1 Monday, 23rd March 1998
3 (The accused entered court).
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and
5 gentlemen. Good morning to the interpreters, good
6 morning to the Prosecution and the Defence. We are
7 here to resume our case. It is which case,
8 Mr. Registrar?
9 THE REGISTRAR: It is case IT-95-14/I-PT,
10 the Prosecutor versus Zlatko Aleksovski.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. I turn now
12 towards the Office of the Prosecutor. Could we have
13 the appearances, though we know each other very well
15 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, my
16 name is Niemann. I appear with my colleagues,
17 Mr. Meddegoda, Ms. Sutherland and Ms. Erasmus for the
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: And for the Defence,
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours.
22 Good morning to our colleagues from the Prosecution.
23 My name is Goran Mikulicic and, together with my
24 colleague, Mr. Joka, I represent the Defence.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. As
1 I have said, we are going to resume our hearings, and
2 we shall try to make the best of the time we have this
3 week. Nevertheless, we have slightly changed the
4 timetable for reasons which have to do with the health
5 of Mr. Aleksovski. Therefore, we are going to work from
6 9 until 1.30, with breaks, so 9 to 10.20, a 20-minute
7 break, and then we shall have another 15-minute break,
8 depending on the circumstances, whether we need to
9 finish with a statement and so on.
10 Therefore, I would like us to make the best
11 of the time and I do not know whether I should take
12 advantage of this opportunity to ask Mr. Mikulicic
13 whether he has any ideas regarding the time required
14 for the presentation of the Defence witnesses. Are you
15 ready to say anything regarding the organisation of
16 work for the Defence, Mr. Mikulicic, please?
17 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, at this moment
18 in time, the Defence is not yet quite clear how many
19 witnesses it will call. We roughly estimate that there
20 will be about 20 witnesses, but we cannot be more
21 precise yet.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. We
23 will wait for you to be able to give us a more precise
25 I turn now to the Prosecutor, Mr. Niemann. It
1 is up to you, Sir, now.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, Sir. Your Honours,
3 I just might say at this stage that, as notified in our
4 notice of submission with respect to witnesses, we had
5 originally indicated on the previous sitting that we
6 thought that we would probably complete the Prosecution
7 case this week, but, because of the reduced time, we do
8 not expect that to happen.
9 At the moment we thought the most appropriate
10 witness to take out of the process, because of the time
11 -- that witness we will take will be
12 Professor Biancini and we have done that. It is our
13 expectation at the next sitting we will complete our
14 case, with the conclusion of Professor Biancini's
15 evidence. I thought I should indicate that. I call
16 Daniel Damon, who is our first witness today.
17 JUDGE VOHRAH: That would be witness 25?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is correct.
19 Daniel Damon:
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Mr. Daniel
21 Damon, can you hear me well?
22 THE WITNESS: I hear you well.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are going to read the
24 solemn declaration that the usher is giving to you,
1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated, please.
5 You are now going to answer questions, which
6 the Prosecutor, Mr. Niemann, is going to put to you,
8 DANIEL DAMON
9 Examined by MR. NIEMANN.
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Damon. Would you please
11 state your full name?
12 A. I am Daniel Damon.
13 Q. And I would ask you, if you would, to cast
14 your mind back to 1992, and at the beginning of the war
15 in the former Yugoslavia. Can you tell us what your
16 occupation was at that stage?
17 A. In fact, before 1992 -- in 1991, I was
18 reporting the war in firstly Slovenia and then Croatia,
19 as a freelance journalist, mostly for Sky News.
20 Q. Perhaps you might tell their Honours, is
21 that --
22 A. Sky News is a satellite television service,
23 part of the Murdoch empire.
24 Q. It operates where, primarily?
25 A. It is an European service aimed primarily at
1 Britain, but it is visible all over Europe.
2 Q. What were you covering in particular -- what
3 area of the country?
4 A. The whole of eastern Europe was my beat, but
5 having begun with the uplifting spectacle of
6 revolution, I ended up my time doing quite a lot of war
8 Q. And in the early part of 1992, did you have
9 occasion to go into Bosnia and where did you go?
10 A. I covered the Bosnian conflict from almost
11 the beginning -- the first time I was there was --
12 apart from travelling through before the war began --
13 the first time I was there during the conflict was on
14 25 April 1992. I travelled to Pale by helicopter from
16 Q. When you were in Pale, how long did you stay
17 there for approximately?
18 A. Just for one day at that time.
19 Q. Then where were you based after that?
20 A. Mostly in Sarajevo until June 1992 -- either
21 in Ilidza in the Hotel Bosna or the Europa Hotel in the
22 centre of town. Because of the situation, I kept -- or
23 we kept, because I was working with my wife at the
24 time, who was a camera operator, we kept a room in both
1 Q. And, during the course of those early days of
2 the conflict, did you have an opportunity to interview
3 some of the leaders of the warring factions?
4 A. I certainly met many of the leaders --
5 Dr Karadzic indeed was my first host, if you like, when
6 we flew in by helicopter in 1992, in April. I had some
7 difficulty, because of Sky's logistical problems
8 getting into Sarajevo. In fact, it was with the help
9 of the former Yugoslavian royal family that the
10 helicopter was arranged directly to meet Dr Karadzic.
11 It was intended that we would only stay the one night.
12 I am afraid we cheated and although we did not take any
13 overnight things, we just said, "Sorry we are not
14 getting back on the helicopter", because obviously the
15 whole purpose of our being there was to cover the
17 Q. Now, moving on, if I may, to through the
18 course of the year of the war in 1992, I think by
19 Christmas of 1992 you found yourself in Central Bosnia;
20 is that right?
21 A. Yes. By that time, by the late autumn and
22 winter of 1992, we had begun to travel up and down the
23 road from Split quite a lot. We were covering less in
24 Sarajevo by then and more the troubles around Central
25 Bosnia, and we either based ourselves in Kiseljak, or
1 in the town of Vitez -- some of the time we spent
2 staying either close to the British army base, or in a
3 house not far from there, owned by a cafe owner.
4 Q. I think one of the places that you visited
5 during this period was Tomislavgrad; is that right?
6 A. Yes, we spent quite a bit of time on
7 Tomislavgrad. It was on the road. It also had its own
8 particular stories. There was a sizeable Serb
9 minority in that area, and obviously that provided some
10 interest, but also it was the logistical base for much
11 of what went on.
12 Q. When you were in Tomislavgrad -- perhaps for
13 the benefit of their Honours, where is Tomislavgrad?
14 A. It is just over the border inside Bosnia from
16 Q. But it is in Bosnia?
17 A. It is part of Bosnia, yes.
18 Q. When you were in Tomislavgrad, did you see
19 troops there?
20 A. We saw plenty of troops -- not only UN troops
21 but troops of the Croat forces, and it was a base
22 for the Croat forces going in and out of Bosnia, and
23 it was also an important, I think, police point for the
24 Croat authorities, with responsibilities on the
25 border and inside Bosnia.
1 Q. When you say "forces", "Croat forces going
2 in and out of Bosnia", where did those forces emanate
3 from, where did they begin?
4 A. Of course this is very difficult for me to
5 say, because we made the assumption -- I say "we" --
6 all if not -- most if not all journalists made the
7 assumption that the forces inside Bosnia wearing the
8 Croat insignia were from both sides of the Bosnian
9 Croat border. I understand that at this stage it
10 becomes important to be precise and I am not able to be
11 precise, because we were not taking much notice. It
12 seemed to us obvious from both the political background
13 and the logistical background that these troops were --
14 some of them local Bosnian Croats and some of them
15 Croats from inside Croatia.
16 The only example that I have clearly in my
17 mind of the border crossing is that I did once see a
18 vehicle with the HV plate, as opposed to HVO plate just
19 inside the border on its way to Tomislavgrad.
20 I understand the importance technically of the
21 distinction between troops wearing HV and HVO
22 insignia. We did not take any notice, because for us
23 they were the same.
24 Q. I think you also spent some time with the
25 British battalion there, that was under the command of
1 Colonel Stewart?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Around about 26 October 1992, did you have an
4 opportunity to see troops in training in Central
6 A. We as a team did. Because this was, say, a
7 set-up shooting opportunity -- a set-up filming
8 opportunity -- to see the training, then I sent the
9 crew -- I did not go myself -- to see the training that
10 you are referring to. There were two instances I think
11 which now become more significant than they appeared at
12 the time. One was a parade which took place in
13 Kiseljak of Croat forces, which we filmed -- in fact
14 my wife filmed that, but I was not there, and the
15 second is a quite extensive training with dogs with a
16 kind of paratroop training but out of the back of
17 troops which lots of armies do, and training with guns,
18 which was done in the hills of, I think, Bosnia, above
19 Tomislavgrad. Again, I did not go myself, I sent the
20 crew -- because there was no news dimensions to it in
21 terms of a current story, it was background.
22 Q. Did you observe any film that was taken of
24 A. I saw, used and edited those films.
25 Q. The films that you saw, used and edited, did
1 you make any observations in terms of the preparedness
2 and level of training of these troops?
3 A. The troops in the training video were very
4 fit, very well organised, and very well trained, and at
5 that time, because this was before the outbreak of open
6 hostilities between the two Bosnian allies from the
7 Bosnian Government forces and from the several
8 Herceg-Bosna forces, then I must say I was very pleased
9 to see that these Croat forces were very well
11 Q. These Croat forces that you saw the films
12 of, they were HVO, were they?
13 A. They were wearing HVO insignia.
14 Q. You mentioned meeting Radovan Karadzic; did
15 you meet any commanders or leaders of particular groups
16 on the Croat side that were working and operating in
18 A. At various times, yes. I met Mate Boban, who
19 was the political leader in the southern part of Bosnia
20 in Herceg-Bosna -- I met him in Grude, I met him in
21 Zagreb and I also met him in other parts. I met
22 Tihomir Blaskic in Vitez on several occasions. I met
23 Dario Kordic on several occasions.
24 Q. Did you also meet any paramilitary-type
25 leaders on either side of the conflict at that time?
1 A. I did not meet any of the paramilitary
2 leaders who are the most notorious, no. I met plenty
3 of paramilitaries but not the leadership.
4 Q. During the time you were covering the
5 conflict did you see any documentation in relation to
6 the conflict that you were able to observe and read?
7 A. One particular piece of paper which I was
8 interested in getting hold of and which I did manage to
9 get a photocopy of was dated October 1991 and had
10 various signatures. It was -- as it was described and
11 translated to me -- and you were to remember that my
12 knowledge of the language is only acquired by my being
13 there, I have never learned the language formally so I
14 always needed translation, but I was given a
15 translation of this document, which indicated the
16 setting up of an entity called Herceg-Bosna, and this
17 was a plan from October 1991.
18 Q. When you met Colonel Blaskic that you
19 mentioned a moment ago, what was the nature of the
20 meeting -- what did you discuss with him; what was the
21 object of meeting with him?
22 A. Colonel Blaskic was the man through whom one
23 was able to get permissions to do various things -- to
24 travel to various places or to meet various people. He
25 was a very efficient officer and was very helpful in
1 many ways, when he could be, in arranging passage or in
2 arranging meetings with significant personalities in
3 the Central Bosnia region.
4 Q. Do you know approximately what area of
5 operation he was involved in at the time -- very
7 A. It was certainly run from Kiseljak, because
8 in fact the first I heard of him was from another
9 contact in Kiseljak who was one of the senior police
10 officers in Kiseljak who was our first formal contact
11 for making the kind of arrangements I am talking about,
12 and so it ran from Kiseljak, and I think through to
13 Travnik at the time.
14 Q. In April 1993, did you have an opportunity to
15 see it firsthand -- the conflict that was occurring in
16 and around the Ahmici/Vitez area?
17 A. Yes, I did. In fact, we had seen the build-up
18 to that in the previous autumn. I remember travelling
19 back to -- my wife was in Zenica and I was in Split.
20 I was travelling back with another cameraman, an
21 Australian, to meet my wife and to bring her back down
22 to the coast, and we were stopped by various barricades
23 and what was called "complications" between the forces
24 wearing Croat insignia, HVO, and those wearing, at
25 the time, TO, which meant the Bosnian Muslim forces,
1 largely Muslim forces, and that was then calmed down.
2 But by April 1993, it had reached a point where there
3 was a clear outbreak of hostilities.
4 When that took place, I was in Tuzla, and, as
5 soon as I heard that the outbreak of hostilities had
6 occurred, particularly in relation to the village of
7 Ahmici, then I immediately set up and it took us about
8 one day to arrive in Ahmici, which we did I think at
9 around 5 o'clock in the evening.
10 Q. When you got to Ahmici, what did you see
12 A. We saw the village destroyed. The first
13 obvious example was the minaret of the mosque which was
14 brought down, that was the first thing you could see
15 when you arrived at the village. Then the next thing
16 you saw was the dead animals, because they were lying
17 in the road, and then, as we went up in to the village
18 we saw the bodies of several people -- some of them
19 obviously very young, and some -- well, you could not
20 identify what age or indeed sex they were, but some of
21 them were burned apparently in the doorways of their
22 houses in such a way that they were frozen in
23 attitudes, which, bearing in mind the circumstances,
24 were easy to interpret as horror.
25 Q. When you were there, did you see some spent
1 ammunition cartridges or boxes?
2 A. Yes, I remember one in particular that
3 I think we filmed which had, I would say -- I do not
4 speak any Chinese but I would say had Chinese markings
5 on it. We saw various types of ammunition all over
6 that theatre of course, with lots of different sources
7 -- some apparently from middle eastern countries, some
8 from cyrillic speaking countries, or with cyrillic
9 alphabet and on this occasion from China.
10 Q. You mentioned a meeting with Dario Kordic.
11 Do you know where he was headquartered or centered?
12 A. I do not know precisely, because there was a
13 long winding road and quite a difficult process to
14 reach it. Everybody called it "the eagle's nest". We
15 arranged this visit the first time through Colonel
16 Blaskic, with his help, and it was -- we travelled from
17 Vitez up into the hills, that is the best I can say.
18 Q. And, at a particular meeting with Kordic,
19 when you were, I believe, having dinner, did you
20 discuss with him the question of camps in the area?
21 A. It was mostly because there were a lot of
22 claims by the Croat side that there were foreign
23 troops, Arab troops, helping the Muslims, as they were
24 described, and so I asked Mr. Kordic to prove this. He
25 was able to do this, after some persuasion, and
1 arranged, a little time later, for us to go to a camp
2 where, indeed, some Islamic prisoners were being held.
3 Q. And did he mention the name of the camp?
4 A. If he did, then it is confused in my mind
5 with my later understanding of where it was. You have
6 to again remember that most of this was done through
7 translation, and one of the positive aspects of my time
8 there was that we were able, because we had translators
9 who were not from either of the warring factions, but
10 who spoke the language and were trusted as a result, to
11 build up a reasonable relationship between the
12 translators and those major players that we are
13 referring to, so quite a lot of what I achieved was
14 left up to the translators. They knew what we wanted,
15 they carried out the conversations and made the
16 arrangements and, indeed, made quite good relationships
17 at a personal level with some of those involved in the
19 Q. Now, you say that Dario Kordic had agreed
20 that you could see a camp where these so-called troops
21 or soldiers were. What did you do about that? Can you
22 explain the circumstances?
23 A. We went very soon after, maybe not the next
24 day but certainly very soon after, we went to Kaonik
25 and drove up the track towards the camp, which I did
1 not know at the time was a full military camp -- to me,
2 it was just a place with military-looking buildings up
3 in the hills, or up in the hill above Kaonik, above the
4 junction by the bridge, and we, after some negotiation,
5 were taken through to see a building, which looked at
6 first glance to be a store house, and when I went
7 inside I realised it probably was a purpose-built
8 prison, because it had individual cells.
9 There was some difficulty getting that far,
10 but we had the arrangement made, we had proper
11 permission. My recollection is that a phone call was
12 made to confirm that we were who we said we were.
13 I think you can imagine that those soldiers operating
14 the camp did not want western journalists kicking
15 around the place, but, on the other hand, the political
16 leaders could see the advantage in showing some
17 openness to us, so there was a bit of to-ing and
18 fro-ing, persuading those in the camp that we should be
19 allowed to do what we had come to do.
20 We were allowed to see the inside of just one
21 building, and it was, as you say, a prison camp.
22 Q. Who did you speak to when you arrived there?
23 A. I do not know the names -- we spoke to,
24 I think -- I have in my mind's eye three officers,
25 three soldiers wearing combats, by which I mean
1 camouflage, one of whom was clearly the senior, but I
2 do not remember any of the faces or the names.
3 Q. You say they were wearing camouflage
4 uniforms. Did they have any insignia that you noticed
5 at the time?
6 A. They were all HVO. At least one of them had
7 the white belt, which indicated the military police,
8 but, again, I do not want to pretend that we went
9 around checking insignias. The distinction, because of
10 the nature of the conflict, for us, between military
11 police and military was very fine indeed. In any of
12 these situations you would often see military police
13 insignia being worn by people who clearly had never had
14 a day's training in their life, so from that point of
15 view any uniform would do.
16 Q. Did you make a film of the inside of the
18 A. Yes, we filmed the inside of the cells.
19 There were five or six people in each cell. The film
20 that I have since reviewed had five people in one
21 cell. We did not film in another cell -- I went into
22 one other, but, because from a news point of view it
23 was a repetition, we did not bother to film. I just
24 spoke to some of the people in the second cell. I
25 remember one of those more clearly because he was
1 Turkish because he asked me to contact his family and
2 he gave me his name which I wrote down in a notebook
3 which I still have.
4 In the first cell we saw five people. They
5 had no access to water, which seemed to me, because
6 I have travelled in a number of Islamic countries, to
7 be the first obvious pressure on them. Islamic people,
8 if they are religious, which they said they were, need
9 to wash, if at all possible, for their daily prayers
10 and they were very dirty.
11 Q. Were you able to make any observations about
12 conditions in the prison itself?
13 A. It was -- I mean, it was inhuman. I have
14 seen quite a lot of camps and prisons, as you might
15 imagine. This was not the worst, but it was very bad,
16 because there were no facilities, either for access to
17 fresh air or to water, or indeed any sanitary
18 facilities without the involvement of the guards, and,
19 from what I was told by the prisoners, they were not
20 being well treated.
21 Q. And I do not think we have mentioned the
22 date. Do you remember what date it was --
23 A. I know the date because it is written on the
24 tape. Indeed that is always the most accurate record
25 of these things, because bear in mind that is what I am
1 working towards is the finished television product,
2 then the record keeping is best on the television
3 material. It was 14 May 1993.
4 Q. The tape -- perhaps you might explain to
5 their Honours the tape that we are about to see. The
6 process that you go through that, I think you have a
7 longer running video and then it is made into something
8 suitable for television; is that right?
9 A. That is correct. We film -- I was not
10 operating the camera at the time, there was another
11 camera operator, and he would know that I wanted quite
12 a lot of material, but he would not film continuously,
13 he would film in sections of maybe a minute or more,
14 and then I would take that back to an editing suite and
15 compile it into a report of about a minute and a half,
16 so obviously I would choose from the shots which are
18 Q. When your voice appears or is heard on the
19 tape, that is something that you do at the editing
20 suite is it?
21 A. Yes, I write a commentary and edit later.
22 Q. On the tape we are about to see it is your
23 voice that one can hear; is that correct?
24 A. That is correct.
25 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, I now
1 ask that the videotape be played.
2 Mr. Damon, could you explain to us the tape as
3 it is going through.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you have
5 something to say?
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honour.
7 I should like to ask or be told by my learned friend,
8 what is the purpose of seeing this tape? Does the
9 Prosecutor intend to offer the tape into evidence, or
10 is it for information purposes only?
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, can you
12 respond, please?
13 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. This is a
14 tape that we will be tendering into evidence. It is a
15 tape which was contemporaneous with events -- that is
16 14 May 1993. It is in the period of the indictment.
17 It relates to the camp itself, and, in our submission,
18 on that basis, it is very properly admissible as
19 evidence. This witness was there at the time. There
20 is no feature of hearsay or anything in it that would
21 be objectionable.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence
24 had occasion to see this tape, as it was disclosed to
25 us in advance by the Prosecution, so that the Defence
1 is aware of what it contains. The tape includes
2 statements by certain people, who were found there in
3 these premises.
4 We heard from the witness that the tape was
5 edited, that a commentary was added to it later on,
6 that the voice was added on. Since the Defence was not
7 able to address questions or to participate in the
8 compilation of this evidence, the Defence feels that it
9 cannot be admitted, referring to Rule 89(D) and (E),
10 because the Defence was unable to participate on an
11 equal footing in the presentation of this evidence, and
12 that is why we object to its being admitted into
14 MR. NIEMANN: If I may respond to that --
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may.
16 MR. NIEMANN: This is clearly not a
17 situation where there is any basis whatsoever for
18 objecting to its admission, because the Defence has not
19 had an opportunity to participate in the events at the
20 time. This is a contemporaneous tape, taken at the
21 very time covered by the indictment. On that factor
22 alone it becomes highly probative and it is admissible,
23 because it deals with the subject matter to which this
24 case is entirely concentrating on.
25 If it was made some years later, and the
1 Defence objected to it, there may be some shadow of an
2 objection based on that, but it cannot possibly be
3 objectionable if it is contemporaneous, and that is
4 what it is. The witness has attested to that, your
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you have
7 something more to add -- have you finished?
8 MR. MIKULICIC: I have finished. I just
9 wish to draw attention once again to the fact that the
10 tape is not an integral recording, but it is an edited
11 material. The Defence is not aware of what was left
12 out through the editing process. The Defence might
13 possibly agree with this recording being admitted if at
14 the same time the sound were not to be allowed in, but
15 only the picture.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps I might respond to
17 that, your Honour. There are two versions of the tape
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I am sorry, I was waiting
20 for the interpretation. Mr. Niemann?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, the Defence have
22 been given two versions of the tape. One version, as
23 I understand it, is called "the rushes", which is a
24 technical term used in the industry, which relates to
25 the whole of the taping that takes place -- that has
1 been given to the Defence, as I understand it, unless
2 there has been some breakdown in communication. If
3 that is the case, we would certainly want to correct
4 that. They have been given that, plus the very shorter
6 In our submission, your Honour, it does not
7 matter, because of its contemporaneous nature, because
8 it is made at the relevant time, it does not matter
9 whether it is the short version or the long version --
10 the long version, we have made an assessment that it is
11 not as relevant and in some respects is not relevant at
12 all, and so we have decided not to play that to your
13 Honours. We could do so if the Defence want that to
14 happen, but we do not believe that it would assist
15 you. It is available to the Defence if they see merit
16 in all of that being played -- they are welcome to do
17 so, they have the tape, they can play it in either
18 their own case or in cross-examination if they wish to
19 do so, but, as I say, your Honour, even if those rushes
20 were not available, that is, the longer version was not
21 available, there would still not be, in my respectful
22 submission, any justifiable basis to this objection,
23 because it is contemporaneous with the events in the
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Just a moment, please.
1 I am going to consult with my colleagues. (Pause).
2 The Chamber is going to admit this exhibit,
3 this document, in accordance with Article 89(C),
4 because the document was prepared by the witness and
5 the Prosecution did not interfere at all in the process
6 of preparation. We are therefore going to admit the
7 evidence, and the Defence will be able to contest it
8 during the cross-examination, because this document is
9 part of the testimony of this witness. So, you may
10 continue, Mr. Niemann.
11 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours, please. If
12 your Honours just bear with me one moment, I think
13 there has been a confusion on the tapes.
15 I understand the matter is now in hand. It
16 will be ready in a couple of seconds, your Honour.
18 MR. NIEMANN: While we are waiting, I might
19 direct a couple of questions at the witness until the
20 tape is sorted out.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, you may.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Mr. Damon, did you interview
23 any of the camp personnel at the time?
24 A. Not on tape, no. We spoke to them briefly,
25 and one of them, as I think you will see, was willing
1 to close the door with his -- not with his face showing
2 to the camera, but he was there at all times, except
3 that we were able to persuade him to leave us with the
4 prisoners, with the Islamic prisoners for a time.
5 I think he was outside the door but at least it enabled
6 us to talk to them without direct interference.
7 MR. NIEMANN: I believe we might be ready now,
8 so, if we are, would you just look at the tape and
9 perhaps you might -- where this is no commentary, if
10 there are locations relevant, you might mention them as
11 we see them go through the tape. Could the tape now be
13 (Videotape played)
14 THE INTERPRETER: We do not have a text.
15 (Videotape stopped)
16 MR. NIEMANN: I think there is another
17 segment which follows on slightly after that?
18 A. This was the edited version.
19 Q. That is the totality of it. We saw there a
20 very short view of the inside of the prison; is that
22 A. Yes, that is right. As I say, we were able
23 to go into two cells, but we only filmed in one. We
24 were not allowed to film outside. That is not unusual,
25 obviously, it was a military position, and we were not
1 allowed, although we did ask to do an on-camera
2 interview with somebody from the Croat guards, but
3 they were not willing to give that.
4 Q. And were the prisoners open with you, do you
5 feel, when you spoke to them?
6 A. Yes, as I say we managed to persuade the
7 guard to stand outside. I think that relaxed the
8 prisoners a bit. Also these were quite educated
9 people, and they were determined to have their say.
10 I think they understood that we were who we said we
11 were. I explained to them that I had been to various
12 Islamic countries, so I understood something of their
13 culture. I tried -- it is always the case -- I try to
14 establish some sort of rapport with whoever I am
15 talking to, whatever their background.
16 Q. And the interview that you had with those
17 people that we saw, that interview was on the rushes,
18 as you said -- on another tape?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, there is a much longer version of
22 that. You can hear in that longer version that we had
23 quite a lot of detail about how they were kept and,
24 also, the one who was the main speaker in this edited
25 version told me that he had been beaten.
1 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that tape. Might it
2 be given the next number in order.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 75.
4 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,
5 your Honour.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you may now
7 cross-examine the witness.
8 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
9 Q. Mr. Damon, I am Defence counsel representing
10 in this trial the accused, and I shall now address a
11 few questions to you, and please be kind enough to
12 answer them to the best of your recollection.
13 Mr. Damon, could you tell us, please, who did you ask
14 for permission on this occasion to visit Kaonik and to
15 make your recordings there?
16 A. The visit was arranged with Mr. Dario Kordic
17 at an earlier dinner -- either the previous evening or
18 one evening before that, so the 12th or the 13th.
19 Q. I see. Mr. Damon, during your period in
20 Central Bosnia, did you have occasion earlier on to
21 meet or to see at any one of the meetings you went to
22 the person named Zlatko Aleksovski?
23 A. I do not remember meeting the defendant.
24 I know his face, but I cannot distinguish that
25 knowledge from seeing him on the television.
1 Q. Mr. Damon, who was with you in the team when
2 you went to make your photographs in Kaonik?
3 A. There was a translator, a Hungarian from
4 Vojvodina, whose name I would rather not give, he asked
5 me to protect his identity, and there was a cameraman
6 from Zagreb, who holds a Croat passport.
7 Q. When filming this material, did you record
8 simultaneously the questions and the answers, or did
9 you add on your questions later?
10 A. The full version contains my questions as
11 recorded at the time, and the answers. What you have
12 seen is a version in fact with none of my questions --
13 only with my commentary and the answers, but I know
14 that there is in existence the full version.
15 Q. Mr. Damon, at the time you moved around quite
16 a bit across Bosnia and we, here, are interested in
17 Central Bosnia. You had contact, I assume, both with
18 military people and with civilians; is that correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Is it also correct that you had contact with
21 local civilians, with the civilian population?
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 Q. Can you remember, can you describe the
24 conditions that prevailed at the time -- I am talking
25 about the first half of 1993 -- in Central Bosnia in
1 the Lasva Valley. When I am thinking of the
2 conditions, I imply supplies of food, electricity,
3 fuel, clothing, footwear and that sort of thing?
4 A. The conditions were better than in other
5 parts of Bosnia. There was some cooperation across
6 checkpoints -- although there were by that time
7 distinct, let us say Bosnian and Croat, or Bosnian
8 Croat and Bosnian Muslim areas, which meant that the
9 road from the coast, from where the supplies came, was
10 certainly full of obstacles, but those obstacles did
11 not appear to hold up the flow of food into the area.
12 Q. Tell us, please, is it true to say that it
13 was customary to see civilians in that area wearing
14 parts of military uniform, like trousers or blouses --
15 did you see examples of that during your travels in
17 A. There was no doubt, when somebody was part of
18 a troop or a military formation, yes, you are quite
19 right -- you can see it in London, too -- people wear
20 so-called camouflage either for fashion or because they
21 have nothing better and, indeed, at a time of conflict,
22 people tend to wear that kind of uniform, but there was
23 never any doubt when somebody was acting as part of a
24 military formation, or as a guard on a checkpoint.
25 Q. Mr. Damon, you said that you went to
1 Tomislavgrad and that you saw many troops there. Could
2 you tell us, what is the road like from Tomislavgrad to
3 Central Bosnia, how long the trip takes and what kind
4 of a road it is?
5 A. At that time, it was largely a dirt road
6 through forest. After the arrival of the British
7 troops, it began to improve, but in that period from,
8 let us say, May 1992 until the following spring, it was
9 a very difficult road to pass.
10 Q. You said that Tomislavgrad, which is very
11 close to the Croat Bosnia border and that you saw
12 there some soldiers with some HV insignias, that is,
13 the Croat army?
14 A. I did not say that. I said I saw a truck.
15 Q. I am sorry, that is how I understood you when
16 you said that you saw soldiers from Croatia, so please
17 correct me if I am wrong?
18 A. Yes, I wanted to make it clear -- what I saw
19 was a truck with HV plates and it had troops in it.
20 I did not see the insignia on the troops. I want to
21 emphasise at the time it seemed to us unimportant, the
22 distinction, because, for example, one of the later
23 commanders of the HVO, Ante Roso, was a former senior
24 officer from the HV, and so that confirmed our
25 acceptance of the situation, which was that HVO troops,
1 brother and sister Croats inside Bosnia, were
2 getting assistance, quite naturally, from Croatia.
3 Whether there were troops crossing or not, I do not
4 offer any evidence, except this one indication, which,
5 to us -- I remember that we noticed it, because it was
6 particularly a Croat army vehicle as opposed to an
7 HVO vehicle.
8 Q. I see. Could you tell us, Mr. Damon, whether,
9 in the area of Busovaca of Central Bosnia, you ever saw
10 any such examples?
11 A. No, I never saw anything like that, that
12 I remember.
13 Q. Let us go back to your visit to Kaonik. How
14 much time did you spend there?
15 A. In total, I should say 40 minutes.
16 Q. You told us that you spoke to these foreign
17 nationals, Arabs, and that you interviewed them -- you
18 asked them certain questions?
19 A. (Witness nods head).
20 Q. Yes?
21 A. (Witness nods head).
22 Q. We heard from you that one of them, who spoke
23 on behalf of the group, said that they had been beaten;
24 is that correct?
25 A. That is correct. I should make clear that
1 they were not all Arabs. One was from Pakistan,
2 another one was from Turkey.
3 Q. Did you notice on those individuals any
4 marks, any injuries?
5 A. No, I saw none, except dirt -- they were very
7 Q. Did you ask them who had beaten them?
8 A. I did not ask, because it was a
9 collective "they", and it was accepted that we were
10 talking about the guards.
11 Q. Is that your assumption, or is that your
12 positive knowledge?
13 A. No, you are right, it is an assumption.
14 Q. You said that those persons were dirty and
15 that you gained the impression that they had no
16 possibility to use water?
17 A. (Witness nods head).
18 Q. Did you ask them anything about that?
19 A. I did. I asked them how they could pray,
20 because I know that Islamic people need to wash, and
21 they demonstrated that their religion allows them to
22 wipe their hands on the wall in order to go through a
23 ritual form of washing, if they are in that situation.
24 Q. I see you have some knowledge about Islamic
25 culture. Are you aware that, during the religious
1 rites, the faithful may also use water from a bottle,
2 if they have no other source of water?
3 A. Yes, indeed, I am aware, and that is why
4 I asked them how they did it and they demonstrated that
5 they did not have access to any water, but they had to
6 use the wall.
7 Q. Mr. Damon, in the room that you went to, did
8 you see a small cupboard with some things on it, to the
9 right of the door?
10 A. No, the room was completely bare.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: I should like to ask the
12 assistance of the usher so that we may show the witness
13 some photographs that have been admitted into evidence
14 as exhibit number 68. (Handed).
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, could the
16 witness put the photographs under the ELMO?
17 Mr. Usher, could you help the witness,
18 please? Thank you.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you very much, your
20 Honours, for your suggestion. That was my idea,
22 Mr. Damon, do you recognise this object that
23 we see on the photograph, on the screen -- do you
24 remember seeing this?
25 A. I have seen this photograph. I understand it
1 was taken during the visit of an European Community
2 Monitor, but I saw this photograph only recently. This
3 object I did not see in the cell, and I was looking for
4 signs of habitation, if you like. It may have been in
5 one of the cells; it was not in the cells which I went
6 into, and I went into two.
7 Q. I should like to ask the usher to show the
8 witness the second photograph, on which we see five
9 persons. (Handed).
10 Mr. Damon, do you recognise these persons on
11 the photograph? Are they the same people that you
12 visited in the cell?
13 A. Yes, they appear to me to be the same people.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Would you be so kind as to
15 allow us to show the tape once again briefly, if
16 I could ask the technical booth to show us the tape
17 once again, and I thank the usher -- the photographs
18 can be returned to the Registrar.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can I ask the audio visual
20 team to show us the tape once again, thank you.
21 (Videotape played)
22 (Videotape stopped)
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Can we, for a moment, go
24 back for a moment and play the tape at a slower pace so
25 that we can see the object in the right-hand corner?
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. Have you understood
2 what Mr. Mikulicic is asking from you? Could you show
3 us the tape, slow motion, so that we can identify the
4 object, which is at the bottom of the picture, the
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, in the right-hand
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Lower right-hand corner.
9 (Videotape played)
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can you stop for a moment,
11 please -- stop the tape. Is that what you wanted,
12 Mr. Mikulicic?
13 (Videotape stopped)
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Can we have the picture on
15 the screen, please?
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: This is the picture you
17 wanted? Can you stop the tape here, please?
18 MR. MIKULICIC: Mr. Damon, I draw your
19 attention to the right part of the picture -- it is not
20 clear, because it is dark. When you look at it, could
21 you now identify the object there?
22 A. Yes, I see there is a cupboard, but it is not
23 the one in the photograph that you showed me.
24 Q. How can you tell?
25 A. Because what you showed me was a kind of
1 stove and this is much taller, and empty.
2 Q. Mr. Damon, what I showed you was not a stove;
3 it is an old military cupboard, which used to be used
4 by the former JNA, which was housed in those premises,
5 so, to avoid any misunderstanding, I am not showing you
6 a photograph of a stove?
7 A. Okay, I accept what you are telling me.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: I thank the video department.
9 We can now remove the tape from the screen.
10 Mr. Damon, when commenting on this videotape,
11 you said, and I think I can quote you, "it appears that
12 those people had no occasion to exercise"; is that what
13 you said?
14 A. That is what I said.
15 Q. Could you explain to us, on the basis of what
16 did you make such a commentary and is this a fact
17 established without any doubt, or is it, again, an
19 A. No, this is not an assumption; this is an
20 interpretation -- how can I put it -- this is my way of
21 saying what the prisoners told me, but not reporting it
22 as fact. As journalists we use words like "apparently"
23 and "allegedly" in order to demonstrate that we do not
24 accept what is being told us, but that was something
25 that was told me by the prisoners. I specifically
1 asked them, "Can you exercise?", and they said no.
2 I did not report that as being a statement of fact;
3 I reported it as being "apparent".
4 Q. Yes, but you used the word "apparently",
5 which logically points to an assumption; is that
7 A. No, it points to a qualification of a
8 reported fact.
9 Q. So that is your explanation for the use of
10 those words?
11 A. What other explanation could there be?
12 I understand that you are trying to ameliorate the
13 conditions which I saw. I am merely reporting the
14 conditions that I saw. They cannot be ameliorated by
15 playing with language.
16 Q. Mr. Damon, perhaps we did not understand one
17 another well. My intention is not to ameliorate any
18 conditions; my intention is to present to the Trial
19 Chamber the facts rather than any conclusions or
20 assumptions. That is my intention.
21 Mr. Damon, were you in a position to bring any
22 things to those people, or to leave them some things
23 that you had with you?
24 A. No, that was not part of the arrangement.
25 Q. Mr. Damon, do you recall whether any one of
1 these persons that you filmed was smoking cigarettes?
2 A. Yes, the cigarette was given by one of the
4 Q. Mr. Damon, could you tell the Trial Chamber
5 what was the significance of a cigarette at that time
6 in that place, in view of the conditions under which
7 they were obtained at the time?
8 A. The significance is that the guards
9 understood that the prisoners were being filmed by a
10 western film crew. It happened on other occasions.
11 Q. I am not quite sure that you understood my
12 question well. Were you aware of how expensive
13 cigarettes were at the time in Central Bosnia and could
14 one purchase them on the market as one does in London,
15 in The Hague or anywhere else, or in Zagreb?
16 A. I am sure the guards were able to purchase
17 cigarettes. I did not know a soldier who went short of
18 cigarettes throughout the conflict.
19 Q. Do you know what the situation was with
20 regard to civilians living in that area?
21 A. Cigarettes were expensive, but available.
22 Q. Can you recall how expensive they were --
23 I mean, what was the price of the cigarettes, if you
24 can recall?
25 A. No, I do not smoke, sorry. But cigarettes
1 were the currency and they were expensive, that is
2 true. But the cigarette was given by the guard.
3 Q. Mr. Damon, after you left Kaonik, did you
4 learn anything about the future fate of the people whom
5 you filmed on your tape, what happened to them in other
7 A. Yes, a couple of days later they were
8 exchanged, or at least I assume they were exchanged.
9 We were taken to what was meant to be an exchange or a
10 handover of those prisoners in the centre of Zenica.
11 They were being handed over to the Bosnian Government
12 authorities, with the intervention of an Islamic group
13 or charity.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. The Defence has
15 no further questions for this witness.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, do you have
17 further questions?
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, I do wish to re-examine.
19 I notice the time. Perhaps if your Honours wish to
20 take the break now, we can do that after the break.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, thank you,
22 Mr. Niemann. We are going to have a 20-minute break.
23 After that, we will continue with the testimony of
24 Mr. Damon.
1 (A short break)
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you have
4 something to say?
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, your Honours. I would
6 like to offer the photograph which was made from the
7 videotape admitted into evidence. I think it may be
8 the number 3 Defence exhibit.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, we accept it. You
10 have no objection, Mr. Niemann?
11 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, Mr. Niemann,
13 you may continue
14 Re-examined by MR. NIEMANN
15 Q. This is one of the matters I wish to go to.
16 In the course of the cross-examination just a moment
17 ago by Mr. Mikulicic, Mr. Damon, you were asked a number
18 of questions about observations you made concerning
19 whether or not the men appeared to be beaten. You were
20 asked questions about their sanitary appearance and so
21 forth. I think you were asked questions about the
22 contents of the interview itself. You just heard there
23 was admitted by the Defence an extract of the video
24 that was P75. I would ask you to look at this
25 photograph now, and -- it is in fact clearer -- tell us
1 what it is that you see in the right-hand side of the
2 photograph. (Handed). You should use the exhibit --
3 that is my copy, I do apologise. Perhaps my copy can
4 be given back to me. (Handed).
5 A. Yes, I can see what appears to be a cupboard
6 with a cup.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Damon, could you please
8 -- Mr. Usher also -- put the photograph under the
9 ELMO. I think that is better for all of us, so that we
10 can all see it?
11 A. I can see a cupboard with what appears to be
12 a cup on top of it.
13 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you.
14 I would ask your Honours now to play the
15 rushes that we did not wish to tender, but seeing as
16 they have now been cross-examined on, I believe that
17 that is now opened the matters up, and in order to
18 resolve any matters of confusion, I seek to play those
19 rushes. It is only a couple of minutes.
20 Mr. Damon, would you look, please, at the
21 television screen, and at the tape that is now to be
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence
24 has an objection to this method of presentation of
25 evidence by the Prosecution, because, according to the
1 Rules of Procedure, the Prosecution, during the
2 re-examination, after the cross-examination, can only
3 refer to those topics that were raised during the
4 cross-examination by the Defence, rather than expanding
5 the issue. That is why the Defence objects to the
6 continued questioning by the Prosecution in the sense
7 of seeing additional video tapes.
8 MR. NIEMANN: One of the golden rules of
9 cross-examination is that if the Prosecution, in their
10 evidence-in-chief, do not present evidence, then if the
11 Defence in cross-examination go into the very issue
12 that is not tendered by the Prosecution, they do so at
13 their peril. They do so at the peril of the
14 Prosecution then leading that evidence. It is a very
15 dangerous course for the Defence to do, but once they
16 do it, this is the consequences of them so doing.
17 Mr. Mikulicic has clearly gone into this
18 second tape. He has done so for whatever reason he
19 thought was appropriate at the time, but now my
20 opportunity arises to not only play that tape so that
21 your Honours can see the tape itself as first evidence,
22 but I will be seeking to tender it.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, is that the
24 same tape that we saw during your examination-in-chief
25 and during the cross-examination -- is that it?
1 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour, it is not.
2 It is the other tape that I had mentioned and I said
3 that Mr. Mikulicic had a copy of, but I said that we had
4 refrained from tendering it, because we thought it went
5 broader than was necessary, and for our own reasons did
6 not seek to tender it.
7 When confronted with a situation like that,
8 the Defence have a number of options. If they want to
9 run the risk of the tape being admitted into evidence,
10 they can then start questioning on it. Alternatively,
11 if they want to avoid that, they must very carefully
12 frame their questions so that they do not open up this
13 area. Once it is opened up in cross-examination, then
14 the whole purpose of re-examination is to clarify any
15 of the matters that have arisen in cross-examination.
16 That is clearly what they have done -- they have
17 stepped into this area where they should have otherwise
18 avoided going if they did not want it produced into
20 Because they have gone into it now, in my
21 respectful submission, the Prosecution should be
22 entitled, subject to your Honours' ruling, to play that
23 tape, to deal with these issues and clarify these
24 issues, and then, indeed, to go the next step and
25 tender it, your Honours.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: (Pause). The Trial Chamber
2 will not admit the showing of the tape if it was
3 referred to in connection with the conditions shown on
4 the tape that we saw. The Defence touched upon it but
5 only regarding the method of viewing the tape.
6 Therefore, the Trial Chamber will not admit the other
8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. I have no
9 further questions.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Niemann.
11 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. Damon, you mentioned that
12 when you were in part of this Kaonik area, you came
13 across individuals who wore camouflage uniforms, either
14 fully, or partly. I was not clear in my mind whether,
15 in your statement, you referred only to people who were
16 members of the paramilitary forces. What I want to ask
17 you is whether you also found civilian individuals
18 dressing in the way you mentioned, as you referred to
19 fashionable people doing so even in London?
20 A. I meant to say that there was no doubt, when
21 you met somebody who was part of a military formation,
22 or who was involved at an official level in the
23 conflict -- yes, of course, because many of the
24 soldiers would be living at home, you might see them at
25 another time wearing the trousers, for example, from a
1 camouflage uniform, but the military formations in the
2 area were properly organised, and it was not a rag-tag
3 army in that sense.
4 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you. My second
5 question relates to --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
7 JUDGE VOHRAH: My second question is meant
8 to be addressed either to Defence counsel or to the
9 accused. I see he has sustained an injury in his right
10 eye. How did it come about?
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, thank you for
12 asking this question, because the Defence was going to
13 explain at the end of the sitting today that this
14 injury is a consequence of an accident during exercise
15 which he sustained in the detention unit. This is not
16 a consequence of any physical attack or any physical
17 conflict in which my client engaged -- this is
18 accidental injury. I can also state that it has been
19 taken care of, and there is no further need for any
20 medical assistance at this stage.
21 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you for your
23 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Mr. Damon, I would like to
24 know if you saw an object hanging on the wall of the
1 A. Yes, it appears to be a towel.
2 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Thank you.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Damon, I also have a
4 few points that I would like to put to you. If I
5 understood well, you said that previously the
6 facilities that you were going to visit appeared to you
7 like a military camp. Afterwards, you realised that it
8 was a prison; is that correct?
9 A. The facility as a whole appeared to be a
10 military camp; the building that we were taken to --
11 and we were only taken to one -- appeared at first to
12 be a storehouse as part of a military installation. It
13 was not until I got inside that I realised that there
14 were individual cells and therefore it probably was
15 purpose-built as a prison.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. You also said,
17 I think, if I understood well, that you visited
18 different camps?
19 A. (Witness nods head).
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: And to which party engaged
23 in the conflict did those camps belong?
24 A. I saw a camp controlled by the Bosnian army,
25 the Bosnian Government army, in a place called Tarcin
1 and I saw a camp also -- well, not a camp but a prison
2 facility, temporary prison facility controlled by the
3 Bosnian army on the east bank in Mostar, and I saw a
4 camp controlled by the Croat forces in Bosnia in a
5 place called Dretelj near Mostar.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: If I understood you well,
7 you also said that the Kaonik camp was not the worst,
8 so if we put it in the affirmative, then one could say
9 that the Kaonik camp was one of the better ones. Why
10 did you say that the Kaonik camp was not the worst?
11 A. The worst I saw, because it had so many more
12 people in it and their condition was much worse, was in
13 Dretelj, which was the -- the people were obviously
14 starving and I was taken by some of the prisoners to a
15 -- I think it was an ammunition bunker that they had
16 been kept in, and they showed me some very bad
17 conditions there.
18 These prisoners were not -- did not have the
19 hollow cheeks of the starving. It was their closed
20 confinement, and their insanitary situation which
21 struck me. What you cannot see on the tape is the
22 smell, of course, and it was very unhygienic. So you
23 are quite right, that, in terms of them not being
24 obviously starving, it was one of the better.
25 The prisoners kept in the camp in Tarcin,
1 which was controlled by the Bosnian army, were also
2 hungrier by their appearance than these Islamic
3 prisoners, that is correct.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: During your testimony, you
5 used, often, words such as "guard", "soldier" and you
6 also said that, at the Kaonik camp, a guard had given
7 the cigarette, but you said at the beginning of your
8 testimony that there were soldiers, but, nevertheless,
9 you did state, I think, that it was possible to make a
10 clear distinction between guards and civilians, so I am
11 asking you two things: there were guards and soldiers;
12 was it possible to make a clear distinction
13 between "guard" and "soldier", as you did
14 between "guard" and "civilian"? I should like to hear
15 your view on that.
16 A. No, I used the word interchangeably, because
17 they were wearing military uniform. I called
18 them "guard" because they were operating the prison,
19 but they were dressed as soldiers.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Then I have no further
21 questions. I think that the Trial Chamber can thank
22 you now for coming to the International Criminal
23 Tribunal, and we wish you a happy journey home.
24 A. Thank you.
25 (The witness withdrew)
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The next witness,
2 Mr. Niemann, is?
3 MR. NIEMANN: The next witness is witness
4 number 1 in paragraph 2 of our submission in relation
5 to witnesses filed on 20 March 1998. This witness has
6 asked me to make an application for certain measures in
7 relation to the testimony that he will give. He seeks
8 to have the image of his face distorted and to be
9 referred to by use of a pseudonym. We are up to the
10 letter K, pseudonym K at the moment, your Honours.
11 We have advised Mr. Mikulicic of this matter.
12 We have no indication that he is opposed to this
13 application at all, but before I could go into any
14 further detail, it would be necessary to go into
15 private session, unless your Honours are disposed to
16 make the order on the basis of the consent of the
17 Defence. If your Honours are so disposed the blinds
18 could be brought down and the witness brought in.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, do you have
20 anything to add?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no
22 objections to the protective measures as requested by
23 the Prosecution for this witness.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
25 In that case, the measures requested are granted, and
1 we will now go into private session, and I ask the
2 technicians to take the necessary steps for the
3 distortion of the face of the witness, please.
4 (In private session)
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16 (In open session)
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can we continue now?
18 Mr. Niemann, I apologise.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Witness, the map that is now
20 displayed there, it has certain markings on it.
21 Firstly, before you tell us that, what is the map a map
23 A. The map that you see before you represents
24 the units of the Corps III in the period between
25 December 1992 and January 1993 and portions of the
1 units of the II and the Corps I. The units of the
2 Corps III at that time numbered about 34,000; 10,800
3 small arms, pieces of small arms, and 80 per cent of
4 the materiel were involved on the front-lines against
5 the Serb and Montenegrin forces; that is Zavidovici,
6 Zepce, Zenica, Travnik, Novi Travnik, Bugojno and
7 Gornji Vakuf. This sector here (indicates) is the
8 sector of Tesanj and Maglaj. At this time the units of
9 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were part of the Corps II --
10 part of the Corps III was also involved with those
11 units, and the units that you see over here belonged at
12 this time to the Corps I, and temporarily they were
13 also part of the Corps III, because of the
14 communication lines that existed between the I and the
15 Corps III and we knew that Sarajevo was at that time
16 under a blockade, and, occasionally, some larger forces
17 were engaged in this area. There were three brigades
18 involved in the attempt to deblock Sarajevo.
19 (Indicating on map).
20 Q. Just stopping there for a moment, the I, II
21 and Corps III that you have referred to, is the I and
22 II and Corps III of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is
23 that right?
24 A. I am talking about the Corps of the army of
1 Q. And the locations that are marked on that map
2 and the various Corps -- I, II and III -- that you
3 referred to is relevant for the period December 1992?
4 A. Yes. I omitted that the blue colour
5 indicates the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the red lines
6 are the units of the army of the Serb and
7 Montenegrin aggressor and the orange, the HVO units,
8 which, for the most part, were in the settled areas and
9 along the main communication lines. Some minor HVO
10 units were also present in the front-lines against the
11 Serb and Montenegrin aggressor, and they were,
12 together with the units of the army of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where I point -- this is in the
14 Travnik/Bugojno municipalities, and to the west of
15 Zepce, about 2 kilometres west, but those positions
16 were not marked on this map.
17 Q. In order that we might get a better
18 orientation on this map, can you point either to
19 Sarajevo, or the general direction of Sarajevo?
20 A. Sarajevo. (Indicates).
21 Q. So Sarajevo is down in the bottom right-hand
22 corner of the map. Can you point to or the direction
23 of Banja Luka?
24 A. Banja Luka is to the north-west here.
25 (Indicates). Actually, it is right there.
1 (Indicates). It can be seen on the map.
2 Q. It is on the top left-hand corner. Can you
3 point to the city of Vitez?
4 A. Here it is. (Indicates).
5 Q. That is approximately the centre of the map?
6 A. No, no, this was a mistake -- here it is.
7 (Indicates). I could not see it properly the first
8 time around.
9 Q. Can you point to the city of Busovaca?
10 A. Busovaca is here. (Indicates).
11 Q. Slightly below Vitez. And the city of
12 Zenica, can you point to that?
13 A. Zenica is here. (Indicates).
14 Q. Now, this map does not show in 1992 the
15 existence of any front -- military front -- between the
16 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO; is that right?
17 A. That is correct. It only shows the front-line
18 at the time of 10 January 1993 until 25 January 1993 in
19 the area of Gornji Vakuf. After that time this
20 front-line was eliminated. In fact, a truce was reached
21 and the trenches were filled in, and the forces were
23 Q. During the course of 1992, and even up to the
24 time that that map is depicted, what role did the HVO
25 play in the conflict, particularly with respect to the
1 conflict between the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
2 Serb/Montenegrin forces?
3 A. In the beginning the units of the Croat
4 Defence Council and the Croat population, which was
5 also threatened by the Serb and Montenegrin
6 aggressor, we decided to jointly resist the
7 Serb/Montenegrin aggressor.
8 Q. Now, was this done by the HVO dividing up the
9 specific parts of the front with the army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or did they work in cooperation
11 with each other, or was it a little bit of both?
12 A. For the most part, we held portions of the
13 front-lines in a combined way, depending on what was
14 rational. Where the population was Croat, it was
15 held by the HVO units, and where the Bosnian population
16 prevailed, it was manned by the BiH army and later it
17 was by agreement -- even though the HVO units were
18 better equipped, they had a third of the personnel in
19 their units, but they had much better equipment and
20 better weapons.
21 Q. Now, in the early part of 1993, did this
22 arrangement of holding the front with the HVO -- did
23 this arrangement come apart?
24 A. Yes, it came apart. In fact, in certain
25 parts of the front, the units of the Serb and
1 Montenegrin aggressor and the HVO units starting openly
2 cooperating and there were some attacks against the
3 populated areas and at that time mostly the members of
4 the Bosnian army units were either killed, arrested, or
5 driven out and this was especially the case in the area
6 of Zepce in early 1993.
7 Q. How did the HVO conduct the war against the
8 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993 -- how did they go
9 about this?
10 A. The BiH army units at the end of 1992 and
11 early 1993 were organised by three offensives in order
12 to effect a deblockade of Sarajevo and this was from
13 the direction of Zenica in the direction of Sarajevo.
14 During this period of time, while the BiH army units
15 were engaged there, the HVO authorities tried to take
16 over control in certain towns of Central Bosnia, so the
17 Bosniak population and units were attacked in Vitez,
18 Novi Travnik, Travnik, Busovaca and Gornji Vakuf, with
19 the goal of taking over the local authorities, the
20 municipality, the police, and establishing the
21 authority of the Croat Defence Council there.
22 Q. Did this happen at any particular time or
23 according to any pattern, these attacks that took
24 place, that you were able to observe when you were
1 A. This was happening to us and I gave you an
2 example on 28 December 1992 -- this was at a moment
3 when it was an attempt to deblockade Sarajevo, that was
4 the most organised, and at that time the HVO attacked
5 right at that same time in this area of Central Bosnia
6 which I just mentioned.
7 Q. So, in other words, did you gain the
8 impression that, when the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 was at its most committed in relation to a particular
10 plan of attack, that it was at that time that HVO
11 attacks took place -- would that be a fair assessment
12 of what you said?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I think you have prepared another map, have
15 you, of the central area of Central Bosnia, in
16 particular the area of Vitez, Busovaca and Zenica; is
17 that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And again it was prepared on a similar basis
20 to the map that you have now displayed; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I think you would seek to take back the
23 original of those maps with you, but you have no
24 difficulty with them being fully copied and copies
25 being kept here and copies made available for the
1 Defence; is that right?
2 A. Yes, I agree to that.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I now tender this
4 map. If it may be tendered on that arrangement so that
5 it can be uplifted and the original sent back to
6 Sarajevo. We have put that in train. I seek to tender
7 that map as the next exhibit in order.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 77.
9 MR. NIEMANN: Witness, would you just tell
10 us what that is a map of, please?
11 A. This is a map -- this is for the deployment
12 of forces for the operative area of Lasva in April
14 Q. And it is a more detailed map of the Lasva
15 Valley area than the one we have just previously seen,
16 Exhibit 77?
17 A. Yes. This is the deployment of forces of the
18 HVO units and the BiH army units.
19 Q. All the markings that appear on that map were
20 placed on there by you?
21 A. Yes.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be
23 advised to speak into the microphone?
24 MR. NIEMANN: The interpreters are having
25 difficulty hearing you. I know it is a bit awkward,
1 but could you lean forward and speak more into the
2 microphone, because they cannot hear your voice. Thank
4 Now what I would like to do, witness, is to
5 have that part of the map that relates to the Busovaca
6 Vitez area displayed on the ELMO machine and I would
7 ask you some more detailed questions about that
8 specific area, if I may. Again, witness, when you
9 point to the map, please point to it on the ELMO
10 machine and not on the television screen in front of
11 you. In addition to that, would you please sit
12 yourself in such a way that you can speak into the
13 microphone and point to the map at the same time. If
14 the ELMO machine could be activated by the technicians,
16 Just take your time. Looking at that map,
17 I wonder if you would firstly point to the River Lasva,
18 where it flows, please, down from Vitez. Just show us
19 the line of the map where that is?
20 A. The Lasva River flows in this direction, and
21 here it flows into Bosnia, which then flows towards the
22 north. This is the Lasva River, and it flows into the
23 Bosna River. (Indicates).
24 Q. Can you point to the city of Zenica, please?
25 A. Zenica is here. (Indicates).
1 Q. The witness is pointing on the screen to the
2 top right-hand side. Can you point to the city of
4 A. (Indicates).
5 Q. And the town or city of Busovaca, if you
6 could point to that, please?
7 A. (Indicates).
8 Q. Immediately north of Busovaca, can you see if
9 you can locate on the Lasva River the place known as
11 A. (Indicates).
12 Q. Now, we have certain markings that you have
13 placed on that map. Firstly, the red or orange
14 coloured markings broken line, which appears to go
15 around Kaonik, can you tell me what the red or orange
16 line represents that you have marked there?
17 A. The red circles indicate the deployment of
18 the HVO forces.
19 Q. What about the broken line that you see
20 there, what does that indicate -- the broken line that
21 runs right across the map?
22 A. This broken line means that they were halted
23 in their attack, in their offensive.
24 Q. Who is "they"?
25 A. The HVO.
1 Q. Is that the HVO lines?
2 A. I think I said units of the HVO.
3 Q. Now, what does the blue broken line
5 A. The blue broken line represents the Defence
6 forces of the army of the Republic of
8 Q. Written in large numbers is the numbers 325
9 and 330 BBR; what does that represent?
10 A. These numbers are the indication of the
11 brigades -- the 325th Mountain Brigade. The 325th
12 Mountain Brigade was formed by the Vitez municipality,
13 consisting of units of the municipal staff of Vitez.
14 Q. And that was part of the army of
16 A. Yes, part of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. And they were composed of, what, a
18 combination of local people as well as soldiers from
19 other parts of Bosnia; is that correct?
20 A. The 325th Brigade was composed exclusively of
21 the local population from the municipality of Vitez.
22 Q. Prior to the conflict with the HVO, were the
23 325th Brigade engaged in the war against the Serb
24 and Montenegrin forces?
25 A. Yes, parts of this brigade, with a part of
1 the high quality armament that this unit had at its
2 disposal, fought in Defence against the
3 Serbo-Montenegrin aggressor on the front-line south-east
4 of Visoko, on the outskirts of the town of Visoko,
5 which belonged to the Corps I of the army of the
6 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. When the soldiers in that brigade were not at
8 the front fighting, in other words, when they were
9 having their rest and recreation leave, did they come
10 back then to this particular area that we now see on
11 our screen, the 325th Brigade?
12 A. Yes, they would return to that area, and,
13 when they were on leave, the soldiers rested at home,
14 but there were permanent commands of the brigade and of
15 the battalion located in this area as indicated, and
16 the staff officers who planned the use of troops or
17 substitution of troops in Visoko or for some other
18 operation were there.
19 Q. At the time this map represents, which is in
20 April 1993, either all or part of the 325th Brigade was
21 engaged in holding the forces of the HVO in the
22 locations that you now have marked on the map there
23 respectively as red and blue; is that right?
24 A. Yes. At that time, or to be more precise, 19
25 April 1993, we needed two or three days to bring the
1 units from the front, the front against the Serb and
2 Montenegrin aggressor, to halt the attacks by the HVO
4 Q. Just one other feature of the map that you
5 have shown there, there is what appears to be a much
6 straighter line with occasional semi-circles on it
7 running across the centre of the map. What does that
8 line represent?
9 A. You mean this line -- dotted line
11 Q. Yes?
12 A. It is the border of the area of
13 responsibility between the 303rd Mountain Brigade and
14 the 325th Mountain Brigade and this full line here
15 (indicates) indicates the western limits of the area of
16 responsibility of the Lasva operational group.
17 Q. Towards the right-hand side of the screen,
18 around what appears to be a little flag that you have
19 drawn in, there is another much larger semi-circle. Do
20 you see there is a number of them there, particularly
21 there is one concentrating on the Lasva River area and
22 then there is one further south, about level with
23 Busovaca. What do they represent?
24 A. As I said, the broken blue line is the
25 Defence positions of the units of the army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and this fine semi-circular line
2 that you mentioned represents the area or region of
3 responsibility of this unit. In this particular case,
4 the Third Battalion of the 333rd Mountain Brigade
5 defending these positions, but it is responsible for
6 the situation in this whole area regarding security,
7 order, discipline, supply, et cetera.
8 Q. During this period, in April or the early
9 part of 1993, were forces on either side, that is the
10 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the forces of the HVO,
11 did they employ trench warfare or dig trenches as part
12 of their military operations that you knew of?
13 A. That is the main principle of units in
14 defence, to build defences and trenches. It is common
15 knowledge that the losses are much smaller if a soldier
16 builds some kind of protection for himself -- some
17 shelter from attack.
18 Q. Did the HVO employ this method of warfare in
19 this specific area, that you knew of?
20 A. Certainly. The HVO units also built trenches
21 and shelters.
22 Q. And were you aware, at this particular time,
23 of the existence of HVO trenches along the front-line
24 that you have shown there on this map?
25 A. We have drawn in the positions that we knew
1 were held by the HVO (indicates). There were other
2 trenches and shelters in other parts.
3 Q. And, when you say "held by the HVO", do you
4 mean in general terms, not specifically, but in general
5 terms held by way of the existence of trenches?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And so, from your knowledge of the area at
8 the relevant time, are you able to say that trenches
9 were dug along the front-line as indicated by the red
10 broken line that appears there?
11 A. Yes. Trenches were dug along these lines as
12 shown in the red and blue broken lines. (Indicates).
13 But let me add that, from April onwards until the end
14 of 1993, at the end of the conflict with units of the
15 HVO, these positions and these trenches may have moved
16 100 metres forward, or backwards, depending upon the
17 combat operations, when either of the opposing sides
18 gained control of an area through combat. But mainly
19 this was how the front looked at the time (indicates)
20 and the trenches that were dug there.
21 Q. And I think you said earlier that both sides
22 used trenches -- the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina used
23 trenches, too, did it not, in this area, at that time?
24 A. The army of the Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina did also dig trenches with the aim
1 of defence and protecting manpower from the fire of the
2 opposing side.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Who dug the trenches --
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, Mr. Niemann.
5 Perhaps it is time for a break. We are going to stop
6 for a while to have a 15-minute break.
8 (A short break)
10 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, Mr. Niemann
11 will be with you shortly.
12 MR. NIEMANN: I am sorry, your Honour, I was
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may proceed,
15 Mr. Niemann.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Witness, just prior to the
17 break, you were telling us about the fact that, on both
18 sides of the front-line that is marked on the map there,
19 that the forces were using trenches as part of their
20 warfare method. In relation to the trenches that were
21 dug by the forces of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
22 who dug those trenches?
23 A. The trenches of the army of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina were dug by units of the army of
1 Q. And by "units", do you mean by the soldiers
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And were you aware of the army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina employing any people other than
6 soldiers to dig trenches during that time in this
8 A. No, I am not aware of it.
9 Q. Did you hear of or become aware of the fact
10 of who was digging the trenches, at least in part, for
11 the HVO at that time and at that place?
12 A. Through reports I learned, that is official
13 reports of the unit commanders from the ground, that,
14 in addition to soldiers belonging to the HVO, their
15 trenches were also dug by prisoners who were under
16 their control, the soldiers that were captured before
17 or during the conflict against the units of the army of
19 Q. Again, during this time and at this place,
20 did you hear of any incidences of citizens or people
21 being used as human shields?
22 A. I also heard of that from the reports. That
23 is, I have no personal knowledge, but reading the
24 reports in the function I held, I learned from them
25 that this did occur.
1 Q. When you say that you had reports that
2 prisoners were involved in digging trenches for the
3 HVO, did you have, or did the reports contain any
4 details of whether these people were prisoners of war,
5 or were they civilians, or both -- or perhaps you do
6 not know?
7 A. We learned from the reports that they were
8 mostly civilians, but also some soldiers belonging to
9 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because, in our
10 trenches, we had men -- soldiers -- whose relatives had
11 such tasks on the part of the HVO. They were related.
12 They would communicate amongst themselves; they would
13 cry out to each other -- they knew each other.
14 Q. And, at the time -- and again in this place
15 -- when you were in 1993 involved in military
16 operations in this Lasva Valley area, did you hear of
17 whether or not the HVO had and were maintaining prison
19 A. Yes, I also learned about them from the
21 Q. And did you learn of the location and places
22 of these camps at all?
23 A. Yes, we knew of the camp in Kaonik. This was
24 one of such camps here. (Indicates).
25 Q. Are there any other details on that map that
1 you have drawn there that you would draw our attention
2 to before I seek to tender it?
3 A. No, except, if the Trial Chamber wishes me to
4 show anything else.
5 MR. NIEMANN: We will come to that later.
6 I tender that map, if your Honours please, and if
7 I may, could it be tendered on a similar basis, whereby
8 it is uplifted and the copies are maintained by the
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Registrar, can we have
11 the number, please?
12 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 78.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.
14 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,
15 your Honour.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you now have
17 a chance to cross-examine this witness, if you please.
18 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC.
19 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
20 Witness K, I am attorney Goran Mikulicic, and
21 in this case I appear as the Defence. I have a few
22 questions for you, so be so kind as to answer them to
23 the best of your recollection.
24 Mr. K, is it correct that you are a
25 professional soldier?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, there may be a
3 couple of questions that might perhaps identify the
4 witness -- not in the sense of mentioning his name, but
5 certain facts relevant to his education. I certainly
6 would not like to violate the protection measures, so
7 perhaps I would suggest we go into private session for
8 a few minutes, if my learned friend agrees, on the
9 Prosecution side.
10 MR. NIEMANN: Certainly, your Honour, it is
11 an excellent suggestion.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we are going
13 to go into a private session in order to protect the
14 identity of the witness.
15 (In private session)
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8 (In open session)
9 MR. MIKULICIC: May I please ask the
10 technicians to help us view the map that is on the
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: Mr. K, in your previous
14 testimony, you pointed to the Lasva River valley. You
15 also showed us the demarcation line and in blue you
16 indicated the BiH army positions, the HVO positions in
18 A. Yes, in fact here in this map it was in red.
20 Q. Very well. It is red -- it was not fully
21 clear to me on this monitor. Mr. K, you are a
22 professional soldier, you have certain experiences that
23 we lay persons do not possess. I am going to ask you
24 several questions that may appear as a lay question to
25 you, but please bear with us. Looking at this map of
1 the Lasva River valley, could you tell the Trial
2 Chamber and all of us something about the topography of
3 this terrain? Which units as they are indicated on the
4 map held the higher ground, and we are looking in
5 relation to the Lasva River, and which units held the
6 lower ground; again, looking in relation to the Lasva
8 A. If you allow me, I need to give you a wider
9 explanation. I already pointed out that these were the
10 positions of units whose advance was stopped
11 (indicates) and then this was all after the ethnic
12 cleansing took place in this area (indicates) and these
13 were all positions taken moving towards the River Bosna
14 and this is now the factual position on the ground
15 (indicates) and the position is such that, after having
16 stopped these advancing units, the units of the BiH
17 army controlled the dominant positions that are
18 dominant in relation to the Lasva River.
19 Q. I understand. Based on your military
20 experience, is it usual that one army attacks the other
21 by going uphill -- do you understand my question?
22 A. Yes, it is usual.
23 Q. In a situation where the manpower is smaller?
24 A. According to the military principles, if you
25 have lesser manpower, you usually defend yourself, and
1 predominantly the attacking force usually is attacking
2 the dominant positions in order to take control of it
3 as a foothold, either for fortification or for further
5 Q. Mr. K, beyond the blue line which has been
6 drawn on both the upper and lower part of the map, what
7 is the population structure in those areas, if you
9 A. At this moment, I cannot give you the exact
10 date -- I would have to refresh my memory, but let us
11 say for orientation purposes, before the war, before
12 the conflict here (indicates), the ratio of Bosniak and
13 Croat population in Busovaca, Vitez, Novi Travnik, was
14 about 50/50, 1:1.
15 Q. Thank you. Mr. K, could you please show us
16 one more time where Kaonik is on this map?
17 A. Kaonik is right here on the map (indicates).
18 I think it is visible.
19 Q. Yes, it is visible, thank you. In your
20 estimate and given the situation that you showed here
21 on the map, how far was the confrontation line from
23 A. The positions of the HVO was about 1.5 to 2
24 kilometres and the positions of the BiH army units were
25 about 2 kilometres -- this is the distance here
2 Q. Do you know whether the situation which you
3 indicated here was a fixed situation during the first
4 six months of 1993, or whether it changed?
5 A. This situation kept -- changed a little bit
6 either to the advantage of the BiH army units or the
7 HVO units, and this only concerned like several hundred
8 metres either way, but, for the most part, the
9 situation remained as it is indicated on the map.
10 Q. Does that mean that there were times when,
11 how shall we put it, the front-line was closer to Kaonik
12 and times when it was further away from Kaonik?
13 A. Yes, there were such times.
14 Q. Mr. K, the place where you are showing, I saw
15 a little flag drawn in and indication "3/333"?
16 A. Yes, the 3/333 means that it is the third
17 battalion of the 333rd Brigade, so it was the third
18 battalion of this particular brigade.
19 Q. Is it true that this is a dominant point in
20 relation to Kaonik, that it is high ground?
21 A. Yes, to the left and right, all these
22 positions are high ground in relation to Kaonik
24 Q. Is there a visual contact between this
25 position and Kaonik, and when I say "Kaonik" I am
1 mostly referring to the military facility that is
2 relevant to this case?
3 A. There is no visual contact, because of the
4 configuration of terrain. I do not know how to explain
5 it in civilian terms. There are many broken lines in
6 the terrain and the vegetation, and this is why it was
7 not visible from the BiH army positions.
8 Q. But there is no vegetation in winter time?
9 A. Yes, but there are trees.
10 Q. Mr. K, do you know a toponym that is a local
11 word called Crna in that area?
12 A. No, it does not mean -- I cannot connect it
13 to anything.
14 Q. Mr. K, is it true that you said that the basic
15 rule of defensive position is to dig trenches?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it true that you said that at a position
18 held by the HVO, trenches were dug?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does this mean that the HVO units were, at
21 that time, on defensive?
22 A. Yes, it means that at the time when they dug
23 trenches that they were in a defensive position. But,
24 in military terms, the trenches can also be a basis for
25 a future attack.
1 Q. Yes, Mr. K, you explained that to us already.
2 Now, can you please tell me whether you know that the
3 men who were not mobilised, who were not in the army,
4 were mobilised in other ways, let us say, in the
5 civilian protection units?
6 A. Yes, I am aware of it -- this is men who are
7 either older in age, or some are disabled -- they are
8 put in the different roles. They can be teachers, they
9 can produce food stocks, or they can be work units
10 within the system for the use of the army.
11 Q. Do you know how these units were mobilised in
12 order to carry out certain tasks in the function of
14 A. Yes, I am familiar with those.
15 Q. Can you describe it to us briefly?
16 A. Let us say a unit commander, who needs some
17 work done for his unit, approaches the department in
18 the Ministry of Defence asking for a certain number of
19 people and describes the tasks that need to be carried
20 out, on the basis of which this body sends out a
21 summons, or sends a courier to call the unit to report
22 at a particular position to carry out this particular
24 Q. I see. So, this is a standard technology, so
25 to speak, and this is something that is done when the
1 circumstances allow for this kind of organisation; but
2 what happens when the circumstances do not allow for
3 this kind of communication, for instance, when the
4 operative bodies of the Ministry are not functional,
5 either because it is not able to contact them because
6 the communication lines have been broken, or, because
7 of the threat of war, this communication does not exist
8 at all -- do you know how this situation works in those
10 A. In the circumstances like that, everything is
11 lost -- nothing can be done. If there is no
12 communication system, if there are no authorities, if
13 there is no courier, it is over.
14 Q. So, the couriers are used when there are no
15 other communication lines available?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. K, do you know that at the time of these
18 events, and we will limit ourselves here to the first
19 half of 1993, that the BiH army used for the function
20 we just described the units of civilian protection?
21 A. Yes, yes, it did use them.
22 Q. Can you tell us for what tasks?
23 A. Production, supply of units, that is
24 logistics, as drivers for transportation -- so,
25 different tasks -- utilities, feeding the population
1 and other problems that needed to be resolved in the
2 territory under control of certain forces.
3 Q. Do you know that these forces were used for
4 grading the terrain?
5 A. Yes, that is also one of the tasks.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours, the
7 Defence has no further questions of this witness.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, do you have
9 any re-examination?
10 Re-examined by MR. NIEMANN
11 MR. NIEMANN: Witness K, do you know of any
12 circumstances when it is permissible for an army to use
13 either prisoners of war or civilian detainees for the
14 purposes of digging trenches in the front-line?
15 A. I am aware of it through the reports, I never
16 saw them personally. But, given the position that
17 I was in, I received reports which let me know that
18 there were such cases where people were taken both to
19 dig trenches and were used as human shields.
20 Q. I think you misunderstood my question, so
21 I may rephrase it again.
22 Do you know of any circumstances in
23 legitimate warfare where it is ever regarded as
24 permissible for an army, in any circumstances, to use
25 prisoners of war or civilian detainees for the purposes
1 of digging trenches on the front-line?
2 A. As far as I know, it is impermissible.
3 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE VOHRAH: This question, Mr. Niemann,
5 is directed to you. You have asked for protective
6 measures against the witness. In the silent session we
7 had, questions were put by Defence counsel to the
8 witness which have elicited several facts which go to
9 his identity.
10 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
11 JUDGE VOHRAH: You are fully aware of the
12 difference between confidentiality and anonymity --
13 these are terms of art.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
15 JUDGE VOHRAH: Are you happy with the facts
16 which have now gone on record with regard to this
17 particular witness?
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, as I understand the
19 position, and I may be wrong on this, when it is
20 private session it is not broadcast publicly. If there
21 are any matters that go on the transcript -- we review
22 the transcript later, and if there are any matters that
23 concern us in terms of identification, we can then
24 apply to your Honours that they not go on to public
25 transcript. We certainly have no objections to your
1 Honours hearing that. We certainly have no objection
2 to the Defence questioning on that. We review the
3 transcript, and, if we are concerned about any matters,
4 then we can come back and apply to your Honours for it
5 to be deleted from the public transcript.
6 JUDGE VOHRAH: As long as you understand
8 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour, yes.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness K, we have no
10 further questions for you. We thank you for having
11 come here, and we wish you a safe journey home. Thank
13 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps the witness might
14 stay. In view of the lateness of the hour, do you wish
15 to start another witness now -- I think by the time we
16 move the witness out, it will be just about 1.30,
17 I would have thought.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think that we should
19 take advantage of the time, but I do not think five
20 minutes is enough to begin with a new witness, so
21 I think we shall stop here, Mr. Niemann.
22 Mr. Usher, can you bring down the blinds. So,
23 we will meet again tomorrow at 9am to continue the
25 (At 1.25pm the hearing adjourned
1 until Tuesday, 24th March 1998, at 9am)