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  1. 1 Friday, 25th September, 1998

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated.

    5 Mr. Registrar, will you have the accused brought in?

    6 (The accused entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Registrar, will you

    8 have the witness brought in?

    9 (The witness entered court)

    10 JUDGE JORDA: General, do you hear me?

    11 Please be seated.

    12 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Are you ready for us to

    14 resume? Have you had a rest?

    15 THE WITNESS: Yes. I'm ready to continue

    16 working.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, it's your witness.

    18 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.


    20 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    21 Q. Yesterday, at the end of the day's session,

    22 we were focusing on document D244, of which you said

    23 that it had been written by the commander of the 1st

    24 Battalion on the basis of Brigade Commander Cerkez, and

    25 the document is D243. Tell me, please, this is a good

  2. 1 example of the functioning of the chain of command.

    2 Was this customary, or is it a fact that Anto Bertovic

    3 was the only educated military officer in the Viteska

    4 Brigade, and this was reflected in his adequate

    5 military behaviour?

    6 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this order shows

    7 the efforts of the commander of the Operative Zone for

    8 the chain of command to be fully observed at lower

    9 levels, and his persistent efforts to overcome all

    10 obstacles on the way to achieving that goal was,

    11 obviously, bearing fruit at lower levels already.

    12 So the fact that Anto Bertovic, the commander

    13 of this battalion, was a trained officer resulted in

    14 the order that he received from the brigade being

    15 transferred to the subordinates in the battalion as

    16 required by military principles and laws of behaviour

    17 in the chain of command.

    18 MR. NOBILO: May I ask the usher for his

    19 assistance?

    20 Q. I don't recall exactly whether we have

    21 authenticated this document. If we haven't, do you

    22 recall Cerkez's order and Blaskic's order on the basis

    23 of which Cerkez drafted his order? Can you recognise

    24 this as implementation of Cerkez's order?

    25 A. I remember the order of the commander of the

  3. 1 Operative Zone. I personally know the battalion

    2 commander Anto Bertovic but, in view of the level of

    3 command at which I was engaged and where this order was

    4 written, I did not have a chance to see it.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Could the next document be

    6 distributed, please?

    7 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D245, D245A

    8 for the English translation.

    9 MR. NOBILO:

    10 Q. We have been talking about the 1st Battalion,

    11 the commander of which was Anto Bertovic, the only

    12 educated officer in the brigade. Can you cast a glance

    13 at this document which was drafted on the same day? As

    14 far as you recollect, is this the composition of the

    15 1st Battalion of the Viteska Brigade on the 14th of

    16 April, 1993?

    17 A. Yes. That is the composition of the

    18 battalion of which the mentioned officer was the

    19 commander, but I should like to comment on a matter

    20 that we were focusing on yesterday. You see, in the

    21 heading, we see the brigade, but you can also see that

    22 the same structure remained, according to the

    23 villages: The 1st Company, Nadioci, 20 men; Santici,

    24 12 men; Dubravica, 19; Poculica, 13. What does this

    25 mean? It means that you have a company which, if it

  4. 1 was a proper military unit, it should have 1st Platoon,

    2 2nd Platoon, 3rd Platoon, but here the units are called

    3 after the villages, Nadioci, Santici, and so on.

    4 Q. Very well. So these are names of villages in

    5 Vitez municipality?

    6 A. Yes. You can see what I said yesterday, that

    7 our goal was to have a parity structure, that is, to

    8 have the proper structure of a brigade. In spite of

    9 those efforts, the same problems remained, and that is

    10 that the army was organised on the basis of the

    11 territorial principle: One village, one unit. As far

    12 as I know, at that time, the situation was rather like

    13 this also in the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    14 Q. As for the strength, we see that every

    15 company should number 92 men, but if we add up these

    16 figures, you will agree with me that that envisaged

    17 strength was not achieved.

    18 A. As far as the numerical strength of the

    19 brigades we mentioned yesterday are concerned, I said

    20 that in the command we tried to standardise the brigade

    21 and to define its permanent size. However, in view of

    22 a shortage of military conscripts, we never managed to

    23 achieve more than 60 per cent of the envisaged strength

    24 of the number established for the brigade.

    25 MR. NOBILO: In connection with this, we will

  5. 1 distribute a document to see how a brigade was manned.

    2 THE REGISTRAR: D246, D246A for the English

    3 version.

    4 MR. NOBILO:

    5 Q. Brigadier, we have here the Frankopan

    6 Brigade, Guca Gora, Travnik. The date is the 17th of

    7 May, 1993. Could you comment, what does this column

    8 "envisaged strength" and "actual strength" imply? If

    9 you could also comment on the points like the

    10 Anti-Armour Battalion, the Artillery Rocket Battalion,

    11 where the differences were particularly considerable

    12 between the envisaged strength and the actual strength?

    13 A. It is visible from this report what the

    14 defined structure of the brigade was that we had

    15 envisaged at the level of the command of the Operative

    16 Zone. That is, that every brigade should number 2.841

    17 men. However, in the far right column where we have

    18 the expression "actual strength," we see how the

    19 manning actually was. We have the figure for the

    20 command, 28, command house, 33, et cetera.

    21 When we're talking about the Artillery Rocket

    22 Battalion, we manned it with as many men as we had,

    23 because it was not rational to have soldiers to man a

    24 certain artillery piece if that piece was lacking. In

    25 terms of the need to engage the infantry, it was

  6. 1 important to have as many men as possible to defend the

    2 lines against the Serbs.

    3 It is also important to underline the date of

    4 this report, and that is the 17th of May, 1993, when,

    5 because of the developments in our area, we fully

    6 mobilised all available personnel.

    7 Q. I should like to draw your attention to point

    8 4. It says, "Communications Company." What was that

    9 company doing? What was its task?

    10 A. The Communications Company in this brigade

    11 had the task of organising communications for the needs

    12 of the brigade commander, to organise communications

    13 between battalion commanders and the brigade commander

    14 using the devices they had at their disposal.

    15 I know, in this particular case, in the case

    16 of this brigade, because in the course of my regular

    17 duties, I occasionally visited this brigade, and I know

    18 that they had about 10 telephones and a certain

    19 quantity of wire for wire connections. As far as I

    20 know, they had one or two automatic telephones and,

    21 perhaps, one telefax. In the case of this

    22 communications company, they had no other devices.

    23 Let me repeat: The Communications Company's

    24 duty was to organise communications within the brigade.

    25 Q. Is it because of the lack of resources that,

  7. 1 instead of having 112 men in this company, which should

    2 have organised communications upwards and down the

    3 command chains, there were only 19. Is that the

    4 explanation?

    5 A. Yes. That is certainly one of the key

    6 reasons, but also in defining the number of men,

    7 according to establishment, it is obvious how much

    8 importance is attached to communications for the

    9 functioning and for implementing commands, and that one

    10 of the reasons for planning so many men in this company

    11 is this. But the reason why there were only so few,

    12 let me repeat, was the shortage of equipment.

    13 Q. Thank you. Can you confirm the contents of

    14 this document and the stamp?

    15 A. I can confirm this document, because it was

    16 drafted at the request of the commander of the

    17 Operative Zone, and it reached the Operative Zone

    18 command. On behalf of the commander, it was signed,

    19 Brigade Commander Ilija Nakic by Franjo Lujanovic, his

    20 assistant for personnel and legal affairs, whom I know

    21 personally, and I also know his signature.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please?

    23 THE REGISTRAR: Document D247, and D247A for

    24 the English version.

    25 MR. NOBILO:

  8. 1 Q. Brigadier, I will read only two or three

    2 lines from this document, which I consider to be

    3 important. It was drafted in the Operative Zone of

    4 Central Bosnia on the 26th of March, 1993. It is

    5 signed by Tihomir Blaskic, and the heading says:

    6 "Clarification on Persons Authorised to Appoint and

    7 Dismiss Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers." Under

    8 point 1, it says: "1) The President of the Croatian

    9 Community of Herceg-Bosna is in charge of appointing

    10 and dismissing brigade commanders and other high

    11 ranking officers. 2) The head of the defence office

    12 and the commanders authorised by him appoint and

    13 dismiss other officers, that is, persons who have been

    14 proposed for these officer posts. 3) The brigade

    15 commander may appoint and dismiss the commanders of

    16 platoons, squads, and other non-commissioned officers

    17 and military staff."

    18 Tell me first whether you recognise this

    19 document and Blaskic's signature and the stamp of the

    20 Operative Zone?

    21 A. I am familiar with this document, and it is,

    22 indeed, signed by General Blaskic.

    23 Q. And the stamp?

    24 A. The stamp is of the command of the Operative

    25 Zone.

  9. 1 Q. Tell me the circumstances under which this

    2 document was written and what was its aim when it was

    3 sent to units?

    4 A. The document was drafted in the process of

    5 transformation of the organisation of units and

    6 commands. That was the period when we were setting up

    7 brigades, and it came into being in response to

    8 questions by our subordinates as to the way to behave

    9 administratively regarding proposals for the

    10 appointment of commanders in their units. So this is

    11 just a part of standard communication when the superior

    12 explains certain procedures to his subordinates.

    13 Q. This is an instruction, and it is referring

    14 to legal regulations in force in Herceg-Bosna at the

    15 time. But tell us, did this actually happen in

    16 practice or was this the legal framework that efforts

    17 were being made to implement?

    18 A. I said this is an explanation of

    19 administrative procedures as to how proposals should be

    20 submitted. Yesterday, when we were talking about

    21 actual decision making and appointment of commanders,

    22 we said who did it, which means you could make a

    23 proposal for the appointment of a brigade commander or

    24 the commander of a lower unit if it was approved by the

    25 municipal authorities, if we were talking about the

  10. 1 municipal level, or a lower level, that would mean the

    2 political representatives in the villages.

    3 So I'm underlining, this is an explanation of

    4 the administrative procedure in implementing legal

    5 regulations cited here in the preamble. But what

    6 happened in practice, I explained yesterday.

    7 MR. NOBILO: Can we go on to the next

    8 document?

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Do we have French translations

    10 of these documents or will we have them at some point

    11 in time?

    12 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President. The next

    13 document has been translated into French, and we have

    14 asked the translation section to translate all these

    15 documents into both English and French, but there was,

    16 indeed, a large number of those documents, and they

    17 have been working very hard, and I think they are still

    18 working on it.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you, Mr.

    20 Nobilo.

    21 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Brigadier Marin, you

    22 are saying that this document wasn't, in fact,

    23 implemented, that this is a theoretical document?

    24 A. Mr. President and Your Honours, this document

    25 that we are referring to now is a clarification to

  11. 1 persons of authority, that is, commanders, as to how

    2 they should deal with proposals, to whom they should

    3 submit proposals for appointments of commanders from

    4 the platoon level onwards. So this is an explanation

    5 as to how they should work, but we have said how things

    6 were in practice. If you wish, I can explain this with

    7 an example.

    8 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, please.

    9 A. By way of an example, if you wanted to

    10 appoint a brigade commander, before doing anything

    11 else, the commander of the Operative Zone had to reach

    12 agreement with the municipal authorities and to come to

    13 an agreement as to the name of the person who would be

    14 proposed. When such agreement was reached, information

    15 about that commander would be submitted through the

    16 brigade commander to the commander of the Operative

    17 Zone and further on to the highest level, the president

    18 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

    19 After which, when all these steps were taken,

    20 a document would be drafted on the appointment of this

    21 commander. Throughout this chain, a key role was

    22 played by the political authorities in the

    23 municipality.

    24 JUDGE RIAD: So this is not stated at all in

    25 these documents. The practice went contrary to the

  12. 1 orders, contrary to the administrative documents; is

    2 that what you're saying?

    3 A. Yes, exactly.

    4 JUDGE RIAD: And it was implemented only to

    5 appoint or to exclude or dismiss commanders, to put an

    6 end to their office. So the authorisation of political

    7 authorities at the municipal level was required for

    8 that too?

    9 A. The definition of standard procedures for the

    10 appointment of commanders was the result, or rather, an

    11 attempt to build up an organisation on sound

    12 foundations under those very difficult conditions.

    13 JUDGE RIAD: My question was, how did you

    14 dismiss a commander? Was the permission of the

    15 municipal authorities required for this too, or could

    16 the commander in chief do so directly?

    17 A. The approval was required of the municipal

    18 authorities.

    19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. Have the new documents been distributed,

    22 please, and what are the numbers, please?

    23 THE REGISTRAR: The next number is D248, 248A

    24 for the French translation, and 248B for the English

    25 translation.

  13. 1 MR. NOBILO:

    2 Q. Brigadier, first, could we have you identify

    3 this table? You gave this to me, right?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. What does it represent and where was it taken

    6 from?

    7 A. This table is a structure --

    8 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Brigadier, is there an

    9 English translation of this, counsel? I didn't get

    10 one, if I could have one, please. Excuse me. There is

    11 none on this sheet here. I apologise, there is one,

    12 it's in the same type. I apologise, Mr. President,

    13 counsel.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, please continue now,

    15 Mr. Nobilo.

    16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.

    17 Q. Brigadier, could you tell us, you have given

    18 me this document, this table, where were these tables

    19 taken from and what do they represent?

    20 A. These tables were taken from the manual of

    21 NATO and they refer to the structures of command of the

    22 corps.

    23 Q. Tell me, you're an officer of the federation

    24 of Bosnia and Herzegovina army and now you have are in

    25 the process of introducing the NATO standards in the

  14. 1 army of federation?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. In that connection, you have some

    4 translations of certain manuals?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. And that's exactly where these tables come

    7 from. Before we go on, could you clarify for us, what

    8 does the first document represent, the first table?

    9 A. The first table shows the structure of the

    10 command structure of the corps, district.

    11 Q. Is district the same as what Operative Zone

    12 was in 1993? Are the Operative Zone, the district and

    13 corps one and the same thing?

    14 A. Yes. I wanted to present this table to the

    15 Trial Chamber in order to show what the standards are

    16 for the structure of a military district in the NATO

    17 organisation with the entire command structure. Also,

    18 I would like to compare this table with what the

    19 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command had in 1993 and

    20 in 1992.

    21 Q. Brigadier, according to NATO standards, how

    22 many officers did Tihomir Blaskic need to have in order

    23 to carry out his duties?

    24 A. If you look at the first row, first column,

    25 and you see the number of officers, he was supposed to

  15. 1 have 97 active officers. That is, a total of 151.

    2 Q. The name of this table is "The Table Review

    3 of Executives According to the Organisational Units."

    4 Is that correct?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. Within that table we have a category of

    7 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. And then civilians who are employed by the

    10 military. Can you tell me how many officers did an

    11 Operative Zone need to have, that is according to the

    12 NATO standards?

    13 A. You can see from this table that the

    14 Operative Zone command, according to the NATO standards

    15 was supposed to have 151 officers or 235 active duty

    16 personnel in total.

    17 Q. Mr. President, I see that two tables are

    18 bearing the same title here. We have two tables and in

    19 order to facilitate their identification, the first

    20 table corresponds to the English translation and it's

    21 placed on top. So this is the larger table. The

    22 second table is a smaller table, so that can be an

    23 orientation for you. One refers to the command of the

    24 district and the other one refers to the battalion.

    25 Now we are focusing on the table that talks

  16. 1 about the district command. So, Brigadier, the

    2 district command or the Operative Zone command is

    3 supposed to have 151 officers?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. How many non-commissioned officers?

    6 A. Seventy-three.

    7 Q. How many soldiers?

    8 A. Two.

    9 Q. How many civilian officials?

    10 A. Twelve.

    11 Q. In total what should be the total personnel

    12 according to the NATO standards in an Operative Zone

    13 command?

    14 A. Taken all together, officers, non-commissioned

    15 officers of soldiers and civilians, 235.

    16 Q. Just to remind us, how many persons were in

    17 the Operative Zone command?

    18 A. As I stated yesterday, I said that we had

    19 about 25 persons employed because in those days we did

    20 not have ranks. We did not have non-commissioned

    21 officers in the HVO structures in those days.

    22 Q. And you said that there were only three

    23 persons who had proper military training?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. And when Omer Bozic was transferred to

  17. 1 Kiseljak to the Ban Josip Jelalic brigade, how many of

    2 you had left in April?

    3 A. Colonel Blaskic remained and Ivica Zeko; in

    4 other words, two officers remained there.

    5 Q. In other words, can we conclude that the

    6 number, regardless of the training, but on the basis of

    7 what you actually had there, a number of personnel in

    8 your command was only 10 per cent of what the NATO

    9 standards foresees?

    10 A. From everything that we looked at, it is very

    11 clear.

    12 Q. Very well, let's move on to the next table

    13 which shows a motorised Brigade, organisational table.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, maybe just to speed

    15 up matters a bit, I think that you're trying now to

    16 prove now through your witness, that the military

    17 structures were not ones that corresponded to NATO

    18 standards or the UN standards. So maybe if we could

    19 speed up a bit, obviously, we'll have the right to

    20 re-examination in case the Prosecution will contest

    21 these points because now we are getting lost in the

    22 details.

    23 MR. NOBILO: Very well.

    24 Q. Let's just look at a number of officers and

    25 non-commissioned officers in this table. Do you agree

  18. 1 with me that it should be 32 officers and 212

    2 non-commissioned officers?

    3 A. That is what it states there.

    4 Q. How many trained officers did Viteska brigade

    5 have?

    6 A. In the Viteska brigade, there was only one

    7 officer who had military training and he did not have

    8 full academy training, he just had higher military

    9 school training.

    10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D249, 249A for the

    11 English translation.

    12 MR. NOBILO:

    13 Q. Brigadier, I am going to read several

    14 excerpts from this document now. This is the document

    15 D249. The title is "The HOS, HSP" and it is sent to

    16 the HOS war staff command in Zagreb. It was drafted in

    17 Vitez dated July 1992 and the title of the document in

    18 "Activity Report." And then we have, 1) the following

    19 are under Central Bosnia command: Jajce, Travnik, Novi

    20 Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca, part of the Zenica

    21 municipality; Cajdras, Fojnica, Kresevo, Kiseljak.

    22 That is the Vrbas/Lasva region.

    23 In Item 3, the training camp in Vitez has

    24 been in existence for four months now, 500 troops have

    25 been trained there, and the last item here is Item 5,

  19. 1 where it states; we have never -- and never is

    2 underlined -- under the command of the TO, the HVO that

    3 is, we are the army of the Croatian people and as

    4 members of the HOS, we're prepared to lay down our

    5 lives for them. Then it is signed, commander of the

    6 HOS war staff for Central Bosnia, Major Darko

    7 Kraljevic. Can you tell us what this document

    8 represents? Are you familiar with the facts that are

    9 stated in this document?

    10 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this document is

    11 a report of the commander of the HOS units, which in

    12 this period, and you see the date there, were operating

    13 outside of the HVO organisation -- and later on we will

    14 see exactly the timing of that -- were placed under the

    15 command of the HVO. I believe that what was stated in

    16 Item 3 is incorrect and I think that they are a product

    17 of a certain inclination of the lower ranking officers

    18 to overblow their contribution. We can also see that

    19 this combat formation or unit in reality existed in all

    20 these municipalities that are listed here and had its

    21 own organisation.

    22 You can also see what types of activities

    23 this unit was engaged in during the period referred to

    24 in this report.

    25 Q. So at least in July, as late as July 1992,

  20. 1 there were certain Croatian forces which were not

    2 within the organisation of the HVO?

    3 A. Yes, and you can see that from this report.

    4 Q. Brigadier, let me take you to a new area

    5 now. You talked about the organisation of Brigades.

    6 However, in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, were

    7 there also units, organisations, which were outside of

    8 the organisation of brigades in the Operative Zone of

    9 Central Bosnia? And, if you know, which they were and

    10 can you tell us what they are?

    11 A. Apart from the brigades which have been

    12 mentioned, apart from the brigades which have been

    13 mentioned, those units which were outside of the

    14 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command, there was the

    15 PPN unit, Vitezovi, that is special purpose unit,

    16 because that was their name. Then there was the

    17 military police.

    18 Q. Very well, so there was the military police

    19 and the special purpose unit called Vitezovi. They

    20 both operated within the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,

    21 but outside of Operative Zone command organisation?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Before we move on to the Vitezovi special

    24 purpose unit and its structure and organisation, I

    25 would like to show you a document which is a report

  21. 1 that it sent to its superior command.

    2 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D250,

    3 D250A for the English translation.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to repeat once

    5 again that the documents that are on the ELMO should be

    6 available for the public gallery to see. I have asked

    7 for it several times. It is not so difficult because

    8 even the defence has stated all the documents should be

    9 put on the ELMO. Please choose one of the official

    10 languages of the Tribunal to do it. Usually it's in

    11 English, but we have got public hearings now, so that

    12 the public can be able to follow in an appropriate

    13 manner this trial. Because the public, otherwise, they

    14 know who is speaking, whether Mr. Nobilo or myself.

    15 They can show from time to time the speaker, but when

    16 we are discussing a particular document, I would like

    17 that on the ELMO the cameras show what is on the ELMO

    18 and that should be in one of the two official languages

    19 of the Tribunal. I would like not to have to repeat it

    20 any more.

    21 MR. NOBILO: I have understood.

    22 Q. It is a long report, and I'm only going to

    23 read several excerpts which, I believe, are relevant to

    24 establish the chain of command or the line of command.

    25 Let me read. This is the 18th of February,

  22. 1 1994, to the office of the main headquarters of the HVO

    2 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, to

    3 Ms. Mirjana Loncar personally.

    4 "Following the order of Colonel Darko

    5 Kraljevic, Commander of the PPN Vitezovi, issued on 15

    6 February, 1994, we submit to you this report," and in

    7 the first sentence it states: "The unit, PPN Vitezovi

    8 or the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi, was established

    9 on 10 September, 1992 pursuant to the decree about the

    10 armed forces of the Croatian Community of

    11 Herceg-Bosna."

    12 The last paragraph on the first page, this is

    13 the last paragraph. "Following the order of Brigadier

    14 Milivoj Petkovic, Chief of the Main Headquarters of the

    15 HVO, issued on 14 October, 1992, the Commander of the

    16 Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi, Darko Kraljevic, issued

    17 the order 1-073/92 of 15th of October regarding sending

    18 60 soldiers of the special purpose unit to Grude."

    19 On the next page, page number 2, in the

    20 second paragraph in the Croatian original, it states:

    21 "On 24 October, 1992, after the outburst of

    22 hostilities between the HVO and the ABiH, Defence

    23 Minister Bruno Stojic ordered that the team return to

    24 the area of Central Bosnia."

    25 On page 3, after "The Year 1993," that is the

  23. 1 heading --

    2 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to ask the usher,

    3 when the counsel announces a version of a page, it is

    4 the page that is in the Croatian version and also, very

    5 often, in English, so please put the appropriate page

    6 on the ELMO. Please stay next to the ELMO.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. So under "The Year 1993" heading, it states:

    9 "Following the order of the Chief of the Main

    10 Headquarters of the HVO, number 01-66/93, of 15

    11 January, 1993, the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi was

    12 put in a state of mobile readiness of the highest

    13 degree."

    14 On the next page, this is page 4 of the

    15 Croatian document, paragraph 5, it states --

    16 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. The

    17 interpreters are looking for the text.

    18 MR. NOBILO:

    19 Q. I will repeat the text. It is page 4 of the

    20 Croatian original, paragraph 5. "The report number

    21 2-091/93 of 15 March, 1993 was sent to the Head of the

    22 Department of Defence, Mr. Bruno Stojic, and to the

    23 Chief of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army,

    24 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic. It reported about the

    25 activities of the Vitezovi Special Purpose Unit during

  24. 1 the conflicts in Central Bosnia."

    2 On page 6 of the Croatian text ...

    3 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, Mr. Nobilo, but when

    4 a text is so long, not only the public has to be able

    5 to follow, but also the Prosecutors as well. I think

    6 that maybe if it's a longer text, it would allow also

    7 the usher to put it on the ELMO, and also, the counsel

    8 for the Prosecution would also be able to follow it a

    9 bit better.

    10 Generally, I'm trying to speed up our debate,

    11 but when a document is long, we also must be able to

    12 have a proper reference. When you say "page 6,

    13 paragraph 3 of the Croatian text," could you please

    14 find the proper references in English, and I will find

    15 it for myself later on. Also, I think the interpreters

    16 are thanking me as well, which is perfect.

    17 MR. NOBILO: That is correct, Mr. President.

    18 It is a bit complicated. However, I think we have the

    19 exact text which I would like to read. This is

    20 paragraph 2, and it starts, "Following the order

    21 number," and so on. We have it on the screen, and I

    22 believe the interpreters will be able to handle it.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: This is what page?

    24 Unfortunately, the English version hasn't got any page

    25 numbers, but it seems to be page 6 of the English

  25. 1 version, starting "Following the order of the

    2 commander." Thank you.

    3 In that case, please proceed.

    4 MR. NOBILO: Yes. If you'll look at the

    5 monitor, I know that in the Croatian version, it is

    6 page 6, but I see the corresponding page in English.

    7 Let me read it.

    8 Q. "Following the order number 01-10/78/93 of

    9 the Commander of the General Corps, Colonel Tihomir

    10 Blaskic," and we don't see the numbers particularly

    11 well. "The Vitezovi Special Purpose Unit took over the

    12 control and defence of Zabrdze, but not in its

    13 entirety, because two-thirds of it were already under

    14 the control of the Muslim armed forces."

    15 Then on the same page, I'll read the last

    16 paragraph. It starts with "Communication." It's the

    17 next page of the English translation where it refers to

    18 communication, so it is at the very top. It's actually

    19 the first full paragraph.

    20 "We had practically no communication with

    21 our superiors in that period of time. We were forced

    22 to handle the paperwork the way we supposed it should

    23 be done, as nobody among us had the professional

    24 knowledge needed for such work. Each time we called

    25 the General Corps and asked for instructions, the

  26. 1 answer was short and similar, 'Call Mostar.'" Let me

    2 mention again, it is well-known how the communication

    3 lines worked back then. Then it is signed by the

    4 Deputy Commander of the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi,

    5 Major Dragan Binac.

    6 I would like to take you back to the first

    7 page of this report. Could you just answer very

    8 precisely the questions which I asked of you? Why does

    9 the Vitezovi unit send a report about its work for the

    10 year '92 and '93 to the main command of the Croatian

    11 Defence Council of the Croatian Republic of

    12 Herceg-Bosna? Will you please tell us what is the main

    13 headquarters of the HVO and why is this report

    14 addressed to them?

    15 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the main

    16 headquarters of the HVO is the highest level of command

    17 of the HVO of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the report we are

    18 talking about is addressed to the main headquarters and

    19 not the Operative Zone, because this unit was not under

    20 the direct command of the commander of the Operative

    21 Zone, and it was not part of the organisational

    22 structure, which included the other units coming under

    23 the command of the Operative Zone.

    24 Q. Then we go on to the next question. Under

    25 the title "Report," it says that the Vitezovi unit was

  27. 1 formed on 10 September, 1992. Was that the date when

    2 the HOS unit, from document 249, joined the HVO or is

    3 it something new?

    4 A. Yes. That was the time when the HOS units in

    5 Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of the organisational

    6 structure of the HVO.

    7 Q. I have read out several orders which I

    8 consider to be relevant. Let me now just repeat that

    9 the HOS received, from the Chief of Staff of the Main

    10 Headquarters, Milivoj Petkovic, which is the paragraph

    11 at the top of the second page of the English

    12 translation, which reads -- my learned friend is

    13 marking it -- that an order is received on the 14th of

    14 October, 1992 from the Chief of the Main Headquarters,

    15 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic.

    16 After that, it is said that on the 24th of

    17 October, 1992, they received orders from Defence

    18 Minister Bruno Stojic. Then in 1993, on the 15th of

    19 January, just under the title "The Year 1993," page 4

    20 of the English translation, on the 15th of January,

    21 they are still receiving orders from the chief of the

    22 main headquarters of the HVO in Herzegovina.

    23 Then a couple of paragraphs further down, on

    24 the 15th of March, they receive orders from Milivoj

    25 Petkovic and Bruno Stojic or, rather, they are

  28. 1 reporting to them about their work, that is, to Milivoj

    2 Petkovic and to Bruno Stojic. Page 5 of the English

    3 translation, the top of the page that is now on the

    4 screen, they are sending a report on the 15th of March,

    5 1993 to the Head of the Department of Defence, Bruno

    6 Stojic, and the Chief of the Main Headquarters, Milivoj

    7 Petkovic.

    8 The first order that they received from

    9 Tihomir Blaskic that they mention has the number

    10 01-10/78/93, and as the middle figure indicates the

    11 month, it means October, the month of October.

    12 On the basis of all that we have read so far

    13 and all your knowledge, can you comment on the status

    14 of the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi and what came

    15 under its command?

    16 A. The PPN Vitezovi Special Purpose Unit, as I

    17 have said, was outside the organisational structure of

    18 the command of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. It

    19 was under the direct command of the Ministry of Defence

    20 of Herceg-Bosna, but it was placed under the operative

    21 command of the commander of the Operative Zone. Such a

    22 situation, in terms of command, further complicated or

    23 made difficult control over those forces, and it also

    24 made difficult their assignment to combat duty.

    25 The order made by the commander of the

  29. 1 Operative Zone in 1993 was issued at a time when we

    2 were totally surrounded, and one might say we had no

    3 communications or, rather, no quality communications

    4 with the main headquarters, and because of the

    5 possibility given to use those forces operatonally, the

    6 commander of the Operative Zone did issue a specific

    7 combat assignment to the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi.

    8 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, in very simple and clear

    9 terms, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, in military terms,

    10 could he directly give orders to the Vitezovi? Would

    11 they obey those orders or was this done in another way?

    12 A. The commander of the Operative Zone was not

    13 in a position to be able, directly, to give orders or

    14 to give assignments to the Vitezovi Special Purpose

    15 Unit. But before issuing an order, he first had to

    16 contact the commander of the PPN Vitezovi Special

    17 Purpose Unit, persuade him that the task he intends to

    18 assign to him is indispensable, and only after that was

    19 he able to write an order and send it to the mentioned

    20 commander. That was the situation in practice.

    21 Q. Tell us, in formal and legal terms, special

    22 purpose units in Herceg-Bosna, including Vitezovi, did

    23 they have a special status in relation to brigades, and

    24 were they directly linked to the Defence Ministry?

    25 A. Yes. They had a special status, and, as far

  30. 1 as I'm aware, they also had separate logistics support.

    2 Q. Tell me, Brigadier, could Colonel Blaskic, in

    3 any way, appoint or dismiss the commander of a special

    4 purpose unit?

    5 A. No, because all personnel affairs, logistic

    6 affairs, came under the terms of reference of the

    7 Defence Ministry.

    8 Q. Tell the Court, could Colonel Blaskic and the

    9 disciplinary court and the prosecutor's office, could

    10 it punish members of the PPN unit?

    11 A. No. We did not have the necessary competence

    12 for this.

    13 Q. How do you explain the fact that Colonel

    14 Blaskic did, as frequently as he could, issue written

    15 orders to the Vitezovi, as well as to all other

    16 brigades?

    17 A. These efforts best reflect the extent to

    18 which General Blaskic tried to structure the army.

    19 Q. Do you mean to say that he wouldn't reconcile

    20 himself to such a state of affairs or, rather, what was

    21 your opinion?

    22 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel. The question

    23 should be asked as to what was meant, not what Mr.

    24 Nobilo wants it to mean.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: No. I think Mr. Nobilo was

  31. 1 just about to put his questions.

    2 Mr. Nobilo, please continue. You have a lot

    3 of questions about the Vitezovi left?

    4 MR. NOBILO: Just one or two and then we will

    5 finish this area.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. Brigadier, your expert opinion, in accordance

    9 with the principles of command, was this, according to

    10 your professional opinion, an error in the

    11 organisational structure or was it acceptable?

    12 A. In my opinion, this was an error in the

    13 organisation.

    14 Q. What was the opinion of Colonel Blaskic at

    15 the time?

    16 A. Colonel Blaskic never reconciled himself with

    17 the fact that we had a poor organisation, that the

    18 structure was not adequately developed, and he tried

    19 everything in his power to improve the organisation and

    20 structure and make it more effective.

    21 These written orders had a twofold role. One

    22 was to have written traces, written documents, to show

    23 what measures had been taken. The second was that the

    24 people who were in command of those units and those

    25 forces should be trained and taught how things should

  32. 1 be done. A third point I should like to stress were

    2 the efforts that he made to improve the structure and

    3 the organisation, because he wanted to make progress.

    4 He wanted to create an army that would be ready and

    5 capable of defending the defence lines towards the army

    6 of Republika Srpska.

    7 Q. My last question about Vitezovi: In addition

    8 to these legal problems, were there any factual

    9 problems due to the fact that the Vitezovi were local

    10 men, and who could bring influence to bear on them, in

    11 view of this fact that they were locals?

    12 A. Yes. This unit consisted of men who did,

    13 indeed, make a major contribution on the battlefront

    14 from the very first days of combat with units of

    15 Republika Srpska. In view of this contribution they

    16 made, all these men, and especially their commander,

    17 the late Colonel Darko Kraljevic, in the environment in

    18 which he lived, enjoyed respect from the inhabitants

    19 and the politicians. He was revered.

    20 Such a situation, additionally, made

    21 difficult the implementation of the commands because

    22 the situation made it possible for members of this unit

    23 to have greater leeway in their behaviour.

    24 Another point I wish to make is the fact that

    25 they were directly responsible to the Defence

  33. 1 Ministry. Us being physically separated from the

    2 Defence Ministry also made it impossible for us to

    3 fully control the situation in that unit and the

    4 implementation of its tasks.

    5 This is something that both the members and

    6 the commanders used very skilfully in the following

    7 way: If the commander, Colonel Blaskic, gave an

    8 assignment to that unit and, in their view, this didn't

    9 really suit them, then they would simply say, "We have

    10 to contact Mostar," and then they would find all kinds

    11 of excuses.

    12 Q. Brigadier, I think we've explained

    13 sufficiently the position of that unit.

    14 MR. NOBILO: It is also time to break, in

    15 view of our interpreters.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We are going to have a

    17 15-minute break now.

    18 --- Recess taken at 11.09 a.m.

    19 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, let the accused be brought

    21 in. Mr. Nobilo, please proceed.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.

    23 Q. Brigadier, we will stay slightly more on the

    24 document D250. There are just a few words I would like

    25 to say about this. This document has been addressed to

  34. 1 the Defence office and on the last page it is written

    2 to whom this has been sent to, to the addressee and to

    3 the unit PPN Vitezovi. Did you receive this report in

    4 the Operational Zone? I stress this is a report made

    5 in 1994.

    6 A. Yes, we did receive this report, which can be

    7 seen from the receiving stamp on page 1 in the top

    8 corner, but we received it on the 25th of February,

    9 1994, although it had been written on the 18th of

    10 February, 1992 (sic). I do not know under what

    11 circumstances this report had arrived to the command of

    12 the Operational Zone.

    13 Q. Did Vitezovi very often send reports to you?

    14 A. During the whole time of the war it happened

    15 very rarely. We could say we hardly received any

    16 operational reports or any other reports about the

    17 situation in that unit and the activities of that unit

    18 and of other features, characteristics for that unit.

    19 Q. Thank you. Can I ask the assistance of the

    20 usher now.

    21 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D251.

    22 MR. NOBILO:

    23 Q. Brigadier, before we have a look at this

    24 document, perhaps it would be better to centre it on

    25 the ELMO first. Yes, thank you.

  35. 1 Could you now tell us something about the

    2 military police and its status?

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Can we put it also on the ELMO

    4 so that the public gallery can see it? This is not a

    5 very complex document. No, we are going to start only

    6 when the public gallery will be able to see it. Now

    7 you can proceed, Mr. Nobilo.

    8 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    9 Q. Before we start analysing this document, you

    10 mentioned there were two structures outside of the

    11 brigade and outside of the Operational Zone: one was

    12 the Vitezovi and the other was the military police.

    13 What was the state of the military police in the

    14 Operational Zone in central zone?

    15 A. The military police, together with

    16 the command of the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia

    17 was under the operative command of the commander of the

    18 Operative Zone. It was not part of the organisational

    19 structure of the Operational Zone.

    20 Q. Could you tell me what it means, "operational

    21 commanding"?

    22 A. Operational commanding in the simplest terms

    23 means that a particular unit, a unit with a particular

    24 status and that unit is given to you, so you can use it

    25 in an operation. The commander can use a particular

  36. 1 unit for carrying on particular tasks when it comes to

    2 the military police. In this case, the commander of

    3 the Operational Zone could order them to carry out

    4 operational and military police activities, for

    5 example, monitoring.

    6 Q. Tell me, apart from this operational use of

    7 the military police, was there a direct line of command

    8 of the military police towards another body?

    9 A. The military police was in its organisational

    10 form linked to the Ministry of Defence, and whatever

    11 was linked to the military police was done through that

    12 line chain of command.

    13 Q. Who appoints and dismisses commanders in the

    14 military police?

    15 A. That authority was upon the department of

    16 defence of the Ministry of Herceg-Bosnia.

    17 Q. When it came to disciplinary punishment, was

    18 it under the organisation of the Operational Zone of

    19 Central Bosnia or did they have their own system of

    20 disciplinarian punishment?

    21 A. Disciplinarian punishment was not in the

    22 competence of the Operational Zone, it was dependent on

    23 the military police board.

    24 Q. Some purely police activities, for example,

    25 investigations about criminal deeds and similar

  37. 1 activities, was there a direct chain of command towards

    2 the administration of the military police and the

    3 defence department?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Was the military police obliged to inform the

    6 commander of the Operational Zone or was it obliged

    7 only to make reports to its superiors?

    8 A. The military police was not obliged to inform

    9 the commander of the Operational Zone, but it had to

    10 inform the military police superiors.

    11 Q. All the logistics of the military police, the

    12 weapons and the other supplies, could it rely on its

    13 own logistics?

    14 A. Yes, military police had its own logistics.

    15 The military district, that is the Operational Zone,

    16 provided it with food and with fuel.

    17 Q. Brigadier, let us now look at this schematic,

    18 this is D251. I would also like the cameras to show it

    19 to the public gallery. Would you please explain to me,

    20 what does this schematic represent? Can you also

    21 explain to us what are direct and what are subsidiary

    22 lines of commands?

    23 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, from this

    24 schematic, we can see the complete organisational

    25 structure of the HVO, from the defence department --

  38. 1 Q. Just a moment, Brigadier. Let us first look

    2 at line 2. We have a title, the "Croatian Defence

    3 Council." And then the 5th line there, did it really

    4 mean that those were like ministries in the Government

    5 of Herceg-Bosnia?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. What was under the defence department under

    8 the Ministry of Defence of the Government of

    9 Herceg-Bosnia?

    10 A. We can see from this schematic that under the

    11 Ministry of Defence, there was the command of the

    12 military police, the main headquarters of the HVO and

    13 the security department.

    14 Q. On the main headquarters of the HVO, what was

    15 directly under it?

    16 A. Directly under the main headquarters of the

    17 HVO were the Operational Zones. That is the commands

    18 of the military districts.

    19 Q. And directly under the third Operational

    20 Zone, this was the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia,

    21 which is the issue in this case, which units were under

    22 it?

    23 A. We can see from the schematic that these were

    24 the brigades, Vitez, Kafron Vitez (phoen), Banja Letic

    25 (phoen) from Kiseljak --

  39. 1 Q. And the others were mentioned yesterday?

    2 A. Yes, the ones we answered yesterday and also

    3 some additional units like us, the air defence one and

    4 the artillery and rocket division.

    5 Q. Thank you. If we analyse now units which

    6 were in Central Bosnia, do you agree with me when I say

    7 that these were all units that are here in the same row

    8 here on this schematic as the markings for the third

    9 zone, the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia? I'm

    10 sorry, not all the units, but the units Vitezovi. I am

    11 going to correct myself and rephrase the question.

    12 Could you explain on the schematic, the status of the

    13 unit Vitezovi?

    14 A. The status of this unit, Vitezovi, we can see

    15 from the schematic, we've got a line here, a full line,

    16 which represents direct subordination and we can see

    17 from here that that unit was under the Ministry of

    18 Defence. And there is a cut line, interrupted line,

    19 represents operational subordination, which depended on

    20 the command of the Operational Zone.

    21 Q. We can see this twofold commanding structure

    22 here. Let us now look at the Operational Zone of

    23 Central Bosnia. We've got here the 4th battalion of

    24 the military police, can you explain to us these two

    25 lines of command?

  40. 1 A. The vertical chain of command here, it was

    2 the administration and the command of the military

    3 police that was in control and the operational use was

    4 something that was the possibility of the commander of

    5 the Operational Zone.

    6 Q. We can see that here. It is a dotted line

    7 that represented. Now, my colleague will mark in pink

    8 this vertical chain of command regarding the 4th

    9 battalion of the military police. There was another

    10 service, not a unit, but a service called SIS, that

    11 they also have these two chains of command, a direct

    12 one and a subsidiary one?

    13 A. Yes, we can see it from the schematic.

    14 Q. My learned colleague is now going to draw in

    15 blue that particular service and that particular chain

    16 of command. Does this schematic faithfully represent

    17 what you have just told us now concerning these two

    18 chains of command?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Thank you.

    21 A. Yes, I can stress it and I can say that this

    22 was, to my mind, an error in the structure,

    23 organisational structure.

    24 Q. Brigadier, we've talked about the

    25 organisation of Brigades. You said that the

  41. 1 organisational forms were very often changed. Tell us,

    2 once the brigades were founded to replace the municipal

    3 staffs and so on, did all these negative impacts,

    4 consequences happen after that?

    5 A. No, we still had those key problems. Those

    6 were the local influences on the commanders. We still

    7 had elements of voluntariness because we had no

    8 instruments by which we could oblige a particular

    9 mission to be carried out. Also, the units still

    10 remained organised on a village system, which we could

    11 see from one of the tables, which we saw today where

    12 villages were lifted. So these crucial, essential

    13 problems still remained.

    14 By trying to find new structural forms of

    15 organisation, the commander of the Operational Zone

    16 attempted to find the best solutions which would

    17 guarantee a proper functioning of the organisation, as

    18 should be the case when it comes to commanding and

    19 organising.

    20 Q. Brigadier, you were one of the closest

    21 collaborators at the time of Colonel Blaskic, what did

    22 he spend most of his working day on in 1992 and 1993?

    23 A. It is correct that I was one of the closest

    24 collaborators of General Blaskic. Such was my duty.

    25 But 90 per cent of his working day, of the working day

  42. 1 of General Blaskic, he used to organise the military

    2 structured organisation, which would efficiently defend

    3 the front-line with Republic of Srpska.

    4 Q. Apart from the efficiency that could be the

    5 result of a better organisational structure, why did

    6 General Blaskic insist so much on the organisational

    7 structure? Were this any other reasons for it?

    8 A. It is logical that if you have a good

    9 structure and organisation, there would be less

    10 breaches of discipline and everything will be done more

    11 efficiently and in a better way. Apart from the purely

    12 military task, all these other things are also very

    13 important and General Blaskic had that in mind and took

    14 steps in order to limit them.

    15 Q. Brigadier, you're an officer of the army of

    16 the federation, it is well known that for a number of

    17 years MPRI, a professional military company, together

    18 with the help of the United States is trying to form a

    19 better situation in the Croatian and Muslim forces in

    20 the federation. When they arrived in 1996, and when

    21 they made a case study of the situation in the HVO,

    22 what were the suggestions and what did they find?

    23 A. 1995 was the year when we made in the HVO a

    24 number of steps forward as compared to 1992. It is

    25 known to me because I have participated in the meetings

  43. 1 with MPRI when they presented some key problems which

    2 still existed in the HVO in 1995. We have probably

    3 improved somewhat on those problems in 1996. The

    4 problems were the following: A bad functioning of the

    5 system of command; no good facilities in terms of

    6 lodgings for the military and the problems of financing

    7 of the army. These were the three facts that were

    8 found by MPRI company when they made a study of the

    9 organisation of that army.

    10 Q. You said that in 1995 MPRI, so two to three

    11 years after this event, said that the HVO did not have

    12 a proper system of commanding. What did that

    13 organisation think how -- much time will it need for

    14 the army of the federation, after which HVO is a part

    15 to build an army on the status of --

    16 JUDGE RIAD: What is MPRI?

    17 MR. NOBILO: Brigadier Slatko Marin will

    18 probably be able to explain that much better than I can

    19 because I know only a few things about the

    20 organisation.

    21 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, MPRI is an

    22 international organisation that is part of the

    23 Government of United States of America and its task is

    24 to form and organise the army of the federation of

    25 Bosnia and Herzegovina. In that organisation works

  44. 1 retired officers of the United States of America, which

    2 had received the task I was just speaking of, our

    3 government has accepted that form of cooperation and we

    4 now cooperate very intensely on the build-up of the army

    5 of the federation together with that organisation.

    6 JUDGE RIAD: Could you please repeat the

    7 conclusions that were made by this organisation, the

    8 three facts that were found.

    9 MR. NOBILO:

    10 Q. Brigadier, could you please tell the Court

    11 once again what were the three main problems in the HVO

    12 found by this American organisation in 1995?

    13 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the company I

    14 was speaking of found the following: The HVO has got

    15 problems because it has not have a proper system of

    16 control and command. Number two, non-existence of

    17 facilities in terms of lodging for a professional

    18 army. That means that we have no barracks. Number

    19 three, financial problems.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Please proceed.

    21 MR. NOBILO:

    22 Q. Brigadier, that was in 1995. Until what year

    23 does this programme of training of the army of the

    24 federation last in order for them to be able to fulfil

    25 the requirements of modern military standards?

  45. 1 A. According to what I mentioned, it will be

    2 necessary up until 2003 to work very intensely so that

    3 the army of the federation could function on the basis

    4 of well-known military standards according to which

    5 function all European armies.

    6 Q. So ten years after the event we're speaking

    7 of?

    8 A. Yes, more or less so.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Please continue.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    11 Q. Brigadier, could you please tell the Court,

    12 during the war between Croats and Muslims in Central

    13 Bosnia, before the war and during that war, what

    14 frontlines towards the Serbs were held by the HVO?

    15 Could you please go to the map and explain which

    16 defence lines were held?

    17 A. We have to change the slide and the following

    18 slide will show the situation as it was then in the

    19 field.

    20 Q. Would you please explain the symbols? Can

    21 you tell us where the Serb lines were and where the

    22 Croatian lines were?

    23 A. Just a few items of information about this

    24 map. This map is on the scale 1:100.000. What does it

    25 mean that 1 centimetre on this map represents 1

  46. 1 kilometre in nature. I am saying this so that you can

    2 have the best possible representation of the situation

    3 on the ground. What you can see here is that in red

    4 are the positions of the army of Republic of Srpska.

    5 In green we see the deployment of the units of the army

    6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also the position of the BH

    7 army towards the Serbs. In blue we can see the defence

    8 lines held by the HVO, and hereby I stress since the

    9 beginning of 1992, even more precisely, since March

    10 1992.

    11 Q. Brigadier, there where you have a red line,

    12 which means a line of the army of Republic of Srpska

    13 and a blue line next to it is not straight next to it,

    14 can we say that this line is held by the army of

    15 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, we should show the

    18 map for the public gallery.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Yes, please.

    20 Q. Brigadier, now the public gallery can also

    21 see the map. So blue lines, the HVO; the red lines the

    22 Serbs and the green lines represent the army of

    23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Please go on, Brigadier.

    24 A. I will try the explain and clarify the

    25 positions of the HVO as towards army of Republic of

  47. 1 Srpska. In Central Bosnia, municipalities of Travnik,

    2 Novi Travnik, Bugojno, Tomislavgrad and Ilano (phoen).

    3 From Livno, that means practically from the Croatian

    4 border, following this blue line through Bugojno, up

    5 until just before the village of Prusac, all this line

    6 was held by the HVO units.

    7 The green line on the Municipality of

    8 Bugojno, part of it, were held by the units of the BH

    9 army. Furthermore, the line that goes in front of the

    10 Municipality of Novi Travnik and up until the point I

    11 am showing now to the village of Busta (phoen). Busta

    12 was also held by the HVO. Then from Busta to Turbe,

    13 that was held by the army of BH army. Then from Turbe

    14 up to Vlasic, this is the hill feature, Vlasicka

    15 Gromila. That was also held by the HVO unit. This is

    16 part of the battle front that was towards the Republic

    17 of Srpska. Furthermore, this blue line going just to

    18 Zepce, it is also where we held the defence lines

    19 towards Republic of Srpska Zepce.

    20 I apologise, there is something that I

    21 omitted here from Vlasicka Gromila and to Zenica we can

    22 see in green lines that those defence lines were held

    23 by the units of the BH army. Something else which we

    24 cannot see here because this map does not represent it,

    25 there also existed another line at Usora towards the

  48. 1 frontlines of Republic of Srpska. Now we're going on

    2 to the area of Vares. Near the town of Vares we had

    3 this line as shown here towards the front-line with

    4 Republic of Srpska. Then we go on to Kiseljak and we

    5 can see there we also have frontlines with Republic of

    6 Srpska army.

    7 It is true that all the defence lines of the

    8 HVO are not shown here. For example, in eastern

    9 Herzegovina. It would have been technically impossible

    10 to represent it on a map of this scale and to my mind,

    11 it would be important, in this particular case, to show

    12 this particular section of the map with the Operational

    13 Zone of Central Bosnia.

    14 Q. Both armies, Croat and the Muslim army had

    15 frontlines with the army of the Republic of Srpska,

    16 could you now draw a conclusion from the

    17 characteristics of the deployment of the BH army which

    18 at least, so it seems to me, held defence lines and is

    19 more deployed in depth of the territory of Central

    20 Bosnia. Can you explain to us this deployment?

    21 A. The focus of the HVO, the way the work was

    22 organised starting in 1992 was to deploy towards the

    23 troops of the Republic of Srpska army, and everything

    24 was geared towards that end. From this map you can see

    25 and this is indeed how things were, the available

  49. 1 forces which held the positions on the front-line. You

    2 can see from here that it was a small line of defence

    3 and it does not correspond to the actual forces which

    4 were deployed in the Central Bosnia area.

    5 Now, let me give you an example, like Novi

    6 Travnik, you see the line. So for this entire

    7 municipality, you see this is the area because we did

    8 say before that the army was organised on the

    9 territorial principles. So in this area, we don't have

    10 any BH army forces. However, the BH army did have a

    11 presence in the Novi Travnik area, but not on the

    12 front-line. They were deployed in the depth of the

    13 territory which is where they were organised and which

    14 was where they were structured, and they would just

    15 deploy within the area. In this way, the army would in

    16 that way gain more and more control over the area

    17 behind the frontlines towards the Serbian army.

    18 That would be behind the HVO backs, the HVO

    19 which held those defence lines against the Serbs.

    20 Q. During the conflict between the Muslims and

    21 the Croats from April 1993 until February 1994, that

    22 is, the Washington Agreement, did the HVO, at any given

    23 time, voluntarily abandon the frontlines towards the

    24 Serbs?

    25 A. The defence lines, which were assumed in

  50. 1 1992, after we had stopped the Chetnik -- I'm sorry,

    2 the Bosnian Serb army troops was kept until June of

    3 1993, that is, until the time when the BH army units

    4 attacked members of the HVO units which were holding

    5 the positions towards the troops of the army of

    6 Republika Srpska. So at that time, in June of 1993,

    7 the HVO withdrew from the positions in the area of

    8 Travnik and Novi Travnik, because this area was now

    9 placed under the control of the BH army, and the HVO

    10 was pushed back.

    11 Q. Very well, Brigadier, I'm going to take you

    12 to a new area which, I believe, is crucial to these

    13 proceedings, and I believe that your expertise will be

    14 significant for this Trial Chamber when they evaluate

    15 the evidence.

    16 I want to ask you some things about the

    17 organisation of command. First of all, what are the

    18 basic characteristics which guide the control and

    19 command in any structured and organised army?

    20 A. The main function, that is, in order for a

    21 system of command control to be operational are as

    22 follows: Planning, organisation, command,

    23 coordination, supervision, and control. Those are the

    24 basic functions which any command and control system

    25 must have.

  51. 1 Q. Very well. Let's go to the control now, and

    2 let's try to see what the situation was in Central

    3 Bosnia Operative Zone. First we have planning or

    4 forecasting. What does that mean? Can you just

    5 clarify this for the Tribunal?

    6 A. Planning, as one of the basic characteristics

    7 of command and control, is activity of the commanding

    8 officer and the command whereby he has to or they have

    9 to forecast, they have to prognosticate, and then act

    10 on that. That is at the level -- this planning was not

    11 implemented formally, either at our command or the

    12 subordinate levels. As I mentioned, this was due to

    13 the lack of trained personnel who would be able to do

    14 this forecasting in a way that a trained officer may be

    15 able to do.

    16 Q. Second, the organisation of work of the

    17 command and units, what can you say about that,

    18 briefly?

    19 A. Any commander, when he lays down the basic

    20 organisational work, first of all, he's going to plan,

    21 and once you have completed your planning, once you

    22 have made your estimates and you have -- you are now

    23 ready to proceed to establish a particular organisation

    24 to accomplish this task. I have already testified to

    25 how much organising work we have done through this

  52. 1 period, for our main objective, which was the defence

    2 against the army of Republika Srpska.

    3 Q. Brigadier, do you think that during the war

    4 you were not successful in building the organisation,

    5 the military organisation, which would effectively

    6 accomplish the tasks set out by your commander?

    7 A. Yes. That is correct. We did not build up

    8 the organisation which would carry out all the tasks

    9 that were before us.

    10 Q. Next, I want to take you to the command.

    11 What are the forms of command?

    12 A. When you have reached a decision, when you

    13 have planned, when you have built an organisation, then

    14 you proceed to the commanding itself. We see that the

    15 command in the Operative Zone was carried out through

    16 written orders and many, many times, a commander of the

    17 Operative Zone insisted orally, verbally, so he was

    18 given oral orders to his subordinates in order to carry

    19 out certain tasks.

    20 Q. In your judgement, orders which were written

    21 by Mr. Blaskic and his associates, were they of better

    22 standard than the other orders which were issued by

    23 others?

    24 A. Yes. That is correct. They were clear.

    25 They were unequivocal. It was clear who was supposed

  53. 1 to carry out what task, how they were going to do it.

    2 However, the conditions in which these orders were

    3 written were such as we have explained earlier.

    4 Q. Is the supervision or monitoring of the

    5 implementation of these orders, can you explain to the

    6 Tribunal what was the significance of the monitoring

    7 and supervision?

    8 A. If you had set up an organisation, you had

    9 issued commands and orders, the next part of the

    10 activity is to ensure that everything was carried out.

    11 So you needed to monitor and supervise, and these are

    12 key factors in the command organisation. If you are

    13 not able to have your orders carried out, the extent to

    14 which these orders are carried out, if the quality of

    15 the job, if you are not able to supervise, if you are

    16 not able to monitor that, if you are not able to

    17 control that, then it was all in vain.

    18 If you are not able, by supervising, to

    19 arrive at additional steps and measures that need to be

    20 taken, your task would not have been accomplished. So

    21 control and supervision is very important.

    22 Q. Let me ask you, what were the specific

    23 problems which were cropping up in the Operative Zone,

    24 especially in the enclaves which were physically

    25 separated from the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia?

  54. 1 A. The key problem in the area which was the

    2 responsibility of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,

    3 the command problem was that precisely because of the

    4 physical separation, we were not able to go into the

    5 area and verify and control directly how things were

    6 implemented there. It was only directly through

    7 reports and through other communications that we were

    8 able to do so.

    9 Q. If you maintain control through irregular

    10 reports, how is that reflected and how do you get a

    11 real picture of what is going on on the ground?

    12 A. If you are not able to directly verify on the

    13 ground how certain orders were carried out, and if such

    14 information comes to you through written orders,

    15 through these reports, you will never be able to find

    16 out fully how certain orders were carried out and what

    17 is the actual situation at a particular line of

    18 defence. Because a local commander will write from his

    19 own vantage point, and it is clear that it would be

    20 very positive, because he knows that you cannot

    21 actually control him, because physically, you cannot go

    22 there and do the verifying process yourself.

    23 Q. What is the role of coordination?

    24 A. Coordination is another important factor,

    25 because all the operations take place in an area where

  55. 1 you have civilian authorities, you have religious

    2 authorities. There is a lot of organisation, a lot of

    3 coordination that needs to be done with respect to

    4 other institutions which are around you and with whom

    5 you have contacts.

    6 Q. Can you tell me specifically what needs to be

    7 done to make certain orders carried out efficiently?

    8 A. In order to fully understand the process of

    9 command and control, all these functions, which I have

    10 here mentioned, need to be carried out cumulatively.

    11 In other words, all of them have to be fully carried

    12 out, and that is prerequisite for full control of a

    13 commander over the situation. If any one of these

    14 factors is missing, then the whole system has been

    15 interrupted.

    16 Q. Brigadier, what are the principles of command

    17 that any commander needs to know when carrying out his

    18 duties?

    19 A. The principles of command are also extremely

    20 important, and let me try and numerate them for you.

    21 It is the unity of command, subordination, the

    22 principle of single command confidentiality, and

    23 operational factors.

    24 Q. Were all these principles which are supposed

    25 to be implemented in every military organisation also

  56. 1 implemented in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. Can you tell me, what would happen if the

    4 chain of command of the Operative Zone in an enclave

    5 was broken, let's say in Zepce or else where? What

    6 would happen then?

    7 A. In principle, one of the principles is the

    8 continuation, the continuity of command and control.

    9 In the military structure of units, a unit must never

    10 be left without a commander. If the communication is

    11 lost, the next superior commander takes over

    12 responsibility for the maintaining of the line of

    13 defence for carrying out all the tasks in the zone of

    14 responsibility.

    15 Q. You also said confidentiality. What was the

    16 confidentiality or secrecy about the command of the

    17 Operative Zone regarding any enclaves which were

    18 physically separated from the Operative Zone command?

    19 I mean communications lines. Did you have means which

    20 would guarantee this confidentiality?

    21 A. No. We did not have such means, and the

    22 level of confidentiality, therefore, was very, very

    23 low.

    24 Q. Could you allow yourself the luxury, for

    25 instance, that a commander in Kiseljak would send you

  57. 1 the exact deployment of his troops, what would that

    2 mean, given the means of communications which you had

    3 available?

    4 A. That would mean, in practical terms, that he

    5 was sending this same information to the enemy. We

    6 only had means of communications which were at amateur

    7 level. They could be deciphered. If there were any

    8 codes, they could be listened to, and no commander

    9 could allow himself the luxury to give the information

    10 on his forces to the enemy's side.

    11 If you will allow me, in such situations, the

    12 reports and tasks which we exchanged were, for the most

    13 part, general and would not contain specific

    14 information.

    15 Q. Brigadier, could you be specific? What would

    16 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or any other enemy,

    17 what would they do if they received this information on

    18 the full deployment or complete deployment?

    19 A. They would take certain steps, and they would

    20 threaten the forces which were on the ground.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, I think that we can

    22 go on without being really military strategists. I

    23 think that if somebody manages to intercept your

    24 communications, I think that it is pretty obvious that

    25 it will have negative consequences for the ones whose

  58. 1 communication was intercepted.

    2 MR. NOBILO: I thought it would be useful to

    3 just discuss some of the military theory here, but let

    4 me move on.

    5 I have the next document. Can I have it

    6 distributed, please?

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, see, we thought

    8 that maybe we could have a 15-minute break at 12.25.

    9 I'm now going to tackle a new subject, or maybe it

    10 would be a better moment to have a break now?

    11 MR. NOBILO: Yes.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, we will have a

    13 15-minute break.

    14 MR. NOBILO: Yes. This is a good idea.

    15 --- Recess taken at 12.23 p.m.

    16 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, do you plan to

    18 complete your examination-in-chief at 1.30 because we

    19 will not be going on after that? We will be resuming

    20 work on Monday at two. I was just asking Mr. Nobilo

    21 whether he plans to finish today? No, on Monday?

    22 MR. NOBILO: We don't believe so, Mr.

    23 President, because this is an extremely important

    24 witness. We have a large number of documents, but we

    25 will probably need two more working days.

  59. 1 JUDGE JORDA: I was just trying to learn what

    2 your plans are, so that the Prosecution can organise

    3 themselves as well. In that case, we will adjourn at

    4 1.30 sharp and resume on Monday at two. So please

    5 continue now.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I

    7 think we've distributed a new document, a schematic,

    8 could I have the number?

    9 THE REGISTRAR: The new document has been

    10 marked D252.

    11 MR. NOBILO:

    12 Q. Brigadier, could you please explain to the

    13 Court what this schematic represents?

    14 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this schematic

    15 shows the levels of command in the Croatian Defence

    16 Council.

    17 Q. You mean in the Operative Zone of Central

    18 Bosnia?

    19 A. Yes, as a part of it.

    20 Q. Would you tell the Court, between the

    21 commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia,

    22 Tihomir Blaskic, and a group of soldiers on the attack,

    23 who are deciding whether to throw a grenade into the

    24 left-hand house or the house on the right, how many

    25 levels of command are there in between?

  60. 1 A. The commander of the Operative Zone was at

    2 the operative level of command. And the subordinate

    3 commanders had the tactical level of command. When the

    4 commander of the Operative Zone would issue a command

    5 in the chain of command, for that order to reach a

    6 group of soldiers or a particular soldier it had to

    7 pass through the following levels of command: the

    8 brigade commander, then the battalion commander, the

    9 platoon commander, the squad commander and finally the

    10 group commander. Then that leader of the group would

    11 issue the order to a group or an individual.

    12 Q. Between the commander of the Operative Zone

    13 and the Brigade commander, we also have commanders of

    14 operative groups that you would form occasionally, what

    15 did they represent? How is an operative group

    16 organised? Who is its commander and the command of

    17 that group as a whole?

    18 A. With the establishment of operative groups,

    19 their establishment reflected the need for more

    20 effective control and command of units and defence.

    21 They were formed under conditions when the army of

    22 Republic of Srpska was exerting strong pressure on the

    23 defence lines and it was then that we undertook to form

    24 these operative groups as I described yesterday. When

    25 we are talking about our operative groups, in our case,

  61. 1 an operative group in the HVO, it didn't have a

    2 separate command, though, according to the rules in a

    3 well-organised army, it should have. However, in our

    4 case, the commander of the operative group was taken

    5 over by the command of the strongest Brigade in that

    6 area. So that in Kiseljak we had the commander of the

    7 Banja Luka Brigade, who was also commander of the

    8 operative group. The activities within that operative

    9 group are under the commander of the command of that

    10 operative group. The same applied to other operative

    11 groups.

    12 Q. Tell us, in the army, is it possible and is

    13 it customary for the commander of an Operative Zone to

    14 give a command to the smallest unit? To a squad? Or

    15 did that order have to go through various levels of

    16 subordinate commanders?

    17 A. If any such act were to be undertaken, that

    18 would be undermining the whole system of

    19 subordination. I do not know of a case of a commander

    20 from such a high level, especially in a structured

    21 army, to give a command the squad commander.

    22 Q. Does that mean, will you explain to the

    23 Court, when a commander of an operative zone issues an

    24 order then all of these levels must issue a new order

    25 on the basis of this original order; is that so?

  62. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Will you tell the Court, the reports coming

    3 from the ground, the assault group says we threw a hand

    4 grenade into a house on the left because they shot at

    5 us and not at the house on the right because they

    6 didn't shoot at us, how does the report reach the

    7 commander of the Operative Zone?

    8 A. The report has to go up the chain of command

    9 the other way around then. The squad will support the

    10 commander of the platoon, the platoon commander, the

    11 company commander, the company commander, the battalion

    12 commander, the battalion commander, the operative group

    13 commander and the operative group commander, the

    14 commander of the operative zone.

    15 Q. And what happens if anyone in that chain of

    16 command fails to execute his duties or does so

    17 inadequately?

    18 A. In the case of reporting, the report will be

    19 incomplete, poor in quality and it will not provide

    20 sufficient information to the commander of the

    21 Operative Zone as to the situation on site, where the

    22 battle is being waged.

    23 Q. Tell me, an order coming from the level of

    24 the Operative Zone, what happens with it? Or maybe it

    25 would be a better idea for me to read an order and then

  63. 1 you can tell me what type of an order it is, from what

    2 level it is coming. Central Bosnia command is writing

    3 to the brigade commander in Zepce. First of all, the

    4 enemy is defined and it says in point 1: After the

    5 regrouping of forces and supply of equipment, the enemy

    6 will intensify its combat activities with the principle

    7 goal of pushing back our forces --

    8 JUDGE JORDA: I am wondering, Mr. Nobilo,

    9 you're reading a document that was not given to

    10 anyone.

    11 MR. NOBILO: That is correct, Mr. President.

    12 I just wanted to read a document which is a typical

    13 order issued by the Operative Zone level. Then I

    14 wanted the brigadier to tell us whether this was indeed

    15 a typical order. The facts are not important, just the

    16 type of order.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: I don't mind, but I wonder if

    18 the Prosecution agrees with this procedure? Mr. Kehoe,

    19 are you in agreement with this procedure or not?

    20 MR. KEHOE: I really am not. With all due

    21 respect, counsel, it's just as difficult to follow

    22 without the actual written document. I am going to ask

    23 if you're going to read something that everybody be

    24 given a copy so that we can all follow along.

    25 MR. NOBILO: Unfortunately we don't have an

  64. 1 English translation. But let me rephrase it.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Never mind, try and find a way

    3 out. You have been speaking alone with so many

    4 documents, but that is not exactly in accordance with

    5 the procedure.

    6 MR. NOBILO: I have put away the document and

    7 we'll try and do without it.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps that would be better,

    9 yes.

    10 MR. NOBILO:

    11 Q. Brigadier, tell me from the level of the

    12 Operative Zone, what do combat orders look like?

    13 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the commander of

    14 an Operative Zone, I said that this was the operative

    15 level, and in his orders he issues assignments to his

    16 subordinates in which he gives the global assignments

    17 by way of example, a unit or an operative group has the

    18 task of organising defence along this front-line. So

    19 the commander of the Operative Zone will assign the

    20 task to organise defence left or right. You have a

    21 feature there, another one there. You have to hold the

    22 enemy and defend the area.

    23 Q. So he will indicate the limits?

    24 A. The borders of the zone of responsibility and

    25 a global assignment, defend it or attack it, then the

  65. 1 brigade commander will define what the task of the

    2 battalion is. Then the battalion commander will

    3 determine what the task of the company is and so on.

    4 As I said, the commander of the Operative

    5 Zone gives the global principle task; whereas the lower

    6 level commanders determine the place, the time and the

    7 forces or units that have to carry it out. If we've

    8 come to the platoon commander, then he will say such

    9 and such a feature needs to be captured, or control

    10 over it needs to be achieved, or it needs to be

    11 protected. In that order, that feature is clearly

    12 defined. It is in most cases a hill or a building or a

    13 particular point in the relief, which is recognisable

    14 in that area.

    15 Q. Using my example of houses on the left and on

    16 the right, who decides at what house a hand grenade

    17 will be thrown?

    18 A. It is either the leader of the squad or, in

    19 most cases, in fact, a small group with three or four

    20 soldiers in it.

    21 THE REGISTRAR: D253, D253A for the English

    22 version.

    23 JUDGE RIAD: I wanted to ask, in document

    24 D252, on the right-hand side of the page, it says,

    25 "Amount of destruction in villages." Do you want to

  66. 1 talk about that too, because you didn't mention it at

    2 all, and it appears in the document, Loncari, and so

    3 on. What is that about?

    4 MR. NOBILO: Your Honours, we will be talking

    5 about that a little later. When we come to the

    6 specific events, we will be coming back to this level

    7 of command and carry out a military analysis. We

    8 didn't comment on it at this stage, but we will do so

    9 later on in our case when the time comes.

    10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.

    11 MR. NOBILO:

    12 Q. Brigadier, please take a look at this

    13 document. It is brief, and for the benefit of the

    14 public, I would like to read it. It says: "Commander

    15 Mijo Bozic from Kiseljak, on the 9th of March, 1993, to

    16 the Command of the Operative Zone in Vitez." He is

    17 obviously giving an explanation, and he says: "Further

    18 to order, strictly confidential number 01-4-36/93 item

    19 1, of 7 April, 1993, and due to the insecurity of the

    20 passage to Vitez and the degree of secrecy of that

    21 order, we cannot send it to you, even though it stands

    22 under number 011-767-1/93." Tell us, how did this

    23 reach Vitez, in view of the stamp that we see on the

    24 original?

    25 A. You mean this explanation?

  67. 1 Q. Yes. The explanation, how did it reach

    2 Vitez, and can you explain the stamp on the original?

    3 A. This document reached us by packet radio

    4 communication. It was received in the communication

    5 centre, as can be seen from the incoming stamp.

    6 Q. Can you explain why Mijo Bozic could not send

    7 this report by packet?

    8 A. The explanation is indicative of the

    9 situation we found ourselves in. When we had

    10 physically separated enclaves and the communications

    11 system was unsafe, passage was impossible, and for

    12 those reasons, they were not able to give us the

    13 document that we required by our order of 7 April,

    14 1993. Because it is impossible to pass through

    15 physically, and if the communications do not guarantee

    16 the confidentiality of the document and the secrecy of

    17 the document, then the only correct way to act, for a

    18 military man, is to inform his superior that the

    19 assignment received cannot be carried out.

    20 This was a document drafted by Mijo Bozic,

    21 and it was normal for him to do so, because he was a

    22 professional soldier, and he knows how the structure of

    23 command and control functions and that the superior has

    24 to be informed about what is happening.

    25 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Next document,

  68. 1 please.

    2 THE REGISTRAR: D255, D255A for the French

    3 version, D255B for the English version.

    4 MR. NOBILO: It must be 254.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: You may continue, Mr. Nobilo.

    6 I'm sorry, Mr. Registrar, for interrupting.

    7 THE REGISTRAR: For the record, this is D254,

    8 D254A for the French version, D254B for the English

    9 version.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Can we have it on the ELMO? The

    11 document is very brief, and I'm going to read it, but I

    12 consider it to be extremely important.

    13 Q. The Croatian Defence Council Headquarters, in

    14 addition to the number, we have the date, "Mostar, 24

    15 August, 1993, military secret, strictly confidential,

    16 urgently sent to Kiseljak and Vitez." The heading is

    17 "Preparing of Actions." It is addressed to Tiho and

    18 Rajic, and the text reads: "Act urgently on the

    19 coordination regarding the group actions in the

    20 direction Kiseljak-Busovaca. Execute mutual

    21 connections and consultations," signed, "Croatian

    22 Defence Council Headquarters, General Major Milivoj

    23 Petkovic." We have the seal, indicating that it was

    24 received by packet.

    25 For the needs of the Court, could you tell us

  69. 1 who Milivoj Petkovic is, where is the main

    2 headquarters, and where it is based?

    3 A. General Milivoj Petkovic, at the time, was

    4 Chief of Staff of the Main Headquarters of the HVO

    5 based in Posulsa.

    6 Q. Is he the number one military man in the HVO?

    7 A. Yes. This is the highest level of command,

    8 the main headquarters of the HVO.

    9 Q. Then it is addressed to Tiho and Rajic. Who

    10 is "Tiho" and who is "Rajic"?

    11 A. "Tiho" is General Blaskic, and "Rajic" is

    12 Ivica Rajic.

    13 Q. What was Ivica Rajic at the time?

    14 A. At the time, he was Commander of Operative

    15 Group 2 based in Kiseljak.

    16 Q. Can you explain, how is it possible that the

    17 main commander should simultaneously send an order to

    18 the commander of the Operative Zone and his

    19 subordinate? Isn't that quite contrary to what you

    20 said? Doesn't that undermine the chain of command as

    21 regulated in the army?

    22 A. Yes, it does, but our physical separation and

    23 inability of the commander of the Operative Zone to

    24 extend any kind of assistance, to have any insight

    25 regarding the situation at the battlefront in Kiseljak,

  70. 1 prompted the chief of staff of the main headquarters to

    2 issue such an order. Therefore, this order is the

    3 product of the situation in place at the time.

    4 By this order, the commander is placing, on

    5 the same level, the commander of the Operative Zone and

    6 the commander of the Operative Group, because the

    7 situation in the theatre was such that the commander of

    8 Operative Group 2 in Kiseljak had to assume

    9 responsibility for all defence operations and

    10 responsibility for the overall situation in that

    11 enclave, that is, in Operative Group 2.

    12 Q. Brigadier, are you familiar with the contents

    13 of this document when you received it in the Operative

    14 Zone, and do you recognise the incoming seal of the

    15 Operative Zone?

    16 A. I recognise the seal but not the contents,

    17 but parts of it I'm familiar with because, at the

    18 morning briefing, General Tihomir Blaskic informed us

    19 of this, and I even have a note in my diary about it.

    20 Q. In military terms, is it acceptable for a

    21 commander to say, "Act urgently on the coordination,"

    22 or "Carry out mutual consultations"? Is that the

    23 wording used between superiors and subordinates or

    24 between two equals?

    25 A. This is not a relationship between superiors

  71. 1 and subordinates, but between equal levels of command.

    2 MR. NOBILO: New document, please.

    3 THE REGISTRAR: D255, D255A for the English

    4 version.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, by way of

    6 introduction, this document has been obtained by the

    7 Defence. It is a daily newspaper, Slobodna Dalmacija,

    8 the issue dated Thursday, the 7th of December, 1995,

    9 when an exclusive interview was published with Ivica

    10 Rajic.

    11 I should like to draw your attention to only

    12 a part of that text. I will read it, because it's not

    13 lengthy, and we would like to inform the Brigadier of

    14 this and hear his opinion. It is on page 3 of the

    15 translation under the sub-heading "The Clash with

    16 Blaskic."

    17 With your permission, I will read it: "The

    18 officials of The Hague Tribunal have stated on several

    19 occasions that Kresimir Zubak, when visiting the

    20 Tribunal, promised them your extradition. What do you

    21 know about this?" That is the journalist's question.

    22 "Answer: As far as I'm aware, Zubak promised

    23 cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, but whether there

    24 was a specific conversation about me, that I do not

    25 know.

  72. 1 Question: There have occasionally been

    2 public suggestions, and even during the main hearing,

    3 that your clash with General Tihomir Blaskic, which

    4 dates back to as early as 1992, lay behind your arrest

    5 and the arrest of Dominik Iljasevic and Vlatko

    6 Trogrlic." Ivica Rajic answers: "The course of events

    7 in Kiseljak separated the two of us. We had our duels,

    8 both verbal and professional, as well as disagreements

    9 about our work. Blaskic had a totally different

    10 approach. I am a person who wants to be close to the

    11 people, close to the soldiers, fighters, and, unlike

    12 him, I am not interested in a career. The difference

    13 between him and me is that I'm ready to sacrifice my

    14 career for the people, whereas Blaskic is always ready

    15 to sacrifice the people for his career."

    16 The most important part of this, the point of

    17 my reading this interview: "In the beginning, Blaskic

    18 was my superior, but later, he was transferred to

    19 Vitez, while I remained in Kiseljak. Although Blaskic

    20 was formally my superior even then, the conditions on

    21 the ground imposed a situation where he and I were

    22 equally responsible to the main staff of the HVO, he

    23 for his sector, and I for mine. Blaskic wanted to

    24 cover up all the weaknesses that he carries inside

    25 himself, and which I warned the authorities about and

  73. 1 tried to make those of us in Kiseljak out to be what

    2 the trial claimed we were."

    3 By way of an explanation, you will see that

    4 Rajic and his comrades were tried, and he gave this

    5 interview after this trial.

    6 "But he did not succeed in this. On several

    7 occasions, I attempted to clear up these relations with

    8 him and, in the end, I tried to make sure that our

    9 paths no longer crossed, in the interests of the

    10 Croatian people and in the interests of Kiseljak, which

    11 is where both of us come from.

    12 I did my utmost to avoid any kind of

    13 confrontation. All of those attempts came from my

    14 side, but Blaskic did not respond to them. He did not

    15 think it through maturely and, in the end, he did not

    16 draw the proper conclusions."

    17 In the next passage, which is

    18 entitled, "Cooked up in the Same Kitchen." The answer

    19 given by Rajic to the question; "You have been accused

    20 of being a trustworthy KOS man, counterintelligence

    21 service of the JNA." His answer is: "This was cooked

    22 up -- or sorry, all of this was directed against the

    23 legendary Maturica and Apostola units and only later

    24 against their commanders."

    25 Q. Brigadier, do you know that there was a trial

  74. 1 of Ivica Rajic in Mostar, he was acquitted and after

    2 that he granted this interview? Have you read this

    3 interview?

    4 A. Yes, I know him because we met in 1992 when

    5 the front-line was being established after the fall of

    6 Jajce in the area of Travnik.

    7 Q. Very briefly, the text will be read by the

    8 Judges, so we will not continue reading it, but just

    9 tell us what I have read just now about the

    10 responsibility, the fact of responsibility about both

    11 Blaskic and Rajic, each one for his own sector, was it

    12 really as Rajic stated here?

    13 A. Yes, it was really so, when it came to the

    14 functioning of the command and control system.

    15 Q. Could we have the next document, please.

    16 THE REGISTRAR: 256, 256A for the English

    17 translation.

    18 MR. NOBILO:

    19 Q. We are not going to go into the essence of

    20 this document, I am just going to point out certain of

    21 its features and after that I will ask you for an

    22 opinion. From Fojnica, which originally belonged to

    23 Zubiniski, and Busovaca is sending to the defence

    24 department, medical sector, Colonel Rajic a report on

    25 the medical situation in his battalion, on the health

  75. 1 situation. What does this tell you about the direct

    2 links between the Kiseljak enclave and Mostar?

    3 A. This speaks about a very difficult situation

    4 in which we were. Those kinds of situations would

    5 always require the need for some reports and

    6 information to be sent directly to Mostar because it

    7 was practically useless to send it to Vitez as we were

    8 not able to help them with those matters. Something

    9 even more important, that does not only mean that

    10 through direct chain of command a communication was

    11 established between the main headquarters and the

    12 command of the operative group, but we can also see

    13 from here that in other domains, like the medical

    14 domain, for example, direct communication had been

    15 established with those people that covered that

    16 particular matter, or particular portfolio in the

    17 ministry, that is the government.

    18 Q. Could I ask for some help with the next

    19 document now.

    20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked 257,

    21 257A for the English translation.

    22 MR. NOBILO:

    23 Q. We are not going to read the whole document

    24 now, Brigadier, but just its title. The medical

    25 service of Ban Josip Jelacic Brigade is sending to the

  76. 1 Mostar medical sector a report on the situation. We

    2 don't have the end of that report, but could you

    3 comment on whether this document is indicative of what

    4 you were telling us, that is the direct link with the

    5 services of the main command?

    6 A. Yes, this is practically the confirmation of

    7 this type of communicating and cooperating with the

    8 main headquarters, the one that we've seen in the

    9 previous document. But also, this report shows how

    10 difficult the situation was. That there were wounded,

    11 that urgent help was needed. Obviously that was

    12 directly sent to the sector for health which was

    13 directly in charge of the wounded of the HVO.

    14 Q. Thank you. We should now distribute another

    15 document.

    16 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D258, 258A

    17 for the French version and 258B for the English

    18 version.

    19 MR. NOBILO:

    20 Q. Brigadier, I am only -- we are not going to

    21 read this document. Let me just briefly say that this

    22 document is the one that we believe was signed by

    23 Tihomir Blaskic and you're going to tell us that was

    24 dated the 11th of April, 1993 at 11.00 hours. From

    25 that, the British Battalion in Novi Bila, escort is

  77. 1 asked from Kiseljak to Busovaca for a military

    2 delegation of ten members. Could you please tell the

    3 Court from when and until when you could in such a way,

    4 that is escorted by the British, that means the United

    5 Nation forces, travel between Busovaca and Kiseljak?

    6 A. This document was issued in the command of

    7 the Operative Zone and it was signed by Zoran Pilacic

    8 on behalf of the commander of the Operative Zone who

    9 had authorised him to do so. From January --

    10 Q. What year?

    11 A. 1993. After the area of Kacuni was cut off

    12 by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the road to

    13 Kiseljak for the Croats and the HVO officers was not --

    14 the Croats and the HVO officers could not go through

    15 the road. If you wanted to go to Kiseljak, you had to

    16 contact UNPROFOR so that they would be responsible for

    17 your security and escort you to Kiseljak. That

    18 situation happened in January, 1993, and such a

    19 situation continued up until the Washington Agreement.

    20 Q. Tell us, during war operation, was the

    21 passage through this road possible at all, for example,

    22 during the war in April?

    23 A. It was not possible to go through it at all.

    24 Q. Please tell the Court, did the British accept

    25 to escort HVO officers when they were performing combat

  78. 1 duties or only for escorting them when they were going

    2 to meetings or negotiations?

    3 A. We never contacted the British for carrying

    4 out any military or combat missions. We asked for

    5 their help when we were going to various meetings, but

    6 more often than not organised by the UNPROFOR itself.

    7 Q. Could you go in your own vehicles, or did you

    8 have to go with UNPROFOR vehicles?

    9 A. Yes, we had to go into armoured vehicles, I

    10 did it personally myself.

    11 Q. We have finished now discussing about this

    12 particular issue, although we're going to talk about it

    13 with another witness later on.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: I think that we have finished

    15 our working week now. I hope that you will have a good

    16 rest during the weekend and we will resume on Monday at

    17 2.00 p.m. Please, Mr. Kehoe.

    18 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, just

    19 respectfully, if the first two charts that the

    20 Brigadier was talking about, 1 and 1A, if we could have

    21 some hard copies of those, I think it would be

    22 helpful. The two slides that the Brigadier was talking

    23 about, if we could get copies of those, please, I would

    24 appreciate it.

    25 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have already

  79. 1 asked that these maps be printed out and I hope that

    2 the Prosecution will soon have the copies of them.

    3 MR. KEHOE: That's fine, Mr. President.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: When do you think you'll have

    5 these copies?

    6 MR. HAYMAN: The slide earlier, we have to

    7 rely on the technical staff to make the first copy,

    8 which they have to print out from the computer material

    9 and then we can photocopy in colour, additional

    10 copies. As soon as I get the first copy, within a few

    11 hours, we can make additional copies to distribute.

    12 We're happy to do that.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Have you heard the answer,

    14 Mr. Kehoe? So we'll see you on Monday at 2.00 p.m.

    15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    16 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,

    17 the 28th day of September, 1998, at 2.00

    18 p.m.