1 Wednesday, 3rd June 1998
2 --- Upon commencing at 9.49 a.m.
3 (In open session)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, would you have the
5 accused brought in, please?
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. You see the
8 judges are not wearing their robes. As we said, Judge
9 Shahabuddeen, for exceptional circumstances, is in
10 Arusha. Therefore, what I would suggest is that there
11 might be an oral motion brought from the side of the
12 Defence or an oral motion from the Prosecution. In
13 order to simplify the operations, I would like an
14 agreement from the -- I see there's no transcript.
15 My words have not been put into writing. You
16 see, that's very important, as Mr. Dubuisson says. But
17 having said that, let me turn to my colleague. We're
18 going to adjourn this short session. We don't have the
19 transcript. Not only the pilots are striking, we don't
20 have the transcript either. I wanted to be able to
21 save a bit of time here, but that's how things are.
22 All right. We're going to adjourn the hearing, and the
23 registrar will inform us as soon as the transcript is
24 operable again.
25 In the meantime, I would like to point out,
1 even though this is not in the transcript, in order to
2 facilitate our operations and once the transcript is
3 working, I would like the Defence to make a request for
4 exceptional circumstances to hear the witnesses so that
5 those transcripts can be given to Judge Shahabuddeen
6 and the Prosecution would give me their agreement with
7 that. I hope that shortly we will be able to resume
8 our hearing.
9 --- Recess taken at 9.51 a.m.
10 --- Upon resuming at 9.56 a.m.
11 JUDGE JORDA: I turn to the Defence first.
12 Mr. Hayman, do you agree that we should work in that
13 way as part of Rule 71?
14 MR. HAYMAN: We believe, Mr. President, and
15 good morning Mr. President and Your Honour, that we
16 should use the time this week despite Judge
17 Shahabuddeen's absence. We, of course, know that he
18 will review the record with due care and that that task
19 can be entrusted to him, despite the burdens that it
20 puts on him, and we would so request and join in any
21 request from the Prosecutor to proceed this week by
22 deposition pursuant to the appropriate rule or rules
23 and this Tribunal Statute.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. Thank
25 you for your contribution to speeding up our work.
1 Now, does the Prosecution agree with the same
3 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, the Office of
4 the Prosecutor agrees with the outline of our schedule
5 and the desires as laid out by the Defence counsel.
6 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, do you agree?
7 THE ACCUSED: Good morning, Mr. President.
8 I support all that has been said by my attorney and the
9 position of the Defence and I agree.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. We're not going to
11 render an official decision, but I'll ask that this all
12 be put into the minutes of the registry and filed. All
13 right, we can now continue.
14 Mr. Kehoe, the following witness, please?
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, good morning, Mr. President;
16 good morning, Judge Riad. The next witness that the
17 Office of the Prosecutor will call is Brigadier
18 Alastair Duncan. From prior testimony, Your Honours
19 may have learned that Brigadier Duncan was then
20 Lieutenant Colonel Duncan, the commanding officer of
21 the Prince of Wales own regiment of Yorkshire. He
22 commanded the British battalion in Vitez from
23 approximately the 11th of May, 1993 to the first week
24 of November 1993. The Prince of Wales own regiment of
25 Yorkshire was the British battalion that took over for
1 the Cheshire Regiment which was the regiment that was
2 in Vitez during the events of 16 April, 1993.
3 Brigadier Duncan, then Lieutenant Colonel
4 Duncan, had numerous contacts with the defendant
5 Blaskic. He will testify concerning the events in
6 Central Bosnia when he got there, specifically the
7 Vitez area, how the events in Ahmici and the Lasva
8 Valley in mid April of 1993 changed the landscape
9 dramatically throughout the Lasva Valley. He will talk
10 about his conversations with not only Blaskic, but his
11 conversations with political leaders from the Croatian
12 community of Herceg-Bosna, specifically Dario Kordic
13 and Anto Valenta.
14 He will talk about the conclusions that he
15 reached after some of those conversations with Valenta
16 and Kordic, and he will likewise talk about the
17 conclusions he reached after conversations with the
18 accused, when the accused Blaskic gave his very
19 explanation as to what had happened in the attack on
21 Mr. President and Judge Riad, as opposed to
22 being an event-driven testimony, this will be a
23 theme-driven testimony because I think with Brigadier
24 Duncan, the court has the unique opportunity to talk to
25 a man who had contact with the defendant while they
1 were both in the field. From those conversations, the
2 brigadier will testify concerning Blaskic's command,
3 the exercise of that command, how he exercised that
4 command, how he conducted himself as a man with the
5 trappings of a military commander, how he punished
6 soldiers when he deemed it necessary or when he desired
7 to do so.
8 From those indications, we will move to some
9 events, such as the Ahmici event and some other events
10 that will be discussed along the way, and Brigadier
11 Duncan will give you his impressions on how the
12 defendant, a commander who had been trained by the JNA
13 and had been a graduate of the military academy in
14 Belgrade, failed to meet his obligations as a
15 commander. The brigadier will give reasons, based on
16 what he experienced, as to why Blaskic failed to meet
17 his obligations as a commander and, for the most part,
18 we are talking about his failure to meet his
19 obligations as a commander as outlined by international
21 He will also talk about Blaskic's failure to
22 act, which is really a subset of his failure to act and
23 failure to meet his obligations as a commander. The
24 brigadier has drawn certain conclusions, some five
25 years down the line, as to what exactly was happening
1 in the Lasva Valley during the period of time when the
2 defendant was under his command.
3 Addressing the indictment and bringing us
4 back to the facts that we just discussed and how they
5 fit into the indictment, much of what we are going to
6 talk about has to do with paragraph 3 and 4 of the
7 indictment which has to do with the description of
8 Blaskic on his authority and responsibility for his
9 troops; number 4, the exercise of his control and the
10 exercise of his command in military matters.
11 Likewise, we will discuss any number of
12 topics but how he exercised his command and what he did
13 and didn't do in his failing to meet his obligations as
14 a commander touches every count in the indictment,
15 because as the indictment addresses, it is a failure to
16 act, a failure to prevent, a failure to punish, as well
17 as an indictment of someone who is directing a
18 particular course of conduct.
19 In any event, Mr. President and Judge Riad,
20 virtually everything that the brigadier will talk about
21 will impact on every count in the indictment. That
22 would be the summary that we would finish with at this
24 JUDGE JORDA: How long do you think that this
25 is going to take, that is, your part of the testimony?
1 MR. KEHOE: I would say two hours,
2 Mr. President, Judge Riad, maybe a little bit longer,
3 but I don't believe that it will take that long. We
4 will not, Mr. President and Judge Riad, conduct an
5 examination which addresses every issue that the
6 brigadier experienced from the raising of the flag to
7 the striking of the colours and we will prevent that
8 type of examination. That's why we attempted to make
9 it a theme-based examination where we would discuss
10 various issues and then allow the brigadier to discuss
11 factual situations and his impressions from those
12 factual situations as he goes through his testimony.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I am very pleased to hear you
14 say that and I want to say that I agree with what you
15 say, but you really are encouraging me. I can recall
16 to you -- let me take a minute out here. It began on
17 the 23rd of June last year. We are now coming to the
18 celebration of the first anniversary. I think
19 testimony has to be focused around one or two very
20 specific themes and not to have Colonel Duncan to say
21 how the village was burned. We know how it burned.
22 You want to go over his contacts with the accused, the
23 way that he exercised his command, however, in your
24 opinion, he did not. I really ask you to focus on
25 that. We don't necessarily have to have two hours to
1 hear a witness say how he was able to observe what you
2 want to bring out for the judges.
3 All right, you can have Colonel Duncan
4 brought in now. Brigadier, is it? What is his rank,
5 Brigadier General?
6 MR. KEHOE: He's now a brigadier,
7 Mr. President.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
9 (The witness entered court)
10 JUDGE JORDA: General, do you hear me? Could
11 you please tell us your first name and your rank?
12 THE WITNESS: My name is Alastair Duncan and
13 I'm a Brigadier General in the British Army.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain standing for the
15 time it takes to you read your declaration that the
16 usher is going to give you.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I solemnly declare
18 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and
19 nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, you may be seated.
21 General, you have come at the request of the
22 Prosecution as part of the trial of the International
23 Criminal Tribunal against General Blaskic, the accused
24 who is in this courtroom.
25 We have heard the summary of your testimony
1 and we ask you to focus on those points specifically
2 while you testify. We don't have to hear about
3 everything you heard between May and November 1993. We
4 begin on the 23rd of June. Starting from that date,
5 the judges are already familiar with a certain number
6 of things, but in the opinion of your Prosecutor, your
7 testimony is important for a specific number of points,
8 and these have just been stated by the Prosecution who
9 explained it to the judges, and then we will pass after
10 that to the cross-examination.
11 Mr. Kehoe, you may proceed.
12 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President
13 ALASTAIR DUNCAN
14 EXAMINATION BY MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Good morning, Brigadier Duncan.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Brigadier, before we go into the actual
18 testimony concerning the events in Central Bosnia, can
19 you just give the judges a little sketch of your
20 background focusing on operational tours and your
21 experience and how it bears on your expertise in
22 infantry matters?
23 A. Thank you, yes. I was commissioned to my
24 regiment in 1973 and spent the first 12 months of my
25 life with the regiment in Northern Ireland commanding
1 on operations, a platoon in Belfast. I then moved back
2 to instruct junior soldiers in infantry tactics before
3 moving back to the regiment to be the operations
4 officer and adjutant. After that I moved to the school
5 of infantry for three years where I was responsible for
6 low level tactics and command procedures.
7 After that I went to staff college, both the
8 technical staff college at Shrivenham, England and
9 Camberley which is our main tactics course. After that
10 I went back to the battalion, which was again in
11 Northern Ireland, and commanded again on operations in
12 South Armagh for some 18 months. That followed a
13 period as chief of staff of an infantry brigade which
14 was equipped with armoured vehicles but primarily
15 infantry tactics --
16 THE INTERPRETER: May we ask the witness to
17 slow down, please.
18 A. -- I was asked to write the operation orders
19 and to deal with the training of that brigade for
20 fitness in war. Thereafter, I moved back to the staff
21 college as an instructor specialising in infantry
22 vehicles and, again, tactics for operations.
23 After that, I was moved to take over command
24 of my battalion where I commanded it both in Belfast
25 for a six-month operational tour and for seven months
1 in Central Bosnia in 1993. After that, I returned to
2 the staff college where I was responsible for
3 instructing on command and ethics and command control
4 for operational matters. Then I moved to command of an
5 infantry or a mechanised brigade in the north of
6 England where I spent two years, culminating in four
7 months when I returned to Bosnia and took my brigade to
8 multi-national division south-west and commanded there
9 for five months.
10 I have commanded on operations at every level
11 from platoon, company, battalion, brigade and also
12 stood in as a divisional commander, and I have
13 specialised throughout my career in the nature of
14 command, the duties of commanders and specifically
15 infantry work. That is all, sir.
16 Q. If I may, Brigadier, can we turn to the
17 period of time that you were just discussing where you
18 were a commanding officer in Bosnia and you were the
19 commanding officer of the Prince of Wales own regiment
20 of Yorkshire; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Could you tell the judges the time frame in
23 which you were the commanding officer in theatre?
24 A. I went on two reconnaissances in early 1993,
25 each for one week, in January and February, and then
1 after that I deployed and took over in Bosnia from the
2 11th of March, 1993.
3 Q. Excuse me. The 11th of March or May?
4 A. Sorry, the 11th of May, 1993 through to
5 November, the middle of November of the same year.
6 Q. And this is in 1993?
7 A. Yes, I'm sorry, 1993.
8 Q. During that period of time, you covered an
9 area from approximately where to where? What was the
10 responsibility of the British battalion?
11 A. The British battalion was responsible for the
12 supply of aid through to Central Bosnia and up through
13 to North Bosnia to Tuzla. My area of responsibility
14 was from just south of Prozor Lakes right the way
15 through Gornji Vakuf, Vitez, Zenica and on all the way
16 up to Tuzla. I was responsible for that primary aid
17 route into Bosnia.
18 Q. During the period of time you were in
19 theatre, did you have different bases throughout
20 Central Bosnia from which the British battalion
22 A. Yes, we did. We had the battalion
23 headquarters in two mixed companies based at Vitez
24 school, a company again mixed based at Gornji Vakuf,
25 and the last company based at Tuzla.
1 Q. There was a physical separation between your
2 company and Tuzla and your company in Gornji Vakuf and
3 your headquarters in Vitez; is that correct?
4 A. Very much so, yes.
5 Q. Were you still responsible for those troops
6 and the actions of those troops in those areas?
7 A. Entirely. It was my battalion; it was my
8 command and I was in sole responsibility for all of
9 those actions of my troops under my command which is
10 quite normal.
11 Q. That was my next question. Is that the
12 normal --
13 A. That was absolutely standard practise. There
14 is one commander who is directly responsible for all
15 actions of his troops, good or bad.
16 Q. Let us turn to the actual events that took
17 place in Central Bosnia during your seven-month tour,
18 and even during your recesses in January and February,
19 and without going through the particular events, could
20 you give the Judges an idea, an overview, as to what
21 transpired during your period of time, a brief
22 overview, if you will?
23 A. Can I just consult my personal notes? Is
24 that acceptable?
25 MR. KEHOE: These again are notes that have
1 not been shared with the Prosecution and obviously are
2 not subject to the statement disclosure rule,
3 Mr. President and Judge Riad.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please
5 make breaks between questions and answers for the
6 benefit of the interpreters?
7 MR. KEHOE: I do apologise.
8 Q. Brigadier, if I may just briefly, because you
9 and I are speaking in English, it's important that
10 between our two comments that we have a slight break.
11 It's something that my colleagues often suffer when
12 it's speaking Serbo-Croatian, but you and I speak
13 English, so if we could just pace ourselves, I think it
14 would be helpful. I apologise.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, General. You're looking
16 at notes to refresh your memory. You're not reading a
17 report that you prepared in advance; is that correct?
18 THE WITNESS: These are notes that I made
20 JUDGE JORDA: ... for the defence.
21 THE WITNESS: I already stated that I took --
22 did two brief reconnaissances of one week in early
23 1993. I took over the battalion from Colonel Bob
24 Stewart on the 11th of May and spent a week prior to
25 that, from the 5th to the 11th of May, visiting various
1 commanders and looking at the ground in the area to see
2 what the situation was.
3 I discovered there had been a complete change
4 of mood in the area, since my reconnaissances in that,
5 after the events in Ahmici, there now existed a serious
6 level of suspicion, mistrust, and conflict in Central
7 Bosnia, and that mistrust and conflict was to last for
8 the next 15 months, as far as I'm aware. Certainly,
9 considerably longer after I had finished and left
10 Bosnia in November of that year.
11 That was the situation as I arrived. From
12 then onwards, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is
13 the Muslim forces, made significant advances, inroads
14 into the Croat-held area, and that took place during
15 most of May and June. In July, the conflict spread
16 down to the area of Gornji Vakuf, and that erupted into
17 some very serious fighting. But from then onwards,
18 throughout my time there until I left, the situation
19 became relatively static with a number of Croat
20 pockets, notably around Vitez, Busovaca, and Kiseljak,
21 with the front-line also at Gornji Vakuf, and that was
22 the situation that prevailed throughout my time.
23 The operational command of the HVO was
24 exercised directly from Hotel Vitez, and the command of
25 the 3rd BiH Corps in the area was exercised directly
1 from Zenica.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. During your tour, the command was exercised
4 from the Hotel Vitez; who was the individual that
5 exercised that command?
6 A. It was exercised by Colonel Tihomir Blaskic.
7 Q. And is that individual in the court?
8 A. He is sitting in the court in the corner,
10 MR. KEHOE: Let the record reflect,
11 Mr. President and Judge Riad, that the witness is
12 identifying the Defendant.
13 Q. This is the gentleman seated in the back next
14 to the police officer?
15 A. Indeed, yes.
16 Q. And who exercised command of 3rd Corps from
18 A. Enver Hadzihasanovic.
19 Q. Now, Brigadier, did you come to learn the
20 level of forces, that then Colonel Blaskic controlled,
21 when you came in May of 1993?
22 A. Yes. The British battalion was organised to
23 have a military information cell which collated
24 information gathered in from patrols on the ground and
25 from liaison officers, and from that we had been able
1 to build up a full picture of the command structure of
2 the HVO.
3 Q. As the events developed over the course of
4 the summer of 1993 and there were more inroads by the
5 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were there some changes in
6 the order of battle prepared and some variations with
7 the Ord. Batt. that you initially drafted concerning
8 the forces controlled by Colonel Blaskic?
9 A. Yes, there were. Sorry, I'll pause. Yes,
10 there were. This had to do with the -- as the Muslim
11 force advances, a number of changes in the Ord. Batt.
12 were made to reflect the fact that positions were no
13 longer occupied by the brigades. These changes were
14 recorded and we made a note of them as they occurred.
15 But I must say, the span of command, that is
16 the distance and areas which were commanded, remained
17 the same throughout. The responsibility was still
19 Q. If I may, and I have been reminded by my
20 colleague, Mr. Harmon, concerning some of the military
21 vernacular. What is an Ord. Batt.?
22 A. I'm sorry. It's an acronym for "Order of
23 Battle" and would be a hierarchical chart in which we
24 could display exactly who a commander was, who his
25 subordinates are, and the command arrangements between
1 the two.
2 Q. If I may turn to the first two exhibits,
3 Mr. President, which are two orders of battle that have
4 been prepared, and these were prepared by your
5 subordinates, were they not?
6 A. They were indeed, yes.
7 Q. If we could move to the first one without the
8 Xs and then the second one without the Xs? If we could
9 move in that chronology?
10 If we could put the ELMO on, please?
11 THE REGISTRAR: This is 378 and 379.
12 MR. KEHOE: Thank you.
13 Q. If you could, Brigadier Duncan, taking a look
14 at Exhibit 378, the order of battle that was prepared
15 by your subordinates, could you just briefly explain
16 this to the President and Judge Riad?
17 A. I think we need the other one first. I
18 believe that the forward --
19 Q. Yes, yes. I'm sorry. The one without the Xs
21 A. So if I might briefly explain this? This was
22 prepared by my military information officer, a Captain
23 Simon Harrison, and it shows on the top line in the
24 centre, the Op Zone Central Bosnia, Vitez-Travnik, with
25 a Commander Tihomir Blaskic and a Deputy Commander
1 Franjo Nakic. On the left of that, with a dotted line,
2 because it is not under command or in a command
3 relationship, is the political wing of the HDZ; and on
4 the right, again with a dotted line, is the joint
5 commission that had then been set up in Travnik.
6 Below that, the command splits, a direct
7 command from Tihomir Blaskic's headquarters of the
8 first Ops group on the left, the second Ops group in
9 the centre, and the third Ops group in the right.
10 So below that you can see the brigades, the
11 boxes with a cross on the top, which represented the
12 subordinate forces under command, and those range right
13 the way across, and we have annotated that we knew
14 where they were; for example, the Travnik brigade
15 obviously in Travnik, a brigade in Zenica there, one is
16 Dolac and Guca Gora, Kiseljak, Vares and Kakanj,
17 Sarajevo, Tarcin, Sadovaca and Zepce, and you can
18 therefore see the span and scope of the command which
19 is exercised by Colonel Blaskic's headquarters in
21 Q. Now, if we can move, if you will, to the next
22 document, Exhibit 379, with the Xs on it?
23 JUDGE JORDA: Is that the number,
24 Mr. Dubuisson?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, I think this is 378, the
1 document that is being shown to the witness.
2 MR. KEHOE: If I may just clarify for the
3 record? If our numbered sequence is a bit off, 378,
4 the document that is currently on the ELMO with the Xs
5 on it, chronologically comes after the document that we
6 just looked at, 379.
7 So I think that it may be easier,
8 Mr. President, if we can just quickly renumber these
9 documents, and if we can discuss the document without
10 the Xs and call that 378 and the document with the Xs
11 379, I believe there would be no objection from my
12 colleague across the hall -- across the courtroom. It
13 might be easier for record-keeping purposes.
14 JUDGE JORDA: I see crosses everywhere here.
15 MR. KEHOE: We just try to make it -- if we
16 move chronologically, Mr. President, for record-keeping
17 purposes down the line, it just may be easier to make
18 this a subsequent number.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, very well. No
20 problem with that. All right.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Brigadier, turning to Exhibit 379.
23 A. I apologise for the amount of crosses on this
24 piece of paper. It is to do with the military
25 symbology to record size of units. The small crosses
1 are brigade-sized units; the larger crosses, has as
2 just been indicated, are units which have been removed
3 from the order of battle because they no longer exist
4 due to the fighting; and in the notes at the bottom,
5 there is a reference here to the 14th of June when one
6 unit, in this case the one indicated there, had no
7 longer existed, and this is how we kept a record of the
8 span of command throughout the time I was in Bosnia for
10 Q. You noted, Brigadier, during the course of
11 your testimony, that pockets existed, and certainly
12 were firmed up in the summer of 1993, and one of those
13 pockets would be the Vitez-Busovaca pocket and the next
14 one, of course, being the Kiseljak pocket.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. During the period of time, your orders of
17 battle indicate that Blaskic continued to remain in
18 command of those pockets?
19 A. Very much, yes, sir.
20 MR. KEHOE: Let me show you an article -- and
21 we have an article, a Danish article that has been
22 translated, in part in French and English, and is an
23 interview by a reporter for Danish of the Defendant
24 Blaskic. There are two portions of this interview that
25 we will highlight at this juncture, Mr. President, and
1 we would just like to first talk to the first portion
2 at this time when you get a view of that, Brigadier, we
3 will talk about that.
4 THE REGISTRAR: This is 380.
5 MR. KEHOE:
6 Q. Just discussing the first paragraph in that
7 translation from the article, Brigadier, could you read
8 that first question and answer at the top of the page
9 concerning Kresevo, Kiseljak, and part of the Fojnica
11 A. Certainly. It states: "Kresevo, Kiseljak,
12 and part of Fojnica municipality, also controlled by
13 the HVO, are also in Central Bosnia but are not
14 connected with the forces in Vitez and Busovaca. How
15 are they holding up?"
16 And the reply from Blaskic is as follows:
17 "It is certain that the will and determination of the
18 Croatian people in these areas were awakened
19 exceptionally early and resulted in the firm defence of
20 these areas, and I would add Vares here, which is in
21 the structure of our second operative group in Central
22 Bosnia. They are carrying out, in a coordinated and
23 organised manner, all commands connected with the
24 defence of the people and Croatian territories. This
25 physical separation is not an essential or decisive
1 factor because we figured in our planning that the
2 temporary physical separation of these areas could
3 occur. Travnik is the first operative group, Kiseljak
4 the second, Zepce the third, and Sarajevo the fourth.
5 All operative groups under my command and the chain of
6 leadership and command functions absolutely, without
8 Q. Is that consistent with what Blaskic told
9 you, that he commanded these areas and, despite the
10 physical separation, he still had command and control
11 over those areas?
12 A. That is entirely consistent with what
13 Commander Blaskic told me throughout my time in Bosnia,
14 when I questioned him on a number of occasions, to
15 confirm that he was in command, and he always stated:
16 Yes, he was the commander of the Op zone in those
18 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President and Judge Riad,
19 there is another paragraph that we will discuss in that
20 newspaper article at a later date, and we will have the
21 whole article translated in full in both French and
22 English. We just haven't had the opportunity to
23 complete it at this juncture. And with this particular
24 witness, we just wanted to focus on these two
1 Q. Moving on, Brigadier, and let us go back from
2 the Ord. Batts. and back to your period of time in
3 Bosnia commanding the Prince of Wales Own Regiment of
4 Yorkshire, and I ask you from the beginning of May
5 through the period of time, with conversations with
6 Blaskic and with political leaders, did you reach
7 concern conclusions as to what the plan of the HVO was
8 in Central Bosnia, and if so, could you tell the
10 A. Yes, sir. I recall that on the 12th of May,
11 I spoke at length with a man called Anto Valenta in his
12 office in Hotel Vitez, which was within the Ops zone
13 Central Bosnia headquarters in Vitez. He presented a
14 book to me, the name of which escapes me -- it is a
15 small blue book -- it was written by Anto Valenta, and
16 it describes how he saw a process of movement of
17 individuals from the various ethnic origins in Bosnia
18 was essential for long-term stability in that country.
19 That movement of individuals was either to be
20 voluntary or coerced or forced, and, in fact, the book
21 on one page refers to the use of the Yugoslav National
22 Army, if necessary, to achieve this aim. I concluded
23 from that that the movement of the population was
24 therefore no longer just a civil matter but something
25 that might need the use of force since the Yugoslav --
1 he was proposing that the Yugoslav National Army would
2 have to be required to do that.
3 My reply -- I was somewhat surprised because
4 this was very clearly a rather extreme ethnically-based
5 policy to reorganise the country by force, and I told
6 Anto Valenta that I found this concept distasteful and
7 running contrary to all the norms that I knew of
8 behaviour in a civilised country, and I stated that the
9 State must not interfere with the freedoms of
10 individuals in such a drastic and, frankly,
11 unacceptable manner.
12 But I quickly realised that this was the
13 policy of a man who was representing the HDZ party, and
14 I came to the conclusion, therefore, since he had taken
15 the time and trouble to explain it to me, that this was
16 very much in the forefront of party politics, and this
17 was clearly, from a doctrinal point of view, the aim of
18 the Croats in that particular area of which he was
19 representing the head of the political party, and I was
20 frankly concerned.
21 We then moved on to discuss his attitude
22 towards Muslim people where he stated that the
23 population of the Muslims was increasing and he showed
24 me statistical charts to prove that the Muslim
25 population would increase and the Croat and Serb
1 population in Bosnia would diminish. He then further
2 showed me examples of what he felt were unacceptable
3 behaviour by Muslims in their domination of villages
4 with minarets, their loud and noisy prayers.
5 We then further went on to discuss an
6 individual. I stated, "What about the people you have
7 grown up with, the people you went to school with here
8 in Vitez?" And I said, "Presumably you went to school
9 with people, you were at university in Sarajevo, as
10 many of your countrymen were, with other ethnic
11 nations, and you have lived in Vitez afterwards and now
12 you hate all these people." And he said:
13 "Absolutely. I cannot live with them." And I was
14 again disturbed.
15 But I then went back to a meeting I had had
16 in Vitez, the Vitez headquarters, the same
17 headquarters, on the 9th of May, my first meeting,
18 where I had met Commander Blaskic and a man called
19 Dario Kordic, and we were discussing at that meeting
20 the events of Ahmici, and it occurred to me, here was
21 the fulfilment of that policy, the policy of forcible
22 movement of individuals which had been expounded by
23 Anto Valenta, had now been enacted in the form of
24 Croats, HVO, cleaning out, using armed forces, a
25 village, Ahmici, and that is why I said earlier there
1 was this complete change in what was going on, the sea
2 change, this huge hostility. An army had moved and
3 killed Muslims. The doctrine was there by Anto
4 Valenta, I assumed that Dario Kordic was a politician,
5 the next level down, and that policy and doctrine had
6 then been put into place by the military in the area.
7 Q. Let us stay with that -- those two events, if
8 we may, for one moment, Brigadier, and talk a little
9 bit -- and we will talk about it later on -- but let us
10 talk a little bit about this meeting on the 9th that
11 you had with Dario Kordic and Blaskic wherein the
12 events of Ahmici were discussed. Could you tell the
13 President and Judge Riad people that you recall that
14 were there, what Blaskic said, what you said,
15 et cetera?
16 A. Certainly. I can recall at the meeting, the
17 9th, it was the first meeting I had, I believe, with
18 Commander Blaskic. I was not running the meeting in
19 that Colonel Stewart at that stage was still in
21 We sat down. The first things Colonel
22 Stewart did were to complain about the events of Ahmici
23 and ask questions as to why and how HVO soldiers were
24 seen marching off some 150 Muslims, why Muslims were
25 now in gaol in Vitez and being detained against their
1 will, and what exactly was going on, and what was the
2 explanation of these events?
3 The explanation of these events which I heard
4 at that time was that either --
5 Q. From whom? From whom?
6 A. From Blaskic. Was either it had been done by
7 Muslim extremists who had somehow come into the Vitez
8 pocket and committed this event and disappeared in the
9 night on their own people or indeed Muslim armed forces
10 from the BiH or, finally, by Muslims dressed in HVO
11 uniform, were the three reasons given.
12 I'm sorry, I should refresh that.
13 The three reasons given were Serb extremists,
14 Muslims who had infiltrated the pocket, or Muslims
15 dressed in HVO uniform.
16 Q. What did you think about that and what did
17 you say, Brigadier?
18 A. Well, I sat at the background and thought to
19 myself: Well, how is it possible for Muslims at this
20 stage of what was going on in Central Bosnia to commit
21 a full-scale military attack on a village which
22 effectively resulted in opening a second front for
23 their military operation when, at the same time, they
24 were desperately defending against the Serbs?
25 Also, would they really go and kill some 97
1 people from their own race? I thought that explanation
2 was pretty unlikely.
3 As to the infiltration of the Serbs to do it,
4 this was plainly and completely, absolutely ludicrous,
5 and I dismissed that out of hand.
6 As for the insinuation that it had been done
7 by Muslims dressed in HVO uniforms, the only thing I
8 conclude from that was that there was an acknowledgement
9 that HVO uniforms were on the spot in Ahmici and had
10 been there; otherwise, why mention the HVO uniforms?
11 Frankly, all three reasons I found
12 ridiculous, and I said so. I said, "This is just
13 impossible." I also stated at that meeting that if the
14 HVO wished to have any credibility with the
15 International Community, they should and must convene a
16 formal investigation and show the world who had done
17 this crime. And if their reasons and the statements as
18 to who had done it were correct, then we should all be
19 able to see them.
20 This was agreed. I believe it had been
21 agreed previously between Colonel Stewart and Commander
22 Blaskic, and a date of the 25th of May was set for the
23 conclusion of this investigation to be published. To
24 my knowledge, that has never been done.
25 Q. Brigadier, a couple of questions based on
1 what you just said. Did Blaskic say anything about
2 whether or not his troops, the HVO troops, were
3 involved or not involved?
4 A. He said his troops were not involved.
5 Q. Did you follow up with a question and ask him
6 anything concerning that denial in light of the
7 information you had in your possession concerning the
8 civilians being marched down the street by HVO troops?
9 A. We followed it up in that I said, you know,
10 "Why are you HVO troops in the area? If it wasn't HVO
11 troops, who was it?" And he went back to the line of
12 these three possibilities: extremists out of control
13 was often-used as an excuse, "Extremists in my area who
14 are not under my control." Which I found again
16 Q. Brigadier -- and part of my directness in
17 this question, did you conclude that the Defendant was
18 lying to you?
19 A. Oh, yeah. There was no other conclusion. He
20 was lying. And the problem was, it wasn't even a
21 clever lie. It was very naive.
22 Q. Let me show you the second portion of Exhibit
24 Mr. President and Judge Riad, we're moving to
25 the second translated paragraph in 380 which is taken
1 from the last paragraph of the Bosnian-Serbo-Croatian
2 version, and this has likewise been translated into
3 French and English.
4 Could you read that question and that answer,
6 A. The question to Commander Blaskic runs as
7 follows: "You investigated a crime in Ahmici. What is
8 the result of the investigation so far?" The reply
9 from Commander Blaskic was: "The investigation is
10 still in progress. Information is being gathered. In
11 any case, this is a well-planned scenario in which
12 Muslim forces wanted once again to cast a blemish on
13 units of the HVO before the world community. After the
14 crimes that Muslim forces committed in the areas around
15 the Croatian villages of Lasva, Ducina (phoen), Gusti
16 Grab and other villages in Busovaca municipality, the
17 case of Ahmici was staged and skilfully shown to
18 foreign reporters and the EC Observer Commission with
19 the assistance of the Commander of the British
20 battalion at that time, Bob Stewart. So far, we are
21 certain that the crime was committed by members of the
22 HOS, the Croatian defence force in Zenica, which was
23 mostly Muslim and parts of the Muslim forces of the
24 MLS, the Muslim defence force, and I have already said
25 that the investigation is continuing.
1 "It is certain that the HVO does not stand
2 behind the crime that others desire to attribute to
3 us. However, I want to say that a much greater crime
4 is being skilfully concealed. Muslim forces shot to
5 death more than 40 civilians, mostly women and
6 children, back in the beginning of June in the village
7 of Meliha, Travnik municipality. We have not been
8 allowed to this day, nor has the UNHCR --
9 JUDGE JORDA: I want to excuse you. Please
10 go more slowly. The interpreters are having a great
11 deal of difficulty following you if you read it. If
12 they don't have the text with them, I could give it to
13 them. I do have the translation here. Nevertheless, I
14 would ask that you go a little bit more slowly so that
15 it can make the work of the interpreters a little
17 A. My apologies. I will start again with the
18 last sentence of the first page.
19 "The Muslim forces shot to death more than
20 40 civilians, mostly women and children, back at the
21 beginning of June in the village of Melina, Travnik
22 municipality. We have not been allowed to this day,
23 nor has the UNHCR or the International Red Cross or the
24 European Observer Commission to look around the area
25 and perform an exhumation of the bodies. That was a
1 collective execution in front of other Croats who had
2 to dig the grave for those killed."
3 Q. Now, Brigadier, this article, published in
4 the 5 October, 1993 edition of Danas, basically blames
5 the Muslims for killing their own people once again; is
6 that correct?
7 A. That's what it insinuates, yes.
8 Q. What do you think about that, Brigadier?
9 A. Well, I disagree entirely. I mean, it is a
10 continuation of the same first lie.
11 Q. Brigadier, let's move on at this juncture and
12 move to another area, and I'd like to talk, if you can,
13 about your experiences, your observations, and what you
14 can tell the Court about Blaskic's command given your
15 experiences with him, and if you could give the Court
16 an idea of approximately how often you saw the
17 Defendant so we have some framework upon which you base
18 your comments that you are about to give.
19 A. I saw Commander Blaskic at regular intervals
20 throughout the seven months I was in Bosnia. I didn't
21 always rush to see him, but we saved my meetings for
22 what I thought were important events of discussion,
23 rather than running across and speaking every few
24 days. So it was about a week to ten days apart, our
25 meetings. Of course, we were actually very close
1 together because the area, the whole area of the Vitez
2 pocket, at that stage was very small, and it was a
3 matter of minutes, about ten minutes for me to move
4 down to his headquarters as I wished.
5 As for his status as a commander, it was
6 quite clear to me that he was very much the commander.
7 He had all the trappings of command. He had a large
8 headquarters which was well equipped with staff. He had
9 deputy commanders; he had liaison officers. There were
10 communications in his headquarters. He told me, as
11 I've already mentioned, that he was the commander.
12 Of course, he also received great recognition
13 afterwards as the commander of that Vitez pocket by his
14 promotion and he was clearly a successful and capable
15 commander. He had been a captain, I believe, in the
16 Yugoslav National Army, a regular soldier, and
17 therefore he had a full education in tactics, the
18 Geneva Convention, and the rules and regulations of
19 war, how to plan operations, how to conduct them. He
20 was a professional soldier throughout.
21 I should add that others in the area also saw
22 him very much as the commander and the one who had
23 influence and control. Members of the UNHCR, the
24 international committee of the Red Cross, the various
25 aid agencies in the area and the U.N. themselves, civil
1 affairs and others, would call in and see Commander
2 Blaskic at his headquarters because he was the one who
3 was exercising command in that area.
4 Q. Let us turn to that last part about the
5 exercise of his command. Can you talk a little bit
6 about the exercise of that command and the
7 communications involved, the troop movements involved,
8 what his mission was and how he conducted that mission?
9 A. His mission was to defend the Vitez pocket
10 which he did very effectively. He exercised that
11 command from the headquarters but he often moved out to
12 inspect troops on the ground. There were occasions
13 when I came to that headquarters where Commander
14 Blaskic would be returning in his Land Rover dressed
15 with his helmet and flak jacket on. He had clearly
16 been out on the ground inspecting his front-lines to get
17 a real feel for what was going on.
18 He had also, on occasion, moved to Kiseljak.
19 Indeed, I had taken him once to a meeting with other
20 HVO commanders. He had perhaps, in the entire seven
21 months, two or three absences from the Vitez pocket
22 where he moved out. I was not sure how he moved out
23 but I was aware there was a helicopter. He was able to
24 communicate with that helicopter, clearly, to arrange
25 its arrival and departure. That came from a
1 considerable distance away, we believe, from the area
2 of Prozor, well to the south. So he could call it
3 forward and move it and arrange visits as required,
4 which requires a fair amount of communications
6 He also had fax machines and access to the
7 local telephone network and he would send us faxes in
8 my headquarters in Vitez. He had knowledge of events
9 outside of his own pocket, and on one occasion he gave
10 me a list of villages in the Vares area which had been
11 overrun by the Muslim BiH forces. That list was fairly
12 complete, and obviously he had the intelligence network
13 available to gather such information across his
15 As far as I'm aware, he also had satellite
16 communications, motorola, and I have already mentioned
17 the liaison officers. In all, I would say it was quite
18 clear to me he was a commander exercising command,
19 issuing orders, controlling events as and when required
20 in the classic style of any military commander
21 operating a large headquarters.
22 Q. Let me ask a question of you, Brigadier,
23 based on what you just said. You noted that Blaskic
24 was conducting himself in the Defence of the Vitez
25 pocket. Is it essential in such a defence or was it
1 essential in such a defence that a commander, such as
2 Blaskic, know what's happening within that pocket, and
3 I mean everywhere in that pocket and, if so, why?
4 A. It is absolutely vital that a commander, a
5 military commander, knows exactly what's happening
6 particularly in defence. The shape of the Vitez pocket
7 was such that there was a spinal road running down the
8 middle from the Novi Travnik T-junction down through
9 Vitez to Busovaca. It was on that road that the
10 movement of reserves could take place.
11 The defence was structured in that there were
12 soldiers who were committed to territorial areas,
13 mainly because I think they lived there and therefore
14 they could do ten days on the front-line and ten days
15 off. That was the framework of defence which held the
16 perimeter of the pocket. The spinal road down the
17 middle was used to shuttle the troops, the reserves, as
18 quickly as possible. The defence rested on the basis
19 that attacks on foot could only advance at the speed of
20 walking, whereas the reserves could be moved by bus,
21 truck or lorry, and therefore they could quickly move
22 to put out the fire, as it were.
23 It is exactly the same situation from a
24 military point of view that existed in the First World
25 War, where attacks on foot by the soldiers were easily
1 stopped and nipped in the bud because trains brought in
2 reinforcements at a much quicker speed.
3 To operate that sort of defence, firstly,
4 there must be one commander; secondly, he must have
5 everything in that area directly under his command, and
6 he must have an adequate information and communication
7 system in order to be able to operate that defence. I
8 have to say that Commander Blaskic operated that
9 defence superbly because he had all of those
10 ingredients, and that is how he was able to defend that
11 pocket with great skill throughout those seven months.
12 Q. As a subset of what you just mentioned, would
13 it be essential for a commander such as Blaskic to be
14 aware of where his defensive positions were located?
15 A. It was and he often, in our discussions,
16 showed me a map where he thought the likely attacks
17 were going to come in, and recorded on that map were
18 details of his front-line trenches.
19 Q. So he indicated to you that he knew that
20 there were trenches at various locations about the
22 A. Very much so. The symbols on the map
23 indicated there was a large and extensive trench
24 network around that pocket.
25 Q. Would it be fair to say, Brigadier, he knew
1 what was going on?
2 A. Oh, very much so.
3 Q. Let us move to the next area of our
4 discussion, Brigadier, which has to do with Blaskic's
5 obligations as a commander and his meeting those
6 obligations and his failure to meet those obligations
7 based on your experiences.
8 A. I've already spoken about the value of an
9 independent investigation, and there were a number of
10 events during this time in command that I think
11 warranted investigation, the first being Ahmici. As
12 I've already said, we were promised the results of an
13 investigation by the 25th of May, and to date they
14 don't appear to have been published or announced
15 anywhere. As I've already said, my conclusion from
16 Ahmici, that was the doctrine and the politics of the
17 area being put into effect.
18 The next event of interest was when a Muslim
19 convoy moved through my area in early June. As far as
20 I'm aware, there were papers of agreement between
21 Muslims and Croat military, the HVO, that this convoy
22 comprising a large number of vehicles, of trucks,
23 should be allowed through the area unmolested. There
24 was a serious incident where the convoy was stopped as
25 it came into the Vitez pocket, I believe, by HVO police
1 who stopped it and HVO soldiers. The convoy was then
2 looted and to the extent that some of the drivers were
3 pulled out and we believe that eight drivers were
4 actually shot and killed on that convoy as it came
6 Now, again, no action was taken to
7 investigate that incident whatsoever. Here were people
8 killed and yet nobody bothered to investigate it. Why
9 did they not bother to investigate it? Well,
10 presumably, they didn't want anyone to know what the
11 truth was. And it was all very well denying what had
12 happened, but it was quite clear what had happened and
13 most of it was witnessed by my own troops and is on the
14 record, and I believe also there are video clips to
15 substantiate that.
16 MR. KEHOE: Before you move to the next
17 incident, if we can, Mr. President and Judge Riad, if
18 we can move to the video clip. That is with the video
19 room and I believe that would be Exhibit 381 at this
20 juncture, Mr. Dubuisson?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is correct.
22 MR. KEHOE: With regard to the source of
23 these video clips, Mr. President, these are video clips
24 that come from the BBC, some that were shown on the air
25 and some that were rushes or outtakes that were
1 likewise given to the Office of the Prosecutor by the
2 BBC. If we could dim the lights and play this
3 particular video segment.
4 (Videotape played)
5 MR. KEHOE: Can you just rewind that back?
6 Can you go back to the beginning, please? Just play it
7 from the beginning.
8 (Videotape played)
9 MR. KEHOE: Stop, please.
10 Q. Now, there's an individual in that, if we can
11 just roll it a couple of more frames, being beaten by
12 soldiers; is that right, Brigadier?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. If we move it a couple of more frames to the
15 chap in the back, there is an individual, a military
16 policeman, there as well; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. These were, to your knowledge, HVO troops?
19 A. Yes. That's the HVO badge on the arm of the
20 military policeman.
21 Q. Continue on.
22 (Videotape played)
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. Stop right there. In the background where
25 all the shooting is going on, there are soldiers in
1 uniform in the background?
2 A. Yes, and some have the white cross belts of
3 HVO police on.
4 Q. Continue on.
5 (Videotape played)
6 MR. KEHOE:
7 Q. That is one of your soldiers?
8 A. Yes. That is Corporal Neil Bolman, yes.
9 (Videotape played)
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. Stop again. There is yet again another
12 soldier in the back in camouflage?
13 A. Very clearly you can see the white soldier
14 brassard of an HVO military policeman.
15 (Videotape played)
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Stop again. Again, troops in the background?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Continue.
20 (Videotape played)
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Stop there. Is that one of the drivers shot
23 in his truck?
24 A. That was one of the drivers from the Muslim
25 convoy, yes.
1 Q. Continue on.
2 (Videotape played)
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. Again, that's Corporal Bolman?
5 A. That's Corporal Bolman, yes.
6 Q. Continue.
7 (Videotape played)
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Now, stop there. What is going on here,
11 A. That's HVO soldiers looting the vehicles
12 belonging to the convoy. The convoy not only had
13 trucks in it but also some cars full of possessions.
14 Q. Continue on.
15 (Videotape played)
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Stop there. You mentioned during the
18 commentary that some of the trucks were taken to
19 the quarry.
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. Can you explain this video clip and we can
22 continue on here with this video clip?
23 A. This video clip shows the quarry at Vitez
24 where a number of the buses and trucks were taken to be
1 Q. Was not the quarry a location where the HVO
2 had a station there?
3 A. Yes, they did, yes.
4 Q. Thank you. In this particular event, you said
5 eight people were killed; you observed soldiers
6 looting. To your knowledge, did the commander of the
7 Central Bosnia operative zone, the defendant, ever do
8 anything about this?
9 A. No. No, sir, there was no investigation
11 Q. What did you conclude?
12 A. That they didn't want an investigation
13 because the investigation would prove who had done it,
14 and the people who had done it, quite clearly as has
15 been shown on the video and witnessed by my soldiers,
16 were HVO soldiers.
17 Q. This particular event, Brigadier, based on
18 you being on the ground and seeing this, who is
19 directing this operation and what was the participation
20 of the defendant?
21 A. The operation, I believe, was directed by
22 Dario Kordic. The reason it was being directed by
23 Dario Kordic is that he was the political leader of
24 that area and at that stage, the Croat forces were very
25 much on the back foot. The pocket had been sealed off
1 from the outside world. They were running short of
2 food and Dario Kordic had decided that this convoy,
3 which was agreed would go through, he would let
4 soldiers and the population take food and supplies off
5 that convoy. If you like, it was a percentage cut to
6 allow it to go through. That wasn't published as an
7 agreement but it is the only thing that I could
8 conclude that he had decided they would be allowed to
9 remove a certain amount of that convoy and he would
10 judge the risk involved. Therefore, it was politically
11 motivated, but as with everything else, you have a
12 political decision and you require troops and forces to
13 plan and conduct the operation. Now, the planning and
14 conduct would need to be detailed. You would need to
15 decide where to stop vehicles, where to cut them out,
16 and it was quite apparent as that convoy came through
17 there had been a detailed plan, we will stop them here,
18 we will loot them here, we will let those vehicles
19 through to another point on the Vitez bypass where we
20 can stop them and control them and cut them out to
21 various parts of Vitez. Trucks were systematically
22 moved. That's a plan you can't dream up as a
23 politician. You need someone who is an expert in the
24 planning and control. The people in the Vitez area who
25 were the experts of planning, control, organisation and
1 operations were the military and therefore it had to
2 have the involvement of HVO forces, otherwise the plan
3 simply wouldn't work.
4 Q. No investigation in Ahmici, no investigation
5 with the looting and the killing of the Convoy of Joy?
6 A. No investigation at all.
7 Q. Can you give us a date approximately of the
8 Convoy of Joy?
9 A. Very early June.
10 Q. Before we go to the next point, Brigadier, I
11 would like to show you a document, and it is this
12 particular document with the --
13 MR. KEHOE: Claudius, it is this document
14 with the date of 30 June on the letterhead, a document
15 of then Colonel Duncan.
16 THE REGISTRAR: It is 382.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Brigadier, the events of the Convoy of Joy,
19 approximately 10th or 11th of June 1993; is that
21 A. Yes, it is, around early June.
22 Q. I show you a letter dated 30 June, 1993 which
23 has your signature line at the bottom of that page. Do
24 you recognise that letter?
25 A. Yes, I do. It is a letter I wrote to
1 Commander Blaskic. His name and appointment are on the
2 top left hand corner of that letter. It concerned a
3 launch or strike of a rocket launcher on my base in
5 Q. Tell the judges about that. What happened?
6 What the ultimate result was and give us the timing
7 involved in this?
8 A. You can see from the letter that an incident
9 occurred at my headquarters on the 27th of June and
10 that incident was the firing of an explosive missile
11 into my base where my soldiers were stationed.
12 Naturally, I was extremely irritated, which is an
13 understatement. I was absolutely furious. My soldiers
14 had been deliberately fired at, as far as I was
15 concerned. I put a very speedy complaint directly to
16 Commander Blaskic about it. You can see that I have
17 praised the speed and efficiency on which he did it
18 because I refer at reference A, which is just above
19 paragraph 1, to the HVO third operational zone letter
20 dated the 29th of June '93, which was his reply, which
21 told me that he had investigated the incident, he had
22 discovered that it was one of his soldiers who was
23 responsible. The investigation was fully complete.
24 The soldier had been put on trial, had been found
25 guilty and was now incarcerated in Busovaca prison.
1 Now, that whole process had taken approximately two
2 days. An investigation had been launched, come to a
3 conclusion, an action had been taken. I found it
4 rather surprising that this investigation could be done
5 so quickly when others, either were not initiated or
6 came to no conclusion or were just ignored. This to me
7 demonstrated that Commander Blaskic had the structure,
8 the orders and the discipline system necessary to
9 conduct very swiftly and efficiently investigations if
10 he so wished. If he didn't wish to conduct an
11 investigation, clearly it hadn't been done in the case
12 of Ahmici and the Convoy of Joy. In this case, I had a
13 clear demonstration, that actually, as a commander he
14 could do it if he wanted it.
15 Q. He could do it if he wanted to?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Now, let's move to the tragic events of five
18 days later and the question of whether or not Blaskic
19 wanted to do anything about what happened five days
21 A. Five days later, and the date will be with me
22 for some time, it was the 5th of July, my interpreter,
23 my personal interpreter was shot dead on the steps of
24 her house in my camp. She was shot by an HVO sniper
25 from the HVO lines across the road. That was entirely
1 clear to me. I think it was clear to everybody in the
2 camp. She was shot, I believe, because she had been
3 Colonel Stewart's personal interpreter and she had
4 attended meetings with Colonel Stewart. She knew what
5 was going on. She was a clear link between the past
6 and the present and a very useful source of advice to
7 me. She was shot because she was easily identifiable.
8 She was a very tall, striking Bosnian Serb. She wasn't
9 shot because she was a Bosnian Serb. She was shot
10 because she was useful to me and it was a distinct poke
11 at me, to get at me, and it was distressing.
12 Q. Before we move on to that, if we can move to
13 the next clip, which shows exactly, Mr. President and
14 Judge Riad, who this woman was, and if we can move to
15 the next clip which is Exhibit 383?
16 (Videotape played)
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Again, this is from the BBC, Mr. President.
19 Stop right there. Is Dobrilla in that frame?
20 A. Yes, on the left of the frame, you can very
21 clearly see wearing the blue helmet, a tall girl whose
22 name is Dobrilla Kalava.
23 Q. Continue on.
24 (Videotape played)
25 MR. KEHOE:
1 Q. Again, is Dobrilla in that frame?
2 A. Yes, she's on the right of the frame there
3 walking down with Colonel Stewart. There you can see
4 her again.
5 Q. Continue on.
6 (Videotape played)
7 MR. KEHOE:
8 Q. She is likewise the woman translating in that
10 A. Yes, she is.
11 Q. And this last clip of her?
12 A. This last clip shows her being moved on a
13 stretcher from the place where she was shot. She had
14 been given immediate first aid for her severe gunshot
15 wound to the head. She is now being moved out.
16 (Videotape played).
17 Q. At this point, Brigadier, at the time of that
18 clip, Dobrilla Kalava is dead?
19 A. Yes, she was dead before she hit the ground.
20 Q. Let me put this last clip into some
21 geographic frame of reference for the President and
22 Judge Riad and if we can move to Exhibit 384 which is
23 an enlargement of a portion of Exhibit 182, the map
24 with the three colourings?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's 384.
1 MR. KEHOE:
2 Q. If we can put that on the ELMO, Claudius,
3 please? Now, Brigadier, this is an enlargement of
4 Exhibit 172. Can you take us through the particular
5 coloured areas and tell the court what they are?
6 A. If I could start with this large blue area,
7 that is the perimeter of the British base in Vitez.
8 This area is the hill behind Grbavica area and the main
9 road running through is the main road coming from Novi
10 Travnik in the south and on to Vitez in the north.
11 What is shown on this slide is the firstly of that
12 British base area, and inside that British base, ringed
13 by the yellow circle, is the house where Dobrilla was
14 shot, and then the orange lozenge there is the area on
15 the other side of the road from whence the shooting
17 I should say that this road actually marked
18 the front-line down there between the Muslim forces on
19 this side and the Croat forces on the right-hand side,
20 but it was quite clear to us that the shot had come
21 from across the road from houses which had been
22 occupied by Croat forces for some two months.
23 Q. By HVO forces?
24 A. By HVO forces, yes.
25 Q. This took place on the 5th of July, 1993?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Five days after you complimented Judge
3 Blaskic (sic) on his expeditious investigation of this
4 launch into your camp that took place on the 27th of
6 A. Colonel Blaskic, yes.
7 Q. Excuse me, Colonel Blaskic, on the 27th of
9 A. Yes, absolutely.
10 Q. Did the HVO investigate this?
11 A. Military policeman were sent down to talk to
12 us. There was an investigation. It came to the
13 conclusion that somehow a Muslim had infiltrated across
14 the road, occupied houses that were then occupied by
15 HVO soldiers, deliberately shot Dobrilla and then
16 clearly moved himself back across the front-line and
18 Q. What did you think of that, Brigadier?
19 A. I think to say that was unlikely would be an
20 understatement. It was, again, almost ludicrous and
21 naive to suggest something like that. I mean, here was
22 an investigation suggesting to my officers and myself
23 something that patently wasn't true. It was a complete
24 lie. Not only was it a small lie, it was such a huge
25 and such an elaborate lie, it was unbelievable anyone
1 could suggest that. And producing investigations which
2 came up with such ridiculous solutions undermined the
3 whole system. What is the point? It was a complete
4 waste of time.
5 Q. Were there any other events after the murder
6 of Dobrilla Kalava which called into question the
7 actions of Blaskic in his failure to meet his
8 obligations as a commander?
9 A. There was one other murder of a UNHCR
10 official called Boris. He was the driver in a UNHCR
11 vehicle. The vehicle was moving in the area of Stari
12 Vitez and a single round from a 12.7 millimetre machine
13 gun penetrated his armoured vehicle and went straight
14 through him and killed him on the spot. Again, we
15 asked for an investigation of this. There was no
16 investigation. The reason there was no investigation
17 is we knew that the HVO had shot him.
18 Q. This is the murder of this driver Boris that
19 took place on the 14th of August, 1993?
20 A. Yes, on the 14th of August.
21 Q. Again, to give the court a frame of reference
22 concerning this particular event, can we turn our
23 attention to Exhibit 385, Mr. Dubuisson, which is this
25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, we started a little
1 bit earlier this morning. Perhaps, if you don't mind,
2 we could take a break now, 20 minutes, and then resume
3 at 11.35. The hearing is adjourned.
4 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.45 a.m.
6 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing.
7 Have the accused brought in, please.
8 (The accused entered court)
9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?
10 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Brigadier, before we move to the map that's
12 on the ELMO, 385, I neglected to ask you a couple of
13 questions concerning the orders of battle, Exhibits 378
14 and 379. The question I neglected to ask is the fact
15 that within these orders of battle, there is no
16 specific designation for the military police. Is there
17 some reason for that, please?
18 A. Yes, sir. We would not normally show units
19 such as military police or other units who are
20 supporting the main effort. We would merely show the
21 main units themselves; and therefore, they wouldn't --
22 on an order of battle such as we produced, we don't put
23 them on.
24 Q. Now, you also mentioned during your testimony
25 this morning that you took Blaskic to Kiseljak on the
1 29th of May of 1993; is that right?
2 A. Yes -- I'm not sure I mentioned it this
3 morning, but I certainly was ordered by BHC command in
4 Kiseljak to move Commander Blaskic to a meeting at
6 Q. Now, was that a meeting that was at the U.N.
7 headquarters there?
8 A. It was a meeting -- it was to be a meeting at
9 the U.N. headquarters, yes, but the understanding was
10 that after that meeting, the HVO commanders would be
11 allowed some time before they were required to return
12 to their various locations.
13 Q. Did the HVO commanders take that time?
14 A. Yes. What, in fact, happened was, we arrived
15 at the meeting, and very little business to do with the
16 U.N. was done at all. The meeting was concluded very
17 quickly. And then the HVO commanders moved off with
18 Petkovic, their commander, away, and I saw them about
19 three hours later when they got a lift back.
20 Q. Which HVO commanders are you talking about
21 met with General Petkovic?
22 A. Certainly Commander Blaskic, Rajic, and other
23 brigade commander level commanders in the HVO.
24 Q. After that meeting, did you see a
25 relationship between the HVO and the Bosnian Serb army
1 develop in Central Bosnia?
2 A. There was a considerable change after that
3 meeting which was on the 29th of May. After that,
4 Croat civilians were able to move across front-lines
5 into Serb territory, particularly in the area of
6 Travnik, where they moved off to the west and then came
7 back in lower down in Herceg-Bosna, and also in the
8 area of Zepce, where Croats were working, and I think
9 HVO were working with the Serb army against the
10 Muslims, and then also in the Vares area where there
11 was certainly cooperation, we believe, between Serb and
13 Q. One other subject area which didn't come up
14 this morning which I'd like to ask you about and has to
15 do with Prozor. Brigadier, you went through Prozor on
16 occasion during your tour. On any occasion during your
17 tour did you see HV troops, troops from the Republic of
18 Croatia, present?
19 A. I saw HV artillery troops and guns in the
20 area of Prozor.
21 Q. Approximately what time of year was this, if
22 you could?
23 A. In the middle of the year. I couldn't
24 specify it exactly. But certainly I have personally
25 seen HV soldiers in the area of Prozor.
1 Q. During your tour in 1993 --
2 A. During my tour in '93.
3 Q. Let us return back to where we left off
4 before the break, and we had finished talking about the
5 murder of Dobrilla Kalava, and I believe you were about
6 to discuss or had discussed the killing of the UNHCR
7 driver, Boris, on the 14th of August of 1993, and I
8 believe we have on the -- we had it on the ELMO.
9 We're about to move to this particular map,
10 Mr. President, Exhibit 385.
11 Now, Brigadier, pursuant to your
12 instructions, did members of British battalion conduct
13 an investigation concerning this shooting of this UNHCR
14 driver and did they determine the firing point and who
15 controlled that area?
16 A. As a result of Boris's shooting, we recovered
17 the vehicle back to our camp in Vitez, and we then
18 examined the entry and exit holes of the bullet; and
19 from the position in the road that the vehicle was on,
20 it was apparent that the firing point came from this
21 village called Krvenija (phoen), I think it's called,
22 it's marked on the map, it's a very simple blob of
23 orange there, that was a village that was occupied at
24 the time by HVO troops, and we believe it was the
25 firing point from which they would fire down into Stari
1 Vitez, and this is the road outside Stari Vitez which
2 is where Boris was killed.
3 I should add that Boris was a driver for the
4 UNHCR. It was in the interests of the Muslims to get
5 the UNHCR into Stari Vitez in order to get aid. It
6 would be highly unlikely that they would wish to shoot
7 somebody who was bringing them aid.
8 Q. Brigadier, how large a calibre of this round?
9 A. It's 12.7, I believe, millimetres, which is a
10 very large round, an armour-piercing round.
11 Q. Brigadier, did you discuss the killing of
12 Boris with the Defendant Blaskic and, if so, what did
13 he say?
14 A. He said categorically that the HVO hadn't
15 done it, it had been done by the Muslims.
16 Q. What did you think of that?
17 A. Well, it's another statement which was
18 patently a lie. It's just simply not true. As I've
19 said, there was no reason for the Muslims to shoot a
20 white vehicle which was going to bring them aid, or
21 organised to bring aid in, a well-known vehicle. It's
22 the UNHCR vehicle that moved around the area. There
23 was no reason for anyone else except HVO to shoot.
24 Certainly it came from their lines.
25 Q. Let's continue on, Brigadier, and talk about
1 any other events that you wish to discuss with the
2 Court concerning the Defendant Blaskic's failure to
3 meet his obligations as a commander.
4 A. There are a number of events which I consider
5 as a commander, Commander Blaskic, failed to act on a
6 direction he was given.
7 Throughout the period I was there, there were
8 a number of prisoners held by the Croats, and there
9 were repeated requests from the International Committee
10 of the Red Cross, from the European monitoring teams,
11 and from the United Nations to release prisoners.
12 Clearly, these prisoners weren't released because we
13 kept finding them throughout the seven months I was
14 there; and when we found them, of course, they were
15 released. But there was a failure to comply with
16 instructions and requests throughout the period to
17 release prisoners.
18 More specifically, I think, during the period
19 where I convened joint military committees between the
20 Bosnian Muslim army and the Croat Bosnian army, the
21 HVO, there were a number of decisions which we took at
22 those meetings which are agreed by both commanders,
23 that is by -- in the main by Enver Hadzihasanovic for
24 the BiH and by Tihomir Blaskic for the HVO, agreement
25 of action which we had taken which clearly wasn't taken
1 by the HVO, and we could perhaps outline those now.
2 Q. If we could move to the next four exhibits,
3 and they are the reports on the meeting of the joint
4 command that were drafted by you, Brigadier?
5 We are preparing French copies of these,
6 Mr. President. They have not been finalised as of
8 THE REGISTRAR: This is 386 for the document
9 of 19 June. 387 for the 21st of June. 388 for the
10 20th (sic) of June. 389 for the one that has no date.
11 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, 388 was
12 identified as the 20th of June. The transcript has
13 been changed to the 24th. Could I ask the registrar:
14 Is that correct?
15 MR. KEHOE: I believe my colleague is
16 correct. 388 should read the 24th of June, 1993. It
17 is written in there, and it's a little difficult to
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You can continue
20 with the examination-in-chief starting with that
21 document, Mr. Kehoe.
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. Brigadier, these are documents that you
24 provided to the Office of the Prosecutor; is that
25 correct, sir?
1 A. Yes, it is, sir.
2 Q. Could you take us through these particular
3 meetings of the joint command and what do we have
4 before us, the record of decisions, and can you
5 explain, based on this, what was discussed and what the
6 problems were?
7 A. Yes, sir. These four documents represent the
8 output of four meetings I had between the BiH and the
9 HVO in Vitez on the dates as shown.
10 I would draw your attention to the third page
11 of the document, of the first document, and I believe
12 that is similar on the others, which gives a
13 distribution of those who received that document, and
14 you can see it runs Colonel Blaskic, Colonel Filipovic,
15 Colonel Hadzihasanovic, Karic, Merdan, Nakic, Siber
16 Totic, which was the main hierarchy of both HVO and BiH
17 at that time. So they had personal copies.
18 The important thing about these documents is
19 that they record the decisions that were agreed between
20 the two commanders, and I don't wish to go through the
21 documents in detail. I would wish to draw your
22 attention to certain paragraphs, if I may?
23 First, paragraph 4(a), which is halfway down
24 the first page of the first document, where --
25 Q. That, for the record, is Exhibit 386.
1 A. It says that for the release of prisoners,
2 the ICRC are to be given every assistance with no
3 conditions in their current task of prisoner releases
4 and in conjunction with their work, and they are to
5 issue -- commanders were to issue instructions for
6 every assistance to the ICRC.
7 Further down, under paragraph 5, to do with
8 displaced persons, there are a number of measures again
9 that both commanders of both sides agreed to: To
10 ensure protection of all places of worship, to maintain
11 the conditions for peace, to control criminal elements,
12 to assist UNHCR and UNPROFOR and, more importantly, at
13 the bottom there, the last two paragraphs,
14 subparagraphs (e) and (f), to issue orders to all under
15 their command forbidding the expulsion of civilians
16 from their houses and to issue orders to encourage
17 civilians to return to their houses.
18 Over on page 2 of that first document, you
19 will again see the requirement agreed to issue orders
20 to fully investigate all incidents forbidding any
21 damage to life or property.
22 Those terms were agreed between the two
23 commanders, and I would stress that it was my habit at
24 the end of these meetings, before they concluded, to
25 physically question every single member around the
1 table, those senior commanders who were present there,
2 and say, "Do you agree to this?" And I would say,
3 "Look me in the eyes and tell me you agree." And I
4 would go around to each individual on every occasion.
5 That is the detail of the first document. If
6 I can move on to the second one, if I may?
7 In particular, at the bottom of the page
8 there, paragraph 4, which concerns the release of
9 prisoners, and it states there that "all would support
10 the International Committee of the Red Cross, and if
11 not already issued" -- and I'm reading this out --
12 "Commanders were to issue precise orders on the
13 treatment of prisoners and the punishment of those
14 Commanders who disobeyed these orders. Commanders who
15 disobeyed these orders were to be removed from command
16 and specific orders were to be issued forbidding
17 prisoners being asked or made to dig trenches." That
18 was a very specific point.
19 Those again were agreed by the commanders as
20 actions they would take, and those are the main points
21 from the second document.
22 The third and fourth documents are included
23 for completeness of the number of joint meetings I
24 had. We were somewhat hampered at the third meeting
25 because the HVO were unable to attend at the last
1 minute. I believe it was because they were attending a
2 funeral of one of their commanders. That was
3 unfortunate, and therefore, the information recorded on
4 that third document is mainly to do with the BiH and
5 some technical work.
6 Finally, the fourth document took place
7 again, and we just discussed a number of events, but I
8 wouldn't stress -- I don't think there's anything
9 particularly to be stressed from that one. They are
10 included for completeness as the record, complete
11 record of the meetings I had with both commanders at
12 that stage in June.
13 Q. Addressing ourselves, Brigadier, to the first
14 two documents, the first two meetings. Had there been
15 numerous complaints in the Vitez area of civilians
16 being expelled?
17 A. Yes, there had been, and we were constantly
18 receiving complaints both from the ICRC, from the U.N.,
19 and from individuals to my patrols on the ground of
20 people being expelled from their houses.
21 Q. In fairness, had you also received
22 information that the ABiH was expelling?
23 A. Very much so, yes.
24 Q. Was Blaskic at this meeting?
25 A. Blaskic was at this meeting, yes.
1 Q. Was it explained to him in detail that this
2 expulsion of civilians was improper?
3 A. Yes, it was. We talked about it at length,
4 and I believe Ambassador Thebault from the ECMM talked
5 about it at length as well.
6 Q. Did he ever come back to you and tell you
7 that Muslims had been resettled in Vitez?
8 A. I'm sorry, could you repeat that?
9 Q. Did Muslims ever come back to Vitez after
10 they had been expelled?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Let us turn to the document on the release of
13 prisoners that you talked about in the second meeting
14 of the joint command where it mentions comments by
15 Ambassador Thebault. During that meeting, was Blaskic
17 A. I believe so, yes.
18 Q. Was it explained to him that the use of
19 prisoners to dig trenches was a violation of
20 international law?
21 A. It was indeed. Ambassador Thebault explained
22 this in great detail.
23 Q. Did Ambassador Thebault note that
24 trench-digging was taking place prior to this meeting?
25 A. We had a constant series of reports of
1 civilians being made to dig trenches. Certainly in the
2 HVO-controlled areas, there were Muslim civilians; and
3 in the BiH-controlled areas, there were Croat
5 Q. Did the trench-digging go on?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. To your knowledge, did Blaskic ever come to
8 you and say that a commander who disobeyed this order
9 concerning the digging of trenches had been removed?
10 A. No commanders were ever removed.
11 Q. No commander was ever disciplined, to your
13 A. Not to my knowledge, no.
14 Q. Brigadier, let us just recap, if you will,
15 before I ask you for your final comments. You talked
16 about Blaskic's comments on Ahmici, the events of the
17 Convoy of Joy, his investigation, rather rapid
18 investigation, concerning the missile attack on the
19 British battalion on the 27th that he concluded on the
20 29th of June, you talked about the investigation of the
21 Dobrilla murder, the Boris murder, and then these
22 various instructions given on the digging of trenches
23 and the release of prisoners that came out of the joint
24 command meetings.
25 After all these events took place, Brigadier,
1 and as you look back at it as to what happened during
2 that period of time, had you reached certain
3 conclusions about Blaskic's failure to meet his
4 obligations as a commander according to law?
5 A. I -- yeah. I -- when I look back at all
6 these incidents -- at the time I was very busy, if you
7 like, fighting the current battle, doing my current
8 business. But when I look back, I see throughout
9 these, a pattern of a failure by Commander Blaskic to
10 act when he deemed it was not in his own interest. He
11 would only act if he saw it as a direct benefit for
12 him, and when I say "act," he would do an investigation
13 if it was of direct benefit, he would very quickly do
14 things if it was of benefit. If it was of no benefit
15 for him or the issues involved were minor, then he
16 wouldn't do anything. He would just let it run and let
17 it ride, and by omission, things would carry on.
18 I think, again looking back, he deemed that
19 he would never be caught out. He never thought anyone
20 would come back and question his activities. He
21 thought, "I've got away with this. We can move on."
22 The statements he made at the time, to me,
23 were blatantly not true. They were so untrue as to be
24 almost completely unbelievable. He was protecting
25 somebody in his command or he was protecting himself.
1 Throughout, there was this message of expediency:
2 "This will do for the minute."
3 And I think, again looking back, that as a
4 military commander in a war, and Commander Blaskic was
5 a professional soldier who had been educated and
6 brought up within a professional army, one is required
7 to do things and take actions which you might not like
8 it, but by law, you have to do them. There is the
9 Geneva Convention; there are the rules of war. You
10 cannot break those rules of war. You do so at your own
11 peril. You also cannot advise other people to do that.
12 If you are told to do things that you know
13 are wrong, you have the option of resigning, and you
14 can say, "I will walk away. I cannot soldier any
16 Blaskic was a professional soldier. It is
17 not an excuse to say that the other side -- I am well
18 aware that the BiH at the time were doing similar
19 things, but you can't say, "Because they're doing it,
20 I'm going to do it." That is not a defence. That is
21 not a way a commander conducts business.
22 At the end of the day, the Vitez pocket was
23 an area of military, political, strategic importance to
24 the Croats, to the Bosnian Croats, a vital area for a
25 number of reasons: There were armament factories
1 there, it represented the extent of their borders which
2 they claimed.
3 Now, that area was run and organised, and the
4 surrounding area, by a team. The team was headed with
5 a doctrine, how they were going to do it, what they
6 wanted to do. Anto Valenta; he produced the plan. And
7 that plan included the movement of people; if
8 necessary, by force.
9 The political level was represented by
10 Blaskic, and he produced the politics and he
11 gathered --
12 Q. Do you mean Blaskic or Kordic?
13 A. I'm sorry, Kordic. Kordic produced the
14 political side of things, he produced the way of doing
15 things and influenced the people.
16 Finally, the instrument of that policy was
17 enacted by the HVO, the military commander, Tihomir
19 The real crunch comes, to my mind, about this
20 whole business, is that defence of that pocket was
21 hugely successful, and the actions that were taken by
22 Blaskic were hugely successful.
23 I cannot believe that the Bosnian Croats
24 would have put somebody into that pocket they did not
25 completely and utterly trust to carry out the policies
1 as defined by Valenta and spread by Kordic.
2 In recognition of his trust and the job he
3 had done in support of the political aims, Commander
4 Blaskic left that pocket as a national hero and was
5 promoted. He was welcomed back by Croats as a hero.
6 He was done the job that was required of him. He was
7 politically acceptable. He had worked hand in glove.
8 You simply could not, in my mind, in my
9 opinion, put anybody else but a hugely trusted man who
10 knew exactly what you wanted to achieve and would work
11 as part of a team to achieve that.
12 And so that's my final comment, summary.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. KEHOE: Brigadier, if I might have one
16 Mr. President, excuse me.
17 JUDGE JORDA: No further questions,
18 Mr. Kehoe?
19 MR. KEHOE: No further questions,
20 Mr. President. I would like to --
21 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, the exhibits.
22 MR. KEHOE: That would be Exhibit 378 to
23 Exhibit 389.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Very well. Any
1 MR. HAYMAN: Only to certain of them,
2 Mr. President. With respect to Exhibit 380, this is a
3 prior statement of the accused in an obscure news
4 report which I've never seen before, has never been
5 produced to the Defence, and we object to it for that
6 reason, that it was not produced to us. It was
7 withheld in violation of Rule 66A.
8 MR. KEHOE: If I might comment on that,
9 Mr. President? It was produced in discovery to the
11 MR. HAYMAN: If counsel can simply provide to
12 us the control numbers and we'll try and confirm that
13 and we can --
14 JUDGE JORDA: All right. You can settle that
15 among yourselves. For the Tribunal, the witness
16 identified the document and it can be admitted as
17 evidence; and if there is a problem with it, then we
18 can deal with that later on.
19 Now, passing to the cross-examination.
20 Mr. Hayman?
21 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, I had a comment on
22 a couple of other exhibits.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, very well.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Exhibit 386, 388 and 389 were
25 identified as having being authored by the witness but,
1 again to my knowledge, and counsel will correct me if
2 my memory is faulty, that have not previously been
3 presented to the Defence. They were presented to us in
4 the midst of these proceedings which we believe is
5 contrary, again, to Rule 66(a). Witness statements
6 must be produced as soon as practicable. And the
7 question is did the Prosecutor have these statements
8 prior to the middle of his direct exam, if they did,
9 they have an obligation to give them to us and not
10 withhold them for an hour or a day or a week or two
11 weeks in order to gain tactical advantage. I haven't
12 even been able to read these reports through yet. I,
13 of course, can do so at the luncheon break, but the
14 violations are so numerous, I think we have to draw a
15 line. And if something is withheld improperly, it
16 should be excluded.
17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the statement of
18 Brigadier Duncan has been provided to counsel. The
19 exhibits annexing that statement are these exhibits.
20 MR. HAYMAN: These documents -- I don't
21 understand counsel to be saying these documents, these
22 reports which the witness has said he wrote, were ever
23 previously produced to the Defence. I don't care if
24 they were referenced in other documents. The question
25 is were they produced to the Defence?
1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, to my knowledge,
2 the documents that are annexed to this particular
3 statement have been produced in the Defence witness
5 JUDGE JORDA: All right, check on the dates.
6 For the time being, the Tribunal feels these were
7 identified by the witness. In principle they will be
8 admitted into evidence. We cannot each time that we
9 deal with documents deal with the same problems over
10 again. It is normal for the Defence to have as many
11 documents as possible by not going to -- we've already
12 rendered a decision on this a few months ago. I'm now
13 talking about Rule 66(a). Ordinarily, the Defence must
14 receive all the supporting material which completes the
15 indictment. I suppose at that time it couldn't be
16 supporting material. It couldn't be attached to the
17 indictment then. I guess that's true, isn't it,
18 Mr. Kehoe?
19 I look at 66(a)(i). Ordinarily, within 30 --
20 to the supporting material which was accompanied when
21 confirmation was sought is supposed to be given to the
22 Defence. Was it a statement which is covered by 66(i),
23 within 30 days of the initial appearance?
24 MR. FOURMY: This evaluation is a decision of
25 the Trial Chamber, but if I've understood correctly, it
1 seems that the documents referred to here, 386 to 389,
2 are reports that allegedly were written by General
3 Duncan at the time which, from my point of view, does
4 not seem to constitute statements as explained under
5 Rule 66. These are statements which ordinarily have to
6 do with the content of documents that the Prosecutor
7 has when he listens to the witnesses which he then
8 gives to the Defence, that is, if he intends to call
9 that witness at trial.
10 I'm not sure that this can be considered,
11 that is, the reports can be considered, as part of
12 these joint commission documents to be covered by Rule
14 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. These witness
15 statements were provided to you, Mr. Hayman?
16 MR. HAYMAN: If they were provided, if
17 counsel could simply indicate, provide the cover letter
18 that so shows it, and I apologise, if that's the case,
19 to counsel and for taking the time of the court. If
20 they weren't provided, I want that in the record so it
21 is perfectly clear that they were not timely produced.
22 MR. KEHOE: If I may follow up, I consulted
23 with my colleague, Mr. President and Judge Riad, and
24 only the statement was provided and I was incorrect
25 that these reports were not produced when the statement
1 was provided, the four meeting of joint command
2 documents. I have been informed by my colleague that
3 that did not go over in discovery.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Well, they have been produced
5 today. I can also say they can be considered documents
6 that are covered by Rule 66(b). But it's true that
7 66(b), Mr. Hayman, puts us into a hypothesis where you
8 yourself did not want reciprocity.
9 For the time being, we are going to admit
10 them as documents. We cannot do without them.
11 However, if in the future you need additional
12 information, you can open the discussion on those
13 particular cases, but ordinarily these are documents
14 that are covered by 66(b). You didn't make a request.
15 We can go back to -- you're going to 67(c). It's your
16 choice. We've been going around this issue since the
17 beginning of the trial.
18 For the time we're dealing with 66, it's
19 covered by 66, which I will read one last time.
20 66(a): "Within 30 days of the initial appearance of
21 the accused, copies of the supporting material which
22 accompanied the indictment when confirmation was sought
23 as well as private statements obtained by the
24 Prosecutor from the Accused." You received these
25 statements and other documents. According to the
1 decision, we have decided on them point by point. Each
2 time there is a document, I note that there is a
3 discussion -- there's an interpretation, rather, which
4 is very, very complicated for all of these problems.
5 The judges have their rights and the
6 responsibility of all these documents which allow them
7 to find the truth in the Blaskic case. I cannot do
8 anything, whether this is covered by 66 or 66(b) or
9 67(c). And 67C, you see, you chose that strategy; that
10 is your right. However, this does cause interpretative
12 However, the Trial Chamber has the
13 responsibility to respect an absolute inter parte
14 hearing. So you can discuss this or you cannot discuss
15 this in your cross-examination, that is, these
16 documents. And if afterwards you need to have
17 additional information, either we'll have the witness
18 brought back, but nobody can complain if the trial goes
19 on and on or else we can open the discussion once again
20 about these documents. For the time being, the
21 Tribunal, I'm sorry, can read these documents, and I
22 would like to tell you that I was given to them this
23 English and I don't make a big fuss about that.
24 Let's go on. Commence the
25 cross-examination. We cannot spend all our time in
1 these kind of endless problems having to do with
2 documents that have been tendered in evidence. I'm
3 sorry. This is part of national courts and
4 international courts' responsibility to look at
5 documents that are provided by the Prosecution or by
6 the Defence. After all, it is absolutely extraordinary
7 that we should go on talking about this. I'm sorry.
8 These are documents covered by 66(b).
9 If you need additional information, if you
10 need to perfect anything that you want to say, that is
11 your absolute right. That is the right that will be
12 given to you. In that case, do not complain that the
13 trial is going on for so long. Now we can move to the
14 cross-examination. That's the end of the incident. If
15 you don't want to discuss those documents, very well,
16 then you don't have to. That's your right. For the
17 time being, they have been admitted.
18 MR. HAYMAN: I will have to read them,
19 Mr. President, before I can tell you whether I will
20 need more time to either, perhaps, recall the witness
21 or conduct other investigation.
22 JUDGE JORDA: We would recall the witness
23 then, if you like and we will be continuing with the
24 Blaskic trial in two years, but let nobody complain
25 about that because, after all, this is the problem that
1 the judges have to deal with. I know as well as
2 anybody else that in a national court, what an inter
3 parte proceeding is and what the rights of the accused
4 are. So now you can start the cross-examination. You
5 can look at the documents and you can use them as you
6 like. But for the time being, I can notice that
7 pursuant to the case law of this Trial Chamber, these
8 exhibits were identified by the witness and, therefore,
9 in theory they are exhibits.
10 As regards disclosure, I have noted and it's
11 in the transcript that they were not disclosed by the
12 Prosecution and then they are covered by the notion of
13 documents. You can say what you like in a few days,
14 but we will start counting that from the 23rd of June
15 1997, we have had a large number of pending points
16 having to do with the production of documents and
17 mutual discovery. We weren't able to spend an entire
18 day to settle this issue of exhibits, but let's be in a
19 hurry, because the judges at one point are also going
20 to need to deliberate over those exhibits to see
21 whether they are covered within the inter parte
23 Very well, we have already wasted a quarter
24 of an hour. Let's now begin the cross-examination.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President
1 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. HAYMAN:
2 Q. Good morning, Brigadier Duncan.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. When you arrived in the theatre in May of
5 1993, would you agree that the HVO was not an army that
6 could be compared as equivalent to modern
7 technologically equipped armies of developed nations?
8 A. It was a different army and operating with
9 slightly different systems, but in general terms,
10 fighting troops supported by artillery, supporting
11 troops behind that, a command structure, it was similar
12 to any army in the world.
13 Q. Wouldn't you characterise them as, in
14 essence, a militia army, both the HVO and the BiH army,
15 at the time you arrived in theatre?
16 A. Yes, but I was aware that there is a full
17 code of military discipline backing up the HVO as
18 published, I believe, by the government of Herceg-Bosna
19 which details right down to the detail of how to deal
20 with court cases and process for disciplining. That is
21 a sign of a developed army that has a good command
23 Q. Brigadier, you're answering questions I'm not
24 asking, at least not yet. A militia army --
25 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel. If counsel
1 has an objection to the particular answer that is
2 given, the objection should be directed to counsel and
3 not editorialising. Counsel should be asking simply
4 questions of the witness.
5 MR. HAYMAN: Just trying to move through the
6 material with some speed, Mr. President. And the more
7 focus the answers to my questions, the greater speed I
8 will conclude my cross-examination.
9 Q. Would you agree that the brigades within the
10 HVO were territorial based?
11 A. There were territorial brigades and there
12 were also manoeuvre brigades or manoeuvre units.
13 Q. Were there any manoeuvre brigades? You said
14 there were manoeuvre brigades. Were there only
15 territorial brigades in the HVO during your tenure in
16 the theatre in Central Bosnia in 1993?
17 A. I'm sorry. Could you repeat the question?
18 Q. Were there own territorial-based brigades or
19 territorial brigades within the HVO during your tour
20 and no other type of brigade? I'm talking about
21 brigades right now.
22 A. There were only territorial brigades, yes.
23 Q. Can you explain the difference between a
24 territorial brigade and a manoeuvre brigade?
25 A. Certainly. The difference is that in the
1 defence of an area, you require to have forces which
2 defend certain small areas, defined areas, to provide a
3 framework defence. In order to plug gaps, plug holes
4 or reinforce or counterattack, you would need manoeuvre
5 units within that area, and that complements a
6 brigade. You cannot do a defence without the
7 combination of ground holding and manoeuvre.
8 Q. I'll pause from time to time to allow the
9 interpreters to complete their interpretation. So in
10 sum, a territorial brigade would consist of personnel
11 raised from the local territory; is that correct?
12 A. By definition, yes, sir.
13 Q. Those brigades, would they also live in their
14 homes generally and not in barracks, those individuals
15 in those brigades?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. By definition, they would have their uniform
18 at home?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. They would have their weapon at home?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it also true that those soldiers, the HVO
23 brigades, soldiers in those brigades, would serve on an
24 active or continuous basis for a number of days and
25 then spend a period of time at home off-duty?
1 A. That would be logical, yes.
2 Q. When off-duty, those individuals would tend
3 the farm, guard their house, perhaps engage in other
4 economically productive activities; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In fact, that was necessary so the operation
7 could subsist and sustain itself. You couldn't have
8 all of the population serving full time, or else there
9 would be no one left to grow vegetables and do other
10 things; correct? Now, is that the same as in a
11 developed, professional, modern army, say, in your
12 army? Do your soldiers live at home? Even when they
13 are on duty, do they go home at night and sleep at
15 A. They are out to live out, yes. If their
16 homes are close, they are certainly allowed to go home.
17 Q. During wartime?
18 A. During wartime, no.
19 Q. They would be in barracks?
20 A. They would be in barracks, but you have to be
21 careful about defining "wartime." If I'm allowed to
22 expand on this, if we're talking about a direct threat
23 to your country whereby your own territory is
24 threatened, then they probably would be in such cases
25 allowed to go home or...
1 Q. Wouldn't you agree that the general practise,
2 if an army is sufficiently sophisticated, is to have
3 troops in barracks so that they can be activated and
4 directed very quickly and you don't have to telephone
5 or send a messenger to try and notify each soldier that
6 they need to gather at a certain point in a certain
7 number of hours or days?
8 A. It depends how you've organised your
9 defence. Some countries prefer to keep their soldiers
10 in barracks and deploy them forward, and there's a time
11 link there. Other countries such as Norway and
12 Switzerland have their forces deployed in the houses at
13 home as a normal thing, and both countries have
14 sufficient communication networks to call out their
15 soldiers by whatever means they require.
16 Q. Did you find during your tour that on a
17 frequent basis, Colonel Blaskic would give an order
18 which would not be followed, and then you would go with
19 Colonel Blaskic to the spot to have them personally
20 speak to the soldiers, the HVO soldiers on the spot,
21 who would then follow the order. Did you find that
22 happened time and time again during your tour?
23 A. It happened on occasions, yes.
24 Q. Let's turn to the orders of battle, and if
25 they could be handed to the witness I believe they are
1 marked Prosecutor Exhibits 378 and 379.
2 While that is being provided to you, so we
3 can move forward, the troops you commanded in Tuzla and
4 Gornji Vakuf, you could travel and visit those troops
5 via your armoured warriors; correct?
6 A. Yes, although there were occasions when I
7 couldn't because of the fighting blocked me getting
9 Q. Generally you could; is that fair?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you had your own secure modern means of
12 communication with those troops?
13 A. We had no secure means of communication at
14 all. That wasn't part of the United Nations.
15 Q. So you didn't need secure communications?
16 A. No. We had secure in that they were
17 dedicated and we could get through, but there was no
18 encryption of them.
19 Q. But you had modern communications equipment
20 with which you could communicate with your troops in
21 Tuzla and Gornji Vakuf?
22 A. 1950's technology but it was modern
23 communications to the British army, yes.
24 Q. And it worked?
25 A. It worked.
1 Q. You had officers in both Tuzla and Gornji
2 Vakuf that had military academy training that enabled
3 you through them to control those forces; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, I believe if you have Exhibits 378 and
6 379, let me ask you, do you know when these were
7 dated? In other words, when were they made? They
8 obviously reflect someone's belief as to the state of
9 affairs within the HVO at certain points in time. Can
10 you help us? When are those points in time?
11 A. I think 378 would be produced on my arrival
12 by my military information officer who had arrived some
13 months before I had and had been working with the
14 previous unit, and he produced those to me and I
15 recognise his writing in filling this form in.
16 Q. Just to help the court, 378 would be sometime
17 in May or mid May of 1993?
18 A. Early May, yes, on my arrival.
19 Q. Early to mid May. Have you completed your
20 answer with respect to Exhibit 378?
21 A. Yes, indeed, it is early May, the moment I
22 stepped in the door, as it were.
23 Q. Do you know when the court and the parties
24 should date Exhibit 379?
25 A. You should date Exhibit 379 as June, and the
1 bottom right-hand corner refers to an event on the 14th
2 of June, so it would be a reasonable assumption that
3 this would be produced by my military information
4 officer in the latter half of June to record the
5 up-to-date situation.
6 Q. If I understand your testimony, if one
7 compares Exhibits 378 and 379, and I don't know if the
8 court has these and I doubt they will both fit on the
9 ELMO together, so we'll do the best we can, that
10 between those two dates then, early May and the 14th of
11 June, one can see that the HVO brigades in Travnik,
12 indicating over at the left, the two of the brigades at
13 the left-hand side of the diagram, are gone; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What happened to them?
17 A. They were either defeated in a battle, or
18 because the territory was captured, those territorial
19 brigades would be dissolved and incorporated into other
20 brigades. The commanders would move.
21 Q. Was, in fact, Travnik captured by the BiH
22 army in early June during your tour of duty?
23 A. It was captured, yes.
24 Q. Now, also we see that the brigade in Zenica,
25 which is on the second level of the boxes, the second
1 box from the left, is crossed out in Exhibit 379. What
2 happened to the HVO brigade in Zenica?
3 A. It is my understanding that the HVO brigade
4 commander whose name, I believe from memory, was Totic
5 was taken prisoner by the BiH. The HVO forces in
6 Zenica left the area because it was controlled by the
8 Q. They were attacked by the BiH army or
10 A. Or left, yes, and hence the cross which
11 deletes them from the order of battle.
12 Q. Now, moving to the right on the top line of
13 Exhibit 379, there is the box for the Kacanj HVO
14 brigade which is also marked through on Exhibit 379.
15 What happened to the HVO brigade in Kakanj?
16 A. In Kacanj, the HVO brigade, again, was either
17 defeated or moved out of the Kacanj area and therefore
18 it was dissolved.
19 Q. Now, during your tour of duty, did the HVO
20 brigade in Vares, indicating on Exhibits 378 and 379,
21 the Bobovac brigade towards the middle of the diagram,
22 did that brigade also fall?
23 A. Yes, it did.
24 Q. Now, let me ask you about the HVO brigade in
25 Sarajevo. Do you know what happened to that brigade?
1 A. No, sir, I don't. My area of responsibility
2 didn't cover Sarajevo and therefore I don't know what
3 happened to it.
4 Q. Do you know whether Colonel Blaskic had any
5 effective means of communication with the HVO brigade
6 in Sarajevo?
7 A. Personally, no, I don't.
8 Q. If he did not --
9 A. Speculation, yes.
10 Q. -- would you agree that it is impossible for
11 a commander to keep abreast of rapidly changing events
12 on the ground and effectively command and control a
13 force if the commander has no information about the
14 state of affairs in that place?
15 A. It depends on the level of command. At a
16 very small tactical level, down in the weeds, if you
17 like, then you would issue orders more regularly. At
18 the higher level, you're only required to issue orders
19 at intervals because you allow discretion of the
20 commands below you. You would issue orders in the form
21 of a directive. "You are to achieve the following."
22 You then allow that individual commander to exercise
23 his powers of command within broad guidelines. There
24 is no requirement to keep checking on him every day.
25 It would merely divert him from his purpose if you were
1 to do that.
2 Q. As the commander, you would be meddling in
3 matters about which you don't have sufficient
4 information to intelligently direct the activities of
5 lower level commanders; correct?
6 A. You would be meddling in matters that weren't
7 your business. You would be directing at the overall
8 level and that is what professional soldiers do.
9 Q. What you're saying now, I take it, is that at
10 the level of the operative zone, the direction that the
11 operative zone commander might give to a brigade in
12 Sarajevo might be something along the lines of
13 "Cooperate with the BiH army to the best of your
14 ability. Do the best you can"; is that right?
15 A. That would be insufficient guidance, in my
16 opinion. We are talking about speculation here and,
17 therefore, in terms of speculation, that is
18 insufficient guidance from a military commander.
19 Q. That would depend on the amount of
20 information that the higher level commander has;
21 wouldn't you agree?
22 A. As a high level commander, you would set
23 parameters, limits. "You are to do X, Y, and Z with
24 the following forces. You are to report to me under
25 the following circumstances." There is a directive
1 given which covers the scope of command, the limits and
2 the direction things must go. Those directives must be
3 fairly full. That is what operational zone command is
4 all about.
5 Q. Let me ask you this: You would agree that
6 the Vitez/Busovaca enclave was effectively cut off from
7 the Kiseljak enclave by the BiH army during your tour
8 of duty; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Therefore, communications between them,
11 between those two enclaves, putting aside for a moment
12 the U.N. transport visit you've described, would have
13 to be by radio, telephone, fax, or something of that
15 A. Yes, certainly.
16 Q. Was there a problem, at least in the
17 Vitez/Busovaca pocket, with respect to electrical
18 supplies, supplies of electricity to run things like
19 radios? Was electricity intermittent, at best?
20 A. It was intermittent, yes, and controlled by
21 the local forces who could turn power on and off at
23 Q. But it's correct that for extended periods of
24 time power was turned off in the Vitez pocket?
25 A. Yes, but may I qualify that? The armed
1 forces generally have a backup system, generators.
2 That is quite normal.
3 Q. You became aware during your tour of duty,
4 did you not, that there were insufficient batteries to
5 operate the radios, military radios, in the Vitez area,
6 for example, when the electricity was shut off. Didn't
7 you learn that?
8 A. I learned the population didn't have any
9 batteries but I saw officers with hand-held radios.
10 Q. Hand-held motorolas wouldn't enable you to
11 communicate with Kiseljak, would they?
12 A. Well, I'm afraid the system there was of
13 repeaters on the hills which enabled that. They
14 weren't one-to-one. They went through repeaters on the
15 hill. It was a military communication system or a
16 civilian system that was adapted. It was quite easy to
17 cover huge distances.
18 Q. Where were the HVO repeaters between Kacuni
19 and Bilalovac, Brigadier?
20 A. I'm sorry. You would have to point that out
21 to me on the map exactly what you're referring to, but
22 I'm saying there was a sufficient system in place.
23 Q. Are you surmising or did you see this system?
24 A. I didn't see the system but I can see people
1 Q. You saw people talking on walkie-talkies?
2 A. On walkie-talkies, yes.
3 Q. Let's turn to your May 9th, 1993 meeting with
4 Colonel Blaskic. That was your first meeting with him
5 or had you met him on a prior reconnaissance?
6 A. I'm not entirely sure but I believe May 9th
7 was the meeting where I was formally introduced by
8 Colonel Stewart to Colonel Blaskic.
9 Q. You said Mr. Kordic was there. What was he
11 A. He was wearing a military uniform with no
12 badges of rank.
13 Q. Was he introduced to you as having a
14 particular rank?
15 A. He was introduced as Dario Kordic. That was
16 it. I was given to understand that he was a colonel,
17 of colonel status.
18 Q. Now, you referred to Colonel Blaskic earlier
19 as commander, not as then colonel. Is there a reason
20 for that?
21 A. I thought that as the commander of the
22 region, it was polite so to do.
23 Q. Did you also conclude that he had
24 responsibilities in terms of his overall area of
25 responsibility that a colonel would not have, in that
1 he was comparable in his AOR, area of responsibility,
2 to the third corps commander who was a general;
4 A. Yes, absolutely. I don't see a problem with
5 that. In wartime, people are promoted. For an
6 example, my father was a major who was a local
7 lieutenant colonel, an acting colonel and a brevet
8 brigadier. That was a temporary expedient. There was
9 no rank required. His rank remained the same. It was
10 his responsibilities that were increased.
11 Q. Fine. Suffice it to say then Colonel Blaskic
12 was a colonel with the responsibilities of a general
13 due to the exigencies of wartime; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In this May 9th meeting, is it correct that
16 Colonel Stewart, with whom you went to the meeting,
17 said to Colonel Blaskic, "You've done Ahmici" or
18 something to that effect. He made an accusation?
19 A. He made an accusation, yes.
20 Q. Is it also correct that Colonel Blaskic said,
21 "I did not order and I did not initiate any crime in
22 Ahmici"; didn't he say that?
23 A. I believe so, yes.
24 Q. Did he also say that "my troops" were not
25 involved in Ahmici?
1 A. I believe so, yes.
2 Q. Now, you were also shown an interview or,
3 rather, portions of an interview that appear to have
4 appeared in a newspaper or magazine, my colleague tells
5 me because the date has not been translated on the
6 English translation, on the 5th of October, 1993.
7 Could Exhibit 380 be provided to the witness?
8 A. Thank you.
9 Q. Were you present at this interview?
10 A. I was not, no.
11 Q. Has the entirety of the interview been
12 translated for you or just the excerpts which are in
13 the English translation?
14 A. Just the excerpts.
15 Q. Tell me, General, in wartime, is it normal
16 for a military force to share private information with
17 the media or international organisations or is it
18 normal for a military organisation to keep private or
19 confidential information confidential?
20 A. It is normal for a commander personally to
21 brief the media. I have written a paper on that and I
22 have had great dealings in the British Army with media
23 relations. It is entirely normal. It is entirely
24 normal to express views that will enhance your own
25 situation and give a favourable image of what you're
1 doing and the tasks you're undertaking.
2 Q. In fact, it's part of the job of a military
3 commander to exhibit strength, control and a likeliness
4 of success in his military duties; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Those duties exist with respect to dealings
7 with the media and third parties; correct?
8 A. Yes, although you would have to explain when
9 things go wrong because you will be held to account.
10 Q. By the way, in this English translation,
11 partial translation of Exhibit 380, now General, then
12 Colonel, Blaskic references that the will and
13 determination of the Croatian people in these areas
14 have resulted in a firm defence, and he adds Vares to
15 the category of other locations listed. Do you see
16 that passage?
17 A. Can I just check through? I'm sorry. Which
18 line is it on?
19 Q. The sixth line from the top on page 1 of the
20 partial English translation.
21 A. Yes, I have it now, and Vares, yes, I see
23 Q. This was in October. Within a month or so,
24 Vares had fallen and the HVO brigade evacuated;
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Had Fojnica fallen yet in October or do you
3 recall? Fojnica is mentioned in the first line of the
4 partial English translation of Exhibit 380.
5 A. I don't recall exactly when Fojnica fell, but
6 I do know it fell because we became involved in
7 activities with the hospital there.
8 Q. Were you contacted and asked to provide
9 assistance at the hospital due to a lack of staffing?
10 A. Yes, we were. The hospital was on -- sorry,
11 I have to slow down. The hospital was on the front-line
12 that the official staff had left. It was a very
13 traumatic situation in the mental hospital, and I
14 provided assistance in the form of nurses and some
15 military staff.
16 Q. Who made that request for assistance?
17 A. I think Colonel Blaskic or certainly his
19 Q. Did he ask for your help in part because he
20 couldn't go there himself to assess the situation?
21 A. Yes. He asked for our help because he knew
22 we had the staff and the ability of achieving that
24 Q. And he did not?
25 A. No. Sorry, may I come back on that? He
1 would have had the staff. It's a question of whether
2 he was prepared to divert them to that place.
3 Q. At the point in time you were contacted, was
4 the hospital in the BiH army territory?
5 A. It wasn't. It was in the middle.
6 Q. It was on the front-line?
7 A. It was on the front-line, yes.
8 Q. In securing the hospital and helping to
9 provide services, did UNPROFOR use armoured warriors
10 and the other tools at your disposal to accomplish that
12 A. Yes, we did, yes.
13 Q. On May 9th, after you visited with Colonel
14 Blaskic, did you go with Colonel Stewart to Zenica and
15 visit General Hadzihasanovic?
16 A. I believe so.
17 Q. Did you learn on that visit that there were
18 still 300 imprisoned Croats in Zenica, even though
19 there were no imprisoned Muslims remaining in Vitez.
20 Did you learn that in your meeting with General
21 Hadzihasanovic 9 May, 1993?
22 A. Sorry, you're making a number of linkages
23 here. I was aware there were a number of prisoners in
24 Zenica, yes, but you've just now introduced the fact
25 that there were no Muslims in Vitez held prisoner.
1 There were.
2 Q. Hadn't you been briefed that, to the best of
3 UNPROFOR's knowledge and belief, Muslim prisoners in
4 Vitez had been released by May 9th, 1993?
5 A. No, because the ICRC representative was on
6 the meeting with us with Colonel Blaskic, and she was
7 complaining that prisoners hadn't been released and she
8 was going to speak to them later.
9 Q. Do you recall how many Croat prisoners
10 remained in Zenica on 9th May?
11 A. No.
12 Q. You said that Colonel Blaskic had a
13 well-equipped headquarters. Do you know how many
14 officers with formal military education he had in the
15 headquarters of the Central Bosnia operative zone to
16 assist him in running a headquarters?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Would it surprise you to learn that he had
20 A. Not particularly, no.
21 Q. How many officers with professional military
22 academy training would the British Army use in running
23 a headquarters of either a corps or the equivalent area
24 of responsibility that the middle Bosnia operative zone
25 was responsible for?
1 A. The middle Bosnia operative zone could be
2 covered by a British brigade. If that's the
3 territorial brigade, the commander and his chief of
4 staff would be the only people who would have been to a
5 higher military academy -- two.
6 Q. Is that in wartime what the British military
7 would put into Central Bosnia, Brigadier, or would they
8 put in one mere brigade or would that not be the case?
9 A. I can't speculate on a situation where you're
10 just painting throwing a brigade in. We would have to
11 assess the risks, the task, the types of troops
12 involved, whether it required armoured vehicles, et
13 cetera, et cetera.
14 Q. Very well. If you had a headquarters
15 responsible for forces in six or seven different
16 enclaves, Vares, Kacanj, Kiseljak, Kresevo, Fojnica,
17 Travnik, Zepce, Maglaj, as well as Vitez and Busovaca,
18 wouldn't it be normal for a modern army to put, in
19 effect, a headquarters command to try and command that
20 disparate and large area?
21 A. You just described actually where my
22 battalion was posted to, in that area. We had forces,
23 be it small, in all those areas, and it was commanded
24 by battalion level.
25 Q. You had more than two officers with military
1 academy training under you; correct?
2 A. What do we mean by "military academy"? I'm
3 sorry, I need to be quite precise here because there's
4 a difference between going to 16 weeks' training at an
5 academy and going to formal staff training of a
6 professional soldier, which you'll do as a young
7 captain or major.
8 Q. For starters, formal academy training.
9 A. Formal academy training --
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. -- varied in time between 18 months and 16
12 weeks for my officers, depending on their background.
13 Q. But all of your officers went; is that
15 A. As far as I'm aware, yes.
16 Q. How many officers did you have in the
18 JUDGE JORDA: These are very speculative
19 questions that you're asking here. It seems to me that
20 we are comparing things that are not comparable. I
21 will let you go on asking your questions because I do
22 understand where you're trying to go, but perhaps we
23 should move to another question now.
24 MR. HAYMAN: I will gladly, Mr. President.
25 Q. Now, you told us of one visit to Kiseljak in
1 which you transported Colonel Blaskic in an armoured
2 vehicle; correct?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. And you gave us the date of that visit. How
5 long after U.N. business was concluded was Colonel
6 Blaskic allowed to remain in Kiseljak before you
7 returned him in an armoured vehicle to Vitez?
8 A. Between two and three hours.
9 Q. Is that the only occasion you can recall when
10 you personally went on such a trip with Colonel
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Now, you mentioned General Petkovic was in
15 A. Yes, he was.
16 Q. Do you know how he got there?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. Do you know whether he got there via U.N.
19 armoured vehicle?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Did there come a time in the fall of 1993
22 when Colonel Blaskic asked you to transport him to
23 Kiseljak so that he could attend the funeral of his
24 father who had been shot and killed by a sniper? Do
25 you recall that?
1 A. I recall a request from Commander Blaskic, I
2 believe on the 4th of September, to move him out of the
3 Vitez pocket. We spoke privately with only his
4 interpreter present. I believed at the time that he
5 wanted to visit his sick child, I believe. That was
6 the reason given.
7 Q. In November, did he ask your help in being
8 transported by UNPROFOR so he could attend the funeral
9 of his father, in the Kiseljak municipality, who had
10 been killed by a sniper?
11 A. I don't recall that.
12 Q. Would that be in your notes?
13 A. It's not in my notes. I simply don't recall
14 it. I would recall a significant event like that, and
15 I don't recall it, I'm afraid.
16 Q. Let me turn your attention to the Convoy of
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. The Convoy of Joy came to Central Bosnia,
20 that is, the Lasva Valley, on or about 10 June, 1993;
22 A. That's correct, yes.
23 Q. Now, this convoy -- let us describe the
24 convoy first. The convoy was some ten or eleven
25 kilometres long; is that correct?
1 A. Eleven kilometres long along the radius.
2 Q. So we're talking about hundreds, perhaps
3 thousands of vehicles?
4 A. I would say about 300 vehicles.
5 Q. Am I correct that it was not a U.N. or UNHCR
7 A. It was not a UNHCR or U.N. Convoy.
8 Q. It was a private convoy; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it was going to Tuzla; correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. To provide the contents of the convoy to
13 Muslims in Tuzla; correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. It, as far as you knew, was to be -- the
16 contents of the convoy were to be delivered to the
17 municipal authorities of Tuzla for further
19 A. Yes, that's what I understood entirely.
20 Q. Now, the first time this convoy was stopped
21 in or around the Lasva Valley, where was it stopped?
22 A. It was stopped on the road between Novi
23 Travnik and Gornji Vakuf, the small narrow road to the
24 south of -- I think it's a town called Radicevici, but
25 I would have to check that for detail.
1 Q. Were you aware at the time that there were
2 some 20.000 Bosnian Croat refugees residing in that
3 immediate area?
4 A. The immediate area of the Vitez pocket or
6 Q. The area of Novi Travnik and the villages to
7 the south of Novi Travnik between which the Convoy of
8 Joy was stopped the first time?
9 A. It could have been, yes, but, I mean, you
10 imply that they're all in Radicevici, and I'm sorry if
11 I've misunderstood you, but they certainly weren't all
12 in Radicevici.
13 Q. There were thousands and thousands of
14 displaced Bosnian Croat persons in the immediate
15 vicinity of where this convoy was stopped; correct?
16 A. Yes, correct.
17 Q. Would you agree that these people --
18 JUDGE JORDA: General, when the Defence asks
19 you a question -- of course, you can look at him while
20 the question is being asked -- but when you answer,
21 please look at the Judges.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, I will. And I apologise
23 if I've caused any offence.
24 MR. HAYMAN:
25 Q. Were many of these displaced persons of
1 little or no means and without adequate food supplies?
2 A. They had few means. They had arrived in that
3 area with just the contents -- in many cases in a
4 plastic bag. I believe they had adequate supplies. I
5 didn't ever, in the entire time in Central Bosnia, see
6 anyone starving to the extent of the photographs which
7 we all see on the news today in Africa of starvation.
8 Q. Would you agree that it apparently was a
9 difficult thing for many of these refugees to watch a
10 convoy eleven kilometres long pass through their town
11 to go to Muslim territory, none of the contents of
12 which would be coming back to them?
13 A. It would be difficult, but those same people
14 sitting down there had watched every single other
15 convoy that came from the United Nations come through
16 on that same route. I mean, convoys coming on that
17 route with a normal thing, be it white trucks, coloured
18 trucks or whatever. They came past every day.
19 Q. And there were problems with other convoys as
20 well; correct?
21 A. Yes, although every single convoy delivered
22 to my area of responsibility reached its destination.
23 That's U.N. convoys.
24 Q. Now, the tape that we saw of the BBC report
25 said that the organisers of the convoy knew that this
1 would be an extremely dangerous area to transit, and
2 yet they went ahead. Do you agree with that statement,
3 that it was an extremely dangerous area for a convoy of
4 that type and that size to attempt to transit?
5 A. That was the opinion of the journalist
6 covering the event. It was a dangerous event, and
7 because the Bosnian Muslims knew it was dangerous, they
8 had made an agreement with the Croats, the Croat
9 government, that this convoy should pass through, and I
10 saw myself papers pertaining to the agreement to allow
11 that convoy through Croat-held areas to get to its
12 destination in Tuzla.
13 Q. Do you know who signed or gave approval for
14 that agreement?
15 A. I understand it was signed by and agreed by
16 Mate Boban.
17 Q. Do you know whether Colonel Blaskic advised
18 against the sending of the Convoy of Joy because it
19 could not securely, in all likelihood, pass through the
20 Lasva Valley, in his judgement? Do you know whether he
21 voiced that view with respect to the Convoy of Joy?
22 A. I do not know.
23 Q. Did he, in June, advise you that he was
24 unable to guarantee the safe passage through his area
25 of responsibility of even UNHCR convoys because of the
1 tens of thousands of displaced persons and other
2 uncontrolled elements?
3 A. He advised me that there certainly were
4 problems with getting convoys through at that time, and
5 it was difficult.
6 Q. Let me ask you, and I'll read from -- briefly
7 from page 7 of your prior statement to the Office of
8 the Tribunal Prosecutor, at the middle of the page, a
9 reference to 21 June -- yes, Mr. President?
10 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, this has to do with
11 the convoy. I know that our break is supposed to come
12 now, but I would like just to finish with the convoy.
13 However, if it is going to take some more
14 time, perhaps we should do it after the break?
15 MR. HAYMAN: If I could finish this one
16 question, then I think that would be a very good break
18 Q. Is it correct --
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Go ahead.
20 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Is it correct, Brigadier, as set forth in
22 your statement at the middle of page 7, that on or
23 about the 21st of June, 1993, the second JCM, Joint
24 Commission Meeting, was held at Vitez camp during which
25 I was advised by Colonel Blaskic that he was, "unable
1 to guarantee the safe passage through his area of
2 responsibility of UNHCR convoys."
3 Is that correct?
4 A. If it's in my statement, it is correct.
5 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I don't know --
6 if the Prosecutor stipulates that that statement is in
7 his statement, then I think I'm done with this area.
8 If not, I will need to show it to him after the break.
9 MR. KEHOE: Of course, it's in the statement.
10 MR. HAYMAN: Very well. This would be a
11 convenient break point.
12 JUDGE JORDA: We are going to stop. But to
13 get back to the incident of a while back, I don't know
14 what you are going to do with 386 to 389, I don't know
15 what you plan to do with those documents. Of course,
16 you are absolutely free, in the interests of your
17 client, to do with them what you'd like. But I would
18 like to say that if, this afternoon, during the
19 cross-examination, you rely on those four exhibits, I
20 will consider them as having been identified by
21 yourself and therefore exhibits.
22 All right. Now it's the break, and you have
23 time to think about it. On the other hand, if you
24 think that you are not prepared to discuss them, we
25 will deal with that issue in a different way. The
1 court stands adjourned. 2.30.
2 --- Luncheon recess at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing.
3 Have the accused brought in, please.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, please continue
6 with your cross-examination.
7 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Brigadier, let's return to the Convoy of
9 Joy. I have a few more questions on that subject.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The first time it was stopped south of Novi
12 Travnik, was that somewhere in the area of Puticevo;
13 does that ring a bell with you?
14 A. Yes. I mean, it's down that road that runs
15 south from Novi Travnik.
16 Q. Did you ever visit that location when the
17 convoy was stopped at that location?
18 A. No, I'm sorry, I didn't. No.
19 Q. There were, on the BBC tape which we watched,
20 pictures of men in uniforms, some of whom appeared to
21 be beating a man in civilian clothes. Would you agree
22 that the men in uniforms were not in full uniform with
23 combat gear?
24 A. They were wearing -- I mean, they didn't have
25 combat gear on, no. They were military policemen.
1 They wouldn't be wearing combat gear.
2 Q. Would you agree that it was not possible to
3 tell from those photographs whether those were local
4 off-duty soldiers or soldiers on duty? Could you tell
5 from the photographs?
6 A. No, but, I mean, I can't -- what is the
7 relevance? They're soldiers in uniform. They're in a
8 war zone on foreign duty.
9 Q. I don't know if the Court will let me answer
10 your question. I'd like to, but I don't think it would
11 be appropriate.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, be careful here.
13 Yes, it's true, you shouldn't be answering the
14 questions. But if you ask a question for which the
15 difficulty to the witness is not so much the
16 understanding but the fact that he feels, behind the
17 question that you're asking, that there is a conclusion
18 that you wish to draw, it is normal for the witness to
19 be able to give clarification, something that he may
20 want to ask for the clarification himself by himself
21 asking a question. Thank you.
22 MR. HAYMAN:
23 Q. Was the Convoy of Joy stopped a second time?
24 A. Yes, sir. It was stopped completely on the
25 Vitez bypass just short of the T-junction at the
1 eastern end of the town.
2 Q. Did you go to that location while the convoy
3 was stopped there?
4 A. I did, yes, sir.
5 Q. Did you encounter General Petkovic at that
7 A. No, sir. I encountered General Petkovic at
8 the Radicevici location where I was trying to move down
9 south to see what was happening, where the incident
10 you've just described with the people in uniform took
11 place, but I was blocked by a crowd of women and
12 children who were blocking the road.
13 Q. At that location, did you ask General
14 Petkovic to do anything?
15 A. Yes, sir. I asked for his assistance to get
16 through down to the area of Radicevici where the
17 problem with the convoy at that stage appeared to be.
18 He refused to give me any assistance whatsoever.
19 Q. Did General Petkovic speak to the crowd after
20 you requested that he assist you in breaking through
21 the barrier of Croat civilians?
22 A. He did, yes, sir.
23 Q. And to your knowledge -- do you have any
24 information about what he said?
25 A. No, I didn't, but the -- all I would say is
1 the crowd appeared to be pleased with what he said.
2 Q. Did General Petkovic tell you that he had
3 asked the crowd to move and that they had refused to
5 A. No. He gave me no assistance at all.
6 Q. Did you say in your earlier statement to the
7 Office of the Prosecutor, at the middle of page 3, that
8 "General Petkovic spoke to the crowd but said they
9 refused to move"?
10 A. May I just check my copy?
11 Q. Please do. Page 3, about a dozen lines from
12 the top of the first full paragraph.
13 A. I have a slightly different copy, I'm
14 afraid. I'm sorry, I'm not entirely clear which copy
15 you're referring to at the moment. I'm ...
16 Q. On the copy I have, Brigadier, it's the
17 second full page of the text of the statement, although
18 it's numbered 3, page 3 -- if counsel would like to
19 assist and direct the witness to the passage?
20 MR. KEHOE: If I can assist? It is the
21 paragraph, Brigadier, that begins: "An incident
22 occurred in relation to the Convoy of Joy." That is
23 the first several words on the paragraph.
24 A. I'm sorry. I found it. I apologise for the
1 MR. HAYMAN:
2 Q. About a dozen lines down, there's the
3 statement: "I stopped Petkovic and asked if he would
4 assist me in breaking through the barrier of Croat
5 civilians. He spoke to the crowd but said they refused
6 to move."
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. Is that accurate?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Now, was it your belief at this location that
11 these were locals that had stopped the convoy?
12 A. These were local civilians, yes, sir.
13 Q. Now, did you cause Colonel Blaskic to come to
14 the scene where the Convoy of Joy was stopped the
15 second time near the Vitez T-junction?
16 A. Yes, sir, I did.
17 Q. Were you there at the same time he was there?
18 A. Yes, sir, I was.
19 Q. Is the following correct, reading from the
20 same paragraph of your statement: "When the Convoy of
21 Joy was finally moved on, it took the specific
22 authority of Dario Kordic with the Croats in order to
23 obtain release. Dario Kordic was thus the key to the
24 release. I had previously taken Blaskic to the Vitez
25 bypass where the convoy had been halted for the second
1 time. This was at the T-junction at the easterly end
2 of the Vitez bypass where you could turn right into
3 Vitez town. Blaskic was wearing his military helmet
4 and flak jacket. The soldiers refused to allow the
5 convoy to move, even when I used the name of Colonel
6 Blaskic as an authority. The soldier said quite
7 categorically that they wanted the order to come from
8 Kordic. They had the appearance or" -- it's probably a
9 typographical error for "of" -- "normal HVO soldiers in
10 standard mixture of green combat and camouflaged
12 Is that correct?
13 A. That is correct, yes.
14 Q. Is it also correct that "During this
15 incident, it became clear to me that it was Kordic" --
16 this is two lines below -- "it was Kordic who was
17 controlling the actions of the local police and the
18 civilians who were both blocking the roads and looting
19 the convoy." Is that also true?
20 A. That is true, yes, but I would stress it's
21 local civilian police and not local military police.
22 It's as it says in my transcript.
23 Q. Now, when Blaskic was at the scene of the
24 second stopping point, did he appear to give an order
25 or a command to the soldiers that had stopped the
2 A. No, he didn't -- sorry. I don't think
3 Commander Blaskic wanted to speak to the crowd because
4 they were quite threatening at that stage, and I don't
5 think that Commander Blaskic had ordered that crowd to
6 be there. I think Dario Kordic had ordered that crowd
7 to be there because it was generally a civilian crowd,
8 and these -- the blocks on the road were civilians in
9 every case.
10 Q. In any event, it was a situation you
11 concluded over which Colonel Blaskic had no control
12 whatsoever; is that fair?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, there is a document I would like to ask
15 you about. It's previously been provided to the
16 interpreters, and I have copies for the court, counsel,
17 and the witness. If it could be numbered as the next
18 Defence Exhibit in order?
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is D135.
20 MR. HAYMAN: For the record, this is a
21 document that was provided to the Defence by the
22 Prosecutor at the end of the morning session today.
23 Q. Brigadier, do you recognise this document?
24 A. Yes, sir, I do. It is a copy of the document
25 I sent to a number of people within the BRITFOR after a
1 meeting with Commander Blaskic.
2 Q. And did you author the document?
3 A. I did, yes.
4 MR. HAYMAN: If the document could be placed
5 on the ELMO so that paragraph 3 is displayed, I would
6 like to read that so we can get a translation of it and
7 then ask you a certain follow-up question.
8 Q. First of all, the date of this document is
9 what, Brigadier?
10 A. It's the -- it's approximately the 17th of
12 Q. It refers to a meeting you had with Colonel
13 Blaskic on a particular day?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That day being the 17th of August, 1993?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Paragraph 3: "Blaskic was perturbed that, in
18 his perception, BRITBAT had organised meetings between
19 the Zenica chief of police, Asim Haslic (phoen), and a
20 local Lasva Valley Croat 'Mafia Godfather,' Marco
21 Andric, alias Zuti. It would appear that Zuti has
22 considerable influence with the people of the Lasva
23 Valley whereas Blaskic has not, as proved by the events
24 of the Convoy of Joy, where Blaskic proved to be
25 nothing more than a puppet commander ignored by the
1 locals. Zuti appears to have talked to the Zenica
2 chief of police in an informal meeting near BRITBAT
3 barracks Vitez about the possibility of a surrender of
4 the Croats in the Lasva Valley. This will be
5 investigated further as at the moment it does not have
6 much credence."
7 Did you learn with respect to -- well, first
8 of all, the reference to Convoy of Joy, is that the
9 same incident you just described at the T-junction near
11 A. Yes, sir, it is.
12 Q. How far is that from the Hotel Vitez? A few
13 hundred yards?
14 A. I would think about 500, 600 yards at the
16 Q. Were there any soldiers at that location?
17 A. Sorry, sir?
18 Q. Were there any soldiers at that second
19 location where the convoy was stopped? Any soldiers at
21 A. I believe there were some people in uniform.
22 Q. And did you speak to them to try and get
23 their assistance in clearing the crowd so the convoy
24 could move?
25 A. No, but my officers had spoken to them, and
1 they had refused to help.
2 Q. And are these the same individuals that said
3 they would only act on the orders of Dario Kordic, not
5 A. It was the people in the block that said they
6 would not move as well as the soldiers.
7 Q. So when in your statement you said, "The
8 soldiers refused to allow the convoy to move even when
9 I used the name of Colonel Blaskic as an authority,"
10 this is in your statement at the middle of page 3,
11 you're referring to those persons who were in uniform
12 at the Vitez T-junction at the second occasion which
13 the Convoy of Joy was stopped; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, with respect to Defence
16 Exhibit 135, this individual known as Zuti, during your
17 tour, did you learn that this individual, Zuti, had
18 some type of a private force of men that he had a great
19 deal of control over?
20 A. He had a band of people that he commanded, I
21 believe. I'm not entirely clear of his command status.
22 Q. So he's not on the order of battle, Exhibits
23 378 or 379?
24 A. He wouldn't be on the order of battle. As I
25 have already explained, the order of battle only has
1 the major units on it and none of the supporting units
2 such as artillery, military police, or logistics units.
3 Q. At either the first or the second place where
4 the Convoy of Joy was stopped, did your men, the men of
5 UNPROFOR, use force to try and clear the crowd or clear
6 the civilians -- excuse me, or clear soldiers away,
7 et cetera? Did they fire upon anyone?
8 A. We fired at the first location, subsequent to
9 the killing of the eight Muslims, because clearly at
10 this stage, although our mandate didn't allow us to get
11 involved with the movement of this convoy because it
12 was not a U.N. convoy, when life was placed at risk, we
13 were then empowered to intervene.
14 Q. I'm not being critical in the least, but
15 after firing or as a result of firing, were any persons
16 wounded or killed?
17 A. There were persons wounded within the area of
18 the Vitez pocket. I believe two people were killed by
19 my soldiers who fired at them because they had fired
20 first, and these were HVO soldiers.
21 Q. Were you ever told anything more whether
22 these were local soldiers from the village or villages
23 adjacent to where the convoy had stopped, or were they
24 from some other location and thus may have been sent in
25 to that location?
1 A. It is my understanding that the two soldiers
2 who were killed were locals.
3 Q. You commented critically with respect to
4 Colonel Blaskic and said there was no investigation, to
5 your knowledge, of the events surrounding the Convoy of
6 Joy. Did you write to him and ask him to investigate
7 the deaths of the Muslim drivers?
8 A. No, I did not write to him, no. I asked him
9 to investigate at one of our meetings.
10 Q. Is it fair to say, though, that it's not
11 something you pressed with him?
12 A. How often does one have to ask? I mean --
13 Q. Well, did you ask only once?
14 A. I asked twice, I would say. Certainly no
16 Q. Was he present at the first location where
17 the convoy was stopped, to your knowledge?
18 A. No, sir, he wasn't.
19 Q. Do you know whether he was ever given a copy
20 of the BBC broadcast or outtakes that have been shown
21 here in court? Did you give him a copy?
22 A. No, sir, I didn't give him a copy, no.
23 Q. Did Lieutenant, I think you said Bulmer of
24 your force, did he make a report concerning his
25 observations in and around Puticevo, the first location
1 where the convoy was stopped?
2 A. Yes, Corporal Bulmer was speaking to me on
3 the radio about what was going on.
4 Q. Did you give Colonel Blaskic a copy of
5 Corporal Bulmer's report?
6 A. No, sir, I didn't.
7 Q. This was all on the 10th of June, 1993?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When did Travnik fall? That is, when did the
10 HVO lose Travnik? Was that about two days later,
11 Brigadier, the 12th of June, 1993, 12th or 14th, within
12 a few days?
13 A. Yes, it was either slightly before or
14 slightly afterwards.
15 Q. And the fall of Travnik caused the exodus of
16 in excess of 10.000 refugees, Croat refugees?
17 A. Well, yes, but an awful lot of them went
18 across the border with the Serbs. They went west, not
20 Q. Did some of them come back around to Vitez or
22 A. They came back into Herceg-Bosna down in the
23 south, I believe. That wasn't my area. I don't know.
24 Certainly I can say that some people from Travnik came
25 to the east, but a lot walked across the border into
1 Serb hands.
2 Q. Would you agree that if Colonel Blaskic gave
3 the order for the HVO soldiers present at the Vitez
4 T-junction to stop and loot the convoy, that those
5 soldiers would have followed an order from him to stop
6 doing so; do you agree with that general proposition?
7 A. I would assume if Colonel Blaskic had given
8 an order, yes, that is a reasonable supposition to
9 make, that if he gives an order, his soldiers would
10 follow it.
11 Q. You have stated your belief that Dario Kordic
12 directed these activities against the Convoy of Joy.
13 Do you have any specific information, if, in fact, it's
14 true that he directed it, how he implemented his plan
15 or direction?
16 A. It is my belief that this particular event
17 was orchestrated by Dario Kordic, but he would clearly
18 had to involved somebody who could plan and decide the
19 best places to loot the convoy. It was my belief that
20 there was an arrangement between the Croats, Petkovic,
21 who was there and had come and visited just the day
22 before and was still there at the time, that some
23 arrangement whereby a cut could be taken out of this
24 convoy by the people on the ground. That was an
25 arrangement. It was convenient for Kordic, who was the
1 politician, to marshal the people because, if you like,
2 Kordic commanded the people. It was Commander
3 Blaskic's job to keep his command on his own troops,
4 including the military police who were under his
5 command. Those police transgressed and did not assist.
6 Now, they just sat by and watched. Whether
7 they were on or off duty, they are still subject, I
8 believe, to a military code.
9 Q. Were the soldiers in uniform at the Vitez
10 T-junction where the Convoy of Joy was stopped, HVO
11 military policemen?
12 A. I believe so, yes.
13 Q. Is it fair to say that Colonel Blaskic told
14 you on a regular basis that he was not able to control
15 the thousands of displaced persons within the enclave?
16 A. He did. I also reminded him on a regular
17 basis that it was his responsibility to control the
18 military which he did.
19 Q. You were aware that the control of displaced
20 persons in Vitez was the responsibility of the local
21 mayor and the police?
22 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
23 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 382 could be provided
24 to the witness?
25 Q. Brigadier, this pertains to the rocket
1 incident whereby a rocket of some sort entered your
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You have related that Colonel Blaskic
5 informed you that an investigation had occurred and
6 this is your reply letter, I believe; correct?
7 A. Yes, sir. It is thanking him for his very
8 prompt response to it.
9 Q. Did you learn who within the HVO had
10 investigated this incident?
11 A. No, I didn't. As far as I was concerned, it
12 was a matter for the HVO to do and I wouldn't have
13 asked Commander Blaskic who had investigated it
14 specifically. That was his business. It was enough
15 for him to tell me, in his response, that he had taken
16 swift action and as a result of which somebody was now
17 incarcerated in Busovaca jail.
18 Q. Would it be normal for the military police to
19 investigate incidents of a criminal nature within a
20 military organisation?
21 A. It would be normal, yes.
22 Q. Is it fair to say that you held the HVO
23 military police in extremely low regard, you
25 A. I find that a strange remark.
1 Q. Then let me help you. Page 4 of your
2 statement, the first full paragraph, is it correct what
3 you said in this statement as follows and I
4 quote: "The local HVO police force would routinely
5 steal any equipment they could get their hands on and
6 were generally little better than uniformed thugs." Is
7 that your statement and is it correct?
8 A. That's my statement, yes.
9 Q. And you were referring to the HVO military
10 police; correct?
11 A. Yes, but may I just point something out?
12 Q. You can point out anything you wish,
13 Brigadier. Please go ahead.
14 A. I wish to point out, if I can make a point,
15 that these were my impressions gained at that time as
16 the result of specific incidents. We are talking about
17 a snapshot when I had that opinion. Events later on
18 may have changed my opinion. If you take individual
19 incidents about which I was extremely annoyed, then I
20 would have had an opinion.
21 For example, I may have written down that
22 they are a bunch of thugs after they had stolen one of
23 the UNHCR vehicles. But on occasions, clearly the
24 military police had followed up later on and done a
25 very thorough investigation somewhere. So if you keep
1 taking snapshots out, I think it gives a false
3 Q. This statement was given on the 16th of April
4 1997; correct? Do you see that on the last page?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Can you name any incidents involving the HVO
7 military police that occurred after the 16th of April,
8 1997 that might have changed the opinion you gave on
9 page 4 of your statement which I've already read?
10 A. You know -- I'm sorry, I can't reply directly
11 to that.
12 Q. You were out of the theatre; correct?
13 A. I was obviously out of the theatre. All I'm
14 saying is that since I have left the theatre and been
15 able to look at the entire situation that was involved
16 there, I have been able to see, as opposed to just a
17 series of incidents, a better -- I've been able to see
18 events in contrast and balance them more. At the
19 moment when I was there at the time, I was reacting to
20 individual events.
21 Q. The statement that I read from was given in
22 1997, not at the moment when you were in the theatre;
24 A. That is correct, and I had done a little
25 analysis of what had happened in between.
1 Q. Now, with respect to Ahmici, is it fair to
2 say you were critical of Colonel Blaskic for not
3 ordering an investigation into the events in Ahmici; is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Has the Office of the Tribunal Prosecutor
7 told you that he did order an investigation into the
8 events in Ahmici or did they fail to tell you that?
9 A. I was aware he had ordered an investigation.
10 I was also aware that investigation was to have been
11 concluded by the 25th of May. To my knowledge, it has
12 yet to be concluded.
13 Q. Well, if you learned otherwise, might that
14 change your opinion with respect to your views of
15 whether Colonel Blaskic discharged his obligations as a
16 commander with respect to investigating events in
18 A. There would be a requirement of more than
19 just completing the investigation. If the
20 investigation had been completed and then came out with
21 the same set of comments as to what had happened, which
22 were clearly false, then the investigation, in my mind,
23 would have been worthless.
24 Q. You would have expected him under those
25 circumstances to order a further investigation, a
1 better investigation; correct?
2 A. That is --
3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, you've just asked
4 the witness whether there are any other elements.
5 Let's not go around the difficulty. If there are
6 any -- we're speculating now about knowing whether the
7 witness's opinion would change if such and such
8 happened. Let's not speculate that way, please.
9 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, might I just
10 state that it would be the duty of a military commander
11 if he was not satisfied that the outcome of an
12 investigation was realistic to order a re-investigation
13 or even place it into somebody else's hands.
14 MR. HAYMAN:
15 Q. If he did that, might your testimony change
16 on this point?
17 A. We are, I think with respect, sir, in the
18 realms of speculation again.
19 Q. But you would agree you don't have complete
20 information on this issue; correct?
21 MR. KEHOE: I object.
22 MR. HAYMAN:
23 Q. Your testimony from personal information --
24 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel. The answer
25 is the answer. We're in the area of speculation. If
1 counsel has got a report of the investigation that
2 Blaskic did, show it to the witness.
3 MR. HAYMAN: The Prosecutor has the report.
4 He obviously didn't show it to the witness and elicited
5 a professional opinion that our client failed to act.
6 MR. KEHOE: To the contrary.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. Let's
8 be calm. Mr. Hayman, three times now you're asking the
9 witness whether his mind would change if he had other
10 elements. Perhaps it would, perhaps it wouldn't, but
11 this is the third time now that you're asking the same
13 So either there are additional elements that
14 would supplement this embryonic type of investigation
15 which has been done, but to say to the witness, "Would
16 you change if this and that happened," no, please move
17 on to another question, unless you have specific
18 elements that you're going to mention.
19 MR. HAYMAN: I'll move on, Your Honour. The
20 point I'm making is that the Prosecutor has two orders
21 for investigations into Ahmici. They didn't show this
22 witness either one of them and yet they elicited the
23 opinion testimony which they elicited. That's my only
24 point. I'll move forward.
25 MR. KEHOE: I object to counsel's specious
1 arguments in this regard. Defence counsel should ask
2 the witness whether or not the Office of the Prosecutor
3 showed him any documents over the past couple of days
4 upon which that investigation was ordered by Blaskic.
5 Ask the witness the question and see what the witness
6 answers, as opposed to taking critical comments about
7 the Office of the Prosecutor, but we haven't had that
8 question yet.
9 MR. HAYMAN: We did have that question,
10 Mr. President. It's in the record.
11 MR. KEHOE: Ask the question of the witness.
12 MR. HAYMAN: It was asked and --
13 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. Are
14 there additional elements? Were there other
15 investigations? I can ask this under Rule 98 that
16 there were additional investigations into the Ahmici
17 incidents by the defendant. That's the question. I'm
18 asking the question now. Were there any additional
19 elements? I, the judge, am asking.
20 MR. KEHOE: We have no results of any
21 investigation. What we have in our possession is the
22 letter that counsel was waving around that I showed to
23 Brigadier Duncan, the letter of the 10th, in which the
24 results were supposed to be handed up on the 25th of
25 May of 1993. That is what was discussed. The results
1 of this investigation by the defendant?
2 MR. HAYMAN: Counsel has two orders from our
3 client ordering investigations into Ahmici and he is
4 defrauding the court in stating otherwise.
5 MR. KEHOE: Oh, please, please, the
6 particular order that the witness was just talking
7 about that ordered the results on the 25th of May which
8 was an order that was given out the day after Brigadier
9 Duncan's meeting on the 9th was discussed with the
10 brigadier. The Defence counsel doesn't want to ask him
11 because he doesn't like the answer, and to cast
12 dispersions on the Office of the Prosecutor that it's
13 trying to mislead this court is improper and Defence
14 counsel knows it.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Oh, you're both speaking so
16 quickly that the interpreters are having a lot of
17 difficulty following you and interpreting what you're
18 saying which makes it even more difficult. Therefore,
19 I will ask you again. Yes or no, were there additional
20 investigations that were conducted by the accused about
21 Ahmici beyond the initial investigation, that's the
22 first question, of the 25th. That's the question I
23 would like to ask you. Mr. Prosecutor, do you know of
24 any additional investigations?
25 MR. KEHOE: We know of no subsequent
1 investigation after Blaskic's order with the redactions
2 on it that were provided to us on the 10th upon which
3 to give results by the 25th of May of 1993. That is
4 the last that we know of the Ahmici investigation.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Does this
6 correspond with your idea, General?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, entirely.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, move to another
9 question now because I don't see how we can go on
10 endlessly discussing what the witness would have
11 thought about an investigation which didn't take
12 place. However, apparently if there were additional
13 investigations, if there were, then the Tribunal would
14 reconsider its position.
15 MR. HAYMAN: There is a second order.
16 Q. Brigadier, you've never seen the second order
17 to further investigate Ahmici from our client, Colonel
19 JUDGE JORDA: The witness has answered he did
20 not see a second order.
21 Did you see another one, yes or no?
22 A. (Inaudible).
23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. If you have a
24 second order, Mr. Hayman, you have to produce it and
25 then, if necessary, we will have the witness come
1 back. This is the second time this morning we have
2 said we may have to bring this witness back, although
3 we will try not to have to do that.
4 Mr. Hayman, the incident is closed. Please
6 MR. HAYMAN:
7 Q. You have spoken of Colonel Blaskic's duties
8 as being those of defending the enclave?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. During your tour of duty, did the BiH army
11 admit to you that it held as a goal cutting the
12 Vitez/Busovaca enclave into a number of pieces?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And they told you, in fact, that they thought
15 they would achieve that goal?
16 A. They were very confident, yes.
17 Q. They, in fact, tried to achieve that goal
18 repeatedly during your tour; correct?
19 A. Yes, they did, yes.
20 Q. I would like to show you a series of reports
21 from your unit, and I'm going to give you five of them
22 and first ask you just to look at them and tell us if
23 you can authenticate them as reports of your unit. I
24 have five different documents here.
25 MR. HAYMAN: If they could be numbered in
1 order as the next Defence exhibits?
2 THE REGISTRAR: This is D-136.
3 MR. HAYMAN:
4 Q. While they are being labelled, Brigadier, if
5 you could look to them with an eye towards telling us
6 whether or not they are MILINFOSUMS which have been
7 heavily redacted but, nonetheless, were generated by
8 the Prince of Wales own?
9 JUDGE JORDA: Take as long as you need,
11 MR. HAYMAN: Could the registrar correlate
12 the exhibit numbers with the dates while we're waiting
13 for the witness to complete his review.
14 Q. Have you had a chance to review them?
15 A. I have scanned through them, yes, and they
16 have the appearance of being extracts, obviously taken
17 out of context, which slightly concerns me because of
18 what other information may have been on the page. And,
19 therefore, you have taken something in isolation of any
20 other comment.
21 Q. I share your concern.
22 A. Also, some of the abbreviations are unusual
23 in there.
24 Q. I give them to you in the same form that we
25 received them from the Prosecutor, Brigadier. If I
1 could do better, I would. Let me ask you to turn your
2 attention to the extract that's dated 6 September,
3 1993. I hate to burden you; can you tell us what
4 number has been assigned to that?
5 A. It is Exhibit D-136.
6 Q. Very well. Let me read to you the comment so
7 we can have it translated and then I will ask you about
8 the comment. The comment appears in the middle of the
9 front page: "Comment: The immediate BiH objective in
10 this area is to capture Zabilje. This will then
11 ultimately allow their forces to push further south in
12 order to cut the HVO MSR, main supply route, which runs
13 west to east through GR SQ 1995. As has been reported
14 previously, it is the BiH long-term aim to divide the
15 Novi Travnik/Vitez/Busovaca/Croat enclave into a number
16 of smaller isolated pockets. End comment." First of
17 all, Brigadier, is that correct? Do you agree with the
19 A. Yes, sir, it seems an entirely reasonable
20 comment for somebody to make. It outlines the BiH
22 Q. Now, can you help us, Zabilje, is that to the
23 north, north-west of the Stari Bila feature and thus
24 also to the north, north-west of the Grbavica
25 feature above the BRITBAT camp?
1 A. Off the top of my head, I don't know without
2 having a look at the map.
3 Q. Very well. The court has those maps in
4 evidence so we needn't belabour the point. Let me ask
5 you to turn your attention to the MILINFOSUM extract
6 dated 28 September, '93?
7 A. I have that now, yes.
8 Q. The Exhibit number, if I may impose?
9 A. It's D-139.
10 Q. This is quite short. I'll read it in it's
11 totality, Mr. President. "The level of activity in the
12 area over the past few days and the fact that the
13 Cajdras checkpoint is still manned by Seventh Muslim
14 Brigade MP's in preventing access south towards Vitez
15 suggests that these exchanges are more than mere
16 routine. Darko Gelic, HVO operational zone Central
17 Bosnia liaison officer to BRITBAT, claimed that the BiH
18 launched activity noted today is possibly a
19 continuation of this effort. It is noticeable that it
20 is at this point that the Croat pocket is at its
21 narrowest and, therefore, represents the easiest
22 opportunity to cut the pocket in two. As yet, there
23 are no indications as to any territorial changes." The
24 comment ends: "A number of mortar rounds also fell in
25 the centre of Vitez including three direct heads on the
1 Croat Hospital at grid reference 244924, which killed
3 With respect to the discussion of the BiH
4 objective to cut or nip the pocket, is the contents of
5 this MILINFOSUM consistent with your own knowledge and
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Lastly on this subject, let me ask you to
9 turn your attention to the extract dated 30 September
10 1993. First of all, there's an acronym in the second
11 word, "NGO." Can you help us with that?
12 A. Yes, certainly, it means "non-governmental
13 organisation." It is an acronym for an aid agency.
14 Q. Paragraph 3: "An NGO gained access to
15 Kruscica on 29 September and noted that Fikret Cuskic,
16 Commander 17th Slavna Krajina brigade, was in the
17 village and had established a headquarters there. They
18 also noted that there were a large amount of 17th
19 Brigade soldiers in the village and that an HLS" -- can
20 you help us with that?
21 A. It means a helicopter landing site, sir.
22 Q. "Had been laid out. BRITBAT G5 officer also
23 noted in the office of Ramiz Dugalic, 3 corps security
24 office, a map of the area which had arrows severing the
25 Croat pocket at this point." Brigadier, was it known
1 to you during your tour that one of the points at which
2 the BiH army wished to cut the Vitez/Busovaca enclave
3 was at the Kruscica Rijeka point just east of Vitez?
4 A. Yes. That was amongst a number of lines
5 which we considered they might cut, but I should add
6 that anything in a MILINFOSUM that comes under the
7 title of "comment" is not fact. It is speculation and
8 is speculation issued by the officer or the
9 non-commissioned officer who reads that report and,
10 therefore, only the facts are -- anything under the
11 title of "comment" I would look at and either agree
12 with or disregard. It is not fact.
13 Q. Do you disagree with any of the comment
14 sections that I read from Exhibits 136, 139 or 140?
15 A. I cannot agree or disagree with them because
16 they are taken out of a snapshot and you're asking me
17 to turn my mind back to a situation. I can agree that
18 there were a number of points at which the BiH forces
19 wished to cut the road. Those were clearly where the
20 necks and the narrow strips were and it would be to
21 their advantage to do so, but that is a statement
22 almost to the obvious.
23 Q. Is it correct that during your tour, the HVO
24 lost more than one-half of the territory of the
25 Vitez/Busovaca enclave to the BiH army?
1 A. To be precise, I wouldn't know if it was a
2 half but, yes, they did lose considerable territory to
3 the BiH armies.
4 Q. Would you agree that in addition to defence,
5 Colonel Blaskic's goal during your tour was survival
6 for himself and other Croats in the Vitez/Busovaca
8 A. Yes, I would agree to that and he actually
9 did an extremely successful job in defending the Vitez
11 Q. Would you agree he was under extreme
12 pressures in that job?
13 A. The commander of any formation is under
14 extreme pressure. Somebody said I was under extreme
15 pressure at one stage. It comes and goes. It is
16 something that commanders learn to live with.
17 Q. Let me direct your attention to the
18 MILINFOSUM extract dated 8 August, 1993. Can you help
19 us with the exhibit number, is it 137?
20 A. It's D-137, yes, sir.
21 Q. Thank you. Let me read this to you. It is
22 short and I have a follow-up question or two.
23 Paragraph 7: "Further details have emerged on the
24 Vitezovi special forces unit operating in the Vitez
25 area. This force was described, along with a number of
1 other units" -- and there's a reference -- "in the
2 distribution list of an HVO CF order as an 'independent
3 unit under the command of the HVO third operational
4 zone commander.' According to Borislav Jozic, a staff
5 officer at operational zone Central Bosnia
6 headquarters, the 'Knights' are an extremist
7 organisation operating throughout Bosnia. The
8 organisation originates from Mostar being commanded by
9 Bruno Stojic. In the Vitez area, the Knights are some
10 20 to 30 strong and commander Darko Kraljevic, who is a
11 local man from Rijeka. Jozic claimed that the Vitezovi
12 had been responsible for many of the atrocities
13 committed against Muss" -- presumably Muslims. "He
14 further claimed that they were not effectively under
15 Blaskic's control but denied when asked that they
16 worked to Dario Kordic's direction."
17 Do you have any information you can add to
18 this report produced by your unit during your tour?
19 A. I would add that this sort of report was
20 produced from time to time and it is based, as you can
21 see, on the opinions of people who met, whatever rank
22 they were and whatever position they commanded. As
23 I've already stated, I think, sir, the defence of the
24 Vitez pocket relied on forces in territorial positions
25 along with manoeuvre forces and those manoeuvre forces
1 would have to be effective to be under the direct
2 command of the tactical commander and the tactical
3 commander was Colonel Blaskic at that time.
4 They would have to be under his control
5 because he conducted a successful defence, and the
6 reason why that was so successful is he was able to
7 move forces, as I've described before, at speed. To do
8 that, they had to be under his command. He could not
9 afford to leave those forces with anyone else;
10 otherwise, if a problem occurred, he couldn't get hold
11 of them. So you have to keep, as a commander, your
12 manoeuvre forces under your direct control. That's my
14 Q. Let me ask you to turn to the last extract
15 dated 10th August, 1993.
16 A. That is D138.
17 Q. Thank you. Let me read the first, what
18 appears to be part of the paragraph, preceding
19 paragraph, 9: "The Jokeri, (i.e. Jokers) and the
20 'Vitezovi', (i.e. Knights) are not one and the same
21 unit but are different organisations. The 'Jokeri' are
22 a sub-unit within the 4th BN" -- "Battalion"?
23 A. Yes, that would be normal for "Battalion."
24 Q. "... 4th Battalion of the HVO Military Police,
25 ("Vojna Policija") with a strength of between 20 and 30
1 in the Vitez area. They were based in the village of
2 Nadioci" (grid reference). "They are held, by the BiH,
3 to have been held responsible for the massacre at
4 Ahmici" (grid reference). The 'Vitezovi' are
5 independent from the HVO Military Police and operate
6 out of the school in Vitez. The BiH hold them
7 responsible for an alleged massacre in Gacice," (grid
8 reference). "While the 'Jokeri' no longer operate in
9 the Vitez area, the 'Vitezovi' do and continue,
10 according to Borislav Jozic, Operational Zone Central
11 Bosnia," Exchange Officer, "EXCH Officer, to murder BiH
12 prisoners. The leader of the 'Vitezovi' in Vitez,
13 Darko Kraljevic, is a personal friend of Mario Cerkes,
14 Commander of the 'Viteska' HVO Brigade."
15 Brigadier, did you ever hear the allegations
16 made by BiH army officials to you that either the jokers
17 were responsible for massacres in Ahmici or the
18 Vitezovi were responsible for an alleged massacre in
20 A. I would have heard during my time there
21 allegations of actions by all units against others. I
22 mean, this was not unusual. I wouldn't select this as
23 an unusual event. Accusations were made every day, but
24 they were accusations.
25 Q. Did Colonel Blaskic tell you on one or more
1 occasions that any snipers that caused UNPROFOR
2 problems should be shot, that is, UNPROFOR should feel
3 free to shoot to kill those snipers, HVO snipers?
4 A. Yes, sir, he did. We had a -- to explain the
5 background, we had a problem in the camp of snipers
6 firing across our camp, both from the Muslim and the
7 Croat sides, shooting at each other, and I complained
8 about this, and Colonel Blaskic's reply on a number of
9 occasions was, I should shoot those snipers.
10 Q. Let me ask you about your meeting with
11 Mr. Valenta. Was Colonel Blaskic present?
12 A. No, sir, he wasn't.
13 Q. What was Valenta's position; do you know?
14 A. With respect to what?
15 Q. Did he have a position in some organisation?
16 A. Oh, I see, yes. It was my understanding that
17 Valenta was the HDZ representative for the Vitez area
18 and beyond.
19 Q. The mayor or the head of the party or ...
20 A. Not the mayor, the representative of that
21 area, and because he was in Vitez with the op zone
22 commander, my assumption was, but I have no proof for
23 it, that he would have had a similar influence over the
24 areas that we've described before as belonging to the
25 op zone commander. A parallel: the military and the
2 Q. Did Valenta tell you that his book had been
3 adopted by the HDZ as party policy?
4 A. No, he didn't, no.
5 Q. Did anyone tell you that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Do you know when the book was published?
8 A. 1991, I think.
9 Q. So before the war came to Central Bosnia?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did Colonel Blaskic ever tout to you the
12 contents of Valenta's books as things of value, as
13 ideas having merit?
14 A. Colonel Blaskic and I, as far as I remember,
15 avoided talking about political matters because we were
16 military men, and I said often we should just talk
17 about military matters; the politics should be left to
18 somebody else.
19 Q. In fact, is it fair to say that Colonel
20 Blaskic never, in any conversation with you, spoke of
21 Muslims with racial prejudice in his statement?
22 A. He was -- that's correct, yes, that's
24 Q. Now, let me turn to the unfortunate subject
25 of your interpreter who was killed. The house in which
1 she was living you have described, and indeed it's
2 depicted in Exhibit 384, was on or near the front-line
3 between the HVO and the BiH army; correct?
4 A. That's correct, just behind the front-line
5 within the perimeter of the British battalion camp.
6 Q. Do you know whether there was any available
7 evidence that could constitute the grounds for an
8 investigation other than the fact she was shot by a
9 sniper in her home or outside of her home in the
10 garden? In other words, were there witnesses to the
11 shooting? Were there shell casings recovered at some
12 location that might have been the location that fired
13 upon her or any other evidence of that type, or do you
15 A. Since those buildings had been occupied for
16 some time by Croats, there would have been shell
17 casings all over the floor anyway, and people had been
18 firing from there. So a technical investigation would
19 have been fairly pointless.
20 Q. You told us that there was an HVO
21 investigation that blamed a Muslim infiltrator. Was
22 there a report that reached that conclusion; do you
24 A. I did not see a report, no. I was given a
25 verbal brief on the result of the investigation which
1 were that a Muslim had come across from the BiH side,
2 had infiltrated, and had fired from buildings which had
3 been occupied by Croats for some two months, and then
4 had presumably worked his way back again.
5 Q. After the murder, did Colonel Blaskic come to
6 see you and offer his personal apology and condolences?
7 A. Yes, he did.
8 Q. Do you think those were sincerely offered?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let me ask you about the UNHCR driver,
11 Boris. Do you know where he was killed in Stari
12 Vitez? Was it on the perimeter or in the middle?
13 A. I believe it was on the perimeter.
14 Q. Was the perimeter of Stari Vitez a front-line?
15 A. Yes, it was.
16 Q. You said that UNPROFOR did a forensic
17 analysis of the car to try and determine the direction
18 from which the projectile came. Were those results
19 shared with the HVO or with Colonel Blaskic?
20 A. I believe so. They would have been discussed
21 between the LOs, but it was quite clear to us that the
22 bullet came from outside the Stari Vitez pocket. It
23 was not fired from within.
24 Q. Directing your attention to Exhibit 385, and
25 you may have it in mind -- it can be provided to you
1 also -- this indicates, as I understand it, the general
2 direction of the projectile as reconstructed by your
3 forensic investigation?
4 A. It is a very conceptual piece of paper. It
5 is clearly pointing out the rough areas involved.
6 Clearly, with the scale of map involved and the detail
7 being black and white, it merely gives an indication,
8 that's all.
9 Q. Do you know whether any other evidence
10 existed concerning the murderer who fired this bullet
11 other than this knowledge which your unit gained
12 concerning the direction of fire, such as an eyewitness
13 or forensic analysis of shell casings or forensic
14 analysis of the bullet end, a shell casing, or anything
15 of the sort?
16 A. The forensic analysis of the bullet and shell
17 casing would have been pointless because both BiH and
18 HVO were using the same weapons from the same store, so
19 there is little to be gained of that. It is merely the
20 direction of fire that could be established from the
21 strike marks.
22 MR. HAYMAN: I have a few more minutes, but
23 we're nearing the conclusion, Mr. President.
24 Q. Regarding your sightings of HV troops, in
25 Prozor in 1993, how many HV troops, how many soldiers
1 did you see?
2 A. I saw a lorry, a truck, a military truck, and
3 one artillery piece, I think it was 152 millimetre D-30
4 towed howitzer.
5 Q. How many soldiers -- did you see any soldiers
6 with HV patches, or you saw HV licence plates?
7 A. HV licence plates on the vehicle and two
8 soldiers with HV patches.
9 Q. Could you tell where they were going to or
10 coming from, or they were static?
11 A. They were static at the time.
12 Q. During your tour, did you ever see any HV
13 soldiers in the Lasva or Kiseljak valleys?
14 A. No, I did not.
15 Q. Now, do you fault Colonel Blaskic on the
16 subject of prisoners because you believe he did not
17 issue appropriate orders for the release of prisoners?
18 Do you fault him on that basis?
19 A. I fault him on the basis that the agreements
20 made at the Joint Military Meetings which we looked at
21 this morning, those pieces of paper in evidence, asked
22 if the orders could be given out, and I think the
23 instructions agreed were quite clear, and I would fault
24 him in not following up on those.
25 Q. Can you tell us what orders for the release
1 of civilian detainees the Prosecutor's Office showed
2 you before or in preparation for your testimony? Did
3 they show you any?
4 A. No, I haven't seen any, no.
5 Q. So you would be surprised to learn that
6 orders concerning the protection and release of
7 prisoners were issued by Colonel Blaskic on the 18th of
8 April, 1993, the 21st of April, 1993, the 24th of
9 April, 1993, and the 29th of April, 1993, to name a
10 few? That would come as a surprise to you?
11 A. Yes, it would.
12 Q. Let's turn to the subject of trench digging.
13 Would you agree that it was widely known --
14 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Mr. Hayman. Do you
15 have these elements? Do you have them yourself? Does
16 the Prosecutor have them? Are they in the statement?
17 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, these are
18 Exhibits D32, D39, D77, and D79. They're all in the
19 record of this case. We can take the time and show
20 them to the witness, but, quite frankly, for my
21 purposes it's sufficient that he was asked to give
22 opinion testimony on whether the accused acted
23 properly, and yet he was not shown the orders that the
24 accused in part issued on this subject.
25 MR. KEHOE: Well, if we're going to
1 editorialise on this, the significance is that these
2 are part of the joint command instructions that are
3 given in June that this witness was supposed to
4 undertake, because obviously this was still going on,
5 and no orders subsequent to the first joint command
6 meeting was produced by the Defendant where he
7 reiterated that his soldiers should continue to abide
8 by international humanitarian law. When this
9 particular witness was in theatre pursuant to these
10 particular meetings, Blaskic did nothing, and it just
11 went on. Now --
12 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment. That's your
13 opinion there, Mr. Kehoe. I'd like to go back to what
14 the Defence said.
15 These are documents -- do you have these,
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, I've got them.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Could they be shown to the
19 witness so he can tell us whether he recognises them?
20 Excuse me for a moment, Mr. Hayman. I'd like to go to
21 the end of my question. The Judges just allow
22 documents to go back and forth here. I'd like to see
23 what we're talking about.
24 MR. HAYMAN: To assist the registrar, D32,
25 D39, D77, and D79.
1 JUDGE JORDA: If you would take a look at
2 them, please?
3 MR. HAYMAN: And they deal with various
4 prisoner-related subjects, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE JORDA: General, we don't have them
6 right in front of us, but we know that they're in the
7 file. What is your opinion about these?
8 A. Sir, if I may, they were all issued by
9 Commander Blaskic before I arrived to take over command
10 of the battalion in Vitez. I have not seen them
11 before. But as far as I'm concerned, clearly, because
12 of the arrangements I had to insist on in June, later
13 on in the year, things had not happened. So despite
14 these orders being issued, we still had to go through a
15 system and insist they were reissued later on.
16 But my comment on these: It was before the
17 time I took over.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. You mean there was
20 no follow-up of these orders?
21 A. Sir, by whom, sorry?
22 JUDGE RIAD: By General Blaskic.
23 A. I'm not aware of that at all, I'm afraid.
24 The orders were issued before I arrived. I think that
25 the last one, about five or six days before I arrived.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. This has been
2 clarified. I think that they can be put back into the
4 Mr. Hayman, please continue.
5 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Brigadier, would you agree that it was known
7 within the Vitez-Busovaca enclave that the BiH army was
8 using Croat prisoners to dig trenches, that that was
9 generally known?
10 A. Yes, that was generally known.
11 Q. In your movements in the theatre, did you
12 ever personally see HVO soldiers with forced labour,
13 that is, Muslim prisoners being compelled to dig
14 trenches? Is that something you personally saw?
15 A. I never personally saw that.
16 Q. You have mentioned the subject of
17 helicopters --
18 A. I'm sorry, could I --
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. I mean, I have to say, by the way you phrased
21 that and the fact that we moved through it and passed
22 it, you imply that because the BiH Army was using
23 Croats to dig trenches, it was perfectly all right for
24 the Croats to use BiH to dig trenches.
25 Q. Please, Brigadier, I don't imply anything of
1 the sort.
2 A. Sorry, I'm --
3 Q. You're jumping to --
4 A. That's the inference I took. I apologise.
5 Q. It's not an inference I'm suggesting to the
6 Court in the least.
7 A. All right.
8 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. Then the question is
10 MR. HAYMAN: No. I'll state the relevance of
11 the question, Mr. President, if you want to take the
12 time to do it.
13 MR. KEHOE: If the question is asked about
14 whether or not it is well-known that the BiH was
15 forcing Croats to dig trenches, what could that
16 question bear on except to insinuate to the Brigadier,
17 in much the same way that he took that insinuation, is
18 that because the Croats -- because the Muslims were
19 doing it, it was okay for the Croats to do it, the old
20 tu quoque argument which, of course, is irrelevant.
21 MR. HAYMAN: It's not okay for anyone to do
22 it, Mr. President. The point is, if you have a
23 population in the Vitez pocket and a population in
24 Zenica and they believe that their counterparts are
25 taking civilians hostage to use an exchange, are using
1 civilians to dig trenches, it makes it all the more
2 difficult for the authorities, military, civilian, to
3 control the situation and control those civilians that
4 have that knowledge and those beliefs.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I understand what you're
6 saying. But you are falling right into the objection
7 of the witness, that there is an idea behind your
8 question. Everybody has understood what was said. The
9 witness has answered.
10 Let's move to the next question, please.
11 MR. HAYMAN:
12 Q. Helicopters.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. There were Medevac evacuations from Novi
15 Bila. Were U.N. helicopters moved to Medevac out of
16 Novi Bila from time to time?
17 A. The system we had for Novi Bila, which was, I
18 believe, a Franciscan -- or a church outside -- in the
19 pocket, rather, was that we would use helicopters from
20 Kiseljak and we would transport the wounded where we
21 could in ambulances from Vitez to Kiseljak along the
22 main road escorted by United Nations vehicles and they
23 would be flown out from Kiseljak.
24 Q. By U.N. helicopters?
25 A. I believe we also used Croatian helicopters
1 as well.
2 Q. You said that you believed that one or more
3 times during your tour, Colonel Blaskic left the Vitez
4 enclave for a period of days.
5 A. I believe so, yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us the first time that you
7 believe he was able to leave?
8 A. I couldn't put a precise time on it, but it
9 was apparent, from the fact that I couldn't get hold of
10 Colonel Blaskic when I wanted to, that he wasn't there,
11 and -- I mean, it clearly wasn't in his interests to
12 let people know he was gone because, you know, if
13 people know generally that a commander is away, it's an
14 opportunity to take some action while he's gone.
15 Q. Are you able to tell us that the first time
16 you believed he was absent was in the fall of 1993?
17 A. I think it would have been -- looking at the
18 way events occurred there, I think Colonel Blaskic
19 would obviously have been extremely busy during the
20 time that the BiH were advancing. Once the situation
21 had stabilised and we had pockets and he had a good
22 defence, he then felt that the -- you know, things were
23 holding out well and perhaps he had an opportunity to
24 get out then.
25 Q. And when would that have been?
1 A. That would have been about the fall, by the
3 Q. Would you agree that any helicopter coming
4 into the Vitez pocket without an agreement for safe
5 passage by the BiH army would be in some jeopardy of
6 being fired upon and hit by the BiH army?
7 A. It is my experience that all helicopters,
8 regardless of where they belong to, are always in
9 jeopardy when they fly in a war zone because nobody
10 takes much notice of whether it's friendly.
11 The helicopters arrived without agreement
12 from BiH and they arrived with agreement from BiH. In
13 general terms, agreement was either too late or
14 unspecific, but the helicopters flew at fairly regular
16 Q. Did they generally fly at night because of
17 the danger of fire?
18 A. They flew at night and with a very skilful
19 pilot who was able to fly in a spiral down at high
20 speed from an altitude in order to avoid getting hit by
21 anti-aircraft fires or missiles.
22 Q. Is that a dangerous manoeuvre, potentially
24 A. It's an extremely dangerous manoeuvre
25 requiring a very skilled pilot.
1 Q. Did you ever have the pleasure of being on
2 one of these helicopters that spiralled down?
3 A. No, that would -- I didn't go in HVO
4 helicopters, I'm afraid.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Fortunately. Fortunately,
7 MR. HAYMAN: I have just a few more
8 questions, Mr. President and Brigadier.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead.
10 MR. HAYMAN:
11 Q. You said that Colonel Blaskic was accepted
12 and was accepted politically as demonstrated by his
13 subsequent promotion. Did you have occasion to meet
14 Philip Filipovic, an HVO officer?
15 A. I mean, there were a number of Filipovics.
16 Are we referring an officer who was the second in
17 command of the op zone?
18 Q. Philip Filipovic, at one time the brigade
19 commander in Travnik; and then after Travnik fell, he
20 located obviously somewhere else in the theatre.
21 A. Yes, I believe, and I might be wrong, but I
22 believe he moved into the headquarters in Vitez. He
23 was quite badly affected by events in Travnik.
24 Q. Did he feel that he had been double-crossed?
25 A. No, I just think he felt -- I mean, he had
1 been defeated. I don't think there's a question of
3 Q. Was he accepted and politically acceptable to
4 the HVO, do you know, Filipovic?
5 A. I have no knowledge of that at all.
6 Q. Was he subsequently promoted to General
7 within the HVO?
8 A. I have no knowledge of that either.
9 Q. You have previously said that the defence of
10 the Vitez pocket was dependent on the HVO control of
11 the spinal road from Novi Travnik to Vitez to Busovaca;
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. Let me ask you, just to illustrate that
15 principle, about Grbavica. There was a Muslim village
16 at Grbavica; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This is immediately adjacent to the BRITBAT
19 base and to the north of this spinal road or MSR, Main
20 Supply Route; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And there was, in the fall of 1993, a
23 military action to take control of that village;
25 A. Yes, there was.
1 Q. Is it your view that that action was a bona
2 fide military action in order to secure the MSR?
3 A. The military action or the aim of the
4 military action to secure the high ground to the north
5 of that major -- or Main Supply Route was a legitimate
6 business. It did take place in the autumn. It took
7 place the day after I left for two weeks' leave, and I
8 have mentioned before taking advantage of commanders
9 being away.
10 Q. Would that military action also require
11 control of the village on the top of the hill because
12 the local population was armed and itself constituted a
13 defensive military force?
14 A. There was a requirement to get to the
15 buildings on top of the hill because they represented a
16 good defensive area, which is why it had held out for
17 so long. There was not a requirement, in my opinion,
18 to destroy those buildings, which is what happened,
19 because the military worth of the buildings were -- on
20 the top of the hill was they provided the cover and
21 protection and ability to hold a strong defensive
22 position, which is what they've done.
23 By setting fire to them, which is what
24 happened after the initial assault, that achieved no --
25 to my mind, to my personal opinion, no military purpose
2 Q. Now, by contrast to the defence of the
3 enclave, which you've described, did you conclude that
4 the roads and towns inside the Vitez pocket were an
5 internal security matter more under the control of
6 local politicians than under the control of Colonel
7 Blaskic? And I'm citing, quoting from page 4 of your
8 prior statement, if you'd like to review it, at the
10 A. I mean, that -- that may well have been an
11 opinion at that time, and I'm well aware this statement
12 was made in, I think, April of last year.
13 Q. Let me read it to you so we can be absolutely
14 clear what your opinion was: "The control of the
15 military operations troops was made directly by Colonel
16 Blaskic and the internal security was controlled by
17 Dario Kordic in conjunction with Blaskic. It appeared
18 to me that Blaskic was responsible for military
19 defence, but roads, towns, et cetera, inside the pocket
20 were internal security, hence more under the control of
21 local politicians and therefore Kordic."
22 Was that your statement of 1997?
23 A. Yes, that was my statement.
24 Q. Did you also say in your statement, page 14:
25 "I believe that the political organisation was
1 responsible for the forced ethnic movement in this
2 area." "This area" referring to the Lasva Valley;
4 A. Yes, that's who generated the responsibility,
5 but obviously that has to be then done by -- it has to
6 be done by military forces.
7 Q. Did you also say, and I believe it's at the
8 same passage, that Tihomir Blaskic -- you do not
9 believe that Blaskic was close to these individuals,
10 referring to the individuals in the political
11 organisation in the Lasva Valley. That's the top of
12 the next paragraph. Is that correct?
13 A. That is what I stated in this. But as I've
14 stated before, in the light of my preparations and for
15 the first time since I left Bosnia, having a look at
16 the events that took place then -- and I made that
17 statement last year -- you know, that was made at that
18 time. For a number of reasons, after I had left
19 Bosnia, I was not particularly interested in analysing
20 in great detail what had happened.
21 Q. How much time have you spent analysing these
22 questions in the last year since your statement?
23 A. Since my statement? Some time since I made
24 the statement.
25 Q. Was that at the request of the Office of the
2 A. No, it was not at the request, it was when I
3 received it back through the post, having taken a
4 transcript, I looked at it in detail then.
5 Q. Was that before or after you signed it, that
6 you looked it over in detail? Was that before or after
7 you signed the statement --
8 A. After I signed it, because it was a true
9 record of the meeting and what I had spoken about at
10 the time.
11 I mean, the point I'm trying to make is I may
12 have been very wrong in some of my assumptions which
13 were based on my personal opinions. That is all, sir.
14 That's the point I wish to make.
15 Q. You told me last summer when we spoke that
16 you believed Tihomir Blaskic was "a reasonable and
17 honest man trying to do a job in the most difficult
18 circumstances." Do you stand by that statement?
19 A. Have you -- I was never supplied with a copy
20 of your transcript.
21 Q. Were you told that you could see it, if you
22 wanted to, by the British military authorities?
23 A. Well, I understood you were going to send me
24 a copy.
25 Q. No, that -- again, I shouldn't be answering
1 questions, Mr. President.
2 A. No, I --
3 Q. Why don't we -- do you agree with the
4 statement --
5 A. I would agree with that. I said that at the
6 time, yes, in the knowledge at that stage.
7 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Brigadier. Nothing
8 further, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. I think
10 we'll take a break about ten after four, if we can
11 finish by then, unless there are many questions.
12 Mr. Kehoe, do you have a lot of questions you
13 wish to ask? Of course, you're free to ask any
14 questions you want. Put on the microphone, please.
15 I'm sure you're making a joke, but, I'm sorry, the joke
16 might have got lost now because the microphone was off.
17 Let me consult with my colleague for a
19 I think minds need calm. Perhaps the General
20 needs a little bit of rest as well. So I think we'll
21 start again in about 20 minutes. The hearing is
23 --- Recess taken at 3.59 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.28 p.m.
25 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing
1 now. Please have the accused brought in.
2 (The accused entered court)
3 (The witness entered court)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?
5 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I neglected to
6 offer Exhibits D-135 through D-140.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. They have been
9 MR. KEHOE: May I proceed, Mr. President?
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, please go ahead.
11 RE-EXAMINATION BY MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. Brigadier, I would like to ask you some
13 questions based on counsel's questions during cross, if
14 I may. So to the extent that I jump around a bit from
15 topic to topic, bear with me. You were asked some
16 questions about the first report of the 19th of June,
17 1993 about the meeting of the first joint command?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, you were also asked some questions by
20 Defence counsel that this was a time, a very difficult
21 time, for the defendant Blaskic in that Travnik had
22 just fallen, many displaced people are coming in. This
23 was a period of time, was it not, when Blaskic thought
24 that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was going to
25 attack; is that right?
1 A. Yes, it is, yes.
2 Q. Would it be fair to say also that during this
3 time, Blaskic was trying to have you help him and
4 trying to have you assist him should such an attack
6 A. Yes. I mean, at this stage, it was clearly
7 in his interest since he was on the back foot, as it
8 were, to have as much assistance as he could from U.N.
9 Q. Would it be fair to say that at this point it
10 would not be in his interest to alienate you at all?
11 A. No, it wouldn't. It would not be a sensible
12 thing to do, to annoy me.
13 Q. Now, let me go back to Prosecutor's
14 Exhibit 386 which is that first meeting of the joint
16 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Claudius, with your
17 assistance --
18 MR. HAYMAN: May I interject? I just note
19 for the court that the court admonished me not to
20 examine this witness on these four reports if I wished
21 to preserve my objection under Rule 66(a), and I did
22 not cross-examine the witness about any one of those
23 four reports based on the court's admonition because we
24 do wish to preserve that objection.
25 MR. KEHOE: Well, Mr. President and Judge
1 Riad, I think we had some very significant questions by
2 Defence counsel, my colleague across the room,
3 concerning these orders, these unnumbered orders from
4 April of 1993 that he argued that we didn't show to the
5 brigadier. In order to follow up the inferences that
6 one might draw from counsel's questions, we need to
7 draw ourselves back to Exhibit 386 and then we will go
8 back to the particular exhibits that counsel asked the
9 brigadier about.
10 JUDGE JORDA: I'm a bit uncomfortable,
11 Mr. Kehoe. At the end of the morning, I did say to Mr.
12 Nobilo and to Mr. Hayman that in the judges' minds the
13 documents had already been tendered, that they would be
14 tendered. I said that if they are tendered, it would
15 be this afternoon and Defence counsel could then use
16 them. I believe from that point on he would give up
17 his objection.
18 I would say that the Defence has not asked
19 any questions. You should ask questions only as part
20 of the cross-examination or in scope of the
21 cross-examination. I prefer that you don't use them
22 right now because they still must be admitted by the
23 judges. It's true we have kept this possibility for
24 ourselves. Therefore, I would prefer that you not use
25 that document because it was not used or quoted or
1 referred to in the course of the cross-examination.
2 MR. KEHOE: That's fine, Judge. I can
3 proceed with the documents that counsel was waving
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I understood that you
6 could ask your question without referring to that
7 document, so we won't use them right now. Ask the
8 questions but please remain within the scope of the
10 Proceed, please.
11 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Now, you received, I think that you said that
13 your fax machine -- well, maybe you didn't say this,
14 but your fax machine was rather active with faxes
15 coming from the defendant, wasn't it?
16 A. It could be, yes. That was a primary means
17 of communication.
18 Q. He clogged your machine up from time to time
19 with correspondence?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did he ever show you these orders that
22 Defence counsel just gave you?
23 A. No, never.
24 Q. Did he ever say anything about them?
25 A. Not to me, no.
1 Q. Not a word?
2 A. Not a word.
3 Q. In every meeting that you had with him
4 between May and November of 1993, he never said a word
5 about these unnumbered documents that Defence counsel
6 has just discussed?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you, Brigadier. Now, counsel asked you
9 some questions about the radio communications in the
10 area. I think he asked you some questions about power
11 in the area --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- difficulties with power in the area, and
14 you mentioned something that armies generally have a
15 backup generator?
16 A. Generators, yes.
17 Q. Did Blaskic ever indicate to you that he did
18 not know what was going on in the areas under his
20 A. No. He never said, "I don't know what's
21 going on over there." It was the reverse. I mean, he
22 was telling me what was going on in the other areas
23 under his control.
24 Q. I'm jumping to another topic which has to do
25 with Kiseljak, and we talked on direct and you were
1 asked some questions by counsel about Kiseljak and the
2 geographical separation between the Vitez pocket and
3 the Vitez pocket (sic). Then you were asked some
4 questions, I recall, by Defence on cross-examination,
5 and this didn't come up on direct, this was
6 cross-examination questions, that in Rakovica on the
7 10th of June of 1993, on the first day that the Convoy
8 of Joy was coming through, General Petkovic and his
9 military police entourage was going down the road and
10 you stopped them and spoke to them; is that right?
11 A. Yes, sir, that's right.
12 Q. And you spoke to them to try to gain their
13 assistance to get through that checkpoint; is that
15 A. Yes, it was to get through the block on the
17 Q. Now, in your direct examination, you
18 testified that on the 29th of May, 1993, you met with
19 Petkovic, the defendant and some other HVO leaders in
21 A. In Kiseljak.
22 Q. And then some 11 days later, Petkovic, he was
23 a General, was he not? He's probably at least the
24 chief of staff or maybe general of the army at the
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. He is in the Vitez area on the 10th; right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. How did he get there?
5 A. I don't know. I didn't bring him in there.
6 Q. Did BRITBAT bring him?
7 A. No, we had a policy of not ferrying people
8 around. As a result of the meeting in Kiseljak on the
9 29th, a policy was established that we certainly
10 wouldn't move people around.
11 Q. Outside U.N. and outside any taxi service in
12 the U.N., the General of the HVO somehow made it from
13 Kiseljak to Vitez; correct?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. And he was driving back out towards the Novi
16 Travnik road; right?
17 A. He was off down towards Prozor, presumably.
18 Q. Was he in an armoured personnel carrier?
19 A. No, he was in a 4-by-4 Shogun or something
20 like that.
21 Q. Would you agree with me, Brigadier, that in
22 the General of the HVO, General Petkovic, an important
23 guy, I would think, if General Petkovic could make that
24 trip between Kiseljak and Vitez in something other than
25 an armoured personnel carrier, the defendant could too?
1 A. Well, the inference must be that -- yeah, I
2 mean, I don't see why not. If General Petkovic can
3 drive around, then others could.
4 Q. Did it indicate to you that they were doing
5 it? Did it indicate to you that they thought it was
6 safe enough to make that trip?
7 A. I don't think Petkovic would have embarked on
8 the trip if he didn't think it was a safe way to go.
9 Q. General, let's talk a little bit about the
10 Convoy of Joy issue. You were asked some questions
11 about Petkovic's conduct when you were trying to elicit
12 his help. These are questions on cross. You noted
13 that the -- why don't you tell us: When you asked
14 Petkovic for his help, what did he do? How did he act
15 to you? What was his body language?
16 A. He just laughed at me and that was it and
17 then just disappeared.
18 Q. Did he speak to the people?
19 A. He spoke to the -- as I said, he spoke to the
20 crowd there, and they appeared to be pleased with what
21 he had said. And then laughing and smiling, I asked
22 him with my interpreter whether we could go through and
23 he said, no and laughed and just drove off through the
24 crowd which parted to let him go through.
25 Q. Did he ever order his soldiers to go in there
1 and separate these civilians off the road?
2 A. No, not at all.
3 Q. Now, you were asked some questions on
4 cross-examination as to whether or not those soldiers
5 who were beating that, I'm assuming, a Muslim truck
6 driver and who were looting those pieces of property,
7 whether or not they were off duty or on duty. Now,
8 Brigadier, you have been in the British Army 25 years?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You have, I assume, as a commander of Prince
11 of Wales of Yorkshire and also in your other capacities
12 as an officer, discipline your troops. Did you ever
13 discipline your troops for conduct that happened off
15 A. There is no difference in the British Army
16 between either off or on duty. You're a soldier 24
17 hours a day, peace time as well as in operations.
18 Q. You noted in response to a question in direct
19 and also on cross -- let me withdraw that question.
20 Would you say that with regard to the conduct
21 of those soldiers, a commanding officer's duty to
22 discipline stays in effect whether or not those
23 soldiers are off duty or on duty?
24 A. Very much so, yes.
25 Q. Was the conduct or what happened with the
1 Convoy of Joy on the 10th of June and the 11th of June,
2 1993 and the looting and the shooting and the killing a
3 well-known fact in that area at the time?
4 A. Sorry, that it had happened -- I'm not quite
5 sure what you're getting at.
6 Q. Let me ask you very frankly, Brigadier. Is
7 it likely that Blaskic wouldn't have known about the
8 deaths of these truck drivers and about the looting by
9 his soldiers and about the rest of the relevance
10 attendant to the attack on the Convoy of Joy?
11 A. It's very unlikely that he didn't know
12 because everybody was out. There were clearly
13 arrangements. There were people everywhere being
14 organised to block things. Trucks were being cut out.
15 The trucks were not just limited to a certain area.
16 They ended up all over the town of Vitez in little
17 packets being looted. They were separated out in a
18 coordinated plan.
19 Q. Was any attempt made by Blaskic to discipline
20 those troops?
21 A. Not that I'm aware of at all.
22 Q. Now, this is a commander who told you on
23 numerous times about his inability to control
24 extremists; is that right?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Do you recall a message going over Radio
2 Vitez in August of 1993 concerning the relations
3 between the UNPROFOR and the HVO and what Radio
4 Kiseljak reported that the HVO commanders said
5 concerning their troops?
6 A. The message was that there could be no
7 guarantee of the safety of UNPROFOR troops and white
8 vehicles in the area.
9 Q. Did they not also say that the HVO commanding
10 officers were no longer responsible for the actions of
11 their troops?
12 A. I believe that was the text, yes.
13 Q. Who was the head commander at the time?
14 A. Well, it was Commander Blaskic.
15 Q. On Radio Vitez, in his area where his
16 headquarters are, an announcement comes over that a
17 commanding officer could no longer control his troops;
18 is that right?
19 A. That is correct, yes. That's what the
20 announcement was.
21 Q. In that same message, was there any threat
22 passed over to white vehicles?
23 A. They mentioned white vehicles. They could no
24 longer guarantee -- this included white vehicles.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, we are way past the
1 scope of direct, nor is there any foundation concerning
2 the accused's control over Radio Kiseljak or Radio
3 Vitez. In fact, there's been testimony to the
4 contrary, and I think there's an ethical question about
5 the testimony being elicited on the part of Prosecution
7 MR. KEHOE: Well, I understand that it's very
8 harmful to the Defence; however, the HVO --
9 MR. HAYMAN: It's not harmful at all,
10 Mr. President, but there's an ethical question where
11 testimony has been elicited that Radio Kiseljak, for
12 example, was under the control of political elements in
13 the Kiseljak enclave, and that raises an ethical
14 question for Mr. Kehoe concerning the testimony he is
15 attempting to elicit.
16 MR. KEHOE: I understand that Defence counsel
17 doesn't like what the testimony is to be elicited,
18 Judge Riad and Judge Jorda, but the HVO commanding
19 officers were Blaskic and his commanding officers who
20 put an announcement over the radio in Vitez that they
21 could no longer control their troops.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. The message has gone
24 General, did this message go through the
25 radio, the message from the command?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I think you can ask the
3 question. Go ahead.
4 MR. KEHOE:
5 Q. Staying with the Convoy of Joy, Brigadier,
6 and your information concerning the activities of Zuti,
7 especially the information that was discussed in D-135,
8 which is your note of 17 August 1993, I ask you a
9 question: Did the stolen trucks in that convoy end up
10 in Zuti's backyard or did they end up in an area
11 controlled by the HVO?
12 A. They ended up throughout the Vitez pocket in
13 areas right across from Rakovica and particularly in
14 areas within Vitez town itself.
15 Q. We saw in the video, trucks being found in
16 the quarry?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. With regard to Zuti, did Zuti have some
19 impact on the Convoy of Joy 2 that came through in
20 October of 1993?
21 MR. HAYMAN: If we go into this,
22 Mr. President, I would like to have cross-examination
23 about Convoy of Joy 2 which was not discussed on
24 direct, not discussed on cross. In fairness, we have
25 to be allowed to address new areas on re-cross if they
1 are to be opened up.
2 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President, the
3 Defence counsel on cross-examination raised the
4 relationship between Blaskic and Zuti. Defence counsel
5 on cross-examination --
6 JUDGE JORDA: Remain with the relationship
7 with Zuti. Don't move away from that.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, with all due
9 respect, I am staying with the relationship between
10 Blaskic and Zuti, but the relationship bears some
11 elaboration, given the fact that Blaskic -- there's
12 some indication Blaskic was operating in conjunction
13 with Zuti in an attempt to high-jack Convoy of Joy 2.
14 That's the point.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I hear what you're
16 saying. Remain within that scope. I think I can speak
17 for my colleague when I say that I would not like you
18 to go back into an examination-in-chief.
19 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Mr. President.
20 I'll move on.
21 Q. Let's just stay with this document which is
22 D-135. Do you have it before you?
23 A. I have it before me, yes.
24 Q. Counsel read to you the point that is in
25 paragraph 3 concerning Zuti's relationship with Blaskic
1 and the possible surrender of the Croats in the Lasva
2 Valley; do you see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. That never happened, by the way, did it?
5 A. The surrender of the Croats?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. No, not at all.
8 Q. This also details your conversation on number
9 5 on the second page; do you see that? What is noted
11 A. There was a threat at paragraph 5 to shoot
12 down all helicopters, whatever they were, U.N. or BiH
13 or whatever.
14 Q. Were U.N. helicopters coming in here at the
16 A. They weren't coming in but we certainly
17 didn't bring them in. There was a threat to shoot them
19 Q. To shoot down all helicopters?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Coming down two more, on paragraph 7, what
22 did Blaskic threaten to do with regard to the Vitez
24 A. If it was threatened, that it would be blown
25 up, and we in the United Nations would therefore have
1 to be responsible for the consequences which would be a
2 massive pollution of the valley and destruction of a
3 huge area with the sulphur and chemicals involved in
4 the factory.
5 Q. And I assume the death of civilians
6 throughout the area?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And it was Blaskic who threatened to do this
9 to you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Or threatened that he would do this?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, if I may, you had several documents
14 shown to you by Defence counsel. Let me ask you: You
15 were asked by Defence counsel whether Blaskic ever
16 asked you or told you to shoot snipers; do you remember
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. He told you to shoot snipers?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And he said that to you several times?
22 A. Yes, he did, yes.
23 Q. And that came at the same time that he did
24 this investigation on the sniper attack on Dobrilla and
25 Boris. This is the same man giving these two messages?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. KEHOE: Let me turn to, if I may,
3 Claudius, the document that starts with 20 September,
4 1993. I'm not sure what Defence exhibit that is.
5 A. It's D-139.
6 Q. D-139, thank you. Now, in D-139, especially
7 in D-137 first, we begin to talk about a gentleman by
8 the name of Darko Kraljevic and his Knights that have
9 the number of 20 to 30 strong; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did Blaskic have enough troops under his
12 control to control 20 or 30 men?
13 A. Most certainly. If he wished to stamp out 20
14 or 30 men, he could have done so easily.
15 Q. Did you ever hear of Blaskic making any such
16 attempt to corral the Vitezovi or this Darko Kraljevic
17 or try to arrest these individuals?
18 A. No, not at all.
19 Q. On 139, we have the name of "Darko Gelic."
20 Do you know Darko Gelic?
21 A. Yes, I do. Darko Gelic was the liaison
22 officer between Colonel Blaskic's headquarters and my
23 own. He's a Croat liaison officer.
24 Q. He was a message carrier for Blaskic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And if you wanted to carry a message and say
2 something, Darko was the guy?
3 A. He would come and talk, yes.
4 Q. If Darko Gelic gave an interview to the BBC
5 praising the work of the Vitezovi over the airways,
6 would it indicate to you that Blaskic, through his
7 messenger, and the Vitezovi are working in concert?
8 A. Yes, it would indicate to me that Blaskic had
9 told his liaison officer to go out and give the
11 MR. KEHOE: At a later date, Mr. President
12 and Judge Riad, we will produce that clip from the
13 BBC. This is re-direct-examination, and we do not have
14 it at this point.
15 Q. As we move into the summer of 1993,
16 helicopter flights begin to move in and out of HVO
17 areas; isn't that right?
18 A. Particularly into the Vitez/Lasva Valley,
20 Q. And flying back out to heaven knows where?
21 A. I think Prozor.
22 Q. Would that have helped or hindered Blaskic's
23 ability to communicate with his other areas?
24 A. Well, it would help in that he could
25 obviously send messages out on the helicopters, but at
1 the same time, in order to get the helicopters in, he
2 had to be communicating with those other areas any
3 way. Because to synchronise the arrival, this very
4 dangerous arrival, of the helicopter had to be done at
5 the correct time in order to save the helicopter. If
6 there's no enemy activity at the time, it is safe to
7 come in or safer to come in, rather. And that is a
8 complex communications problem. In order to do that,
9 and they couldn't afford to lose the helicopter, I
10 think they would have to have an elaborate
11 communications system.
12 Q. Now, you mentioned that on at least three
13 different occasions, he, Blaskic, was gone for periods
14 of time during your tour?
15 A. So I believe, yes.
16 Q. How did he get out?
17 A. The answer is, I don't know but I have to
18 assume that he went on the helicopter.
19 Q. Once he was on that helicopter, could he have
20 gone to Kiseljak and checked on things in Kiseljak
21 without checking with you, Brigadier?
22 A. Well, I wouldn't have expected him to check
23 with me. That's his own business where he went.
24 Q. But he could have easily gone to Kiseljak and
25 checked on things in Kiseljak?
1 A. I assume he could have flown into any
2 HVO-occupied territory.
3 Q. He could have easily gone into his area of
4 control in Vares as well?
5 A. If he'd wished, yes.
6 Q. These helicopter trips could have been made
7 on short notice for a few hours at a time given the
8 distance between Vitez and Kiseljak?
9 A. If he wished, yes.
10 Q. So come to June, we at least have helicopter
11 flights going between the Vitez pocket and areas
12 outside, and we at least know that Petkovic is
13 travelling between the roads between Vitez and Kiseljak
14 in some fashion without an armoured personnel carrier;
15 is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Would that indicate to you, Brigadier, that
18 the flow of information between various areas under the
19 control of the HVO was pretty steady and pretty
21 A. Yes, it would. I mean, there was clearly a
22 system within there of radio calls, helicopter flights,
23 and commanders transiting.
24 Q. Now, you were asked some concluding questions
25 by Defence counsel concerning politicians being
1 responsible for ethnic movement. Do you recall that
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Who is the manipulator and the instrument for
5 that policy?
6 A. Of the ...
7 Q. For the ethnic movement?
8 A. Well, it is suggested by Valenta and put out
9 by Kordic, but the implementation itself has to be done
10 by troops.
11 Q. You were likewise asked a question on
12 cross-examination on page 4 of your document concerning
13 the internal security of the area being controlled by
14 Kordic in conjunction with Blaskic and Blaskic being
15 involved in the military defence of the area.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Contrast those two. Are we talking civilian
18 and military. Complete that thought for me.
19 A. We're talking about Blaskic being involved
20 with the civilian administration of the civilian
21 people. Sorry. Kordic being involved with the
22 civilian administration, with the mayor, with Santic
23 with Skopljak, and that's that sort of people. But
24 Blaskic was solely responsible for the military
1 Q. Let's move to the last few questions, and
2 just a few more questions, Mr. President, and I'll be
3 through, and let's direct your attention to Grbavica,
4 the feature that was right next to the British camp
5 that was attacked on the 7th of September, 1993, a day
6 after you went on leave; is that right?
7 A. That's right, yes.
8 Q. And I think you've said in response to
9 questions by Defence counsel that the securing of that
10 feature by the HVO was a legitimate military target
11 because it was important to have the spine road open to
12 manoeuvre troops back and forth?
13 A. Yes, absolutely.
14 Q. When you came back, Brigadier, all the houses
15 were burnt, weren't they?
16 A. Yes. The houses on the top of the hill,
17 instead of being put into a state of fortification and
18 used as a defensive area, had been burnt and flattened.
19 Q. You were in the Lasva Valley for some seven
20 months. Was that consistent with the way the HVO
21 attacked villages up and down the Lasva Valley?
22 A. That is the standard, if you like, modis
23 operandi of those forces, they would attack and they
24 would also raze the buildings, set fire to them.
25 Q. You noted in response to questions on cross
1 that there was no military purpose to destroy those
3 A. There wasn't. In fact, it was to the -- I
4 believe it would have been to their advantage to have
5 kept those buildings up.
6 Q. And prior to this time, Blaskic told you, did
7 he not, that he was going to have to attack Grbavica
8 and clear the Muslims out of there; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Houses are burnt for no legitimate military
11 reason, consistent with houses burnt throughout the
12 valley. What message do you think that Blaskic and the
13 HVO were trying to send to the Muslims?
14 A. Sending a very clear message that there is no
15 house to come back to. Don't ever think of coming
17 Q. And they haven't, have they?
18 A. They haven't. No one's returned.
19 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me one moment,
20 Mr. President, while I consult with my colleague.
21 I have no further questions. Thank you,
23 JUDGE JORDA: General, you are now going to
24 be asked some questions by the Judges. We will start
25 with Judge Riad.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Brigadier
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE RIAD: I listened very carefully to
5 your detailed testimony, and I have some -- I have
6 listened very carefully to your detailed testimony, and
7 I would like to ask some questions without going into
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 JUDGE RIAD: You were very clear in
11 establishing the dichotomy between the political
12 decision of ethnic cleansing --
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE RIAD: -- which you were able to
15 understand clearly from Anto Valenta and then from the
16 discussion with Blaskic and Kordic on the 9th of May.
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE RIAD: -- and between the
19 implementation of this policy by the military because
20 the political hasn't got the instruments to execute it.
21 So granting that this decision was a
22 political decision, could the military do it without
23 all the violence you have been describing, without the
24 violation of international humanitarian law you have in
25 detail been describing? Could it have been implemented
1 in a different way?
2 A. If people agree to leave their homes, sir,
3 and voluntarily walked away and say, "I've been here a
4 hundred years with my family. I wish to walk out."
5 But people didn't. They wished to say. The Muslims
6 who were removed, I believe, had been forcibly ejected,
7 and that was the only way they would get them out. I
8 don't think -- I mean, it can never be necessary to do
9 that. It seemed a barbaric and inhuman way of -- it is
10 the ethnic cleansing. It is an awful business.
11 JUDGE RIAD: So, for instance, could it have
12 been done without burning the houses which you have
13 just mentioned, between sending civilians to dig
14 trenches, without killing, and all that sort of thing?
15 A. I suppose it could have been.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Was this a must?
17 A. I think the burning of the houses is a must
18 because then people will not return. If you take
19 people out of their house and you send them away and
20 they know their house is standing, there's some hope to
21 go back. But if you demolish their house and set fire
22 to it and there is no more house, they have nothing to
23 return to.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Now, where is the limit here
25 between the political and the military, in your
2 A. In my opinion, the political ideas came and
3 the political said that this must happen, and I go back
4 to my comments that the military were the instrument,
5 they were the tool that was used to carry out the
6 political will.
7 JUDGE RIAD: And it was carried out well?
8 A. Yes, very efficiently.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Because you mentioned that
10 Colonel Blaskic was promoted to General.
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE RIAD: And you took that as a sign of
13 his devotion?
14 A. I took that as a sign that he was entirely in
15 agreement with the political requirements and what had
16 happened in Vitez and that his political and military
17 masters were very happy with his performance, and what
18 had happened in Vitez he had done well, as they wished,
19 and he was a trusted member of the Bosnian-Croat
20 community, and therefore he was promoted.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Why did you say "political
22 masters"? You mentioned in a meeting with him and
23 Kordic, they both indicated that ethnic cleansing was a
25 A. By "political masters," sir, I meant the
1 political structure, the Mate Boban, the structure at
2 that level. That level were pleased with what he had
3 done, but I think there must have been a meeting of
4 minds between Valenta, Kordic and Blaskic, they were
5 working together. It was the complete effort.
6 JUDGE RIAD: So there was no master and
7 disciple, it was some kind of joint policy?
8 A. Yes, with each responsible, one for the
9 doctrine, one for the policy, the vision, and then down
10 to the bottom for implementation.
11 JUDGE RIAD: You were clear enough by saying
12 that a General or a Commander can refuse to violate
13 international humanitarian law?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE RIAD: And even at the expense of
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Do you think that was possible
19 during this period in this part of the world, if a
20 commander would say, "No, I'm not going to do that"?
21 A. I don't see why. It must have been possible.
22 JUDGE RIAD: It would have been possible?
23 A. It would have been possible, yes. I mean, I
24 think they would have found somebody else.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Somebody else?
1 A. Yes, but I think it would have been possible.
2 JUDGE RIAD: You even went further, and when
3 you spoke of the Convoy of Joy, you indicated that this
4 operation could not have taken place without the minute
5 organisation of the military.
6 A. Yes, sir, because the military are extremely
7 efficient at conducting a plan and coordination and
8 getting everybody working together. That is what the
9 military machine does. It does it very efficiently.
10 JUDGE RIAD: So you think that this would be
11 a military responsibility?
12 A. I think the military, the way it was done,
13 the advice for that, would come from the military.
14 JUDGE RIAD: And they should be held
15 responsible for it?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE RIAD: You later on spoke of the
18 request of the Red Cross and United Nations to release
19 prisoners, to release civilians.
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 JUDGE RIAD: And failure to comply with this
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE RIAD: What was the reason for not
25 complying with this request?
1 A. I think I have to say that both Muslims and
2 Croats kept their prisoners as a bargaining tool and
3 also to use, as I was aware, for labour on the trenches
4 of both sides, and both were using prisoners for that.
5 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that in some
6 cases, the orders of General Blaskic, I suppose, or
7 Colonel Blaskic, were not executed, and then when you
8 refer to him and he went himself -- I caught your
9 words, to speak personally to the troops --
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE RIAD: -- they would then follow the
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 JUDGE RIAD: In essence his command, in the
15 last analysis, was obeyed.
16 A. Yes, sir, and in my statement I said there
17 was only one occasion when I saw his command disobeyed,
18 and it was on that Convoy of Joy meeting when we said,
19 "Commander Blaskic has said this is to happen," and
20 the people and the troops didn't care. That was the
21 one occasion that I can recall, the only occasion
22 throughout the seven months. At all other times, they
23 would immediately carry out his wishes.
24 JUDGE RIAD: You also mentioned that it was
25 easy to cover huge distances through the means of
1 communication --
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE RIAD: -- although there was sometimes
4 some electrical troubles.
5 A. It's not easy, but there were various
6 channels of communication, both by word of mouth, by
7 foot, by letters, by faxes, by telephones that were
8 available, and radios, a complete mix.
9 JUDGE RIAD: So in short, there was no major
10 obstacle to know what's happening.
11 A. No, sir, there wasn't an obstacle at all.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Granting that it was a political
13 decision, do you think the implementation could be done
14 by the small commanders?
15 A. No, sir, I don't, because these so-called
16 small groups are part of the armed forces in the
17 pocket. If you are to maintain a credible defence, if
18 you suddenly discover that 30 or 40 people are acting
19 against your wishes in some area, how can you possibly
20 have that as a commander? It makes no sense to me.
21 You are trying to defend your pocket against the BiH
22 army. You can't afford to have somebody independently
23 doing something, expending your ammunition, expending
24 your food, your petrol in moving around, you need that
25 valuable petrol and those forces to be part of your
1 reserves. And independent action simply can't be part
2 of the plan unless you yourself have ordered it and you
3 know about it.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Could I conclude from your
5 testimony that you meant to say that Colonel Blaskic
6 took an active part in the ethnic cleansing --
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 JUDGE RIAD: -- in short?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
11 A. Thank you, sir.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Brigadier General.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, General. My
14 colleague asked some very important questions. I would
15 like to go back to one or two points which were not
16 taken up.
17 During the meeting of the 9th of May, '93,
18 when Ahmici was spoken about, there was an
19 investigation underway. What is your feeling when the
20 accused says that the -- said that the accused was
21 proceeding but that the HVO was not responsible. What
22 did that mean for you, you and the general staff?
23 A. I couldn't believe that the solution offered
24 of these Muslims or Serb extremists or whatever was in
25 any way plausible. I mean, it had to be HVO. There
1 were HVO soldiers moving 150 Muslim prisoners away.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I understood that. What I
3 meant is, in your mind, you in the British battalion,
4 could you say both that there is an investigation which
5 is underway but it's not the HVO? Is that logical?
6 What would you say about that?
7 A. I'm not entirely clear. Could I say that
8 there was an investigation underway but it's not the
9 HVO? That would be illogical. That was illogical.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, yes, that's what I wanted
11 to know because I was very struck by that, struck by
12 the fact that there is an investigation underway but
13 it's not the HVO. That's something which really flies
14 in the face of good sense.
15 A. Yes. They had effectively ruled out HVO
16 involvement from the word go. They just said, "Well,
17 it's not HVO, therefore we can't find out who else it
19 JUDGE JORDA: You said that the accused was
20 familiar with the Geneva Conventions. Did you speak
21 with him about that? As a professional soldier, you
22 said that he would know the Geneva Conventions. Did
23 you know that he should have known him or that he
24 really did know them, that he actually knew them?
25 A. I never confirmed that he actually knew them
1 but we did talk about the prosecution of war within
2 decent boundaries of behaviour, and I told him that he
3 was behaving in a fashion that was not the way
4 civilised armies behaved.
5 JUDGE JORDA: At the end of your testimony,
6 you said about the accused that he was a reasonable and
7 honest person. That was confirmed by the Defence. And
8 then on several occasions you said also that you caught
9 him flagrantly, blatantly lying. Is there an apparent
10 logic there in what you're saying, that you can say
11 that this person is reasonable, that he's honest; at
12 the same time that every time you talk with him, at
13 least when you talk about important points, you have
14 the feeling that he's lying?
15 A. There is a -- when I was there in the Balkans
16 talking to all sides, to Serbs, Croats and Muslims, I
17 was well aware that horrific crimes had taken place all
18 over the country. I had some fascinating talks with
19 Commander Blaskic, and you can't walk into every
20 meeting thinking, "This man is a complete bastard."
21 You've got to establish a rapport. And therefore, we
22 did have a good rapport. We talked. Whatever I
23 thought about him and his behaviour, I would not
24 communicate that in a meeting. It would be
25 counterproductive for me to walk into every meeting, to
1 bang the table and say, "You're a murderer, you've done
2 this, you've done that." I mean, it would get me
3 nowhere, and repeating that.
4 In order to establish a rapport between the
5 two of us, I spoke as normally as possible. And so
6 there's almost a dual relationship on one side -- yes,
7 I knew what was going on and I disliked what he had
8 done and I didn't like the way he was doing it -- on
9 the other side, I had to maintain a rapport with him
10 because if we didn't talk, it would not help both of
12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. When you spoke
13 about the Convoy of Joy, you said that there was an
14 agreement with the Croatian government which was agreed
15 to by Mate Boban, and at the same time you said that
16 the accused had stated there would be difficulties with
17 the passage of that agreement. What conclusions did
18 you draw from that? There were two conclusions that
19 could be drawn from that. When someone says that there
20 will be difficulties, one could conclude that there
21 will not be sufficient authority in order to allow it
22 to go through or, conversely, that the authority is
23 such that he already knows that the convoy will be
24 stopped, will be attacked, will be looted.
25 What were your conclusions, that he had
1 authority or that he did not have authority?
2 A. My conclusion was that he was giving me, if
3 you like, warning that the convoy would be attacked.
4 He was laying down an early statement to say that,
5 "Look, it's going to be attacked. You know, I won't
6 be able to prevent it," in a way, trying to disown it,
7 to abrogate his responsibility.
8 JUDGE JORDA: I think I have no further
9 questions. I did have had another one and it has
10 already been asked. General, the Tribunal is
11 appreciative for your having come, having spent this
12 long day and answered all the questions.
13 Nonetheless, there is a procedural difficulty
14 which remains which has to do with the production of
15 documents 387 and 382, 385 -- 389. This gave rise this
16 morning to a rather heated discussion, and one of the
17 consequences will be that if the issue was not settled,
18 that you might have to come back, which is not
19 necessarily the best thing, certainly for you.
20 I suggest the following: That we adjourn so
21 that we can allow the interpreters to rest for about
22 ten minutes and that you remain available to the
23 Tribunal, if you don't mind, because depending upon
24 what decision we take, you would remain in the room
25 that's been assigned to you because, together with my
1 colleague, I would like to have a small status
2 conference in-camera in order to settle this type of
3 problem having to do with the production of evidence,
4 and that in relation to that, we'll see whether it's
5 necessary to see you again, either this evening or
6 tomorrow morning.
7 It is now a quarter after five. We will
8 adjourn for about ten minutes and resume then. We will
9 have a status conference and see what should be done.
10 We will now suspend for ten minutes.
11 --- Whereupon the proceedings adjourned
12 to Thursday, the 4th day of June, 1998
13 at 10.00 a.m.