1 Wednesday, 10th December 1997
2 (10.15 am)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar, have the accused
4 brought in, please.
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Before we begin, Mr. Kehoe, and before we bring
7 in Witness R in a few moments, a few moments before this
8 hearing we spoke about changing the schedule somewhat
9 with Mr. Harmon. So that my colleagues will be informed,
10 Mr. Harmon might be able to inform us about how the rest
11 of the week looks. I think things got a little bit
13 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President, good morning
14 counsel. Thank you. Mr. President, we have had some
15 witnesses who have not been able to appear as initially
16 intended. In order to fill the gap we have asked
17 additional witnesses to arrive from Bosnia. They will
18 be arriving this evening, late, and because of the
19 lateness of the hour we will be only presenting one of
20 those witnesses Thursday, and another witness we have is
21 not available until Friday morning, he will be
22 testifying on Friday morning and then we will carry over
23 the witness who is the second Bosnian witness, who will
24 be arriving tomorrow night, we will carry him over until
25 Monday of the following week.
1 So after today's witnesses, we will be presenting
2 Thursday and Friday two witnesses, one on each day.
3 JUDGE JORDA: In order to summarise, we have this morning's
4 witness, and how many witnesses will we have today,
5 Mr. Harmon?
6 MR. HARMON: We have three additional witnesses after this
7 morning's witness, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE JORDA: I am sorry, maybe I did not wake up right.
9 You are saying for today's witnesses, we have the end of
10 Witness R's testimony and then for today?
11 MR. HARMON: We have three additional witnesses,
12 Mr. President.
13 JUDGE JORDA: That is for today?
14 MR. HARMON: For today.
15 JUDGE JORDA: And for tomorrow you have one, is that
17 MR. HARMON: That is correct.
18 JUDGE JORDA: For tomorrow morning.
19 MR. HARMON: In the afternoon.
20 JUDGE JORDA: No, in the afternoon, all right. Therefore
21 today and tomorrow morning, we have three, after
22 Witness R; tomorrow, Thursday in the afternoon, we will
23 have one witness; and Friday morning, one.
24 As you understand, in light of the large amount of
25 work which we are being asked to do, given the Defence
1 motions, we are very busy, just as you are. The judges
2 would like for all of this to be done as quickly as
3 possible, therefore we will begin at 9.00 on Friday, but
4 will not meet in the afternoon, so that if we begin at
5 9.00 and end at 1.00, but we will be finished at the end
6 of Friday morning.
7 For next week, I would like to remind you we will
8 conclude our hearings on Wednesday evening and as much
9 as possible, all the witnesses should be heard, as my
10 colleagues have recalled, so that we can avoid having to
11 break the testimonies and move them into January. You
12 know that the schedule for the Blaskic trial is very,
13 very complicated because other trials must be taken into
14 consideration as well. We are beginning to have a
15 clearer understanding what is going to happen, there
16 were some changes that were made. I would like to be
17 cautious and make final announcements about the schedule
18 only next week.
19 Having settled these issues, I think we can now
20 bring in the witness, unless there are any other
21 comments anybody wishes to make. We can now therefore
22 continue with the examination. No comments from the
23 Defence? Thank you.
24 I would like to remind you that this is an open
25 hearing, I am saying this for the public gallery, but we
1 have drawn the blinds so that the witness can come in,
2 but after he does, we will be in public, unless there
3 are certain points in his testimony which have to be
4 kept private. That is how we continue to work.
5 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, on a separate issue for the next
6 witness, the next witness is Sergeant Ian Parrott, again
7 of the Cheshire Regiment. He will not need the
8 protective measures taken for this witness and other
9 witnesses. However, we will need to set up the easel
10 again as we have done with previous witnesses, so if the
11 court can bear with us for just a couple of minutes
12 while we set this stuff up, after Witness R is finished,
13 I would appreciate it. Thank you.
14 JUDGE JORDA: We always show indulgence. The witness is now
15 coming in.
16 (Witness entered court)
17 JUDGE JORDA: Witness R, do you hear me?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Did you have a good rest?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE JORDA: You feel good?
22 A. Yes, fine, thank you.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Then you will continue to answer
24 the questions that the Prosecutor is going to ask. We
25 can now continue.
1 WITNESS R (continued)
2 Examined by MR. KEHOE (continued)
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. President, good morning Witness R. If
4 I may, with the assistance of Mr. Dubuisson, have Exhibit
5 166 brought out, and the maps, which were 161, 162 and
6 163, if we could bring those back in and I would like to
7 focus at this juncture on the map 163.
8 Witness R, we left off yesterday speaking about
9 the events concerning Exhibit 163 and the various
10 locations in 163 and the location on this map that is
11 marked 24 was where you previously testified that you
12 and other refugees from Donje Veceriska were taken to
13 the UNPROFOR location, is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did this group of individuals in and about the UNPROFOR
16 station, did they include women, children, old people?
17 A. Yes, they were all women, children and elderly.
18 MR. KEHOE: Let me show you a series of photographs, and
19 I believe we are at 166/2, we have talked about 166/1
21 The next three photographs, Mr. President and
22 your Honours, are photographs of what has been known and
23 called the echelon garage, it is the UNPROFOR station,
24 and these were taken by British Cheshire Regiment
25 soldiers. The first photograph, Witness R, is this the
1 group of individuals -- a part of the group of people
2 that were out in front of the echelon starting on
3 18th April 1993?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do they include in that photograph women and children?
6 A. Yes, you can see on the photograph very well that they
7 are all women and children and civilians.
8 Q. Can you point to that, Witness R, point to the women and
10 A. Here you can see the women and children and behind
11 (indicates), below this structure. This was later
12 covered with nylon and that is where the women and
13 children were. We called it the tent.
14 Q. So are the soldiers in the process of erecting that tent
15 as this photograph is taken?
16 A. Yes, they were just erecting it.
17 Q. Let us turn to the next photograph, Witness R, which is
18 just a different --
19 JUDGE JORDA: Let us try and go a little more quickly,
20 Mr. Kehoe, and not get back into old bad habits. We can
21 see that there are women and children here, they can
22 also make the distinction between civilians and military
23 personnel. Let us not waste time with that, please. I
24 am sorry to say this in front of the witness, but he is
25 not going to tell the judges what they see. He can say
1 what he sees, but we can see what we do. Let us try to
2 go more quickly, please. Let us get to the heart of the
3 testimony. He spoke about the tragedy which took place
4 yesterday. Please ask additional questions which are
5 related to the indictment. We can see there are
6 civilians and military personnel. Let us try to speed
7 up, please.
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
9 Just moving through that photograph and the next
10 paragraph 166/3, can you put that on the ELMO, sir?
11 I am sorry, I think it is the next photograph.
12 I apologise, 166/4. Again, a similar angle of the same
13 gathering of individuals, is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let us turn to the next photograph, and I believe that
25 is 166/5. Do you recognise that photograph?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. On that photograph, do you see the position that is
3 burning, 26 on the map, the smoke visible on this
4 particular photograph?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Could you point to it, sir?
7 A. Here it is.
8 Q. How about the area that you have that is burning, point
10 A. Here it is, the thick smoke here.
11 Q. How about point 28?
12 A. Here it is.
13 Q. Point 29?
14 A. This one here (indicates).
15 Q. These other photographs, if we could just go through
16 them in series, Mr. Usher. I believe we are now at
17 166/6, we can go to 166/7, 166/8 and 166/9. All those
18 photographs are various time frames of the houses burning
19 in Donje Veceriska on 18th April 1993, as depicted in
20 26, 27, 28 and 29, is that right?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Witness R, the area that you picked out as 27 that was
23 burning, was that the area of the mektep?
24 A. Yes, it was close to it, but I could not see exactly
25 whether it was the mektaba, but I am sure it was a house
1 on fire, but I cannot be sure whether it was the
3 Q. But it was certainly in the area of the mektep, is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell the judges what a mektep is?
7 A. It is a religious house of the Muslims.
8 Q. Was there any other mosque or a mosque with a minaret,
9 for instance, in Donje Veceriska, or was the mektep the
10 sole Muslim religious gathering place in the village?
11 A. It was the only religious building in the village.
12 Q. Witness R, you said these events took place on
13 18th April. Several days later, you continued to remain
14 in the UNPROFOR station and did you see the HVO troops
15 firing from the SPS factory on to the village of Gacice?
16 A. Yes, everybody could see. The soldiers could see
18 Q. What did you see?
19 A. We could see heavy shelling just near the British
20 battalion, heavy shelling of Gacice.
21 Q. Is the area from which you saw the heavy shelling, is
22 that depicted in the map on Exhibit 163?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What number is that?
25 A. Number 30.
1 Q. Was that shelling taking place from inside the SPS
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You said in your testimony that after you had been in
5 the area of the UNPROFOR station for several days and
6 then you were taken to another location with the
7 assistance of UNPROFOR, is that right?
8 A. Yes, with the assistance of UNPROFOR and the Red Cross,
9 I was transferred to Zenica.
10 Q. Did you have occasion to go back to the village of Donje
11 Veceriska since that time?
12 A. No, I never went back.
13 Q. Did you have occasion to go back and vote on any
14 occasion more recently?
15 A. Yes, I did go for the voting.
16 Q. Are there any Muslims living in Donje Veceriska when you
17 went back there for the voting?
18 A. No, not a single Muslim is living in Donje Veceriska.
19 MR. KEHOE: If I may turn to our last series of exhibits,
20 Mr. President, that is Exhibit 164 and Exhibit 165, and
21 we will move through these quickly.
22 Witness R, you assisted the Office of the
23 Prosecutor in preparing the map that is before you with
24 the houses circled and picking out these houses from the
25 series of photographs that are depicted in Exhibit 165,
1 is that right?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Likewise, you identified those houses in a legend, in a
4 list that is connected to the map, is that right?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. These photographs depict in part the destruction of the
7 Muslim houses in Donje Veceriska, is that right?
8 A. Yes, they were all Muslim houses.
9 Q. Let us go through these relatively quickly,
10 Mr. President, your Honours. The photograph that we have
11 is Exhibit 165/1, which is 371 on the front. Whose
12 house is that?
13 A. It is Dzemo Haskic's old house.
14 Q. Is this the individual that you said was shot and was
15 bleeding on the morning of the 16th, whose daughter
16 asked you to come and help him?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is he living in Donje Veceriska any longer?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Let us turn to the next photograph. On the map it is B,
21 which is 374 in the corner. Whose house is that?
22 A. It is the house of Rahima Haskic.
23 Q. Are they living in Donje Veceriska any longer, that
25 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President?
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo?
2 MR. NOBILO: I have an objection to make. The witness said
3 that not a single Muslim is living in Donje Veceriska
4 any more, so it is just a waste of time if we go from
5 one name to another to establish they are not living in
6 Donje Veceriska.
7 JUDGE JORDA: I was hesitating to make that remark since the
8 witness is here, I would like him to express -- I would
9 like the witness to be able to express himself as he
10 wants. Could we not move things along quickly? Could
11 he not just take them, he saw them, maybe he could make
12 a quick comment about all the photographs and then
13 tender them into evidence.
14 This is the presiding judge speaking to you. You
15 have all these photos, you have already seen them, is
16 that right?
17 A. Yes, I have.
18 Q. What are these photos, the photos that he showed you?
19 A. These photographs show that more or less all Muslim
20 houses were burned down.
21 Q. Do you have any comments you would like to make? Go
22 ahead, speak spontaneously. Say that you saw all of
23 these photographs, they are all in the record of the
24 Tribunal, do not be worried, they have been tendered
25 into evidence. General Blaskic's attorneys are not
1 contesting them. Do you have anything to say about all
2 of these photographs? Take your time if you need to,
3 and then we will take them in as evidence. Please
4 express yourself.
5 A. From these photographs, we can see that the houses were
6 burnt down, many of them were blown up. I do not know
7 what else I would add, except that they were Muslim
8 houses and it is evident from the photographs that the
9 Croatian houses remained intact.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness R.
11 I now turn to the Defence, is there any objection
12 to having these put into evidence?
13 MR. HAYMAN: No objection, your Honour, subject to a date
14 being established, a date of what these represent.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Could you give us a date for the photographs,
16 Mr. Kehoe?
17 MR. KEHOE: The date these were taken or the date the burning
18 took place? The burning took place on 16th, 17th and
19 18th and we will have a witness who says the burning was
20 taking place as late as 20th May 1993. These
21 photographs were taken in May 1996.
22 JUDGE JORDA: May 1996.
23 MR. HAYMAN: We will accept they are from May 1996 your
24 Honour and with that representation, no objection.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, all right, we will take them into
1 evidence, along with the map. Have you completed your
2 examination, Mr. Kehoe?
3 MR. KEHOE: No, your Honour, there are several questions
4 concerning these photographs that I think are pertinent
5 to address.
6 JUDGE JORDA: You want to ask some more questions about
7 these photos, but they have just been filed. We cannot
8 talk about them any more. The Tribunal considers that
9 it has been informed about them and that is all that has
10 to be said. You have to work a little bit differently,
11 Mr. Kehoe. We cannot take your system completely. The
12 Tribunal has been informed about what these photographs
13 are. The witness has had all the time he needed to
14 express himself about them, they have not been contested
15 by the Defence, therefore I think it would be better to
16 move to another question. This is in the transcript and
17 I take responsibility for it. Move to another question.
18 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, pardon me, but the point about this
19 is there are several Muslim houses that were attacked
20 that morning and now Croats are living in Muslim
21 houses. That was the point I was going to address, that
22 Croats are living in houses Muslims were driven out of,
23 and I was going to point to one of those photographs.
24 The Office of the Prosecutor finds that somewhat
1 JUDGE JORDA: I believe that we are wasting a lot of time.
2 One of my colleagues has made a sign to me, saying that
3 he accepts the objection. I will accept it as well, but
4 I believe we are wasting a lot of time. I say it and
5 I say it again.
6 Mr. Nobilo?
7 MR. NOBILO: The Defence accepts this assertion, that Croats
8 are living in Muslim houses in Donje Veceriska, refugee
10 JUDGE JORDA: All right, I keep my decision, I want you to
11 move to another question.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. The next series of
13 photographs I would like to identify for the record will
14 identify the identity of Witness R, so I ask at this
15 point, Mr. President and your Honours, if we can go to
16 private session.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, this will now be a private
19 (In closed session)
15 (In open session)
16 JUDGE JORDA: Right, we are now in open court.
17 MR. KEHOE: Witness R, in conclusion, after 16th April 1993,
18 your parents were killed and you essentially lost
19 everything that you owned as well, is that not right?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, your Honours, I have no further
22 questions of this witness. I am sorry, I have just been
23 reminded by my colleague, if I have not already,
24 Mr. President, I would ask to introduce into evidence
25 Exhibit 161 through Exhibit 166. I believe there has
1 been a stipulation on Exhibits 164 and 165.
2 MR. HAYMAN: The only objection, your Honour, is to Exhibit
3 166/1, the photograph of the anti-aircraft gun. We do
4 not object to it as a picture representing a gun that
5 the witness recognised, but Mr. Kehoe attempted to draw a
6 connection with the particular location at which this
7 gun was photographed, and yet there is no date of the
8 photograph. We do not know what year or month it was
9 taken and until that is established, we would object to
10 the photograph.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, you have to tell us when the
12 photograph was taken, which seems to have been the same
13 time as the events because it was taken by the Cheshire
15 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, this was provided by a soldier from
16 the Cheshire Regiment. As Witness R identified, the
17 photo takes place across the street from the Hotel
18 Vitez. The photo was taken prior to 16th April 1993.
19 MR. HAYMAN: We would like to examine a witness on that, your
20 Honour. It is not sufficient for counsel to make a
22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I have to say that -- of course you
23 can do what you want when it is your witness, you can
24 ask any questions that you like, but I believe that the
25 Prosecutor has just answered. We have the person who
1 took it, we have the events, we have the locations,
2 I will go back to this notion which is recognised
3 internationally in law, the Tribunal considers that it
4 is informed. I am sorry to have to say this, but I will
5 say it many times from now on. Now you can ask any
6 questions that you want of the witness, but in
7 principle, it will be tendered into evidence with the
8 clarifications Mr. Kehoe has given. If in your
9 questions, Mr. Hayman, you want further information, this
10 will simply be more information for the judges. You may
11 now move to your cross-examination. Will it be you or
12 Mr. Nobilo?
13 MR. HAYMAN: It will be Mr. Nobilo, your Honour. I would just
14 note, we cannot ask this witness about this photo
15 because he does not know when it was taken or who took
16 it. We can only ask Mr. Kehoe about that, and query if
17 he is being tendered on that point.
18 JUDGE JORDA: We have settled this issue, Mr. Hayman. You
19 can ask the witness any questions you like. The
20 Prosecutor has answered. I repeat that the Tribunal is
21 well enough informed and will accept it as evidence with
22 the identifying elements that were given to it. This
23 incident for the second time is now settled.
24 Mr. Nobilo, move to your cross-examination.
25 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Mr. R. I am Anto
2 Nobilo and together with my colleague Russell Hayman, we
3 represent General Blaskic and we would like to ask you
4 several questions for clarification. We saw aerial
5 shots of Donje Veceriska, but we cannot see everything
6 well. Is Donje Veceriska on a hill above the SPS
8 A. A little bit higher ground, but it is still part of the
10 Q. Does it border on the fence of the SPS factory?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The village of Gacice, is it also on the hill and is it
13 also bordering on the SPS factory?
14 A. Yes, but from the other side.
15 Q. Before the conflict, how large was the population of
16 Donje Veceriska?
17 A. I do not know the exact number, 200 or 300.
18 Q. You mean 200 or 300 families?
19 A. Most probably.
20 Q. What was the percentage of the Muslim and Croat
22 A. I think 60 to 40.
23 Q. Which way?
24 A. 60 per cent of Muslims.
25 Q. When you say 200 to 300 families, is that 200 to 300
1 households in Donje Veceriska?
2 A. I do not know the exact number, but I think that is
3 about the right number.
4 Q. Did any refugees, refugee Muslims come to your village?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Before the conflict?
7 A. Yes, they were from Karaula, from Jajce.
8 Q. Is the information correct that there were 29 military
9 conscripts among them?
10 A. I do not know.
11 Q. Among the Muslims, how many military conscripts were
13 A. I do not know the exact number, but few, very few.
14 Q. You would not agree with the information that I have
15 that there were 121 military conscripts among the
16 Muslims in Donje Veceriska?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Before this conflict, did you have any trenches dug up
19 around your houses in the village?
20 A. No, not at all.
21 Q. Who was the commander of the Muslim soldiers in Donje
23 A. I really do not know who it was. I am not sure that one
25 Q. Did you know Memsur Haskic, son of Midhat Haskic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was he a commander of some kind?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you know Sulejman Kalco?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was his duty?
7 A. He did not live in Donje Veceriska at all.
8 Q. But did he have any duty in Donje Veceriska?
9 A. No, he lived in Vitez.
10 Q. Is it correct information that I have that Cazim and
11 Midhat and the rest of the Haskics had a heavy
12 machine-gun, M84, ten automatic rifles, two hunting
13 rifles, ten pistols in their house?
14 A. No, that is not correct.
15 Q. The press conference on television that you saw on the
16 eve of the attack, do you know what the subject was?
17 A. I do not recall well, but I know that it was from --
18 I do not know, it was TV Vitez and TV Busovaca, I do not
19 know which station carried it. But I cannot recall
21 Q. You do not know what it discussed?
22 A. No.
23 Q. On the eve of the attack, were you a civilian?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Witness R, did you give, on 23rd April 1993, did you
1 give a statement to the security service in Zenica? Let
2 me read it to you:
3 "I was a member of the BH army up until 16th April
4 1993 when the conflict between the army and the Croats
6 A. I would not call this a conflict and I was a member of
7 the TO.
8 Q. Did you say this to the state security service in
10 A. I do not recall having said this.
11 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, with your permission, I would like
12 to show the original report of the state security sector
13 in Zenica, signed by Witness R, so that Witness R could
14 confirm whether he had signed it and whether the last
15 sentence, which quotes:
16 "I have nothing else to say, I personally dictated
17 this statement and everything stated therein I confirm
18 to be true and I confirm that with my own signature
19 whether this is true."
20 I would just like him to confirm that this was his
21 signature and that he signed it. This is, by the way, a
22 document received from the Office of the Prosecutor.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is the question I was going to ask.
24 It is a document which comes from the Prosecutor. All
25 right, Mr. Kehoe? Is that correct?
1 MR. KEHOE: I am not certain of the document, but that is the
2 representation of counsel, I believe it. I have a
3 translation in English, I do not have the translation in
4 Bosnian, but I take counsel's word for it.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Witness R, it is natural for the
6 Defence counsel to present documents, that is part of
7 the cross-examination.
8 All right, Mr. Nobilo, continue. Show it to him.
9 The usher will help you. Did you underline the
10 passages? Is this in English -- passages that were
11 translated into English.
12 MR. NOBILO: This is the original in Bosnian or Croat or
13 Serbian language, but I also have a translation.
14 I would like to show the Witness R his own signature on
15 the last page of it. Whether he has signed it --
16 whether he signed this statement.
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. NOBILO: I will need it in cross-examination later.
20 In other words, Mr. R, is it correct that you
21 personally dictated this report?
22 A. I dictated this report but I was, so to say, very upset
23 because of my parents' deaths, so I never read it
24 afterwards but I signed it.
25 Q. And you dictated it?
1 A. Most probably.
2 Q. Now that we have shown you this, do you stay by your
3 claim that you were not a member of the BiH army?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And can you say how it happened that you dictated this?
6 A. I cannot recall, because I was not fully aware of
7 everything that happened to me.
8 Q. Very well. In the examination-in-chief, you told the
9 Prosecutor that the relationship between the Muslims and
10 the Croats within the village were good.
11 A. Yes, they were excellent.
12 Q. Was there not a problem with some wood at the entrance
13 of Donje Veceriska and there were 30 Muslims and Croats
14 who had drawn guns at one another at one point?
15 MR. KEHOE: I have no objection to counsel getting into this
16 subject matter, but if cross-examination is going to be
17 restricted by direct, this is a subject matter we did
18 not go into. On an effort to keep the subject matter
19 honed, it must be limited.
20 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, in the examination-in-chief,
21 I referred to that. It was said that before the
22 conflict the relationships were good, and I am talking
23 about an event before the conflict that speaks to the
24 opposite, and so I believe that I am staying within the
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, continue. You may continue with your
2 question, but do not be long. Keep it as short as
4 MR. NOBILO: Very short indeed.
5 So is it true that when there was this conflict
6 over this wood at the checkpoint that there were two
7 groups of Muslims and Croats who drew guns and there was
9 A. No, there was no shooting, just there was an argument.
10 Q. With the weapons?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Mr. R, again I have to show you this time your statement
13 you gave to the investigators, when you say:
14 "About 20 or 30 of us, that is Muslims, came to
15 help the guards. The Croats told us to lower the
16 Bosnian flag ."
17 A. Nobody took any positions, they just came to talk. They
18 first took down their own flags and then they came to
19 take down our own flags.
20 Q. Is that what you said to the investigators for the OTP?
21 A. Can you repeat this to me, please?
22 Q. "After this problem arose, about 20 or 30 of us came to
23 help the guards. The Croats were telling us to take
24 down the Bosnian flag. Both sides took up the position
25 for fighting."
1 A. I do not recall that that is how I said.
2 Q. So that is wrong too?
3 A. I do not recall simply.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, I think that we have already
5 settled this problem. The fact that the witness is
6 making contradictions may be, I understand, a source of
7 questions for you, but the Tribunal is not led astray by
8 that. What is important is to know what the witness has
9 to say today. I do not have the statement. You are
10 emphasising certain things, you are emphasising the
11 contradictions, which is your right, but what is of
12 interest to the judges, and I am asking the witness to
13 look at us when he speaks, is we want to know what he
14 has to say today. You may underscore the contradiction,
15 but we are not going to carry out an investigation into
16 it. Do not investigate into contradictions. There will
17 always be contradictions in the statements. Even if it
18 is only because this was a statement taken what year --
19 can you tell me what date it was, before the
20 investigators from the Tribunal?
21 MR. NOBILO: 1995.
22 JUDGE JORDA: 1995, that is two years ago. Ask the question
23 if you like, so we hear what his answer is today when he
24 is in a better mental frame, ask him a question and he
25 will answer the judges. Go ahead.
1 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I am just trying to
2 refresh the witness's memory by these quotes, but
3 personally I think that it is not completely without
4 significance with respect to the credibility of the
5 witness, whether he changes his statements and views
6 over the course of the years. But we can move on to
7 another area now.
8 These soldiers who came to the SPS factory, the
9 military factory, were they from Herzegovina?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How many of them did arrive?
12 A. I do not know the exact number.
13 Q. Again, let me remind you what you stated to the
14 investigators. You said that they came in two Dites,
15 military vehicles?
16 A. No, that is when they arrived in Veceriska, into the
18 Q. Then two military vehicles brought the soldiers from
19 Herzegovina and they came to the SPS military factory.
20 So you said that these soldiers arrived in the Slobodan
21 Princip Selo factory.
22 Did I remember well that you told the Prosecutor
23 that these soldiers brought an anti-aircraft gun and you
24 identified this anti-aircraft gun on these photographs?
25 A. They drove it through the village and that is precisely
1 the one.
2 Q. So that is precisely the one. Let me quote to you
3 again, you told the investigators that these soldiers
4 brought with them an anti-aircraft gun with three
5 barrels. Here we have an anti-aircraft gun with one
7 A. When you look closer at the picture, they are all in the
8 same line so you cannot see it from the picture.
9 Q. On the eve of the attack of the 16th April, were there
10 tensions in the village?
11 A. I did not notice.
12 Q. No tensions?
13 A. None at all.
14 Q. When you noticed that the Croats were evacuating the
15 civilians, was that any signal for you?
16 A. No, because we did not expect this.
17 Q. Where were your wife and children that night?
18 A. My wife and children were in Vitez, because I was from
19 Vitez -- she was from Vitez and so my mother-in-law was
20 watching the children.
21 Q. That night?
22 A. No, a day or two before.
23 Q. Did Muslims in Donje Veceriska have any guards on the
24 eve of the attack?
25 A. Maybe, but I do not know of that.
1 Q. Let us move to the event when the explosion happened,
2 you were running with a child and a piece of concrete
3 hit you in the chest. You saw some soldiers. Did you
4 recognise anyone? If you did, can you tell the names?
5 A. I recognised Milko Franjic, I recognised Dragan Sapina,
6 and I also recognised Vlado Franjic.
7 Q. Anyone else?
8 A. I recognised Mosunj, but he was painted, he was Bokso's
10 Q. Did you recognise Vlado Drmic?
11 A. He was also there.
12 Q. Slavko Franjic?
13 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me counsel, I am not getting the
14 translation as to what his answer is. I am not getting
16 MR. HAYMAN: I am getting it, your Honour, I think we are on
17 the same channel.
18 MR. KEHOE: I think we should ask the translators if they are
19 getting it.
20 THE INTERPRETER: It is a bit fast.
21 JUDGE JORDA: It is the same channel, is it not?
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, what has happened is it is a bit
23 fast and they are going on top of one another.
24 JUDGE RIAD: May I just suggest that they say "question" and
25 "answer", because sometimes we think it is the same
1 person speaking in the translation.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Riad.
3 MR. NOBILO: So among the present, were there Vlado Drmic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Slavko Franjic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Anto Miskovic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Slavko Miskovic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Drmic Zvonko?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were these all your neighbours?
14 A. Yes, they were all my neighbours.
15 Q. You said that at one point you decided to run.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In your examination-in-chief to the Prosecutor, that is
18 what you said. I would like to remind you again in the
19 statement you gave to the state security service, you
20 said as follows, that you saw these people:
21 "They let us pass, and we ran towards the Muslim
22 hamlet of Brdo."
23 In other words, did you flee from them or did they
24 let you go and run away?
25 A. I said that I started running from Dzemo Haskic's house,
1 that I went to the road and ran there.
2 Q. When you came to them, they let you pass?
3 A. No, they said to put my arms up behind my head and then
4 after that, I went through.
5 Q. In the examination-in-chief, you said that you
6 encountered 50 soldiers with patches, HVO, HV and U.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I am going to read back to you what you said to the
9 state security in Zenica:
10 "We came to the road by the house where there were
11 about 30 uniformed people, members of the HVO. Some of
12 them had Us on the hats and the chequer board within the
13 U. They let us go through."
14 In other words, you do not mention HV, just HVO?
15 A. There were also the HV among them.
16 Q. You said that Elvedina Haskic, your cousin, called you
17 and said that her father was hit in the explosion?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How was he injured?
20 A. I could not see. I only saw that he was all bloodied,
21 from the road.
22 Q. Did she tell you how her father was hit?
23 A. No.
24 Q. I am going to read you back what you said to the
25 investigators. What you said to the investigators of
1 the state security service --
2 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, which state security? What do you
3 call "state security"?
4 MR. NOBILO: Of the Bosnian government. This is the Muslim
5 state security in Zenica.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When Bono Drmic, your neighbour, pointed a rifle at you,
15 in the examination-in-chief you told the Prosecutor you
16 did not know what he had told you?
17 A. Yes, I did not understand that well and I went away.
18 Q. I am going to remind you what you said to the
19 investigators of the Prosecutor and if it refreshes your
20 memory, please confirm it.
21 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel. When he reads from the
22 particular document, first I would ask him to read it
23 accurately. The second, more importantly, if he could
24 not use any name to identify the witness as counsel just
25 did. We put the redaction in on that, but however, if
1 we are going to read another quote, it does have a
2 particular identifying feature in there. It is an
3 extremely small village and with nicknames it is easy to
4 identify someone. I ask counsel to be cautious in that
6 JUDGE JORDA: Would you rather have a private session? We
7 are almost at our break. Would you prefer that we work
8 in a private session? Perhaps that would be better.
9 MR. NOBILO: We could, yes we could for this one sentence,
10 even though I would like to point out that we needed to
11 redact a portion of the examination-in-chief where the
12 identifying features also appeared.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I say this to Witness R, if something comes
14 out, it is immediately indicated by the Registrar and
15 I ask the technical services to erase them from the
16 transcript. All right. Do you want to ask your last
17 question now and then we will take a break? But be
18 careful when you name names.
19 MR. NOBILO: So the person who pointed the rifle at you, did
20 he say, "fuck Gospa, you do not kill Coso", and then he
21 turned around and went away.
22 If you would like, we can make a break here.
23 JUDGE JORDA: I see that there is that the Prosecutor wishes
24 to say.
25 MR. KEHOE: I am asking a question, Mr. President, were we in
1 private session with that particular question?
2 JUDGE JORDA: No, we were not.
3 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, without emphasising that particular
4 point, that is exactly my point, the question counsel
5 just asked.
6 JUDGE JORDA: We will redact that statement, at least the
7 names, so the names do not appear in the transcript.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, of course.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I do not see any other solution, but I am very
10 sensitive to these needs for protecting the witnesses,
11 as are my colleagues. I ask Defence counsel to be
12 particularly careful and if necessary, do not hesitate
13 to ask for a private session. Another comment,
14 Mr. Kehoe?
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I think if counsel is
16 addressing a particular portion of the statement he
17 should indicate ahead of time exactly the line and
18 page of the document that he is going to ask from,
19 I will be sensitive to exactly where he is going to ask
20 a potentially damaging question when it comes to this
21 witness's identity. When we go from page to page, it is
22 difficult for me to object ahead of time concerning
23 identifying information, so I would ask counsel to be
24 cautious of that and just indicate page to page where he
25 is going.
1 MR. HAYMAN: We can do that, your Honour, but my colleague is
2 working from the original signed Croatian Bosnian
3 language version. If that will help our colleague, we
4 will give him that, but I doubt it will help him.
5 JUDGE JORDA: It is not a question about the document, what
6 the Prosecutor is saying is that when Mr. Nobilo quotes a
7 passage from the document, that he is even approximately
8 that it is around the middle of page 3, that can be
9 done. All right, I think everybody needs a break and we
10 will start again at 11.40.
11 (11.20 am)
12 (A short break)
13 (11.40 am)
14 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing. Have the
15 accused brought in, please.
16 (Accused brought in)
17 JUDGE JORDA: We can now continue. Are you relaxed enough
18 to continue, Witness R?
19 A. Yes, thank you.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?
21 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Witness R, is it true that you reached Meho
23 Haskic's summer kitchen?
24 A. No, the summer kitchen of Mahmut Haskic.
25 Q. Who was there?
1 A. There were many women and children.
2 Q. And among the men?
3 A. I cannot remember who were there among the men. Nevza's
4 husband was there and some others.
5 MR. NOBILO: Let me read you your statement to the
6 investigator --
7 JUDGE JORDA: We are in public now, Mr. Nobilo, I am just
8 reminding you. This is a public hearing.
9 MR. NOBILO: Yes, there will be no more problems. I will
10 take care, do not worry.
11 JUDGE JORDA: What are you trying to get to, Mr. Nobilo? It
12 is the same question I asked the Prosecution. What is
13 the objective of this long series of questions you are
14 asking on a document in Serbo-Croat that was given
15 before the security services? You do know, and we have
16 already said this at the beginning of the trial, that we
17 are not investigating investigations. We are not
18 super investigators, if you like. The judges are
19 responsible to judge crime against humanity, for which
20 the General has been accused. You are trying to shake
21 the credibility of this witness, but we have to get to
22 the essential. What is the objective of your question?
23 MR. NOBILO: I shall try and explain. Our primary goal is
24 not to impeach this witness, that is our secondary
25 goal. It follows automatically. But my next series of
1 questions, I can say quite frankly that we are trying to
2 prove that this witness has left out two and a half days
3 of struggle between the BiH army and the HVO. This
4 witness said that the whole village was burnt down, but
5 only 10 per cent of the houses were burnt down during
6 the fighting, and a limited number of people, so there
7 was no violence against civilians and civilian
8 structures in the sense of destruction of those
9 buildings, but there were combat operations in that
10 village, and this witness, in his previous statement,
11 said those things, but now in the direct examination he
12 has omitted all that. Whether he did so on purpose or
13 unintentionally, that is something we are trying to
15 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for the clarification. Continue
16 then, but get to the essentials. I would like things to
17 be very clear, out of courtesy to witnesses who have a
18 great deal of suffering. Therefore say that you are
19 simply questioning the credibility of the witness. Now
20 go directly to the question and do not go through round
21 about ways which are wasting a lot of time.
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the only thing I would ask is if
23 counsel would refer to the document he is reading from
24 and the page of that document.
25 JUDGE JORDA: He has not begun yet. Let him begin at
2 MR. NOBILO: So, next to the summer kitchen of the Haskic,
3 was the front-line between the HVO and the Territorial
4 Defence right there?
5 A. It was not a classical front-line. They had to defend
6 their very lives, their children, because the same thing
7 would have happened to us had it not been for them.
8 Q. Therefore next to the Haskic summer kitchen was some
9 kind of armed resistance by the TO?
10 A. We would have suffered the same fate had it not been for
11 this. All the civilians would have been killed, so
12 I cannot agree with you that only 10 per cent of the
13 houses were burned down. There is a picture, there are
14 many more houses were burned down, virtually all the
15 Muslim houses were burnt and eight civilians were
16 killed, and you are disputing that fact.
17 Q. We will come back to that later. Can you answer my
18 question. Was any resistance put up, armed resistance
19 put up next to the summer kitchen?
20 A. I was in that kitchen and I do not know about it.
21 Q. I am now reading from the Croatian statement, statement
22 in Croatian, on page 5:
23 "Next to the kitchen, the front-line was
24 established between the HVO and the Territorial
25 Defence" --
1 JUDGE JORDA: If it is the document that we were given by
2 the Registrar, I only have a document which ends on
3 page 4.
4 MR. NOBILO: I am reading from the statement made to the
5 investigators of The Hague Tribunal, which has not been
6 admitted into evidence yet.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.
8 MR. NOBILO: So I am quoting:
9 "Next to the kitchen, a front-line had been
10 established between the HVO and the Territorial
11 Defence. Since we were so close to the front-line, we
12 knew that we could not stay in the kitchen."
13 Is this what you told the investigators of the
14 Prosecution of The Hague Tribunal?
15 A. We could not resist the fierce fire of the HVO against
16 the kitchen, so we had to abandon it and run to another
17 house that had a basement.
18 Q. Will you please answer my question; did you say this to
19 the investigators or did you not?
20 JUDGE JORDA: No, I cannot agree with what you are doing,
21 Mr. Nobilo.
22 Mr. Kehoe, I do not need you to say anything. You
23 have already asked this question three times, having to
24 do with the front-line near the kitchen. The witness has
25 already answered you, you have to make do with the
1 answer and move to another question. We are not going
2 to spend this entire cross-examination on the
3 front-line. You have said what your objections are, that
4 there was combat there and this is something which the
5 witness did not mention in his statement. You have the
6 right to bring this out, but we can stop talking now
7 about the front-line and move on.
8 MR. NOBILO: I shall proceed, but this front-line moved and
9 the fighting went on for two days after that.
10 JUDGE JORDA: You have noted it, the Tribunal knows this, it
11 is in the transcript, there are documents, there is
12 evidence, there is everything. In our deliberations, we
13 will have thousands and thousands of documents. Trust
14 the judges and move to another question, please.
15 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. So, when you left the kitchen,
16 summer kitchen, did you reach Elvedin Haskic's house and
17 his two brothers, Mahmut and Samija?
18 A. Since the summer kitchen belonged to Mahmut Haskic, when
19 we reached this other house, owned by Cazim Haskic, we
20 went into the basement where there was water.
21 Q. Was any armed resistance put up there?
22 A. I cannot remember, because I was in the cellar and I was
23 out of my mind.
24 Q. I will read again from what you told the investigators
25 on page 3 in the middle.
1 MR. KEHOE: Which statement?
2 MR. NOBILO: To the investigators of The Hague Tribunal, the
3 record is page 3 in the middle. Perhaps I shall try and
4 read it in English:
5 "... and his two brothers Mahmut and Samija and
6 two cousins, Mirso and Menso, who were resisting the
7 attack trying to protect us. We stayed there about
8 three hours resisting the shelling and grenades."
9 Did you say that and is that true?
10 A. I do not remember very well whether that was what
11 I said, but I was in the basement at the time and there
12 were many women and children and people were crying and
13 screaming and we were under very heavy fire, and more
14 than 40 shells fell in and around that house in a hour.
15 Q. Was Midhat Haskic with you?
16 A. There were many people, I cannot recall exactly who.
17 Q. What about Midhat Haskic? Has he died in the meantime,
18 do you know that?
19 A. Yes, he died after the war.
20 Q. Is it true that you then went to Zlotrg, to Besa
21 Zlotrg's house?
22 A. We all left, we had to go, but we waited for nightfall
23 to cross over to Brdo, not only to his house, everybody
24 was terribly upset, exhausted, and in the evening, we
1 Q. So can we conclude that you spent the 16th in these
2 locations that we have mentioned?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On the 17th or the night between the 16th and 17th, is
5 it true that you moved to Brdo?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let me again read from the statement you made, it is
8 also on page 3, towards the end of the page, to
9 The Hague investigators, and you said:
10 "The villagers in Brdo put up a defence line,
11 though they did not have much weapons. The line was
12 kept up that night, the next day and the following
13 night. In the morning on the 18th April, UNPROFOR
15 A. There was no line , it was no front-line. There was a
16 lull at the time, so we spent the whole day there and
17 then in the evening, about 2.00 or 3.00, the night
18 between the 17th and 18th , we left.
19 Q. Did the HVO enter the village on the 16th, your part of
20 the village?
21 A. Yes, more than half the village.
22 Q. When did it manage to enter the second half?
23 A. On the 18th April 1993.
24 Q. Therefore the HVO entered the village?
25 A. We watched all that in front of the UNPROFOR garage.
1 Q. So the HVO entered on the 18th?
2 A. They entered before, but when we saw the houses on fire,
3 we knew that the HVO had entered.
4 Q. Did you join the struggle at any point in time?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Let me read again, only I have to find the place in the
7 English version. It is in the second statement on
8 page 4:
9 "At one point in time, I had to assist the TO when
10 one of the members was wounded. The wounded member was
11 a refugee from Karaule."
12 Did you tell the investigators that?
13 A. I do not believe I did.
14 Q. And in your second statement to the investigators on
15 page 4, you said, "I took a rifle".
16 A. No, I never took a rifle, because in this general chaos,
17 I was not even aware where I was, never mind capable of
18 doing anything.
19 Q. Tell me whether the UNPROFOR came throughout the
20 conflict to evacuate the wounded?
21 A. Yes, it would pass by and we were happy to see them,
22 hoping they would save us. However, they only picked up
23 those who were wounded.
24 Q. How many Muslims did you have under arms there?
25 A. I do not know exactly.
1 Q. You told The Hague investigators, "40 to 50 rifles".
2 A. No, I did not say that.
3 Q. Here again from your second statement on page 4, it
5 "We only had 40 or 50 rifles."
6 A. No, we did not, nothing like it.
7 Q. Did you say that?
8 A. I did not.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to intervene here. You are
10 showing the contradictions that the witness has made and
11 you are entitled to do so, but what counts for the
12 judges in the end is the reality of the testimony as it
13 is presented today.
14 Witness R, I know it is a bit complicated, but
15 this is the judge now asking you the question, and
16 through me my colleagues as well. There is a statement
17 which you made, we can understand that it is important
18 for the Defence, you are under oath. Were there 40 or
19 50 rifles or none at all?
20 A. I am not saying that there were no rifles, but I did not
21 say that there were 45 to 50, because in view of all
22 that had happened to me, I did not count. I did not
23 know how many men.
24 Q. But there were rifles, is that what you are saying?
25 A. As Bosnia-Herzegovina was attacked by the Serbian
1 Montenegrin aggressor, the people who were on the
2 front-lines near Turbe or wherever they were, that does
3 not matter --
4 Q. Do not apologise, we are not here in order to ask you
5 for justification. Just a specific point about which we
6 are asking questions, that there were rifles. That was
7 all I was asking, there were rifles?
8 A. There were, but not the number mentioned.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. That is fine. Thank you very
10 much, Witness R.
11 Continue, Mr. Nobilo.
12 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Before the withdrawal on the third
13 day or at dawn of the third day, is it true what you
14 said to the investigators of the Prosecution:
15 "The Territorial Defence was short of ammunition
16 and that is why the civilians had to withdraw about 1.00
17 or 2.00 am, escorted by an UNPROFOR vehicle. Then the
18 TO members retreated because we were left without any
19 ammunition. All members of the TO were inhabitants of
20 the village. We went through the SPS factory compound
21 and we were shot at by the HVO. The members of the
22 Territorial Defence went on to the village of Grbavica".
23 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me counsel, which statement are you
24 reading from?
25 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, I am waiting for the end of the
1 interpretation. Mr. Kehoe, go ahead.
2 MR. KEHOE: I am asking counsel which statement he is reading
4 MR. NOBILO: Page 4 of the statement dated 16th February
6 MR. KEHOE: Thank you.
7 MR. NOBILO: So I am asking whether you retreated when you
8 ran out of ammunition on the third day and is it true
9 that the TO unit went to Grbavica?
10 A. I really do not know anything about the ammunition or
11 whatever. I really do not know, because I was not in
12 good shape, I just know that we reached the UNPROFOR,
13 that they helped us, gave us some coffee and some tea,
14 so I do not know where other people went to. The world
15 surely knows where we were and what happened.
16 Q. But did you say this, that the TO went to Grbavica?
17 A. Maybe I did, I do not recall.
18 Q. Did you see the TO unit heading towards Grbavica when
19 you headed for the UNPROFOR echelon. You told the
20 Prosecutor --
21 A. No.
22 Q. There is a mistake, because my answer appears as the
23 question. Now we have the answer. Thank you.
24 When you were heading towards the UNPROFOR echelon
25 and you were shot at from the factory, was there any
1 light, or was it dark and could you see?
2 A. Since the column was very large, one could see the
3 firing coming from the gates of the factory.
4 Q. Was anyone killed at the time?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know in which direction the fire was?
7 A. Whether they were shooting at us or not, I know that
8 people were screaming, but no one was hit.
9 Q. So you do not know where the fire was directed to?
10 A. I cannot know, because it was night-time.
11 Q. Did you follow UN vehicles going to the echelon?
12 A. No, there were guards around the battalion. At one
13 point, they probably saw this large group of people
14 coming, so they switched on the lights. We shouted they
15 should switch them off and that is how we reached the
17 Q. You said that you were evacuated from the echelon to
18 Zenica by the UN and the Red Cross.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did they evacuate together with your group civilians
21 from another village?
22 A. Yes, from Stari Vitez, because after the explosion,
23 there were many wounded, and also some people from
25 Q. Were any people from Gacice evacuated?
1 A. I cannot remember exactly whether any people from Gacice
2 were evacuated, but I do not believe so.
3 Q. Your late parents were buried, as you said, in
4 Stari Vitez. Will you tell me whether the other people
5 from your village were buried there?
6 A. Yes, all the eight people killed were buried in
7 Stari Vitez.
8 Q. Out of the eight people killed, did you personally see
9 any one of those murders and the circumstances?
10 A. I only saw the killing of Meho Haskic.
11 Q. So you saw him being killed personally?
12 A. Yes, I saw him fall to the ground in a pool of blood.
13 Q. I will read again a part of your statement to the
14 investigators, just one sentence, when you said:
15 "When I approached Meho Haskic's house" --
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?
17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I am just trying to get a reference
18 from what counsel is reading. If he is reading the
19 Bosnian statement, if he is reading an ICTY statement?
20 I have no indication what he is reading.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, would you make it clear, please?
22 MR. NOBILO: I am reading the translation of the
23 investigation statement which we received from the
24 Prosecution, the first statement. With your indulgence,
25 maybe I could find the exact position, but I shall try
1 and read it very carefully and correctly:
2 "When we approached the house of Meho Haskic,
3 I saw him lying dead next to his house, riddled with
4 bullets from a machine-gun. I later heard from his
5 daughter that somebody called Cano had killed him."
6 So did you see him being killed or did you hear
8 A. I saw him fall when he was killed.
9 Q. So what you told the investigators is not correct, that
10 is that his daughter told you that?
11 A. No, that is not what I said.
12 Q. Did you see any other killing?
13 A. No.
14 Q. During the fighting, did any Croat houses burn?
15 A. I cannot say, I did not see them.
16 Q. How many houses did you personally observe burning?
17 A. I cannot tell you the exact number. I saw many houses
18 on fire.
19 Q. I will now read what you told the investigators on
20 pages 4 and 5 of your statement of 16th February 1995:
21 "I saw" -- pages 4 and 5 of the statement made by
22 the witness to The Hague investigators, the second
23 statement, dated 16th February 1995:
24 "While I was in the village, I saw the following
25 houses and stables on fire, Haskic Smajo, Haskic Mujo,
1 Haskic Rahima, Sis Salko, Haskic Ramo, Haskic Kazim,
2 Haskic Nasid, Haskic Fehro, Haskic Zirafeta, Haskic
3 Saban", all Haskics, then, "Ahmet Suljakovic, Muharem
4 Besic, Haskic Redjo, Zlotrg Nerka, Kalco Ferid."
5 Those are the houses and the stables that you saw
6 on fire, is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So you did not see any others in addition to those?
9 A. I saw many houses burning and when I was asked, "could
10 you list the houses that were burned down?", that is
11 what I said.
12 Q. Do you know that 12 civilians from the UNPROFOR echelon
13 returned to the school, when they left the UNPROFOR
14 echelon, they went back to the village?
15 A. No, not a single civilian went back.
16 JUDGE JORDA: -- with the examination-in-chief, I would like
17 things to go back to the examination-in-chief, please.
18 It does not have a direct connection with the
20 MR. NOBILO: Yes, I see.
21 JUDGE JORDA: There must always be a connection.
22 Intellectually there can always be relationships made,
23 that is philosophically speaking, but the judge in this
24 case must say that the cross-examination has to remain
25 within the scope of the examination, with a certain
1 degree of manoeuvrability, we are not rigid. This is
2 of no interest at all and I ask you to go to another
4 MR. NOBILO: We do not insist on this question. I am going
5 to read the names of some people of whom we have been
6 informed that they participated in the struggles, so if
7 you know, please say yes, if no, say no. Abdulah
9 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. Is this involved the subject matter
10 here? Counsel said involved in the struggles. What
12 MR. NOBILO: In Donje Veceriska, from 16th to 18th April
13 1993, on the side of the BiH army against the HVO.
14 A. I do not know who participated, nor did I see who
16 JUDGE JORDA: The central point of the cross-examination is
17 legitimate in this case. He wanted to explain, which is
18 why I wanted to be clear what the principle of the
19 cross-examination here is. It is legitimate for
20 Mr. Nobilo and his other Defence attorney to say whether
21 there was combat or not. This is of some importance to
22 the judges, so the question can be asked and you will
23 exercise your right of re-examination if you do not
24 agree, but the central issue is whether or not there
25 were days which can be part of the conflict which was
1 expressed more differently in your examination. Let the
2 question be asked, if the witness cannot answer he will
3 say so. The question can be asked, continue in light of
4 what the witness answers.
5 MR. NOBILO: Can you name the people who fought in Donje
6 Veceriska from 16th April at dawn until 18th April at
8 A. I cannot, because I did not see them.
20 MR. NOBILO: Did you learn later whether he participated in
21 the conflict or not?
22 JUDGE JORDA: We are now giving out names and perhaps we
23 have to go back into private session, because this could
24 cause difficulties for the witness. I would like this
25 to be a private session now. Mr. Dubuisson, have that
1 done, please.
2 (In closed session)
20 (In open session)
21 Re-examined by MR. KEHOE
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Witness R, Defence counsel asked you some
24 questions as to whether Donje Veceriska was on a slight
25 hill just above the defence factory, do you recall those
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Defence counsel also asked you whether the village of
4 Gacice on the other side of the Defence factory was also
5 on a hill above the defence factory?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did the Muslims in the village of Donje Veceriska or
8 anywhere else ever attack HVO troops or HV troops, or
9 any other troops in the SPS factory?
10 A. No.
11 Q. You told us that you were a member of the TO, is that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You also told counsel a list of names of individuals
15 that you recognised who were from your village, who were
16 Croats who were participating in this attack, is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But there were also people that you did not recognise,
20 is that not so?
21 A. There were many I did not recognise.
22 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, that there were soldiers coming
23 from outside Donje Veceriska, it is something we heard
24 about at great length in the direct examination.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, please keep your comments for your
1 final argument. This is a question which is part of the
2 right of re-examination.
3 MR. KEHOE: You were asked a question by Defence counsel
4 about your brother being in another part of the village
5 defending his family, is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you hear that other people defended their families?
8 A. Everyone was defending his family.
9 Q. And you were asked questions by Defence counsel about a
10 front-line, do you recall those questions?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Was there a brigade or a division or a corps of the
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina army in Donje Veceriska fighting
14 the Croat troops that were moved through the town?
15 A. No, of course not. Nothing like it. These were just
17 Q. I think you told us that there are no Muslims living in
18 the town today, either, are there?
19 A. No.
20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we have been making much ado
21 through cross-examination of the discrepancies between
22 the statements that were given by the witness, the
23 statement given in April 1993 by the witness to the
24 Bosnians in Zenica, and the statement given to the
25 investigators of the war crimes Tribunal here in
1 The Hague, given February 16th 1993. I offer both of
2 these items into evidence. Unfortunately I have not had
3 the opportunity to translate them into French, but
4 I offer them into the record at this point, for whatever
5 the last two exhibit numbers are.
6 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, we would like all the statements
7 made Defence exhibits and there are not simply these
8 two. My colleague Mr. Nobilo has referred to a number.
9 First, we have an English translation of Defence Exhibit
10 D69, we would offer that. We would also offer a
11 statement to the Tribunal dated 5th February 1994, and
12 we would offer the second statement to the Tribunal
13 investigators, dated February 16th 1995. I have them
14 all here, I will tender them with the court's
16 MR. KEHOE: With regard to the Defence Exhibit D69, obviously
17 we likewise want to make them Prosecution exhibits.
18 D69, of course, is problematical, because Defence
19 counsel has obviously written on this. What we offer is
20 a clean copy without Defence counsel's notations on it
21 and likewise we offer the English translation that has
22 been provided to Defence counsel. As I noted,
23 Mr. President --
24 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to summarise. The central issue
25 involves knowing whether there was combat on the
1 front-line, whether families were being defended, whether
2 the village was being defended. This, of course, is
3 important both for the Prosecution and Defence.
4 Mr. Kehoe, you are offering all the statements, if I am
5 not wrong.
6 MR. KEHOE: That is correct, Mr. President. To the extent
7 that there are discrepancies in any way, shape or form,
8 I suggest we just offer it to the President and
9 your Honours and let the facts fall where they may.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is right. What evidence does the
11 Defence wish to offer into evidence? Are you talking
12 about things that are different? Could you say it
13 again, please, Mr. Hayman, if you do not mind.
14 MR. HAYMAN: I think, your Honour, we have the full catalogue
15 of prior statements that have been referenced in the
16 course of Mr. Nobilo's cross-examination. They are the
17 statement to the security service of BH, which was dated
18 April 23rd 1994. That has been marked as Exhibit D69,
19 we can provide a copy that redacts, I think there is
20 only one --
21 JUDGE JORDA: No objection as regards D69, Mr. Kehoe?
22 MR. KEHOE: That is the document I do object to,
23 Mr. President. That is the document where counsel's
24 etchings or writings or notes are on this document.
25 I have no idea what they mean, but that is what I object
2 MR. HAYMAN: The copy that has been --
3 JUDGE JORDA: The Defence might not have any problem in
4 having the written comments on the document being put
5 into the record.
6 MR. HAYMAN: If there were written comments, we would take
7 them off, your Honour, but there are not. It has been
8 highlighted because it is a working copy, but there are
9 no written notes as counsel has stated to the court on
10 the document. We would offer that. We also have the
11 English translation provided by the Tribunal translation
12 staff, we would offer that, and then there are two other
13 statements referenced in Mr. Nobilo's examination which
14 we would offer, and they are again a statement to the
15 Tribunal investigators, dated February 16th 1995, and a
16 statement also to the Tribunal investigators, dated
17 February 5th 1997.
18 JUDGE JORDA: No objections, Mr. Kehoe?
19 MR. KEHOE: My objection is still the same one, I am offering
20 to the court a copy of the Bosnian statement taken in
21 Zenica that already has no markings on it with the
22 translation. There is no need for Defence counsel to
23 excise any comments or notes on it, or any
24 highlighting. This is a clean copy and I offer that as
25 the Prosecution exhibit.
1 JUDGE JORDA: No objection, Mr. Hayman? That might be more
2 rational to do it that way. Do you really insist on
3 having your underlinings.
4 MR. HAYMAN: No, your Honour, I do not insist on having the
5 underlinings, but I think this set of exhibits should be
6 made Defence exhibits in one location for the
7 convenience of the court and the parties so we are not
8 looking in eight different notebooks to find this series
9 of pertinent documents.
10 JUDGE JORDA: All right, Registrar, I suppose you have
11 understood everything.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
13 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I may, the offer was these
14 exhibits were being tendered by the Prosecutor. The
15 Prosecutor is of the position --
16 JUDGE JORDA: It will be put into the record as Defence
17 evidence. There are some which have Prosecution
18 numbers, but it was agreed that they must also have
19 numbers which correspond to Defence exhibits.
20 THE REGISTRAR: There is no problems. We would have the
21 same documents in the record twice, that is all.
22 JUDGE JORDA: The judges would only read them once, I can
23 assure you. Perhaps we can move to another question.
24 Have you completed with what you wanted to say,
25 Mr. Kehoe?
1 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President. (Pause). Mr. President,
2 I have no further questions of this witness, thank you.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Witness R, additional questions will now be
4 asked by the judges this time. First I would turn to
5 Judge Riad, the judge will ask you questions.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Witness R, good morning.
7 A. Good morning, sir.
8 Q. I would like you to clarify to me some basic elements of
9 the situation in Donje Veceriska exactly at the period
10 which is under discussion. First, was there any
11 movement from the Muslim side in Donje Veceriska, any
12 movement against the Croatian population or any threat
13 or any attack which provoked the whole situation and the
14 coming in of the HVO?
15 A. No, none at all, because we really had excellent
16 neighbourly relations, until those days, when this
18 Q. So there was no reason for the attack on the village, in
19 your opinion?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. There was no centre of Muslim activists which threatened
22 the Croatian population?
23 A. No, there were no Muslim activists there at all. As
24 I said, we really had very good neighbourly relations
25 among the people, they were at a very good level.
1 Q. You mentioned that the HVO was shooting at the civilians
2 from the gates of SPS factory and from other sides. Was
3 there any shooting back? Were there any fighters among
4 these civilians, or were they just women and old men and
5 children, or unarmed men? Was it a fight or was it an
7 A. There was no fighting whatsoever. These were all
8 civilians, and nobody did return fire, there was no one
9 to do it.
10 Q. Was it done in an organised way, or was it just chaotic
11 actions coming from different sides. Was it an attitude
12 of organised soldiers shooting?
13 A. How shall I put it, they started shooting. It was not
14 directly at the civilians, nobody was injured, and it
15 was dark. I do not know whether they were shooting in
16 the air or what, I do not, but we could hear the shots
17 coming from two sides.
18 Q. You mentioned that eight people were killed at least and
19 regrettably your parents were killed, three old women
20 were killed, elderly people. Were they just killed in
21 this whole total lack of organisation, or were they
22 deliberately shot at? Were they chosen? How were your
23 parents killed?
24 A. I do not know how my parents were killed. They remained
25 in the house and I fled to another part of the village.
1 They were killed and then they were buried in the common
3 Q. You mentioned that it was psychological to intimidate
4 the Muslim population, those were your words. Why was
5 it psychological to intimidate the Muslim population?
6 What was the purpose?
7 A. The purpose was to intimidate, so that we would leave
8 from there, simply to cleanse us from there.
9 Q. When they destroyed the mektaba, this religious cultural
10 centre, was it included in a general policy to destroy
11 the cultural and religious institutions, or was it just
12 part of the whole chaos?
13 A. It was one of their goals, but I do not know when the
14 mektaba was set on fire, but it was their target, these
15 places of worship. That was one of their targets.
16 Q. What about the other houses which were burnt, were they
17 also -- did they represent any important institutions in
18 the city, or were they just houses of simple
20 A. No, these houses were residential, they were not -- I do
21 not know what the purpose was, those were the houses of
22 the local population, these were not military targets,
23 this was just where people lived.
24 Q. Did some of the Muslim population have the chance to
25 defend themselves?
1 A. Some did, but I did not have that opportunity. Perhaps
2 there were others who did.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Witness R, let me take you back to your
6 evidence yesterday. You were talking about HVO soldiers
7 coming in from outside of the municipality of Vitez and
8 joining with HVO soldiers from within the municipality.
9 You said that having joined forces, they then attacked
10 not only Donje Veceriska but that they attacked the
11 entire municipality of Vitez, and then you went on to
12 say something which you broke off, you said, "with the
13 exception maybe", and I wanted to intervene at that
14 stage to ask you what exception you had in mind.
15 A. I thought of Gacice, that is what I had in mind.
16 Q. You saw these soldiers wearing insignia on their
17 shoulders, HV, HVO and U. Can I ask you to explain what
18 in your mind the "U" stood for?
19 A. I am not from that generation who lived through World
20 War Two, I do not know. In that time U stood for
22 Q. Could I ask you a supplementary question which is
23 intended to clear up only my own state of mind on the
24 point. When you saw a soldier wearing the letters HV on
25 his shoulder patch, would that soldier also have any of
1 the other insignias, namely HVO or U, or would he only
2 have one of the three?
3 A. They had both, whether it was -- sometimes it would be
4 painted on the helmet or it would be on the shoulder on
5 the uniform. At that time I did see those insignia, one
6 had it painted with black paint on his helmet, he drew
7 an U, and he wore a camouflage uniform and on the side
8 it had the HVO written.
9 Q. I see. So sometimes you would see one and the same
10 soldier with both of those two insignias, one on his
11 helmet and one on his shoulder patch, is that what you
12 are saying?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let me ask you a question about the mektep. Was this a
15 place of worship or was it a school?
16 A. Where religious rites were being conducted by the
18 Q. I see. Let me ask you something about a picture which
19 you have seen, a photograph, I think it is Exhibit
20 166A. Did you see it before? Mr. Registrar, I think it
21 is 166A.
22 A. Yes, I did see it.
23 THE REGISTRAR: This is 166/1.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: There were some questions about that,
25 you remember.
1 A. I remember.
2 Q. I take it that you yourself were not present when this
3 photograph was taken; were you present?
4 A. No, I was not there.
5 Q. But do you know the building depicted in the photograph?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What is the building?
8 A. This is the building of the former police station in
10 Q. There is a flag on the side of the building. What is
11 that flag?
12 A. That is the flag of Herceg-Bosna.
13 Q. In earlier times, was there another flag flying there?
14 A. Yes, it was the flag of the former Yugoslavia, and the
15 police flag as well, because the police were located
17 Q. There is a truck parked in front of that building. Did
18 you see a truck similar to that truck before?
19 A. Yes, just before that fateful day. It came to the
20 village of Donje Veceriska.
21 Q. The truck in this picture has a gun standing on the
22 back. Do you see that gun?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Did you see that same truck with that same gun before
25 16th April?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you ever see that truck with that gun standing in
3 this same position in front of the building?
4 A. No, it came to our village, this very truck.
5 Q. So you never saw this truck with this gun standing in
6 front of this building?
7 A. No, I saw it for the first time here.
8 Q. Thank you. Let us go to these 40 or 50 rifles referred
9 to in one of your statements. You said that you did not
10 mention the figure of 40 or 50, but in answer to the
11 presiding judge, you said there were some rifles; is
12 that correct?
13 A. Since there were front-lines above Travnik near Turbe,
14 whoever came back from the TO, they were not classic
15 soldiers, they did not have uniforms, they were just
16 defending from the Serbs, Montenegrin aggression, so
17 some of them, when they would come to be relieved back
18 to the village, they would some of them bring their
19 weapons with them.
20 Q. I see. You remember the day when this attack took place
21 on Donje Veceriska?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were any of these rifles used by the Muslim side?
24 A. I do not know, I could not see. I was depressed and
25 dejected by everything that happened to me.
1 Q. You mentioned your brother, and I gathered that he used
2 his gun to defend his home, is that what you were
4 A. I do not know if he used it, I was not there in that
5 area, because the village is spread out and only five
6 days later I found out that he was wounded.
7 Q. One last question: in this village, did you have any
8 dugout trenches or other defensive positions?
9 A. No, we did not have them.
10 Q. Did the Muslims in your village who had weapons come out
11 from their homes in an organised way to defend against
12 the HVO?
13 A. No, not at all. This was in the houses or wherever one
14 found themselves, it was a very fierce attack.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you very much, Witness R.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Witness R, I have only one question, since all
17 questions have already been asked. At that time, did
18 you ever hear anybody speak about General Blaskic, at
19 that time, at the time of the attack, the time that
20 these facts occurred?
21 A. No.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. We have completed -- it was a bit
23 long, it was difficult, I am sure; nonetheless, the
24 Tribunal wishes to thank you and hopes that you heal as
25 quickly as you can, that your scars go away. We will
1 now have you taken out of the courtroom. Please, for
2 the time being, do not move, we will lower the
3 curtains. Registrar?
4 (The witness withdrew)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, right before we break, perhaps you
6 could tell us, as you are used to doing now, who will be
7 the next witness? Is it a protected witness? I suppose
8 he is. What are the essential points of his statement
9 and what relationship do they have with the charges that
10 you have brought against General Blaskic. After that,
11 we will take our break.
12 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. As I noted this
13 morning, this next witness is not a protected witness,
14 that was why I requested the short break to set up the
15 easel and likewise to remove the protective mechanism in
16 the courtroom. The next witness --
17 JUDGE JORDA: While the Registrar is doing that, you could
18 then explain who the witness is on your list, which
19 person is it?
20 MR. KEHOE: Yes, the next witness is Colour Sergeant Ian
21 Parrott. Sergeant Parrott was a member of the Cheshire
22 Regiment and in Bosnia from approximately October, early
23 November 1992 through the end of their engagement in the
24 second week of May 1993. He is going to testify,
25 Mr. President, about essentially two dates, 16th and
1 17th April 1993. He will discuss his specific
2 identification of HVO soldiers moving through
3 Stari Vitez, he will likewise discuss a recoilless rifle
4 being fired into the Muslim area from some distance away
5 from Stari Vitez. He will testify to the body pick-up
6 of civilians, and there are several pictures in that
7 regard. He will likewise testify to the existence of
8 organised soldiers waiting in the village area on the
9 16th afternoon.
10 We will then address ourselves to the 17th, and he
11 will essentially talk about going up to Donje Veceriska,
12 which had numerous HVO soldiers who stood by, of course,
13 and watched Muslim houses burning on the 17th. He will
14 talk about observing an anti-aircraft weapon with an
15 extremely hot barrel on the southern border of
16 Stari Vitez with its barrels turned towards the Stari
17 Vitez area, and then he will talk about likewise an
18 issue that has come up and been made a Defence issue
19 concerning picking up the accused at the Kiseljak
20 barracks at the relevant times, the Kiseljak barracks,
21 and taking that individual to Busovaca.
22 That is essentially what the testimony will be,
23 Mr. President. We will go through the narrative as
24 requested by the court and then the witness will mark on
25 several exhibits which are copies of previously admitted
2 JUDGE JORDA: Which counts are you going to bring out, all
3 of them?
4 MR. KEHOE: Again, his charges will be to the persecution
5 count, as all of these do, the persecution count,
6 Mr. President. He will be talking about Ahmici and it
7 will be discussed in counts 2 and 4, wilful killing. He
8 will testify concerning head shots to the civilians that
9 he picked up in Ahmici, obviously indicating that they
10 were killed at very short range and in his opinion
11 executed. That will be in counts 5 and 10, and
12 likewise, given the fact that he is talking about
13 significant burning, we are only going to focus on Donje
14 Veceriska, it goes to count 11, where Donje Veceriska is
15 again prominently displayed as one of the villages where
16 there was extensive destruction and burning at the hands
17 of the troops under the control of General Blaskic.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Let me remind you, so that we all understand,
19 that we are talking about counts 2 to 4, these are
20 illegal attacks against civilians and property. You had
21 referred to Ahmici in the indictment. I suppose that
22 Donje Veceriska is also part of that municipality, is
23 that what you are saying?
24 MR. KEHOE: That is correct, Mr. President. All of these
25 villages are part of the Vitez municipality.
1 Mr. President, just by way of reference, I ask that we
2 not overlook the persecution count. All of this
3 evidence goes to the persecution count, which is a
4 persecution count that the accused participated in the
5 persecution of the Bosnian Muslim population in various
6 municipalities where he was the commanding officer.
7 JUDGE JORDA: 5 to 10 is wilful killing and harm to body and
8 then 11, destruction and pillage of property. At this
9 point, we can suspend the hearing and we will begin at
11 (12.55 pm)
12 (Adjourned until 2.45 pm)
1 (2.45 pm)
2 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Registrar, have the
3 accused brought in, please, so that we can continue our
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe will take up the next witness on
7 points that we will not go back to, because you have
8 already explained them.
9 Registrar, can we have the witness brought in,
10 please? This is not a protected witness, it is Sergeant
11 Ian Parrott, right?
12 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, if I can stand corrected, his
13 complete title is Colour Sergeant Ian Parrott.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Could you explain what that means? Is that
15 the sergeant fourrier in the French army?
16 MR. KEHOE: It is a rank that has a tremendous amount of
17 tradition to it within the British army. The aspect of
18 a colour, the flag of a particular regiment or unit was
19 always the rallying point of an army in battle and when
20 they were on parade, the actual regimental colours was
21 always held by an officer. However, that individual was
22 always flanked by a non-commissioned officer known as a
23 colour sergeant, and to this day, when you see British
24 regiments parading, an officer will be holding the
25 regimental colours and flanked on either side of him is
1 a colour sergeant.
2 JUDGE JORDA: But sergeant is a non-commissioned officer, if
3 I am not mistaken, am I not right?
4 MR. KEHOE: That is correct, Mr. President, he is a
5 non-commissioned officer.
6 JUDGE JORDA: He will explain it all to us. We can have him
7 brought in.
8 (Witness entered court)
9 JUDGE JORDA: Sergeant, do you hear me?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
11 JUDGE JORDA: You hear me. Please give us your rank, your
12 name and your first name. Leave it turned on, please.
13 THE WITNESS: I am Colour Sergeant Ian Parrott of the
14 Cheshire Regiment.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, please remain standing while you
16 read the solemn declaration which the usher will give
17 you. Please read this.
18 COLOUR SERGEANT IAN PARROTT (sworn)
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, you may be seated. The Prosecutor
20 must have explained to you, Sergeant, how we are going
21 to proceed. You were present at certain events during
22 October/November 1992 or May 1993 on the territory which
23 is the subject of the serious accusations which have
24 been made against the accused who is here present,
25 General Blaskic. The Prosecutor would like your
1 testimony to concentrate on your observations having to
2 do with HVO soldiers, the organisation of the attack,
3 what happened on 17th April, the specific aspects of
4 your mission, including the way that you accompanied the
5 accused under your protection. After several
6 preliminary questions, you will make your statement all
7 at once, without interruptions, unless the Prosecutor
8 decides to interrupt you, and after that, the Prosecutor
9 will supplement his questions in relation to the points
10 of the indictment that he wishes to bring out.
11 Then you will be cross-examined by the attorneys
12 for the Defence and then by the judges.
13 Mr. Kehoe, I give you the floor.
14 Examined by MR. KEHOE
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Good afternoon, Colour Sergeant.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. Sergeant, how old are you?
19 A. 35 years old.
20 Q. You just stated that you are part of the Cheshire
21 Regiment. How long have you been in the British army?
22 A. Approximately 14 years.
23 Q. Did you come in in the Cheshire Regiment?
24 A. When I entered the army, I went straight into the
25 Cheshire Regiment after initial training.
1 Q. Just as an aside, Colour Sergeant, and I know that we
2 did not discuss this, but can you explain the rank of
3 colour sergeant to the judges, please?
4 A. When I was in Bosnia, I was a platoon sergeant. The
5 platoon sergeant is in charge of approximately 30 to 35
6 men. The colour sergeant is the next rank above.
7 Traditionally, a colour sergeant is in charge of the
8 administration of a company. However, in the position
9 that I am in at the moment, I am an instructor in senior
10 tactics division at a training establishment.
11 Q. Sergeant, does the term "colour sergeant" have anything
12 to do traditionally with the regimental colours of the
14 A. Historically, the colour sergeant would be the keeper of
15 the regimental colours and would look after them in a
16 time of battle.
17 Q. Likewise, traditionally, Colour Sergeant, you said that
18 a colour sergeant was involved in administration. Is
19 that administration tied historically to the tassels on
20 your sash?
21 A. There is historical reference to the tassels. However
22 in modern day, the sash is there to symbolise all senior
23 non-commissioned officers in the infantry.
24 Q. Just to tell you the extent that I am pausing, I am just
25 waiting for the folks in the translation booth to catch
1 up to us.
2 Sergeant Parrott, were you deployed in Bosnia with
3 the Cheshire Regiment from the fall of 1992 through
4 early May 1993?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. Briefly, could you tell the judges what your job was
8 A. As I stated previously, I was a platoon sergeant at that
9 time. My task was basically as the 2IC or the second in
10 command of a platoon, which consists of approximately 30
11 to 35 men. My commander at that stage was Lieutenant
12 Dooley, from the Royal Signals and my officer commanding
13 the company was a Major Martyn Thomas.
14 Initially, when we were deployed to Bosnia, our
15 mandate was to escort and see the safe passage of food
16 and supplies to refugees under the direct supervision of
17 the UNHCR.
18 Q. Now Colour Sergeant, I am going to focus your attention
19 on 16th April 1993 and 17th April 1993. Consistent with
20 our discussion, can you explain to the judges what you
21 did that day and what you observed over that 48 hour
23 A. At approximately 0600 hours, although that is not a
24 definite timing, everyone in the school, which was our
25 camp at the time, was woken by several large explosions
1 which were fairly close vicinity, which caused quite
2 considerable alarm initially, because it was not known
3 what or where the explosions were from, or where they
4 were directed towards.
5 At that time, the whole of the company was stood
6 to, which is basically a military term for everyone to
7 be put on alert. The platoon then mounted up into the
8 vehicles, which were Warrior armoured fighting
9 vehicles. We then stood by for further command and we
10 then sent into Vitez town to ascertain what the
11 situation was, and to report the situation back to our
12 command in Vitez.
13 As we drove down into the main town centre, it was
14 evident at that stage that there were several buildings
15 on fire, and a body was seen fairly close to the edge of
16 town in the direction that we were travelling, on the
17 left-hand side of the road, which obviously indicated to
18 us that the situation was fairly serious. We tried to
19 ascertain the centre of what was going on at that time,
20 which at that time we discovered was in the area of the
21 running track, or it was like a sports stadium, fairly
22 close vicinity to the Hotel Vitez.
23 We reported this and moved to that area. At that
24 time, we saw a number, quite a large number of soldiers
25 who were identified as HVO. They appeared to be
1 systematically clearing a number of houses. There were
2 also a large number who were in static at that stage by
3 a group of garages which were directly across the other
4 side of the street. We could see from the direction
5 that the troops were that they were moving along the
6 street towards or in the direction that we were then
7 travelling. We therefore continued along that road,
8 turned right into and then right again into a
9 cul-de-sac, which then brought us back to approximately
10 50 metres down directly facing these troops we had seen
11 previously on the other side of the houses.
12 At that time, we positioned ourselves as close as
13 we could. I left my other call sign, which was an
14 identical vehicle of one of my subordinates, at the
15 entrance to the cul-de-sac to maintain both a defensive
16 posture and also to observe the immediate area. We saw
17 at that time the soldiers, the HVO soldiers appeared on
18 the other side of the houses directly adjacent to where
19 we were and immediately facing us. To our right as we
20 were facing, there was a guy out -- or a man with a cow
21 tethered to a rope out in his front garden. He was
22 taking cover behind a fence or a wall. He was dressed
23 in civilian clothing. It is believed he had some sort
24 of small arms, maybe a shotgun and possibly some
1 To our immediate right and rear, there was a house
2 which we believe contained approximately 12 or so women
3 and children. No males were observed with those
4 people. Also, directly to our front at the end of the
5 cul-de-sac, hiding behind a wall, was a small number of
6 what we believed were Muslim males in mixed dress, again
7 carrying a small variety of small arms weapons; that is
8 light assault rifles, possibly shotguns, possibly
9 civilian-type small arms.
10 At that time, we were very concerned about the
11 position of the civilians in the house to our rear
12 right. We were concerned that they may well become the
13 target for -- to be killed, and therefore at that stage
14 we radioed through to the headquarters that if any
15 attempt was made to kill or to capture those people,
16 then we would intervene at that time, meaning that we
17 would open fire on the people who were perpetrating that
18 act. Because we had no set mandate at that time from
19 the United Nations, this was acknowledged by the
20 headquarters and we were told that this would be quite
21 in order in order to save what we considered were
22 innocent civilian lives.
23 Shortly after this, the HVO soldiers who had
24 appeared into firing positions, we believe they
25 continued to advance in the direction they were going,
1 halted their action and then withdrew back to the other
2 side of the houses where we had first been static before
3 we moved to that secondary location. At that time then,
4 nobody in that area, apart from the civilians, the women
5 and children, moved anywhere. They then withdrew from
6 the house that they were in and ran towards the area of
7 Stari Vitez, which was directly to our rear. Their
8 actual destination is unknown.
9 Once we were satisfied that there was no further
10 danger to the civilians, we then decided to try and
11 observe any further fighting that was going on in that
12 area. There was still a considerable amount of small
13 arms fire. We were closed down in the Warrior for our
14 own safety, because of the indiscriminate nature of the
15 rounds that were being fired at that time. However, in
16 the Warrior we have gunnery sights which are magnified
17 and we also have 360 degree view through periscopes.
18 We then withdrew from that location. I believe at
19 that time we then went back on to the original road
20 which we had travelled down and turned right, going
21 towards the direction of the open area to the rear and
22 right of Stari Vitez. That area, when travelling in
23 that direction, if you look left from there, opens out
24 on to the high ground over to the sort of rear left as
25 you would be travelling.
1 At that time, we believe it was at that particular
2 occasion, we saw the body of quite a young male at the
3 side of the road. He was face down on the left-hand
4 side. There was quite a noticeable blood trail which
5 ran for some distance, indicating that either he had
6 been dragged there or that he had crawled there and that
7 certainly was not -- we were not able to tell which of
8 those had occurred. We tried to ascertain whether in
9 fact he was dead, but due to the small arms fire that
10 was directed around that area, we were not able to
11 dismount to actually see that. However, we did wait in
12 that area for some considerable time, and there was no
13 movement observed, either breathing or bodily movement,
14 from the person who was at the side of the road. The
15 only thing that was there was a small dog that was
16 initially hiding under his coat.
17 I believe at that time, although it is not a
18 definite fact, but due to the fact that we were in that
19 location, and we were taking a defensive posture in
20 observing 360 degrees around our position, I believe
21 that we saw a recoilless rifle positioned in the -- what
22 we believe is the Bosnian Croat area of the town, on the
23 high ground which I previously stated, which was
24 directly across the open ground to our left. At that
25 time we were slightly concerned for our own safety
1 because a weapon of that calibre could certainly cause
2 damage, if not permanent injury or death to our crew and
3 the people who were in our vehicles.
4 At that time, we were defensively posturing
5 against that weapon, and through the magnification of
6 the gunnery sights, it was quite possible to see that
7 the weapon was in fact pointing towards the area that we
8 were in. However, at that time we did not see the
9 weapon fired.
10 It was shortly after this we were then directed to
11 go along the Zenica road or in the road towards Zenica,
12 which we were familiar with, which we had used
13 previously to go to Busovaca and also to Zenica. It was
14 while travelling towards the Ahmici area that again we
15 started to see houses which had been destroyed,
16 obviously burnt out, and we also observed both to the
17 left and right of the road several people lay there. At
18 that time, we were not sure their status; however, it
19 was later ascertained that they were dead.
20 One particular house which was near the end of the
21 road, directly opposite the cemetery, there were five
22 bodies lay placed out at the front of the house,
23 basically in a straight line. They were later
24 ascertained as being one female and four males. This
25 was reported and all facts about the bodies along the
1 side of the road was reported back to the headquarters.
2 It was as we got to the area of the cemetery that we
3 came across a civilian ambulance and two civilian males
4 at that time, and now we were not sure what faction they
5 were, only that it was a civilian ambulance. Through
6 whatever means of communication, I dismounted from the
7 Warrior. At that time, we were also hearing small arms
8 fire directly over the top of our position, but we were
9 sheltered at that stage because on either side of the
10 road there is quite a high bank which we believed would
11 give us enough protection at that time. It was in that
12 space where the ambulance was.
13 We talked to the ambulance driver, or one of the
14 crew of the ambulance, and ascertained from him that he
15 was trying to determine whether or not the people were
16 actually dead, and he was concerned with trying to
17 retrieve the bodies, whether they were alive or dead.
18 He was unwilling however at that time to expose the
19 ambulance to any particular danger, and because of the
20 small arms fire at that stage, he was very unwilling to
21 go even with our assistance. We therefore said that we
22 would do all that we could to try and retrieve the
23 bodies or ascertain whether or not they were dead or
25 At that stage, I believe the ambulance then
1 withdrew in the direction of Zenica. We then started to
2 go back towards Vitez. We had reported the facts to the
3 headquarters, and they had decided at that stage that
4 they would deploy an armoured ambulance, basically an
5 armoured personnel carrier which was fitted to evacuate
6 casualties from a battlefield area. We felt this was
7 the safest option because of the protection the armour
8 gave to the occupants. They also despatched another
9 call sign from the same company with similar vehicles to
10 ourselves, and we were told to rendezvous with those
11 people at the intersection as you approach Vitez from
12 our direction.
13 As we travelled along that road we came to a bend
14 where you have to slow down quite considerably in order
15 not to overshoot the bend and also because it is fairly
16 narrow. At that time, it was observed to our right a
17 small number of men, again identified as being HVO
18 through their insignia. We believe that they were
19 wearing either very dark green or black fatigues.
20 I have a specific memory of one or more of them having a
21 white belt on. They had small arms with them in the way
22 of assault rifles and similar weapons, and they were
23 down in a dip which is hidden from the actual area of
24 Ahmici from both sides, apart from from the road.
25 We only had them in view for a short time;
1 however, because you have to slow down there, we
2 actually observed them with our turret and we turned the
3 turret towards them. Their actual purpose for being
4 there was never definitely ascertained. However at that
5 time we thought that they were possibly an assault
6 group, but as I say, that was very difficult to actually
7 positively identify. They did not seem particularly
8 bothered by our presence at that stage.
9 We then continued back to the intersection and met
10 up with the ambulance and the other call sign. It was
11 decided at that time that we would surround the bodies
12 in front of the house with our vehicles to give the
13 dismounted crews as much protection as possible to
14 actually get the bodies and put them into the back of
15 the ambulance. This we did by approaching from the road
16 across the grass. We surrounded the bodies, we turned
17 the turrets out in a defensive posture and we evacuated
18 the five casualties into the back of the ambulance.
19 This was extremely difficult. At this stage it
20 was ascertained that all were dead. It was also
21 ascertained that all appeared to have been shot, and it
22 was also commented on at the time by those people who
23 evacuated them into the back of the ambulance that some,
24 if not all, had been shot in the head.
25 It was difficult to evacuate, one because the
1 balcony at the front of the house had actually burnt and
2 fallen on to the end body, so the balcony had to be
3 extracted off the end body before we could get him into
4 the ambulance. We asked for guidance as to where to put
5 the bodies, because at that time we were uncertain where
6 they should be evacuated to. We were told that there
7 was no definite location at that time, so we decided and
8 it was approved that we should put them as close to
9 where we saw the ambulance as possible so that they
10 could be evacuated by them, which seemed the most
11 practical solution at that stage.
12 So the first five bodies were taken down to a hard
13 standing, which is on the first right hand bend after
14 the cemetery. Those bodies were laid in full view, so
15 that if the ambulance crew came back, they would see
16 those bodies to the right of the road. Once we had
17 dropped those bodies, we then continued back along the
18 road towards Vitez, and we picked up approximately four
19 to five more bodies, single bodies, at one stage an old
20 man, who was an extremely large gentleman. It was
21 difficult to get him through the back of the ambulance
22 because he had rigor mortis. I remember an old woman as
23 well who had been shot, but I cannot specify at this
24 time whether or not we evacuated her at that stage. We
25 also found two or three other bodies which again we
1 loaded into the ambulance.
2 It was at that time one of our interpreters gave
3 us information that the bodies should be taken to a
4 makeshift ambulance station which also doubled as a
5 morgue, which was, I believe, an old supermarket, and
6 the cool storage area was being used to put bodies in at
7 that time. We then went to that location, we put the
8 bodies into the morgue by unloading them on stretchers.
9 It was at that stage there was an incident where
10 one of my soldiers commented that somebody who had a
11 particularly bad head wound had lost part or all of
12 their brain while they were being taken into the
13 supermarket. Once we had done that, we were then
14 ordered to go back to Vitez. It was approximately 1700
15 to 1800 hours at that stage and it was decided that the
16 evacuation of bodies using the method that we were doing
17 would be both far too slow and impractical, so therefore
18 we went back to Vitez headquarters at that time.
19 We were then further tasked on the morning of
20 17th April to go to an area I know as Donje Veceriska,
21 which is in the high ground to the rear of what we know
22 as the chemical factory in Vitez. It had been reported
23 through whatever means, and via our headquarters, that
24 there was fighting in that area, and therefore we should
25 go there and ascertain what the situation was and again
1 report back the situation.
2 We travelled up the main track out of Vitez, and
3 at that time, we came across approximately -- we
4 numbered about 20 to 30 civilian people. We identified
5 these as being Muslim through their dress, and they
6 intimated at that time that they had been driven from
7 their homes in the area of Donje Veceriska. Their
8 destination at that time was unclear. However I believe
9 later that they headed on to our echelon location, which
10 was on the main road into Vitez.
11 We then continued up that main track and into the
12 village itself. From my memory, the village is in two
13 parts. There is a main street on the higher ground and
14 then there is a small loop which goes down into the
15 lower ground. As we went along the main street towards
16 the higher area of town, it was noted at that time that
17 most of the houses in that area, particularly to the
18 right of that street, were in fact openly showing HVO
19 insignia on the houses, and there were also a number of
20 troops, also HVO, again identified by their insignia.
21 We got up to a junction at the far end of the
22 village. It was noted at that time that to our left
23 there was at least one house but possibly more that were
24 burning at that time. We positioned ourselves there
25 because that appeared to be the largest concentration of
1 troops that there were at that particular time. We
2 could marry small arms fire, but as I think I have
3 stated already, we could not actually see anybody firing
4 at that time.
5 From there, we decided to go in the direction of
6 what we believed the direction of the way that the
7 houses were being destroyed. As we were moving down
8 that lane, which was extremely narrow, towards the lower
9 part of the village, I recollect seeing a male body.
10 Whether he was alive or dead was not positively
11 identified. He was lying to the rear of some houses.
12 Again, whether those houses were destroyed or not at
13 that time is not clear.
14 Once we had moved possibly halfway round the main
15 loop of the village, we then came across a small number
16 of civilians, some were quite old men and women. At
17 that time, we only saw maybe two males of middle age.
18 I believe one had a civilian rifle and possibly another
19 had a shotgun. They were all grouped around one
20 particular house. At that time we went static in that
21 location, and one of the male people there tried to get
22 us to evacuate an old man who had an injury; again, the
23 type of injury, I have no recollection of what the
24 actual injury was. We told him that we could not do
25 that in open view, as it was against our mandate for
1 neutrality. However, we said that we would try and do
2 what we could.
3 Once we had passed them, we rejoined the main
4 track at the end of the loop and moved back down in
5 towards Vitez. Whether or not we went back to the
6 school at that time is unclear, and I have no direct
7 recollection of whether or not we did that. That was
8 all between possibly 8.00 and 11.00 of the morning of
9 the 17th.
10 The next major recollection I have of that day is
11 we were again on the main road into Vitez, in the area
12 of the church. We pulled into the junction, which was
13 where the church was situated on the right-hand side,
14 and at that time, we saw a multi-barrelled anti-aircraft
15 gun mounted on the back of a flat bed truck. We
16 actually at that stage took photographs of that vehicle,
17 because it was of military significance, and we also
18 sent a report of the type of anti-aircraft weapon it was
19 and also of significance at that time was it was -- we
20 also reported that we believed it had recently been
21 fired because of a heavy heat haze coming off the
23 We did not actually see the weapon being fired;
24 however, at that stage, after a short period of time of
25 us being there, the vehicle then moved off, away from
1 the main road, along the small road which is off the
2 junction from where we were sat. At that stage, as far
3 as I can remember, that was approximately 2.00 in the
4 afternoon. We were then told to report back to Vitez
5 school. As far as I recollect, those are the major
6 events of 16th and 17th April.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor. The Tribunal wishes
8 to thank you very much for this very detailed account
9 which testifies to a wonderful memory that you have.
10 Do you need any further clarifications regarding
11 the counts of the indictment, Mr. Prosecutor? Please
13 MR. KEHOE: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
14 Colour Sergeant, I would like to address you first
15 to some photos and then to note some locations on some
16 maps that are before us. First, with the assistance of
17 the usher or Mr. Dubuisson, if we could turn the ELMO
18 on? This is a photograph that has been received in
19 evidence, Mr. President and your Honours, as Exhibit
20 102/1. Sergeant Parrott, you noted at the outset on the
21 morning of the 16th that you were driving into
22 Stari Vitez and you observed a body on the left-hand
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Is the body depicted in Exhibit 102/1 the body that you
1 were discussing?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. If I could turn to Exhibit 151/1 and 151/2, that first
4 photograph is 151/1, and you also noted that later on
5 after you had seen these soldiers you went down on a
6 track and you saw a young boy's body; would that be that
7 photograph as well, looking out of town?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. If we could turn to 151/2 in evidence, is that a
10 close-up of that young boy?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. Lastly before we turn to the next exhibit, I would like
13 to show you this particular photograph. You also
14 mentioned that you observed a recoilless rifle outside of
15 town which was when you believed to be the HVO
16 controlled area. Let me show you Exhibit 82/3 and ask
17 you, that particular weapon, I realise that photograph
18 is fuzzy, what does that photograph depict?
19 A. It is a similar type of weapon. It is a recoilless
21 Q. When you say a recoilless rifle, are you talking
22 something more akin to an artillery piece than a
23 shoulder weapon?
24 A. It is recoilless because the tube is open at either end
25 and it fires a large usually anti-tank or anti-armoured
1 vehicle round.
2 Q. I believe you stated that this particular weapon could
3 go through the armour that was on your armoured Warrior?
4 A. It certainly could cause considerable damage, if not
5 complete destruction of the vehicle.
6 Q. I am through with that photograph. If I can, with the
7 permission of the President, if we could turn to the
8 particular exhibit that is on the easel, which is
9 Exhibit 45 and Mr. Dubuisson?
10 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit 45G.
11 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President, if I could ask Sergeant
12 Parrott to step up to the microphone and if I could
13 likewise walk over.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course. Please, if the Defence wishes
15 to as well, please go ahead.
16 MR. KEHOE: Sergeant Parrott, could you stand next to that
17 microphone, sir? Sergeant, using the orange marker,
18 could you mark on the map, and press hard please, the
19 path that you took into Stari Vitez on the morning of
20 the 16th?
21 A. Basically the main street of Vitez runs along this road
22 here. (Witness marks map).
23 Q. Press hard on that, please.
24 A. We continued along this road until we got to this
25 junction here. Once we got to the junction, at that
1 point we then -- that is when we observed the troops and
2 therefore turned into this road here. It was
3 approximately there where we saw the troops at the
4 garages and also the first troops which were identified
5 as being HVO at that time. At this point here there was
6 a discarded launcher in the road which we believe was an
7 RPG 16, which is a Russian-manufactured light
8 anti-armour weapon. We then moved down that road,
9 turned right into this cul-de-sac and we took up a
10 position approximately here, facing in that direction.
11 My other call sign took up a position there. (Witness
12 marks map).
13 Q. Before we go any further, let me ask you, with this
14 particular marker, could you mark with a number the
15 location of the body coming into Stari Vitez, or is it
16 on there? Is it further down?
17 A. It may well be further down, I cannot remember the exact
18 position of that body.
19 Q. The particular location where you said you went up and
20 turned right and went in here, the particular location
21 where the RPG was, could you put a 1 there?
22 A. (Witness marks map).
23 Q. Tell us a little about this expended RPG weapon. Is it
24 a reusable weapon or is it a weapon that is used and
25 then the casing is thrown away?
1 A. Once it is used, the casing is thrown away. It cannot
2 be reloaded.
3 Q. What did that indicate to you when you saw that on the
4 side of the road?
5 A. That it had been used.
6 Q. Using number 2, could you point to the location where
7 you saw soldiers at the first junction?
8 A. There were soldiers on both sides of the road, both here
9 and in this area here.
10 Q. You have marked that with a number 2.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What were these soldiers doing?
13 A. They appeared to be clearing the houses in this
14 direction, i.e. along the course of the road. They
15 appeared to be fairly well organised and they appeared
16 to be using tactics which I would say were akin to a
17 military unit.
18 Q. What did you as a professional soldier conclude when you
19 observed those soldiers?
20 A. They were definitely, or in our opinion they were a
21 military unit rather than just a group of people
22 carrying out a sort of hasty plan.
23 Q. Did you render any conclusion as to what they were
24 attempting to do with these buildings in and around the
25 number 2?
1 A. At that stage, from the direction of the -- from which
2 houses were already on fire and which houses were still
3 intact at that stage, they appeared to be
4 systematically, as I stated before, moving along this
5 way to move in this direction. (Indicates).
6 Q. Could you, with this particular colour green, could you
7 point to the houses that they were moving through? Just
8 colour the houses with a circle that they were moving
10 A. (Witness marks map). I have marked the approximate
11 extent at that stage.
12 Q. Did you see any other soldiers in and around that
13 particular morning?
14 A. In that particular area?
15 Q. In that location.
16 A. The only other people there were in that area -- as
17 I stated, there was approximately six BiH or what we
18 presume were Muslim men in this area of the house
19 (indicates), which is directly at the end of the
20 cul-de-sac. At that time, they were sheltering behind
21 the house in approximately that area there.
22 Q. Were they firing on these soldiers?
23 A. No, they were in cover behind the house.
24 Q. These particular soldiers -- withdraw that.
25 You noted that you were concerned about the
1 civilians that were in this location, is that correct?
2 A. Yes, we were.
3 Q. Why?
4 A. All the way through this particular event, there
5 appeared to be very little in the way of protection for
6 those people. They were in one group, which made them
7 extremely vulnerable. They were only women and children
8 and therefore any sort of action against them would have
9 been very dangerous for their situation.
10 Q. During the time when you saw these soldiers in the
11 number 2 area moving through those houses, did you
12 observe any Muslim soldiers firing on those soldiers,
13 those HVO soldiers?
14 A. No, we did not.
15 Q. As a matter of fact, throughout the course of the 16th,
16 did you ever see any Muslim soldiers firing on HVO
18 A. No, we did not.
19 Q. If we could just move from 45G and turn our attention to
20 56G, which is an enlargement of 45G. You noted that
21 when you travelled through the town, travelling through
22 Stari Vitez, you noted the location of a recoilless rifle
23 at a location outside of town. With the number 3, could
24 you point to that location?
25 A. (Witness marks map). I would say that is the
1 approximate location.
2 Q. Can you just circle that please? Could you point to the
3 particular area, the direction in which it was pointed?
4 A. (Witness marks map).
5 Q. When you travelled down on this road, and again if you
6 could with the orange marker, if you have that before
7 you, if you just take us from your location in and
8 around the stadium to where you were located when you
9 observed this recoilless rifle.
10 A. (Witness marks map).
11 Q. When you got to that location -- why do we not mark that
12 with the number 4, if you could.
13 A. (Witness marks map).
14 Q. Were any houses on fire in that area?
15 A. Yes, there were.
16 Q. Where?
17 A. Basically where the number 4 is there.
18 Q. So that would be just above the number 4?
19 A. Yes, that area.
20 Q. Did you know that area to be the Muslim area of Vitez?
21 A. Yes, we did.
22 MR. KEHOE: If I can just stay here, Mr. President and move on
23 to the other --
24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course.
25 MR. KEHOE: You said later on that day you moved into -- you
1 were detailed to go towards the Ahmici area. I know
2 what we have before us is Exhibit 50I, which is a copy,
3 of course, of 50. Again using the orange marker, Colour
4 Sergeant, could you show the court the road you took
5 going up into the Ahmici area?
6 A. This road here is the main road towards Zenica.
7 Q. You said in your testimony that you reached a location
8 where a house was located and you observed approximately
9 five bodies when you first went up into that area.
10 A. Yes, we did.
11 Q. With the number 5, could you put down the location of
12 that place where you saw the five bodies?
13 A. (Witness marks map).
14 Q. You then said you went up further and saw an ambulance,
15 is that right?
16 A. Yes, we did.
17 Q. Could you put that location as number 6?
18 A. (Witness marks map).
19 Q. I think you said that you did not pick these bodies up
20 at that point, is that right?
21 A. No, we did not.
22 Q. After you took the ambulance back down towards Vitez,
23 what did you do when you came back then?
24 A. The civilian ambulance actually did not come with us at
25 all. After we had finish in that location, we were
1 then -- once we had reported the fact, they said that
2 they were despatching the ambulance and we did a reverse
3 of that route back towards Vitez. We then met up with
4 the ambulance and another call sign in a position that
5 is just off the map.
6 Q. Did you return to pick up bodies?
7 A. Yes, we did.
8 Q. I think you testified that you picked up a series of
9 bodies and took them to a lay-by around the road?
10 A. Yes, we did.
11 Q. Where is that? Put number 7 on it.
12 A. (Witness marks map).
13 Q. That is the house?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. Could you put a number 8 where you put those bodies?
16 A. The 7 actually covers that location.
17 Q. That is where you put that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You also testified that you observed some soldiers in a
20 bend in the road when you were headed south going back
21 towards Vitez, is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The soldiers you said were in green or black, possibly
24 with white belts.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you put number 8 in the location where you
2 observed those soldiers?
3 A. (Witness marks map).
4 Q. I think you also said, Colour Sergeant, that you picked
5 up other bodies in and around that area over the course
6 of that day.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Sir, if you can retake your seat and we can go to some
9 other photographs.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. KEHOE: I am sorry. If I can first turn your attention
12 to Exhibit 111/1, with the assistance of the usher.
13 Colour Sergeant, you had indicated to us that you took
14 some bodies up to the lay-by which is noted in the chart
15 as position 6, is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Are those the bodies that you put up by that lay-by?
18 A. Yes, they are.
19 MR. KEHOE: If I can turn to another series of photographs,
20 Mr. President, that are not in evidence, and if I could
21 ask Mr. Dubuisson to begin, I am not sure exactly what
22 our number is at this point.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The number is 169, and it is understood that
24 I still have to receive Exhibits 167 and 168 which are
25 the statements.
1 MR. KEHOE: That is correct. There are three statements.
2 That is correct.
3 THE REGISTRAR: So there are three statements; then this one
4 will be 170.
5 MR. KEHOE: Thank you. If we could turn to the first
6 photograph in that bundle of photographs, 170/1. The
7 top photographs first, please. If we can talk about
8 this photograph first, Colour Sergeant, do you recognise
9 that photograph, sir?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. What is that?
12 A. That is the armoured ambulance with two bodies in the
14 Q. Did your particular company assist them at picking these
15 bodies up?
16 A. Yes, we were present when that was done.
17 Q. Let us turn to the next photograph, 170/2. How about
18 that photograph, Colour Sergeant?
19 A. That was taken I believe at the same time.
20 Q. Likewise bodies that you picked up on the afternoon of
21 the 16th?
22 A. Yes, they were.
23 Q. Let us turn our attention to the third photograph,
24 170/3. What is that, sir?
25 A. That is the armoured ambulance with three members of my
2 Q. Thank you very much. We will talk about the rest of the
3 photographs in one moment. Sergeant, you noted during
4 your testimony that first, the bodies that were in a
5 line and with one of the sides of the buildings having
6 fallen down on one of the bodies, they were in a line,
7 did they look like they had been placed there?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did they look like they had been brought there from
10 another location?
11 A. I do not think that would be easy to ascertain.
12 Q. The bodies that had the particular wounds on them, and
13 you noted that there were head wounds to many of these
14 bodies, is that right?
15 A. Yes, there were.
16 Q. As a soldier, what did that indicate to you?
17 A. It certainly would not be consistent with normal battle
18 wounds, I would not imagine.
19 Q. Why is that?
20 A. It is probably not a good odds for that many people to
21 be wounded in such a manner.
22 Q. Was your opinion strengthened in any fashion when you
23 saw an older woman killed in relatively the same
25 A. Yes, it was.
1 MR. KEHOE: As you move on to the 17th, you noted that you
2 first went up to Donje Veceriska. Again, if I may, if
3 I could have you go up to the easel with the orange
4 marker, we need to turn that over, if I could,
5 Mr. President.
6 Sergeant, just turning ourselves -- this for the
7 record, Mr. President, is Exhibit 56H.
8 If I could at the outset, could you write here,
9 distinguishing this from 56G, could you write the date,
10 "17th April 1993", so we do not confuse it with Exhibit
11 56G. While we are here, if you could similarly write
12 16th April 1993 on this.
13 A. (Witness marks map).
14 Q. Turning our attention back to 56H, again using the
15 orange marker, can you show us the path that you
16 followed that day up into the village of Donje
18 A. From the edge of Vitez here. (Witness marks map).
19 Q. You noted, Colour Sergeant, that as you were heading up
20 to Donje Veceriska, somewhere approximately on this
21 road, could you note where you saw the civilians that
22 indicated to you that they had been driven out of their
24 A. The exact location is difficult to confirm. However, it
25 was in an area of the low ground around this location
1 here. (Indicates).
2 Q. Why do you not put a number 1 there, we will start the
3 numbers again for the 17th, and circle the approximate
4 area so we have a general locality.
5 A. (Witness marks map).
6 Q. Did you have an opinion as to what ethnic group the
7 people at position 1 belonged to?
8 A. Yes, they were Muslim.
9 Q. Let me go to an aerial view of Donje Veceriska. Turning
10 our attention to, I believe this is Exhibit 55 -- is the
12 THE REGISTRAR: 55A.
13 MR. KEHOE: This is a pan view of Donje Veceriska, can you
14 take us from this location and show us the path that you
16 A. (Witness marks map).
17 Q. The particular location where you stopped, could you
18 make that number 2.
19 A. For the first time or once we had gone into the village?
20 Q. Once you had gone into the village. You noted during
21 your narrative that you observed a series of HVO
22 soldiers, is that right?
23 A. Yes, we did.
24 Q. Did you notice anything else as you began to drive into
25 the location, before you stopped at the area that you
1 note as number 2?
2 A. What in particular?
3 Q. Did you notice anything by way of HVO banners in
4 addition to any other insignia?
5 A. Yes, we did, particularly on the right-hand side of the
6 road, between this sort of area (indicates).
7 Q. Could you mark in pink and number it with 3, the area
8 where you observed?
9 A. (Witness marks map).
10 Q. Colour Sergeant, would that have been the same location
11 where you saw the HVO soldiers that you mentioned
13 A. Yes, more of a concentration towards where the number 2
15 Q. Approximately how many soldiers did you see?
16 A. Quite a few. The exact number is difficult. In tens,
17 probably 20 or 30, I would imagine.
18 Q. How many years have you been a soldier?
19 A. 14.
20 Q. You have observed soldiers in various settings, have you
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Looking at those soldiers, did they appear to be tense
24 to you in any way?
25 A. Not at all, no.
1 Q. Were they being fired upon?
2 A. Although there was small arms fire in the area, they
3 were not in defensive positions or fire positions in any
5 Q. For you as a soldier, if they had been being fired upon,
6 would you in your opinion believe they would be taking
8 A. I certainly would do myself.
9 Q. Were they taking cover?
10 A. No, they were not.
11 Q. In the location just above number 2, did you see any
12 houses on fire?
13 A. Yes, there was a house which was burning at that time,
14 fairly close to the junction area.
15 Q. Can you mark that with the green and then mark that with
16 a number 4.
17 A. (Witness marks map).
18 Q. I think you noted that there was one, possibly more
19 houses on fire, is that right?
20 A. Yes, there were.
21 Q. Were these soldiers making any attempt to put those
22 fires out?
23 A. No, they were not.
24 Q. What did that indicate to you, as a soldier?
25 A. That they were probably the ones who had actually caused
2 Q. So these soldiers are standing around, not taking cover
3 and not putting out a fire that was relatively close to
4 that location, is that right?
5 A. That is right.
6 Q. Did you see these soldiers in the area around 2, or
7 around 3, or around 4 taking any incoming fire during
8 the period of time when you were there?
9 A. No, we did not.
10 Q. Is it a fact that they seemed quite relaxed, relatively
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If we can move on, you noted another location and you
14 said that you stopped on a location in the village as
15 you moved down, because you said you were following the
16 road that you believed that the destruction was taking
17 place and you stopped at a house.
18 A. Yes, we did.
19 Q. Could you take the orange marker, again mark through
20 there the path that you followed. Can you circle the
21 house with the green and then mark it with the number
23 A. (Witness marks map).
24 Q. After stopping at that location, can you take us the
25 rest of the way and show us the road back?
1 A. (Witness marks map).
2 Q. Sergeant Parrott, during the entire time you were in
3 this village, did you see any organised resistance on
4 the part of the Bosnian Muslims against the soldiers in
5 the location of the village, the HVO soldiers in number
6 2 and 3?
7 A. No, I did not.
8 Q. If I may ask you to have a seat? Thank you. If I can
9 turn our attention, with the assistance of the usher, to
10 the next photograph, that will be 170/4.
11 Sergeant Major, have you seen that photograph
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 Q. What is that photograph, sir?
15 A. It is the area of the junction where we initially
17 Q. That would have been the photograph that is depicted on
18 2 and the houses burning in the area around number 4?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. What date was this photograph?
21 A. That was on the 17th.
22 Q. Is this one of the fires that you observed the HVO
23 soldiers not attempting to put out?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. You have said that you moved down on that road to the
1 location of number 5, and if I can turn to the next
2 photograph, 170/4. Likewise, Colour Sergeant, do you
3 recognise that photograph?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. What is that?
6 A. It is looking back from my own vehicle towards the other
7 one in the direction we had travelled down into the
8 bottom half of the village.
9 Q. Are those the civilians that you were talking about that
10 came out to the Warrior when you stopped?
11 A. Yes, they are.
12 Q. Before we move back to the map and continue on with the
13 17th, you said later on, on the 17th you observed an
14 anti-aircraft weapon on the southern end of Stari Vitez,
15 is that right?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Let me show you a photograph that has been received in
18 evidence as Exhibit 105, I believe you have it on the
19 chair next to you, Mr. Dubuisson. Could you point with
20 the point pointer, Sergeant Major, where the
21 anti-aircraft weapon is in that photograph?
22 A. (Indicates).
23 Q. Okay, sir. Is that the one where you thought that it
24 had been recently fired because the heat was coming out
25 of the barrel?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Let me turn to the next photograph in the bundle, the
3 next photograph, which is 170/5. I am not asking you,
4 Sergeant Major, whether or not that is the same
5 anti-aircraft weapon, but is that the type in a more
6 close-up fashion? Is that the type of anti-aircraft
7 weapon that you observed in the photograph you just
8 discussed, Exhibit 105?
9 A. It is certainly the same type of weapon, yes.
10 Q. If I can ask you to go back to 56H -- thank you usher,
11 we are done with those photographs at this juncture.
12 Again, going back to 56H, could you, with the
13 number 6, mark the location on this map where you
14 observed that anti-aircraft gun.
15 A. (Witness marks map).
16 Q. Could you put a circle around that, sir? Approximately
17 what time did you leave Donje Veceriska?
18 A. I believe we left there approximately 1100 hours or
20 Q. How much time did you then spend in the Vitez area after
22 A. Certainly up to about -- as I said before, whether or
23 not we went back to Vitez headquarters or not, I cannot
24 remember. However, that particular incident was
25 approximately 2.00 in the afternoon.
1 Q. Until approximately 2.00 in the afternoon, did you
2 continue to observe smoke coming from the village of
3 Donje Veceriska up until that time on 17th April?
4 A. Yes, we did.
5 Q. Let me change subjects with you and keep you here for
6 one moment. During the course of time that you were
7 working with the Cheshires in Bosnia, did you have
8 occasion to meet the accused, General Blaskic.
9 A. Yes, we did.
10 Q. When was that?
11 A. We were required to transport him from his headquarters
12 in Kiseljak to the headquarters in Busovaca.
13 Q. Let me turn your attention to first Exhibit 75A, and ask
14 you to take a look at this. Could you mark on this
15 particular map the road that you take into the Kiseljak
16 barracks, again with the orange and then circle the
17 location where you picked Blaskic up.
18 A. (Witness marks map).
19 Q. And just circle the location. 76B is a close-up of
20 that, is that right?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Could you just circle the front entrance to the Kiseljak
24 A. (Witness marks map).
25 Q. Thank you, you can have a seat, sir.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Have you many more questions, Mr. Kehoe?
2 MR. KEHOE: Just one other exhibit with this, Mr. President,
3 and I will be through.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well then, we shall have a break and we
5 will resume work in 20 minutes.
6 (4.05 pm)
7 (A short break)
8 (4.35 pm)
9 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing. Have the
10 accused brought in, please.
11 (Accused brought in)
12 MR. KEHOE: May I proceed, Mr. President?
13 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead, please.
14 MR. KEHOE: When we left off, Colour Sergeant Parrott, we
15 were talking about you picking the accused up at the
16 Kiseljak barracks?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was he alone or was he with a group of people? Could
19 you describe it to the judges?
20 A. No, normally he would have approximately six to eight
21 bodyguards, heavily armed. He would usually be one of
22 the only people who did not have a weapon visible at
23 that time.
24 Q. May I show you a document that I believe you provided to
25 the Office of the Prosecutor.
1 Mr. Dubuisson, may I hand Exhibit 171 to the
2 witness. Colour Sergeant Parrott, do you recognise
3 Exhibit 171?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. What is it?
6 A. The top sheet is a translation of a fax received by
7 headquarters Vitez requesting transport from Kiseljak to
9 Q. When you said headquarters Vitez, from headquarters
10 Vitez, whose headquarters?
11 A. Our headquarters.
12 Q. Could you read the translation that you received,
13 translation of that letter.
14 A. It is headed, "Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatian
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna, Croatian Defence Council.
16 Central Bosnia Ops Command", I am not sure of the next
18 "... before Vitez. Number 01-4-163/93, date
19 11th April 1993. Time, 1100 hours. Defence military
20 secret, highly confidential. A request for providing
21 armoured personnel carriers for transport. Could you
22 please provide two armoured personnel carriers for
23 transport of a HVO delegation and their escort on
24 12th April 1993, Monday. Place of departure, Kiseljak
25 HVO barracks. Route, Kiseljak Kacuni, Busovaca. Time
1 of departure, 0900. Number of passengers, ten members
2 of the delegation. Having appreciated your
3 understanding in transporting us before, we are
4 expecting a positive answer. We are grateful in
5 advance. Could you inform us about the outcome of our
6 request by 1600 hours on 11th April 1993. In written
7 form or by telephone, 712-902. With respect, Commander
8 Colonel T Blaskic."
9 Q. On that written translation, there is a yellow note, is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes, there is.
12 Q. What does that say?
13 A. "Only allow Blaskic and 7 men and int rep to be brought
15 Q. This is a request of Blaskic to take them from Kiseljak
16 to Busovaca through Kacuni, is that right?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Do you know, Colour Sergeant, whether or not this
19 particular request was complied with?
20 A. No, I do not know for definite.
21 Q. But similar requests to this were complied with by the
22 British battalion, is that correct?
23 A. Yes, they were.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, your Honours, I have completed my
25 questioning of this witness and I just would like to
1 offer into evidence the maps that are on the easel,
2 Exhibit 45G, 56G, 50I, 56H, 55A, 75A, 76B.
3 THE REGISTRAR: And 170, the photo album.
4 MR. KEHOE: The photo album, 170, and the series of letters
5 with their translation as 171.
6 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to be sure about the numbering of
7 the transport orders.
8 We will now, Sergeant, have the cross-examination,
9 Mr. Hayman is going to cross-examine you. Go ahead,
10 please, Mr. Hayman.
11 MR. KEHOE: If I may, excuse me, to the extent that there is
12 a confusion with this document, there are actually two
13 translations of the letter, one that was given to
14 Sergeant Parrott and one that was done by the Tribunal.
15 If that is a source of confusion, that is the
17 JUDGE JORDA: No, I understood that there were translations
18 that were done on site. That is what you are talking
19 about, is it not? That were done by the British
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Then you had the translation into French and
23 English which represent the last document. All right,
24 everything is under 170. Mr. Hayman.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, your Honour. We do not object to the
1 admission of any of the exhibits, but I would like to
2 note for the record that this is the first time we have
3 been provided with Exhibit 171, which is a statement of
4 the accused. Under Rule 66 we are entitled to
5 statements of the accused when they first come into the
6 possession of the Prosecutor. I see here they have had
7 time to produce a French translation, but they
8 apparently did not have time to give this to the Defence
9 when they got it in advance of the testimony. If I am
10 wrong, I apologise, but I do not believe we have seen
11 this before.
12 JUDGE JORDA: This is a relevant question. According to
13 Rule 66, all information must be communicated to the
14 Defence. It is not exactly a statement, but as a
15 document whose author is the accused, we have to be very
16 careful in the terminology that we use. Is that not
17 right, Mr. Kehoe?
18 MR. KEHOE: Absolutely right, Mr. President. However, it is
19 not his statement. There are any number of orders in
20 the possession of the Tribunal signed by the accused.
21 They are not the defendant's statements. Again, had we
22 engaged in reciprocal discovery this problem would have
23 been covered. We have not, through the choice of the
24 Defence counsel. Nevertheless --
25 MR. HAYMAN: That is fine, your Honour.
1 Excuse me, counsel.
2 MR. KEHOE: Nevertheless, this particular document came into
3 the possession of the Office of the Prosecutor last week
4 in discussions with Colour Sergeant Parrott. I must be
5 very clear that the position throughout this trial, and
6 never raised by Defence counsel, was that the orders of
7 the defendant were statements.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Mr. Hayman. I would like to remind
9 you that we dealt with this issue in the decision of
10 27th January 1997.
11 MR. HAYMAN: If I can refresh the court's recollection, that
12 decision said that a statement is a statement,
13 regardless of who took it, regardless of the form it is
14 in and regardless of whether it is signed or otherwise
15 sworn or adopted. If the court accepts Mr. Kehoe's
16 position, so be it, but the record should be absolutely
17 clear that we made a motion for all statements, the
18 court ruled, and if statements such as this order are
19 not being provided to the Defence, that should be in the
20 record, it should be absolutely clear and our objection
21 is noted.
22 JUDGE JORDA: We had the opportunity to settle this issue.
23 But unfortunately, my copy is not good. The principle
24 said that in support of 66(A), the Tribunal says that
25 all previous statements of the accused will be given to
1 the -- it is stated that these would come from any other
2 source. The interpretation for 66(A) says that the
3 Trial Chamber cannot make a distinction between the form
4 or forms of these documents.
5 THE INTERPRETER: We do not have this statement in the
6 interpretation booth, excuse me.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Going back to paragraph 37, I think we did
8 that in order to simplify things. We consider that
9 everything that comes from the Prosecution has to be
10 given to the Defence so that he can prepare the
11 Defence. This should be clear, we are wasting time
12 here. I do not think there is any point in this. We
13 could go on and on discussing what does the word
14 "statement" mean, but we settled this on 27th January
15 1997, when you said that everything that came from the
16 accused has to be given Defence. I think this is in
17 order to keep things fair and part of an adversarial
18 procedure. What do you think about that? We are not
19 going to redo our decision of 27th January, of course.
20 MR. KEHOE: With all due respect, Mr. President, in Rule
21 66(B), which is the reciprocal discovery, it says:
22 "The Prosecutor shall on request, subject to
23 sub-rule (C), permit the Defence to inspect any
24 documents in its custody that they are going to use."
25 These are documents in our custody that we intend
1 to use during the trial. That is certainly the subject
2 of a reciprocal discovery issue and not the issue of
3 statements where the particular defendant makes a
4 statement in the media which we have given over, makes a
5 statement to a newspaper or an investigator.
6 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, we do not have to reargue this.
7 The court ruled, the Prosecutor is making his position
8 absolutely clear in the record. It will speak for
9 itself, for this court, for any appellate proceeding.
10 I suggest we proceed.
11 MR. KEHOE: I am grateful for Mr. Hayman's assistance, but
12 I believe quite clearly that the particular documents
13 Defence wants we could have got through the reciprocal
14 discovery procedures, but he chose not to.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me for a moment. (Pause).
16 The Tribunal considers that for the time being, it
17 will keep this in abeyance. For the time being this
18 will be part of the cross-examination and discussed by
19 the Defence, and we will come back to this, but not at
20 the bench, to the decision, in a decision which was
21 rendered by a trial bench which did not include one of
22 the judges who are here now. So for the time being,
23 Mr. Hayman, you can discuss the document if you desire
24 but if you do not so desire that, of course, is your
25 right. If I understood you correctly, you wish to
1 discuss it.
2 MR. HAYMAN: We are prepared to proceed with
3 cross-examination, your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Let us go ahead.
5 Cross-examined by MR. HAYMAN
6 Q. Good afternoon, Colour Sergeant.
7 A. Hello.
8 Q. I have a few questions but not too many. Can you help
9 us fix approximately when on the morning of 16th April
10 1993 you arrived in the Vitez town area?
11 A. I believe it was some time shortly after 0900 hours.
12 Q. You had been on alert for a couple of hours before then?
13 A. Yes, I would say a couple of hours.
14 Q. Were you with Lieutenant Dooley all day on 16th April?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. Would it be correct to say that the total number of HVO
17 soldiers you saw in the Vitez, Stari Vitez area on
18 16th April that morning, 1993, was around two dozen,
19 approximately two dozen soldiers?
20 A. The exact number would be extremely difficult. I would
21 say that that would be on the low side.
22 Q. Would three dozen be on the high side, or can you say
23 with any more specificity?
24 A. Not particularly, no.
25 Q. You have indicated on I believe the exhibit that is
1 currently on display, Exhibit 45G, that you saw a
2 certain number of HVO soldiers moving house to house on
3 the morning of 16th April.
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Was the number of those soldiers around six?
6 A. Actually, around the houses visible to us, I would say
7 that was approximate, yes.
8 Q. How many houses did you see them move through while you
9 were observing those six or so soldiers on the morning
10 of April 16th 1993?
11 A. We saw them move from a position concealed to us through
12 to the rear of the houses where they were directly in
13 front of the armoured vehicle, so that would be through
14 the rear garden of one house.
15 Q. Did they provide each other cover with their weapons
16 while they moved, or were you able to see that?
17 A. At that time, they tended to move into fire positions in
18 amongst the outbuildings and the garden walls and
20 Q. Can you explain what you mean by "fire positions"?
21 A. It would be a position taken up to either fire a weapon
22 from, or alternatively to get into, a position which
23 would afford some sort of cover.
24 Q. When you said that these six soldiers appeared
25 organised, do you mean in substance that they were
1 moving in a way in which their relationship with each
2 other was organised?
3 A. Yes, I would.
4 Q. Had you seen by contrast other soldiers, for example at
5 checkpoints, who had seemed pretty disorganised during
6 your tour in Bosnia?
7 A. Yes, I have.
8 Q. Did you see any of these six soldiers fire any weapons?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you see them light any houses on fire with any
11 instruments, fuel or anything of the sort?
12 A. No, we did not.
13 Q. You describe seeing an used or discarded RPG 16 in the
14 street. If that weapon were fired into a house, and it
15 detonated, would it be capable of setting the house on
16 fire, if you know?
17 A. Yes, it would.
18 Q. Do you know whether that type of weapon, an RPG, is
19 something that would commonly be used during fighting in
20 built-up areas?
21 A. Yes, it would.
22 Q. Now, the six male Muslims that you saw at the end of the
23 cul-de-sac, do you recall those?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were they in mixed uniform, that is partial uniform,
1 partial civilian clothes?
2 A. From my recollection, I believe only a portion of those
3 six had any type of uniform at all. In that way, it
4 would be mixed uniform as well.
5 Q. Was a mixed uniform, in your view, a customary form of
6 dress for BiH soldiers in this area at that time?
7 A. In some areas, mixed uniform was customary for most of
8 the forces.
9 Q. Of these six men whom you saw, I take it one or more had
11 A. Yes, he did.
12 Q. Did one or more have AK 47s?
13 A. I believe so, yes.
14 Q. You describe seeing another man with some type of small
15 arms weapon who was in a garden with a cow, do you
16 recall that individual?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Did you see that individual making a motion which
19 appeared to be the motion of throwing a hand grenade in
20 the direction of the six HVO soldiers?
21 A. Yes, we did.
22 Q. Were you locked down in your Warrior at the time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Before the six HVO soldiers withdrew, did you see some
25 additional Muslim men arrive in the vicinity?
1 A. Not to my knowledge, no.
2 Q. Let me ask you if this refreshes your recollection.
3 MR. KEHOE: Page, counsel.
4 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. Kehoe, I will provide you with the
5 page. It is page 5 of the statement to the Tribunal
6 investigators, dated 27th April 1995. In discussing
7 this situation, the statement states:
8 "Shortly after some time, some more Muslim men
9 arrived, but I would not describe them as soldiers or a
10 unit, but just a male presence from the town in various
11 remnants of uniform. The families in the house ran from
12 the building in the direction of Stari Vitez. It now
13 appeared that the Muslim men were prepared to defend the
14 houses in their vicinity."
15 Does that refresh your recollection as to whether
16 some additional Muslim men in mixed uniform arrived at
17 the scene?
18 A. I believe if that was in my statement then that would
19 have been a recollection at that time, yes.
20 Q. I take it it is not a recollection you have today?
21 A. Not at present, no.
22 Q. In any event, after a passage of some time, did the six
23 HVO soldiers withdraw from the area?
24 A. Yes, they did.
25 Q. Did they do so with no exchange of fire, with the six
1 Muslim males you have described at the end of the
2 cul-de-sac or any other persons in the area?
3 A. No firing was seen.
4 Q. You described later on that morning you saw a house on
5 fire below the stadium, that is if you are looking at
6 one of these exhibits, on the photograph below the
7 stadium, away from Vitez town, do you recall that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was that one house on fire or more than one?
10 A. I only have a definite recollection of one house which
11 was burning particularly fiercely. However, there may
12 have been others.
13 Q. Later in the day, you went on the Vitez-Busovaca road
14 and helped to collect bodies.
15 A. Yes, we did.
16 Q. The five bodies that were collected at, I believe, point
17 5 on one of the maps, did they all have the same wound,
18 or did they have different types of wounds, insofar as
19 you recall?
20 A. I was not personally responsible for putting those
21 people in the ambulance, but from what was told to me
22 afterwards, they all had bullet wounds; however, some
23 were in different places.
24 Q. They were not all shot in the head in the same way?
25 A. I believe not.
1 Q. The photos that are, I believe the first two photos in
2 Exhibit 170, which I am holding up, do you know, are
3 these persons who were two of the five that were picked
4 up on that afternoon, or are they other individuals, if
5 you know?
6 A. I have no definite information whether they were the
7 first lot or the second lot that we actually picked up.
8 Q. You cannot tell or you do not remember?
9 A. I cannot tell from those photographs which of those two
10 it was.
11 MR. HAYMAN: Now let us turn, if we may, to 17th April 1993,
12 your visit to Donje Veceriska. You stated on the way
13 up, and perhaps the usher could assist, your Honour, and
14 we could have Exhibit 55A before us, should it prove
15 useful to the witness. You stated on the drive up to
16 Donje Veceriska you encountered some 20 or more
17 civilians by the road.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were there some BiH army or BiH militia with them?
20 A. I believe there may have been, I think, two.
21 Q. Were they in a mixed dress or how were they dressed?
22 A. I have no definite recollection of their exact dress.
23 Q. Did they have weapons?
24 A. I believe if they were described as militia they may
25 well have done.
1 Q. I think if I may trouble you, if you could join me, and
2 I invite my counsel from across the bar, as it would be
3 of assistance to look at Exhibit 55A during the next
4 several questions I have. You indicated the area on
5 Exhibit 55A which I believe you circled in red as
6 including the area in which you saw a number of HVO
7 soldiers, is that right?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Tell me, those HVO soldiers, were they standing in an
10 open field, were they behind a structure, in a ravine?
11 Can you describe the type of location that they were in?
12 A. The main street has houses either side, but near the
13 junction is fairly open. The soldiers were just around
14 the main street and the main concentration being around
15 the junction area.
16 Q. When you say "the junction", are you talking about the
17 area circled in green?
18 A. Yes, near there.
19 Q. Where did you first see any males of fighting age, if
20 you will, whom you believe to be of the Muslim -- part
21 of the Muslim community in Donje Veceriska. Where did
22 you see them?
23 A. Apart from the people we met on the way up there?
24 Q. Once you got up into the village proper, where did you
25 first see any Muslim males of fighting age?
1 A. I believe where I marked number 5.
2 Q. Could you point that out again, if you do not mind?
3 A. Around this area here. (Indicates).
4 Q. The top of the loop as you drove round your circle?
5 A. That is actually at the top of the loop.
6 Q. So you are saying you did not see any evidence of the
7 Muslim community, if you will, down around the road
8 which is the upper half of the red circle on this
9 Exhibit 55A; but above the road from the red circle, did
10 you see any evidence of the Muslim community or any
11 Muslim fighting-aged men in that area?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. When you got around to, on the photograph, the top of
14 the circle or loop and as you have described it being in
15 the lower ground, you did encounter some Muslim men of
16 fighting age, is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How many did you find there?
19 A. I believe there were only possibly two men that you
20 would refer to as fighting age.
21 Q. Did any of them have weapons?
22 A. Yes, I believe there was a civilian rifle of some sort,
23 and I think a shotgun, I am not exactly sure. I think
24 you can see weapons on the photograph.
25 Q. There is a weapon that you can see in the corner of
1 Exhibit 170, I believe it is 170/4, the photograph of
2 the -- if you could step forward and take my copy, if
3 you do not have my copy. This is the photograph of
4 the -- perhaps another copy could be placed on the ELMO
5 while the witness is looking at it, of a Warrior in a
6 narrow lane. If you look to the left of the Warrior, do
7 you see a man standing with a firearm?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you recognise that weapon?
10 A. It looks very much like a shotgun from here.
11 MR. HAYMAN: If the photograph on the ELMO could be moved a
12 little to the right so that this individual is in view.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, I heard the interpretation as
14 "revolver", is that correct? Yes, I think that is my
15 confusion. I do not know about military strategy, but
16 I think there is a difference between a revolver and a
17 rifle. I do not know if it is for war or for hunting,
18 but it is certainly not a revolver. Excuse me.
19 MR. HAYMAN: This gun was neither a revolver -- it was not a
20 revolver, correct, the weapon that you spotted in this
22 A. It is not a revolver, no.
23 Q. It is some type of a rifle?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. But from the photograph you cannot discern --
1 MR. KEHOE: I object, your Honour. He said it was a
3 A. From what you asked me before, I would say it was a
5 MR. HAYMAN: There was a translation problem. I was not
6 trying to confuse the witness, just trying to make it
8 JUDGE JORDA: No, it was an interpretative problem, but the
9 interpreters did not have the photograph in front of
10 them. I am sure that it is a rifle.
11 MR. HAYMAN: Were there any HVO soldiers in this part of the
12 village where you encountered these men, that is at the
13 upper part of the photograph which is Exhibit 55A?
14 A. There were none around where I have marked number 5.
15 Q. How long did you spend in Donje Veceriska on this day,
16 17th April 1993?
17 A. The exact time is not confirmed, however I would say
18 from start to finish possibly an hour and a half, two
20 Q. Did you have an interpreter with you?
21 A. I have no recollection of having an interpreter.
22 Q. Did you gain any information from the persons on the
23 ground as to what was going on, what the situation was,
24 in the village?
25 A. Actually, in the village they were more concerned about
1 trying to get someone evacuated from the village.
2 I have no recollection of any definite details.
3 Q. This wounded man you describe, he was, I take it, at the
4 top of the loop, at the upper portion of the photograph
5 which is 55A?
6 A. We were only told about him, we did not actually see
8 Q. You did not know where he was?
9 A. No.
10 Q. While you were there, did you see any HVO soldiers
11 firing their weapons?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. Did you evacuate any wounded from Donje Veceriska on
14 that trip?
15 A. No, we did not.
16 Q. Did you send someone else to pick up some wounded later
17 or make other arrangements?
18 A. It was reported when we got back to Vitez. The further
19 action is unknown to me.
20 Q. Thank you, you may have a seat. Perhaps Exhibit 170 has
21 been provided to you -- perhaps not all of it. Perhaps
22 Exhibit 170/4, which is the picture of the fire, could
23 be provided to the witness and placed on the ELMO.
24 Thank you.
25 Colour Sergeant, this photo, can you tell us what
1 kind of structure is burning in this photo? Were you
2 able to tell at the time?
3 A. It appeared that the main structure of the building had
4 actually burnt and the thing that was on fire there was
5 the log pile to the side of the building.
6 Q. The main structure, do you know, was it a house or a
7 summer kitchen or a stable, or could you tell?
8 A. There was no real indication as to what it was, it was
9 in too bad a state.
10 Q. Were there any other houses burning in the vicinity --
11 or stables burning in the vicinity of this fire while
12 you were there?
13 A. I have no recollection of any others.
14 Q. Do you have any recollection of any other burning
15 structures anywhere else in Donje Veceriska while you
16 were visiting it on 17th April 1993?
17 A. I do not believe that any of them were actually on fire
18 at that stage. However, I cannot confirm it.
19 Q. You described picking up Colonel Blaskic in Kiseljak on
20 one occasion and transporting him to Busovaca, correct?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. I take it you did that once, is that right?
23 A. I have only a definite recollection of one occasion.
24 However, it was done several times.
25 Q. By others, but not you?
1 A. Possibly myself as well.
2 Q. But you have a distinct recollection of one trip?
3 A. Yes, I have.
4 Q. On that one trip, were you told the purpose of the
6 A. No, we were not.
7 Q. The occasion that you transported Colonel Blaskic from
8 Kiseljak to Busovaca, at the time, was the weather
9 extremely cold?
10 A. Yes, it was.
11 Q. Do you know the reason you were being asked to transport
13 MR. KEHOE: Judge, I object. This question was just asked.
14 MR. HAYMAN: I will rephrase, your Honour.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Please do that.
16 MR. HAYMAN: I am referring to not the purpose of his travel
17 but why he needed UN protection to travel from Kiseljak
18 to Busovaca. Were you aware of that at the time?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 A. I believe he felt that he needed a protected journey on
21 that particular road.
22 MR. HAYMAN: Is that because the BiH army held a stretch of
23 the road from Busovaca to Kiseljak, or were you aware of
25 A. The exact territorial positions were not known to
2 Q. How did you describe the location where you picked up
3 Colonel Blaskic in Kiseljak?
4 A. It is basically known as the HVO barracks in Kiseljak.
5 Q. On your excursions in Vitez on 16th April 1993, did you
6 see any soldiers wearing HV patches or insignia?
7 A. By HV, does that include HVO?
8 Q. No, I am referring to HV, as in the army of the Republic
9 of Croatia.
10 A. The only insignia that was definitely evident was red
11 and white chessboard.
12 Q. What about on the road on 16th April when you were
13 making various trips on the road, the Busovaca-Vitez
14 road; did you see any HV insignia or patches?
15 A. Again, only identifiable by red and white chessboard.
16 Q. How about in Donje Veceriska on 17th April 1993? Did
17 you see any HV patches or insignia among any of the
18 soldiers there?
19 A. Again same answer, red and white chessboard.
20 Q. Only HVO patches, not HV patches?
21 A. I have no recollection of specifically seeing any HV
23 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. No further questions, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much.
25 Mr. Kehoe?
1 Re-examined by MR. KEHOE
2 Q. Very briefly, Mr. President.
3 You were asked a question by Defence counsel
4 concerning the organisation of the soldiers in
5 Stari Vitez on the morning of the 16th, do you remember
6 those questions?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. He asked you whether or not you believed that they were
9 organised because they appeared to be operating
10 together, is that right?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. They had other items on their uniforms that indicated
13 that they were working together, did they not?
14 A. Yes, they had -- all of the soldiers in that particular
15 group had a piece of ribbon tied around their epaulette.
16 Q. So if soldiers with the same type of ribbon had the same
17 colour on their epaulette and other soldiers in other
18 places in the Lasva Valley had a similar type of
19 demarcation, would it indicate to you as a soldier that
20 those soldiers in those locations were working together?
21 A. Yes, it would.
22 Q. Defence counsel asked you a question about the events
23 when you were in the cul-de-sac in, around Stari Vitez.
24 Prior to that attack, had the civilians in that area
25 been evacuated?
1 A. No, they had not.
2 Q. What did that indicate to you as a soldier?
3 A. That at that time they were trapped where they were and
4 there was nowhere really for them to go at that time.
5 Q. Did it indicate to you, Colour Sergeant, that they had
6 been taken by surprise?
7 A. Yes, it did.
8 Q. Did you observe, after the HVO soldiers withdrew, a man
9 crying on a stoop near these burning houses?
10 A. Yes, it was the same man who had the cow on a rope.
11 Q. Counsel asked you a question as to whether or not these
12 HVO soldiers withdrew from the area. Did they withdraw
13 from the area before or after your particular company
14 had made a decision to fire on them if they attacked the
15 civilians and trained your turret towards them?
16 A. No, they had not.
17 Q. Did they withdraw after you had turned the barrel of
18 your turret towards them?
19 A. It was around that time, yes.
20 Q. In your experience in Bosnia, was it common for the
21 violence to stop when an UNPROFOR vehicle came into the
23 A. Yes, it was.
24 Q. Did you observe that on more than one occasion?
25 A. Yes, we did.
1 Q. Let us turn to the questions asked by Defence counsel
2 about Donje Veceriska. The Muslims that you saw in the
3 village, and I believe we have it designated as number 5
4 on the map, is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You noted what you believe were two individuals of
7 fighting age, is that right?
8 A. I have only recollection of approximately two, yes.
9 Q. Were there women and children and old people as well?
10 A. Yes, there were.
11 Q. You have been a British soldier, an infantry soldier for
12 almost 15 years, is that right?
13 A. 14 years, yes.
14 Q. Do you take shotguns into battle?
15 A. No, we do not.
16 Q. Why?
17 A. Because they are not effective for conventional warfare.
18 Q. So you do not consider this to be a weapon that can
19 counter a conventional weapon that a soldier would have,
20 is that right?
21 A. No, it would not.
22 Q. Again, you were there for two hours, is that right?
23 A. Approximately, yes.
24 Q. Did you see individuals firing back and forth after you
25 entered the village?
1 A. No, we heard small arms fire; however, we did not see
2 where it was coming from or to.
3 Q. Did that surprise you, that the HVO soldiers were not
4 firing when you got into the village?
5 A. No, it was as you stated before, it was quite a common
6 thing to happen.
7 Q. Why? Was it because they did not want you to see what
8 they were doing?
9 A. Quite possibly.
10 Q. What did you conclude as a soldier, Colour Sergeant
11 Parrott? Did you conclude they did not want to let the
12 UN know what they were doing?
13 A. Yes, I would conclude that.
14 Q. In addition to the fire that they were not putting out,
15 there was a dead body near that location as well, was
16 there not?
17 A. Yes, there was.
18 Q. Did any of these soldiers who were not hiding from any
19 gunfire go over and attempt to retrieve this dead body?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What did that indicate to you as a soldier, Sergeant
23 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, if we are going to go into
24 opinions, I insist that I be granted --
25 JUDGE JORDA: I quite agree.
1 MR. HAYMAN: -- recross-examination to test these opinions,
2 and I have some opinions I would like to elicit from
3 this witness. The door has been opened wide and that is
4 my comment.
5 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I have no further questions of this
7 JUDGE JORDA: I think that the objection of Mr. Hayman is
8 well-founded and for the moment, I think you must limit
9 yourself, Mr. Kehoe, to questions which are in line with
10 the cross-examination. You have finished, Mr. Kehoe, you
11 have any more questions?
12 MR. KEHOE: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I turn to my colleagues now.
14 Judge Riad?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, your Honour.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Sergeant Parrott. You have
17 depicted all the tragic scenes you have been through,
18 which are certainly not customary scenes. Did your
19 regiment raise the matter to the headquarters of the HVO
20 or ask for an explanation, or was it not customary to do
22 A. I am not sure what the high command's position was on
23 this. However, I do know that at various stages during
24 our tour attempts were made by Colonel Stewart and the
25 UN to hold talks of one sort or another between the
1 various factions.
2 Q. So let us say the headquarters were informed about it.
3 A. Which headquarters, sir?
4 Q. The HVO.
5 A. I have no knowledge of them being informed or otherwise,
6 but I would imagine that would be the case.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Sergeant, thank you very much for your
9 testimony. There are no further questions, which means
10 that we have completed this testimony. We wish to thank
11 you for your services, and your unit. The usher is
12 going to accompany the witness out.
13 (The witness withdrew)
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, Mr. Harmon? Can we have the next
15 witness, please?
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, your Honour. It will be Ms Paterson, your
18 JUDGE JORDA: Is it a protected witness?
19 MS PATERSON: No, your Honour, this is not a protected
20 witness. This is another British military officer.
21 Would you like me to give my summary first, before we
22 call the witness?
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, please, your summary and your
25 MS PATERSON: Yes, your Honour. The next witness is Major
1 Roy Hunter, who was a British military officer serving
2 with the Prince of Wales's own regiment in Yorkshire.
3 JUDGE JORDA: A bit more slowly please, for the benefit of
4 the interpreters. Thank you.
5 MS PATERSON: Yes, your Honour. Major Hunter was assigned
6 to the British battalion in the area of Vitez in May
7 1993 and served in that area for several months. He
8 will be describing basically three incidents that he
9 participated in or observed. He will be speaking about
10 an incident on 19th May 1993, during which he was
11 awakened by gunfire and saw some Muslim houses across
12 the street that were burning and he will briefly
13 describe some actions that he took in regard to those
15 Then he will discuss a meeting that he attended on
16 20th May 1993 at the Hotel Vitez, where he met with
17 three leaders of the Croatian Community, leaders of the
18 town of Vitez. He will discuss in some detail that
19 meeting, and the people that he spoke with.
20 Then finally, he will discuss another incident on
21 20th May in the afternoon, when he also went to the
22 village of Donje Veceriska, and where on 20th May 1993,
23 almost a month after the village was originally
24 attacked, he again observed Muslim houses in the village
25 being burned and had an encounter with some HVO soldiers
1 in that village on that day. That will be basically the
2 substance of his testimony.
3 It is the Prosecution's contention that this
4 testimony will go toward proving count 1 of the
5 indictment, which is the persecution count, specifically
6 paragraph 6.1, attacks on cities, towns and villages,
7 and paragraph 6.6 and 6.7, the forcible transfer of
9 In addition, he will speak about evidence that
10 goes to --
11 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, 6.1 and?
12 MS PATERSON: 6.6 and 6.7.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.
14 MS PATERSON: His testimony will also go toward proving
15 counts 11 to 13, destruction and plunder of property,
16 specifically in the village of Donje Veceriska, and he
17 will speak briefly about some incidents related to the
18 village of Grbavica.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much for your summary, which
20 has been very useful.
21 Mr. Registrar, can we ask the usher to bring the
22 Major in so we can hear him for about a quarter of an
23 hour before we adjourn until tomorrow.
24 MS PATERSON: Mr. President, may I just ask Mr. Dubuisson if
25 he could give me the numbers of the premarked exhibits
1 I provided for him earlier? I have not been given the
2 numbers of those exhibits.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, for the large photograph, aerial
4 photograph, it is Exhibit 172.
5 (Witness entered court)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Major?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes.
8 JUDGE JORDA: You are going to tell the Trial Chamber your
9 name, surname and your rank. Your rank first.
10 THE WITNESS: Major Roy Hunter.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Please read your solemn
12 declaration while standing.
13 MAJOR ROY HUNTER (sworn)
14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Major. You may be seated now. You
15 have been called by the Prosecutor within the framework
16 of the trial against General Blaskic. The Prosecution
17 has given us a summary, quite a detailed summary of the
18 three types of incidents that you will be discussing,
19 one on the 19th and two on the 20th, one of which was a
20 meeting with Croatian leaders. After that, the
21 Prosecution will have some questions to put to you, or
22 maybe even in the course of your statement, to clarify
23 the data that go in support of the counts contained in
24 the indictment.
25 Ms. Paterson, you may now begin.
1 Examined by MS. PATERSON
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Major Hunter, just a couple of things before we
4 begin. First of all, as I explained to you before,
5 since we both speak English we need to speak slowly and
6 put some pauses between our questions and answers so the
7 interpreters can keep up, and the judges would prefer as
8 much as possible that you address them when you answer
9 the questions.
10 Major Hunter, did you join the British military in
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Are you currently serving in the Prince of Wales's own
14 regiment of Yorkshire?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Are you currently assigned to the Defence School of
17 Languages and are studying Russian at that school?
18 A. That is correct, yes.
19 Q. Did you go to the former Yugoslavia in the course of
20 your military duties for the first time on a one week
21 reconnaissance to Vitez at the end of February 1993?
22 A. Yes, at the end of February for just one week.
23 Q. Did you return again to Bosnia on 28th April 1993,
24 specifically again to the town of Vitez?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. On 11th May 1993, did your regiment, the Prince of
2 Wales's own regiment, assume responsibility from the
3 previous regiment, which was the Cheshire Regiment, in
4 the Vitez area?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Major Hunter, would you very briefly just describe for
7 the judges your responsibility and your position when
8 you were serving in Bosnia in 1993.
9 A. At that time I was a company commander, so I was in
10 command of about 100 or 120 soldiers and about 20
11 armoured vehicles. So in terms of the British forces in
12 the camp at Stari Bila, it was about 50 per cent of the
13 forces in that location. My company was A Company, the
14 other troops there were from C Company and B Company was
15 down at Gornji Vakuf.
16 Q. Okay, Major Hunter. You stated that you arrived in
17 Vitez about the end of April 1993. I am going to ask
18 you to discuss some things that happened on 19th May
19 1993, so would that be fair to say that those events
20 occurred only two or three weeks after you arrived in
22 A. Yes, indeed. It was just at the end of the first week
23 of us being in the theatre, having taken over from the
25 MS PATERSON: Major Hunter, I am going to ask you to
1 describe an incident that occurred on 19th May 1993, but
2 before you begin I need to introduce a couple of
3 exhibits that I would like you to refer to during your
5 First of all, your Honour, we have prepared an
6 enlargement of an aerial photo, but I am told by my
7 colleagues that the large photo from which this is taken
8 has not yet been introduced into evidence, so I need to
9 first move that into evidence. That would be the large
10 original which I believe is placed on the easel, is that
11 correct, Mr. Dubuisson? That is Exhibit 172.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it is.
13 MS. PATERSON: I believe this photograph shows the area of
14 Stari Bila and the British base that was located in that
15 area, the village of Grbavica and some of the villages
16 just outside of Vitez.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At this time, could the exhibit, which I guess would be
19 number 173, which is the enlargement taken from that
20 Exhibit 172, could that be placed on the ELMO for the
22 Major Hunter, before you came into court, did you
23 have an opportunity to see this diagram and to prepare
24 it with me?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Together did we place these numbers and circles on the
3 A. Yes, we did that yesterday.
4 Q. Did you also have an opportunity to examine the legend
5 at the bottom of the diagram and determine whether or
6 not that is correct?
7 A. Yes, it is all correct.
8 Q. Major Hunter, if you would describe briefly for the
9 judges what occurred on the morning of 19th May 1993
10 when you were at your base just outside Vitez. If you
11 would please refer to the diagram while you describe the
13 A. Certainly. At about 5.00 in the morning, I was still in
14 bed, and this was the accommodation that I was using at
15 that time (indicates). Fourteen British officers were
16 in that house. I was woken by the sound of gunfire,
17 automatic fire. I think maybe 20 or 30 rounds were
18 fired. The noise came from across the road. I looked
19 across to what was happening, I could see that one or
20 two houses were already burning across the road. These
21 were houses occupied at the time by some Muslim
22 families, but the rest of the village down here
23 (indicates) was entirely Croatian by this time, so this
24 was just the very few Muslim houses which remained on
25 that side of the road.
1 The houses around here were also occupied by
2 Muslim families, and there were some Croatian families
3 in these houses here (indicates). What had happened was
4 that the HVO had occupied those houses, and the members
5 of the families, four or five families, had been evicted
6 from the houses and had come across the road and sought
7 refuge amongst the Muslim families around the house
8 where I was staying.
9 One man had been killed on that side, a
10 Mr. Subasic. He was about 60 years old, he was the
11 father of a man I knew that I had been dealing with,
12 called Munib Subasic. But everybody else had been just
13 evicted from the houses and those houses were now
14 alight. This meant that the HVO were able to occupy
15 these houses and create a new front-line, which gave them
16 a good field of fire across the bridge and across the
17 road, because on the far side, on the high ground, on
18 the Grbavica feature, were the front-lines of the ABiH,
19 who occupied houses along the ridge line.
20 So this operation gave the HVO the ability to fire
21 better across the bridge, so it was quite an important
22 bridge which they wanted to control. At that time they
23 were unable to, in fact they were unable to gain total
24 control of this area until September, the first week of
25 September 1993.
1 Q. What happened in September 1993?
2 A. In September 1993, on I think 6th or 7th September,
3 there was quite a large scale HVO assault, using
4 artillery and mortars, and infantry, which secured the
5 whole of the hill feature, Grbavica. After that, the
6 entire village of Grbavica was burnt, by which time
7 there were very few people --
8 JUDGE JORDA: Sorry, we are talking about 1993?
9 A. 1993. Did I say the wrong year? 1993, September.
10 JUDGE JORDA: No, you said it well. 1993, that was several
11 months afterwards.
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me for the interruption.
14 MS. PATERSON: Go ahead, continue.
15 A. What happened then at about 7.00 in the morning, I took
16 two armoured vehicles across the road to investigate
17 what was going on. There was very little activity by
18 this stage, it was a very quick attack, it probably only
19 took five or ten minutes, so there was nothing really to
20 do on the ground at that time. I simply patrolled past
21 the houses and into the rest of Stari Bila. Meanwhile,
22 a colleague of mine was able to recover the body of
23 Mr. Subasic, and that body was taken to the mosque in
24 Grbavica, which is about 500 metres in this direction
25 for burial. Essentially, that is what happened on the
1 morning of 19th May.
2 MS. PATERSON: Thank you, Major.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps, Ms Paterson, I do not know what your
4 view is, but it is 5.45, perhaps you would prefer to
5 make a clarification regarding this particular incident,
6 in view of the fact that we are going to break very soon
7 and resume tomorrow, or do you prefer to leave it until
8 tomorrow. If it is a point of clarification, maybe we
9 could do it right now.
10 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Mr. President, I just want to very briefly
11 clarify the numbers and the points on the diagram and
12 then it would be an appropriate time to break.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I agree then, please go on. Very well, please
15 MS. PATERSON: Major Hunter, you did an excellent job of
16 using the diagram, but you did not describe the numbers
17 as you were pointing to locations. Can I just clarify?
18 The area on the diagram marked number 1, that was where
19 you were having your accommodation, is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that was the house I lived in until September. In
21 September we had to move out, because it had been
22 damaged by mortar fire.
23 Q. Number 2 on the diagram is the area where you saw the
24 burning houses, is that correct?
25 A. Yes. They were not completely burnt. There were fires
1 inside the rooms but the roofs did not collapse.
2 Q. Number 3 is a series of houses that for some time had
3 been inhabited by Croats, is that correct?
4 A. At this time, the houses were not inhabited by families,
5 they were occupied by HVO soldiers.
6 Q. The line that is marked there with a 3A, would that
7 basically be what you described as the Croat HVO
8 front-line at that time?
9 A. Yes, they already had positions in these houses and by
10 removing the Muslim families from the houses at number
11 2, they were able to get a proper complete line all the
12 way up to the river line. They had trenches in the
13 gardens of the houses at number 3.
14 Q. Okay, and then number 4 would be the area where at that
15 time there were still some Muslim residents residing, is
16 that correct?
17 A. Not in these houses, these houses were already empty and
18 burnt with no roofs on, but the rest of the village of
19 Grbavica, which is behind number 4, was still occupied
20 by Muslim families.
21 Q. Okay, and then the line drawn and marked with number 4A,
22 would that basically represent what was at that time the
23 Muslim front-line?
24 A. Yes, the BiH soldiers were in all of the buildings along
25 here and also in the building here (indicates).
1 MS. PATERSON: Thank you, Major Hunter.
2 Mr. President, this time I was going to move on to
3 the next incident, so this would be an appropriate time
4 to break, I believe.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We are going to interrupt and we will
6 resume tomorrow, but at 10.15.
7 (5.45 pm)
8 (Hearing adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)