill children out of there to better medical facilities.
12 Q. Okay. And, now, did you ever have a conversation with Mr. Benabou
13 afterwards, to get him to explain why he was behaving in this erratic
15 A. No. But, as I say, later on, I had more dealings with civilian
16 affairs later and got to know Mr. Edward Joseph quite well. And he
17 actually sent a letter of commendation to our commissioner in Zagreb about
18 my service; and, after a while, I think he may have said to Mr. Benabou
19 that you know I've been in there a lot and I've seen first-hand a lot of
20 things that he wasn't actually seeing. And I think toward the end he was
21 starting to come around, but his shenanigans, to me, some of it would seem
22 to be a put-on.
23 Q. A put-on in the sense that he was make believing his -- it was
25 A. Yes. A good example: On the 21st of August, when we went in
1 there, we brought the ambulance APC that had the medical supplies. We got
2 it to the hospital, behind the hospital, and there was a lot of press
3 there from different networks, such as, CNN and whatnot. And Mr. Benabou
4 went right up to the front of the line. We'd sort of formed a line to
5 pass boxes on from one hand to another to speed up the unloading and
6 taking it into the hospital. Mr. Benabou got right into the front where
7 the cameras were; and as soon as the cameras turned away, he just -- he
8 walked away from and didn't continue helping any more with the unloading.
9 Q. So that was just to pretend that he was doing something?
10 A. Yeah. Show, to be seen on TV and in the international press.
11 Q. And I take it if he was behaving that way, did -- did he behave in
12 that fashion with others as well, with other internationals or with the
14 A. There was a number of people that were really, really upset from a
15 number of different countries that had been witnessing this, and he just
16 didn't seem to want to listen to anybody.
17 Q. Came with his own agenda, but also with his ideas of who the
18 people were and who he was dealing with?
19 A. Right. Yes.
20 Q. Come to conclusions?
21 A. I think maybe, in the end, he changed his mind a little bit.
22 Q. Okay. All right. I just have one last question, I guess, and
23 it's -- I'm dealing -- I'm looking at one of the documents. It's a
24 Prosecution document, and we don't have to dwell on it, but it just caught
25 my fancy. It's 5625.
1 On page 4, you were asked to give a description or make an
2 assessment, I should say, make an assessment of your impressions of
3 certain individuals. Do you recall that?
4 A. Yes. I wasn't actually asked to do it. I did it on my own,
5 because I thought it might help if they understood the people; and if my
6 assessment was correct of them, it might -- it might help the powers to be
7 in the United Nations to see what --
8 Q. Right. Right. Okay.
9 A. -- could happen.
10 Q. Fair enough. If it might be correct - and I'm glad you qualified
11 that - it looks from the first page that this is dated 20 September, or
12 maybe I'm wrong -- I'm sorry, that's the wrong date. 6 October.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And I notice, in your assessment, to your credit or whoever put
15 this in --
16 A. I did.
17 Q. -- that it stressed that the above intelligence on the character
18 of these people is unconfirmed, and based of limited personal contact with
19 the writer.
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Okay. So, in other words, this is -- this is sort of a caveat.
22 This is my impression, but I may be wrong?
23 A. Yes, exactly.
24 Q. And I take it one of the reasons you indicated that you may be
25 wrong is because you didn't know the culture?
1 A. Yep.
2 Q. Didn't speak the language?
3 A. Right. Hadn't know them all that long.
4 Q. Hadn't known them that long, and you certainly didn't want to jump
5 to any conclusions on what they were thinking?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. Or how they were behaving?
8 A. Exactly.
9 Q. Or how honest they were with you?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. So it would be fair to say that at least what you were observing
12 from Mr. Benabou, we could almost say the exact opposite, at least at that
13 point in time, when you were seeing him, working with him, and dealing
14 with him back in August 1993; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Sir, thank you very much. Have a safe journey back home.
17 A. Thank you very much, sir.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution for redirect.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Flynn:
20 Q. Thank you Mr. Forbes while it's fresh in your mind. Mr. Karnavas
21 was asking you about Mr. Benabou, and you described his behaviour that he
22 exhibited during the course of those negotiations, when you were trying
23 to, with your colleagues, effect a release of the convoy, that effectively
24 had been taken hostage by the BiH in Mostar. Would you describe his
25 behaviour at the time, was it anti-Muslim?
1 A. Yes. Yes, it was.
2 Q. Did you have the impression from his behaviour at the initial
3 stage, or perhaps all through your familiarity with him, that he was
5 A. Yes. That's -- that was my feeling. I think, at that end, that
6 he kind of realised that these people weren't really very religious
7 Muslims, in the sense as you would probably find in the Middle East, and
8 that he was dealing with different people than Israel was dealing with.
9 Q. Now, just one last question for you. You'll remember that General
10 Praljak asked you, when you were talking about the convoy -- one of the
11 convoys which had come into Mostar, whether you -- you saw him sitting on
12 a vehicle?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you remember that question?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And that suggest, to one hearing the question, that you would have
17 known him at the time. Did you know General Praljak at that time?
18 A. No, I didn't. And I'm sure he didn't recognise me either because
19 I was a lot thinner than I am now back then.
20 Q. So you hadn't met Mr. Praljak?
21 A. No, I had not.
22 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions, and I would like to thank
23 you for coming to The Hague and answering questions.
24 A. You are welcome, sir.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Just for the record, Your Honour, as I understand,
1 the word "Mossad" came up on page 190 on line 5, 7, and again on 16.
2 That's "Mossad," M-o-s-s-a-d.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Forbes, I'd like to thank
4 you for having come to testify. We have now completed your testimony, and
5 I would like to wish you a safe journey home to your country.
6 Before we adjourn, I'd like to call upon Mr. Scott to speak about
7 next week's schedule. We will be having an expert next week, Tabeau,
8 Mr. Tabeau, and I believe we will be preparing the whole schedule, the
9 timing, et cetera, and Mr. Tabeau will be continuing the following week.
10 Am I correct? Mrs. Tabeau. Excuse me.
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, that is correct, and I was just
12 going to say it's Ms. Tabeau. Yes. We expect, Your Honour, given the
13 developments in next week's schedule, she will begin her testimony on
14 Thursday and then will likely be, if I'm not mistaken - I had a look at
15 this just today- if I'm not mistaken, she will be interrupted for a
16 another witness since she's here in The Hague. And it will be concluded
17 after that, but she will be the next week's witness on Thursday.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation] Sorry. We
19 need to have the schedule for the next coming weeks, so that we know who
20 is coming when. Repeat: We need to have the schedule for the next few
21 weeks, so that we know who is coming when.
22 MR. SCOTT: I will work on that, Your Honour. I thought it had
23 gone out; but if it hadn't, it is something that we will address very
24 quickly. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I'd like
1 to thank everyone, and we shall resume next week, next Thursday. Between
2 now and then, we will all work very hard.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
5 August, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.