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  1. 1 Tuesday, 29th September, 1998

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.12 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,

    5 have the accused brought in.

    6 (The accused entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, I would like to

    8 say good morning to the interpreters and be sure that

    9 everybody can hear me. Do the booths hear me? The

    10 Judges have exceptionally agreed to have a photographer

    11 from the agency here, conditional on the approval of

    12 the accused who did agree to the photographers being

    13 here.

    14 Now we can resume our work and continue with

    15 the questions being asked of the General. Perhaps he

    16 should come in first.

    17 (The witness entered court)

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Brigadier, do you hear me?

    19 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can hear you.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We're going to

    21 continue.

    22 Mr. Nobilo, continue, please. You still have

    23 the floor.

    24 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.


  2. 1 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    2 Q. Brigadier, yesterday, we saw several combat

    3 reports. In the hours to follow, we will see more of

    4 such reports relating to the April war. I would like

    5 you to tell the Tribunal, with a five-year perspective,

    6 were all these reports reliable, or were there

    7 sometimes some pieces of information in them that were

    8 not so correct?

    9 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the contents of

    10 the reports which we're addressing today was not always

    11 very accurate, and the reasons for it are as follows:

    12 When I talked about the organisation, I pointed out the

    13 deficiency of fully trained personnel, and this

    14 reflected on the reports. Let's say a report that came

    15 from a subordinate commander into the command depended

    16 on the training of these officers.

    17 There will be examples where we will have

    18 reports written by a better trained officer. We will

    19 have such reports, but, for instance, the report from

    20 the Travnik Brigade written by Zvonimir Macic, if I'm

    21 not mistaken, this is the kind of language that he

    22 uses. He was a journalist. This posed a problem for

    23 us at the time, but those are the only reports which we

    24 had available at the time.

    25 Q. You talked about this organisation. The fact

  3. 1 that there were some relations or friendly relations,

    2 did that have any effect?

    3 A. Yes. As I said, the organisation of the HVO

    4 was based on the territorial principle in villages, so

    5 friends and relations were part of these units. These

    6 reports reflected that. In other words, they were not

    7 always fully accurate. They did not always reflect the

    8 actual situation on the ground.

    9 Q. Yesterday, we saw the reports of the Viteska

    10 Brigade from different points in the field, and I would

    11 now like to show you one that came from the village of

    12 Ahmici.

    13 MR. NOBILO: Would the usher please help me

    14 distribute this document which was compiled on the 16th

    15 of April? It refers to the village of Ahmici.

    16 THE REGISTRAR: This is D280, D280A for the

    17 French version, and D280B for the English version.

    18 MR. NOBILO: I'll read it. It is short.

    19 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. Before counsel

    20 starts, the English booth has not received its copy.

    21 Hold on just a second, please.

    22 MR. NOBILO:

    23 Q. It is addressed to Central Bosnia Operative

    24 Zone. It is dated the 16th of April, 1993, and the

    25 body of text runs as follows: "Acting in accordance

  4. 1 with your order number 01-04-243/93 of 16 April, 1993,"

    2 even though "1993" is not clear, something is crossed

    3 out and then "1993" has been entered, "we hereby report

    4 the Muslim armed forces attempted to launch an attack

    5 on the military police units located in the Bungalow in

    6 the early morning hours. The attack met with response,

    7 and combat procedures and actions were undertaken to

    8 expel the same.

    9 The Muslim armed forces, MOS, barricaded

    10 themselves in a mosque in Ahmici and in a primary

    11 school, from where they have been firing from small

    12 arms weapons and snipers. They have been opening light

    13 fire from the direction of the villages of Vrhovine and

    14 Pirici, and snipers have been constantly firing from

    15 the woods and clearings above the village.

    16 So far, three policemen have been killed and

    17 three wounded, one of whom seriously. The personnel is

    18 in the field," and then "Commander," and a signature

    19 and a stamp.

    20 First off, Brigadier, did you receive this

    21 document on the 16th of April, 1993?

    22 A. Yes. We received this document on 16 April,

    23 1993.

    24 Q. Is this the signature of the commander or

    25 somebody else's?

  5. 1 A. This is not the signature of the commander of

    2 this unit. I believe that it may have been signed by

    3 the duty officer of the unit. It is of the 4th

    4 Battalion of the military police.

    5 Q. Does this copy fully correspond to the

    6 original which you received from Ahmici?

    7 A. I said that I recalled this report, and on

    8 that basis, I say that this is an exact copy of the

    9 original which we had received on 16 April, 1993.

    10 Q. Let me take you to the preamble of this

    11 report. It refers to a previous order number. What is

    12 that in reference to?

    13 A. I talked about the conflicts which erupted in

    14 the Vitez and Busovaca municipalities --

    15 Q. It is not necessary to go into that, because

    16 we saw that slide yesterday.

    17 A. We saw that there was a conflict on the road

    18 near Ahmici. The commander of the Operative Zone

    19 received this information, but he was interested in the

    20 follow-up. He wanted to know what would happen later.

    21 As we were receiving reports from the military police

    22 only occasionally, the commander of the Operative Zone,

    23 in order to receive full information about what was

    24 going on on the Vitez-Busovaca road, issued an order

    25 which was numbered 01-04-243/93, in which he ordered

  6. 1 the commander of the military police unit to fully

    2 report on the developments. The report itself is in

    3 response to this order.

    4 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Can we have the next

    5 document, please?

    6 Q. While we're waiting on this document,

    7 Brigadier, could you please tell the Court, apart from

    8 this report, did any other report arrive at the command

    9 of the Operative Zone from the military police

    10 battalion in Ahmici on the 16th of April?

    11 A. No.

    12 THE REGISTRAR: This is D281, D281A for the

    13 French version, and D281B for the English version.

    14 MR. NOBILO:

    15 Q. Brigadier, so far we have been going through

    16 reports of the 16th. This is an order dated the 16th

    17 of April, 1993; time, 1945 hours. It is a combat order

    18 for the defence of Kuber, and it was to be delivered to

    19 the commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in

    20 Busovaca. The text reads: "1) The extremist Muslim

    21 forces are advancing from the direction of Gornja

    22 Zenica toward Kuber with the objective of completely

    23 capturing it and cutting it off. 2) Your task is as

    24 follows: To reinforce the defence of Kuber with your

    25 best prepared and most able forces and to persist in

  7. 1 its defence. The minimum strength of the forces is to

    2 be one company, 120 soldiers. 3) You are to coordinate

    3 your actions with the Viteska Brigade and ensure that

    4 Kuber does not fall. 4) After holding the defence

    5 lines, you are to report to me in writing," and it is

    6 signed by Colonel Blaskic, and there is a stamp affixed

    7 to it.

    8 First, does this copy fully reflect the

    9 original combat order of the 16th of April at 1945

    10 hours?

    11 A. Yes. This is a copy which fully reflects the

    12 original document which was drafted on the 16th of

    13 April, 1993 at 1945 hours. I recognise the signature

    14 of General Blaskic. I recognise the stamp of the

    15 Operative Zone. The handwriting in the top corner is

    16 my handwriting on the orders of the commander of the

    17 Operative Zone, because we had problems with

    18 communications with certain units. This is a verbal

    19 warning for implementing and submitting reports on the

    20 combat order.

    21 Q. What was the goal of this?

    22 A. What we wanted to ensure is, besides the

    23 written order, we wanted to verbally warn them and to

    24 emphasise, because we wanted to know what was really

    25 going on on the ground so that we could counter with

  8. 1 the proper action. On verbal orders of the commander,

    2 I wrote this down in handwriting, and this is reflected

    3 in the copy.

    4 Q. Brigadier, why are we dealing so much with

    5 Kuber here? What was so important about Kuber, and

    6 which units were supposed to go there to this hill or

    7 mountain?

    8 A. Mount Kuber is a key feature in the Lasva

    9 River Valley for both the defensive communication lines

    10 in the settlements in the valley. Yesterday, Your

    11 Honours, I spoke about the main directions of attack of

    12 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and one of them was

    13 from Zenica directly across Mount Kuber. So --

    14 Q. Brigadier, it would be very good if you

    15 could, again, point on the scale model, if you could

    16 show us Mount Kuber, Gornja Zenica, and where these

    17 troops could have gone if they captured Mount Kuber?

    18 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this is Mount

    19 Kuber (indicating). It is situated exactly between

    20 Zenica, a large city, and the Lasva Valley. Its

    21 foothills are right next to the Vitez-Busovaca-Zenica

    22 road. If you have your forces positioned on this

    23 mountain, you have full control over this road and,

    24 thereby, you're always in a position, with smaller

    25 forces, to cut communications along this road and

  9. 1 interrupt traffic.

    2 That is why this mountain has such

    3 importance, and that is why the commander of the

    4 Operative Zone decided to insist, in particular, on the

    5 defence of this mountain.

    6 As you probably noticed in the text, it says,

    7 "Kuber must not fall." In military terminology, if

    8 you give such an order that something must not fall, it

    9 means that forces must not withdraw from there, even at

    10 the cost of life. If a soldier is given such an order,

    11 he knows what he has to do.

    12 Q. Brigadier, will you please explain to the

    13 Court, Mount Kuber is exposed to which forces, the

    14 attack of which forces, and where would those forces

    15 have to come from to attack Mount Kuber? If you do

    16 hold Mount Kuber, which are the spots where it is easy

    17 to intersect the main communication line?

    18 A. The main forces we expected to come from

    19 Zenica, Zenica (indicating), and their task was to

    20 follow this direction, Zenica-Kuber-Vitez, to move

    21 along those lines and attack these locations. That was

    22 their task, to cross over Mount Kuber and to link up

    23 with local forces in the Muslim Bosniak villages in

    24 Vitez municipality.

    25 The best chance for intersecting the

  10. 1 Vitez-Busovaca road is around Kaonik and in the

    2 vicinity of the village of Ahmici.

    3 MR. NOBILO: Could the usher please assist

    4 the witness?

    5 Q. Brigadier, tell us, please, why did Blaskic

    6 give this order as late as 1945 hours for the defence

    7 of the Lasva region?

    8 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, if you recall my

    9 presentation yesterday, I was speaking about the group

    10 of officers from the Operative Zone command and

    11 representatives of the BH army, they held a meeting at

    12 the UNPROFOR base where they agreed on a complete

    13 cease-fire. On the basis of that report, the commander

    14 of the Operative Zone issued an order to halt fire and

    15 hostilities.

    16 However, reports from the field indicated

    17 that the BH army, far from suspending action and

    18 respecting the agreed cease-fire, was actually

    19 mobilising strong forces from Zenica with a view to

    20 fulfilling its plan, and that is, to gain full control

    21 of the territory of the municipalities of Busovaca and

    22 Vitez.

    23 Therefore, the engaged forces are expanding

    24 their initial goal. From the roots they were

    25 following, it was evident that the territory of

  11. 1 Busovaca municipality was at stake. In such a

    2 situation, the commander of the Operative Zone had no

    3 other choice but to issue such a strong-worded order to

    4 defend that mountain with all available forces.

    5 Q. Brigadier, you're a military man, so let me

    6 ask you a military theoretical question: If an attack

    7 had been planned on the Muslim forces in the Lasva

    8 Valley, would the commander have, in advance,

    9 positioned 120 soldiers on Mount Kuber as security?

    10 A. Certainly that is the only reasonable logic

    11 to follow.

    12 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Next document,

    13 please?

    14 THE REGISTRAR: D282, D282A for the French

    15 version, D282B for the English version.

    16 MR. NOBILO:

    17 Q. We are reading parts of the document numbered

    18 282. The command of the Operative Zone of Central

    19 Bosnia or, rather, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, on the 16th

    20 of April, 1993, at 1940 hours, writes to the commander

    21 of the 4th Military Police Battalion and the commander

    22 of the Travnicka Brigade for Information. The heading

    23 is "Withdrawal of Troops of the Travnik Military Police

    24 Company to Vitez." The text: "Due to the intensified

    25 combat by Muslim forces in the region of Vitez

  12. 1 municipality and the need to provide reinforcement to

    2 the troops of the Viteska Brigade, I hereby order: 1)

    3 The unit from the 4th Military Police Battalion,

    4 currently stationed in the city of Travnik, shall be

    5 immediately transferred to Vitez. All activities

    6 related to this transfer shall be carried out in utmost

    7 secrecy."

    8 We won't read the rest, because I do not

    9 consider it to be relevant. What does this mean,

    10 Brigadier?

    11 A. This order was drafted in the Operative Zone

    12 command of Central Bosnia on the 16th of April, 1993 at

    13 19:40 hours. I personally drafted this order and it

    14 was signed by General Blaskic. It was addressed to the

    15 commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion. Due to

    16 the intensified combat operations and movements of

    17 strong forces from Zenica towards Vitez and because the

    18 units of the Viteska Brigade were not ready, in order

    19 to assist them the commander of the Operative Zone

    20 issued the order that units of the military police that

    21 had been in Travnik should be transferred to Vitez to

    22 assist the Viteska Brigade in defending the town of

    23 Vitez.

    24 One can also infer from this order that the

    25 commander of the Operative Zone had planned an attack

  13. 1 of the BH army on Vitez. These forces would have been

    2 transferred earlier rather than on the 16th of April at

    3 19.40 when the situation was already extremely

    4 complicated, unfavourable and uncertain with regard to

    5 the towns of Vitez and Busovaca.

    6 MR. NOBILO: There appears to be an error in

    7 the transcript as Colleague Hayman tells me. It says

    8 that the commander had planned the attack, but you said

    9 if the commander had planned the attack. So could the

    10 transcript be corrected because it is a key word. Let

    11 me ask you the question again.

    12 Q. What do you conclude from this order in

    13 connection with the planning?

    14 A. If the commander of the Operative Zone of

    15 Central Bosnia had planned a conflict with the BH army,

    16 if he had planned to attack the BH army in Vitez, he

    17 would have transferred these forces earlier on. As he

    18 didn't do that and as he hadn't planned an attack on

    19 the army of Bosnia-Hercegovina in the area of Busovaca

    20 in Vitez, he found himself in the situation that on

    21 16th of April, after the attack of the BH army in the

    22 territory of Vitez and Busovaca and because of the

    23 movement of strong forces, he issued such an order to

    24 defend Vitez and Busovaca.

    25 Q. When you are seeking assistance from other

  14. 1 units from another area, does that mean that you are

    2 weak where you are?

    3 A. Yes, that is precisely why assistance was

    4 requested.

    5 Q. Thank you, next document.

    6 THE REGISTRAR: 283, 283A for the French

    7 version, 283B for the English version.

    8 MR. NOBILO:

    9 Q. Brigadier, we have an order by Colonel

    10 Blaskic of the 16th of April, '93, on 2015 hours

    11 addressed to the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade in

    12 Novi Travnik. The subject heading is, "Order for

    13 Increased Control of Territory." The preamble reads:

    14 "Proceeding from intelligence information on possible

    15 routes for the transfer of Muslim forces to the

    16 territory of Vitez municipality, Gornja Veceriska and

    17 Veceriska and with the objective of detecting in a

    18 timely fashion and preventing the said forces from

    19 crossing, I hereby order." The order has to do with

    20 the deployment of units of the Novi Travnik Brigade and

    21 ends with item 4, which says, "Send me a report on the

    22 execution of this order by 2400 hours on 16th April,

    23 1993." Please tell me, first, whether this copy is a

    24 faithful copy of the original document written by

    25 Colonel Blaskic on the 16th of April at 2015 hours?

  15. 1 A. The copy is faithful to the original. I

    2 drafted it and it was signed by General Blaskic.

    3 Q. Tell me, where were those forces being

    4 transferred from? Could you perhaps indicate on the

    5 relief Gornja Vecerska and Donji Vecriska and how those

    6 forces were expected to be infiltrated into the

    7 territory?

    8 A. Let me just say that the infiltration of

    9 those forces would come from an auxiliary route.

    10 Mr. President, Your Honours, Novi Travnik,

    11 the town of Novi Travnik is here and the area of the

    12 Novi Travnik municipality is here. According to this

    13 order and on the basis of intelligence reports, the

    14 commander of the Operative Zone expected BH army units

    15 to come from Novi Travnik and to transfer a part of

    16 their forces along this route, Buckka Ravan towards

    17 Gornja and Donji Vecerska, whereby it would link up

    18 with the forces in the area of Donji Vecerska and in

    19 the area of Kruscica.

    20 Q. Did the BH army already have its forces in

    21 Donji Vecerska and Kruscica?

    22 A. Yes, the BH army already had local forces in

    23 Donji Vecerska and in Kruscica in addition to --

    24 additional to local forces, it also had the forces that

    25 had arrived there on the 14th or the 15th that we

  16. 1 mentioned previously.

    2 Q. Donji Vecerska as a locality, why was it

    3 particularly important in Vitez municipality?

    4 A. Donji Vecerska, which is here, was important

    5 for two reasons: One, is that that village was right

    6 next to the fence of the explosives factory. This is

    7 the explosive factory and it was right next to the

    8 compound. And because at a distance of 1.5 kilometres,

    9 close to those forces were significant forces of the BH

    10 army at Grbavica, which already had control of this

    11 road passing through Grbavica. And this is the main

    12 road linking Vitez and Novi Travnik with Travnik.

    13 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, tell us, did the BH

    14 army have the greater chances of manoeuvring from

    15 Novi Travnik as it didn't have a front against the Serb

    16 forces?

    17 A. Yes, the BH army had a whole brigade in

    18 Novi Travnik, which was not engaged on the front-line of

    19 defence against the army of Republika Srpska in the

    20 area of Novi Travnik.

    21 Q. And who held the frontlines in the area of

    22 Novi Travnik towards the army of Republika Srpska?

    23 A. The defence lines against the army of

    24 Republika Srpska from March, 1992, that means for

    25 almost a year, were held by HVO units.

  17. 1 Q. Tell us, do you know which municipality those

    2 HVO units were from?

    3 A. I'm sorry, I didn't quite get your question.

    4 Q. Do you know which municipalities the HVO

    5 units came from that were holding the fronts against

    6 the Serbs?

    7 A. The HVO units were local units from

    8 Novi Travnik. I am referring to HVO units, of course.

    9 Q. Yes, next document, please.

    10 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D284, 284A

    11 for the French version and 284B for the English

    12 version.

    13 MR. NOBILO:

    14 Q. The document was drafted in the night between

    15 the 16th and the 17th of April of 1993. The time

    16 indicated is 0400 hours. It was written by Colonel

    17 Blaskic, addressed to the Busovaca and Viteska Brigade;

    18 therefore, in two municipalities and it reads: The

    19 heading, "defence of consolidated positions order:

    20 Based on our information in the course of the day the

    21 enemy will make intense military preparations for an

    22 offensive." That is the first sentence.

    23 In the third paragraph it says: "The

    24 survival and the life of Croatian inhabitants of the

    25 Lasva Valley is at stake and it is being resolved

  18. 1 today, maybe for the last time." We are leaving out

    2 two paragraphs and then we come to the next one, which

    3 says:

    4 To the Busovaca Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade

    5 the focus of the defence is on Kuber, which is to be

    6 defended by unarmed soldiers if necessary as

    7 reinforcements. Other access roads are to be blocked

    8 and full control is to be taken of Gornja Rovna and

    9 Pezici.

    10 To the commander of the Viteska Brigade:

    11 "Use main forces to defend access roads to and from

    12 the town, especially from the direction of Poculica and

    13 Pirici and towards Vranjska. To this end, link up with

    14 military police forces and with auxiliary forces keep

    15 under blockade the forces in the areas of Viteska. If

    16 possible, seize Donja Veceriska. The fire brigade

    17 centre, Kruscica and Vranjska." And underlined, "the

    18 blockade being a priority." And, finally, the last

    19 sentence of this order: "We have accomplished 80

    20 percent of our task and we need to exert special

    21 efforts today. Special caution should be addressed to

    22 soldiers about the treatment of civilians (the elderly

    23 women and children who are not to be killed because

    24 that is a crime)." The word "crime" is in blocked

    25 capitals. Signed "Commander Colonel Tihomir Blaskic".

  19. 1 Brigadier, have you seen this document before

    2 and is this photocopy a true replica of the original

    3 document?

    4 A. I have seen the document. I saw it on the

    5 17th of April when I woke up in the morning. This copy

    6 is a faithful copy of the original document drafted in

    7 the Operative Zone command. It was signed by General

    8 Blaskic. He personally drafted it. The stamp is of

    9 the Operative Zone command. Obviously he didn't have

    10 anyone to type it. It was hand-written, typed on

    11 Packet, given to him to sign and then it was dispatched

    12 to the indicated addressees.

    13 Q. When you said "he typed it on Packet," you

    14 mean the computer software that you called Packet

    15 Radio?

    16 A. Yes, that can be seen from the letters which

    17 are obviously printed with a computer printer.

    18 Q. How were most of your documents written?

    19 What devices did you have?

    20 A. Our command was in very short supply with

    21 office equipment. And as can be seen, we had a small

    22 mechanical typewriter and we had a larger mechanical

    23 typewriter. That's all we had at our disposal.

    24 Q. Will you please concentrate on the third

    25 paragraph from the bottom with instructions to the

  20. 1 Viteska Brigade command.

    2 A. Obviously the commander of the Viteska

    3 Brigade had the task of defending the approaches to the

    4 town with his main forces and especially from the

    5 directions of Poculica and Preocica and toward

    6 Vranjska.

    7 Q. Could you perhaps get up and show Their

    8 Honours which is the main direction that the commander

    9 is expecting forces to come from on the 17th and why he

    10 is issuing these orders to the Viteska Brigade?

    11 A. Poculica and Preocica and towards Vranjska.

    12 This is Poculica. This is Poculica an inhabited

    13 locality on the main road, linking Vitez, via

    14 Vjetrenica to Zenica.

    15 Q. Tell me, whose forces were in Poculica on the

    16 16th?

    17 A. Local forces of the BH army which were to

    18 link up with the main forces coming from Zenica and

    19 then to continue on from Poculica via Preocica -- this

    20 is Preocica, which is another village where the BH army

    21 had its forces. So this was the route, Poculica,

    22 Poculica towards Vranjska and they would intersect the

    23 road at the railway station in the Town of Vitez and

    24 thereby they would gain control of a part of the Town

    25 of Vitez and link up with forces in Vranjska. So this

  21. 1 is the route, the shortest route.

    2 Q. Tell the Court in Vranjska, were there any BH

    3 army forces there?

    4 A. There were both local forces and forces

    5 brought in as reinforcements on the 13th or the 14th

    6 that we have already discussed.

    7 Q. Please go back to your seat. Thank you.

    8 Will you please look at the last sentence. Blaskic is

    9 cautioning, especially about the treatment of

    10 civilians, and says they must not be killed because

    11 that is a crime. Why does Blaskic say this after the

    12 first day of battle at dawn at 0400 hours in the night

    13 of the 17th? Why is he cautioning fighters that it is

    14 a crime to kill civilians? Why does Blaskic put this

    15 in a combat order?

    16 A. We know that on the 16th a meeting was held

    17 in the UNPROFOR base and that the meeting was attended

    18 also by members of the Operative Zone command. On the

    19 road from Vitez to the UNPROFOR base in Bila, members

    20 of the Operative Zone command, together with UNPROFOR

    21 officers, noticed or rather saw two or three bodies,

    22 corpses of civilians. I assume that members of the

    23 Operative Zone command informed the commander of the

    24 Operative Zone of this. And I believe that that was

    25 the reason which prompted the commander of the

  22. 1 Operative Zone as early as 0400 hours of the 17th to

    2 add in addition to combat orders this reference to this

    3 problem.

    4 Another reason, in my view, why this was done

    5 by General Blaskic is that General Blaskic was aware

    6 that units of both the BH army and the HVO organised in

    7 villages intermingled with the civilian population and

    8 that such a danger was a serious possibility.

    9 And another reason why I insisted on this was

    10 General Blaskic's personal character and integrity and

    11 honour as an officer of the HVO.

    12 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please.

    13 THE REGISTRAR: This is 285, 285A for the

    14 English version.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. So after this warning overnight, we are going

    17 to attempt a reconstruction of the events of the 17th

    18 of April. At 600 hours a report arrives in the Central

    19 Bosnia Operative Zone command and the subject is a

    20 regular combat report. It arrived on 17th April at 600

    21 hours. The body of the text reads as follows: "The

    22 night was quiet on the territory Novi Travnik

    23 Municipality. We received no notification of potential

    24 conflicts with the BH army. There were no combat

    25 activities by Chetniks on the defence line in the zone

  23. 1 of our responsibility" and it is signed by the

    2 operations duty officer, Ivica Fabris.

    3 Brigadier, does this copy fully reflect the

    4 original which you had received at a command of the

    5 Operation Zone?

    6 A. Yes. From the stamp you can see that it was

    7 received by us. It was properly registered. It was

    8 signed by Ivica Fabris, whom I personally know and I

    9 recognise his signature. And I fully recall the

    10 contents of this report.

    11 Q. Brigadier, there was fighting in Vitez and

    12 Busovaca in Kuber there is no withdrawal, now how about

    13 Novi Travnik? How do you explain this report?

    14 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, from this report

    15 we can glean that the commander of the Operative Zone

    16 had not planned a war with the BH army. Had he planned

    17 the war with the BH army, in the time period which

    18 we're dealing with, he would have ordered certain

    19 combat actions in Novi Travnik as well and there would

    20 have been conflict in Novi Travnik as well. There was

    21 no conflict in Novi Travnik because the BH army did not

    22 attack at Novi Travnik and so the HVO had no task

    23 there.

    24 And you can see that the command, the

    25 commander of this Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade is dealing

  24. 1 with a situation of the defence line against the

    2 Serbian forces. And when we put that in the context of

    3 the entire situation, you see the complexity with which

    4 the commander of the Operative Zone needed to deal

    5 with. I am going to just point out several key

    6 elements of the situation on that day. They are as

    7 follows: One, we have large BH army forces in the area

    8 of Vitez and Busovaca. We have very large scale

    9 conflict. The Viteska Brigade is not fully organised.

    10 You may recall that Cerkez received the order to

    11 organise the Viteska Brigade only shortly before this.

    12 We saw the panic. We saw the disorganisation. Then

    13 let me also remind you of the map in 1992, April and

    14 March. The main forces, the main weapons are placed

    15 towards, deployed towards the Republika Srpska, of

    16 Zepce, Usora and all the other defence lines held by

    17 the HVO towards the army of Republika Srpska. I recall

    18 very well the situation. It was a problem that we had

    19 no solution for and we were really in a very difficult

    20 situation, especially given that on the 16th of April

    21 we were attacked and we were completely surprised by

    22 the attack of the BH army.

    23 Q. Next document, please.

    24 THE REGISTRAR: This is D286, D286A for the

    25 English version.

  25. 1 MR. NOBILO:

    2 Q. Brigadier, on 17 April at 600 hours, you

    3 received another report, this time from Zepce, from the

    4 111th XP Brigade. Ivo Livancic, in item 3, says, "The

    5 relations with the BH army are on a satisfactory

    6 level." In item 2, it says, "Our forces are firmly

    7 holding the lines of defence. Shifts were changed

    8 properly." This is all towards the army of Republika

    9 Srpska.

    10 Brigadier, did you receive this document from

    11 Zepce?

    12 A. Yes. You can see that from the stamp of

    13 receipt. We were expecting these reports with great

    14 expectations so that we would know what the situation

    15 was in a wider area.

    16 Q. How do you understand this item 3, that the

    17 relations with the BH army were on a satisfactory

    18 level?

    19 A. The BH army had not attacked the 111th

    20 Brigade, so the situation was quiet.

    21 MR. NOBILO: New document, please?

    22 THE REGISTRAR: This is D287, D287A for the

    23 English version.

    24 MR. NOBILO:

    25 Q. In contrast to these two reports on a quiet

  26. 1 front, you received another report on 17 April at 600

    2 hours. Let me read it for you. It's a combat report,

    3 and I will start with the third paragraph: "Several

    4 times during the night, we received information about

    5 the regrouping of Muslim forces, whereby we could

    6 conclude that they will make an attempt at a

    7 breakthrough from the direction of Vrhovine and in the

    8 Santici-Ahmici direction in order to cut off the

    9 Vitez-Kaonik communication and join with Rovna.

    10 If they realise their intentions, any traffic

    11 communication between Vitez and Busovaca will become

    12 impossible. We are doing our best to thwart their

    13 efforts. In the area of Grbavica, sizeable forces are

    14 concentrated and, according to incoming information,

    15 they received troop reinforcements from Bukve, among

    16 whom are some Mujahedeen.

    17 The Muslim population was evacuated from

    18 Grbavica and Divjak. There are indications that Muslim

    19 forces may try to cut off the road to Donja Veceriska.

    20 With this operation, they hope to establish a corridor,

    21 Donja Veceriska-Divjak-Grbavica-Bukve.

    22 Our unit in Lovac is under enemy siege and we

    23 have no communication with them and no option of

    24 logistics support. We are trying to come up with

    25 appropriate solutions. Fatigue can be observed among

  27. 1 the soldiers but the morale is good. Our wounded have

    2 been given medical care." It was signed by Zvonimir

    3 Cilic, duty officer.

    4 First of all, Brigadier, is this a faithful

    5 copy of the original you received on the 17th at 600

    6 hours?

    7 A. Yes. I confirm that on the basis of my

    8 remembering this document, which we received at the

    9 Operative Zone command. I also personally know

    10 Zvonimir Cilic, and I recognise his signature.

    11 Q. Brigadier, let's go back to the scale model

    12 so that we can get a better idea of where these

    13 locations are that we're talking about.

    14 Brigadier, would you please point what the

    15 direction of attack was from Vrhovine to Santici and

    16 Ahmici in order to cut off the communication line

    17 Vitez-Kaonik?

    18 A. This is the village of Vrhovine

    19 (indicating). This is the village of Santici

    20 (indicating), and this is the village of Ahmici

    21 (indicating). Both Ahmici and Santici are on the road,

    22 that is, along the road that leads from Vitez to Kaonik

    23 and Busovaca.

    24 Q. Could you please tell the Court what forces

    25 were in Vrhovine at that time and throughout the

  28. 1 Muslim-Croat war?

    2 A. Vrhovine had the local forces and were

    3 reinforced by forces which arrived from Zenica, and

    4 their task was to direct their assault operations

    5 towards Santici and Ahmici, to cut off the

    6 communication line, and to link up to their other

    7 forces at Rovna.

    8 I would also like to point out to the Trial

    9 Chamber that this area of Ahmici and Santici, if you

    10 look at it in relation to Rovna, it is no more than 1.5

    11 kilometres wide as the crow flies. The enemy forces,

    12 if you are not fully alert and prepared, could take it

    13 very easily. I'm pointing out that it is a very narrow

    14 area.

    15 Q. Apart from this focus of conflict, could you

    16 also point out the other flash point, Grbavica and

    17 Divjak? The reinforcements from the village of Bukve,

    18 could you point out those and the directions from which

    19 the Vitez municipality could be threatened?

    20 A. The village of Grbavica is along the road

    21 leading from Vitez to Novi Travnik. The village of

    22 Bukve is located about two kilometres from the village

    23 of Grbavica due north-east, and you can see what the BH

    24 army opted for. Realising the importance of the road

    25 that passes through the village of Grbavica, they had

  29. 1 already brought their reinforcements there, the forces

    2 which they had in Bukve, and these local forces were

    3 reinforced by the unit called the Mujahed.

    4 Continuing on from Grbavica, they would go to

    5 Donja Veceriska and Divjak. Again, let me point out

    6 that the distance here is 1.5 to 1.8 kilometres. They

    7 are all very narrow strips of land, and if the opponent

    8 is not extremely alert and cautious, this task becomes

    9 very possible.

    10 If you look at Grbavica, Divjak, and Donja

    11 Veceriska, if you took all these positions, this

    12 explosives factory in Vitez could also be seized, which

    13 was one of the strategic goals of the BH army during

    14 the war in Central Bosnia.

    15 Q. When you point out the corridor of Bukve,

    16 Donja Veceriska, Divjak, does that mean that the key

    17 communication line leading from Vitez to Travnik and

    18 Novi Travnik would be cut off?

    19 A. Yes. It was already cut, and that was the

    20 reason why we had to take steps to find an alternate

    21 road along the terrain where there was no road

    22 previously, so that we could keep the communication

    23 open between Vitez and Novi Travnik. These forces were

    24 tasked to reinforce the forces which had already cut

    25 off that communication line, and that made the whole

  30. 1 situation much more complex.

    2 Q. At the end, the bottom of the report, it

    3 says, "Our units in Lovac are under enemy siege, and we

    4 have no communications with them and no options for

    5 logistics support." Where were they besieged? Where

    6 was it?

    7 A. The facility of Lovac was in Kruscica, and

    8 this was a mixed Croat-Muslim village. This was a unit

    9 which was a volunteer unit composed of hunters, local

    10 villagers. Given the surprising nature of the attack,

    11 this unit had remained in Kruscica.

    12 Q. What forces were controlling Kruscica at that

    13 time and throughout the war?

    14 A. Eighty per cent of the settlement of the

    15 village of Kruscica was controlled by the BH army.

    16 Your Honours, the village of Kruscica is one of the

    17 larger communities in that area.

    18 Q. What does the information mean, that 15 men

    19 which were there had no chance against a much superior

    20 force? What was their situation?

    21 A. The people who remained, these 15 to 20 men,

    22 this group, again, points to the fact that the HVO was

    23 surprised by the BH army attack, that had we planned an

    24 attack, we would have pulled out those men from that

    25 area.

  31. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, it is now twenty

    2 after eleven. We are going to take a 20-minute break

    3 and we'll resume at 11.40. The hearing is suspended.

    4 --- Recess taken at 11.20 a.m.

    5 --- On resuming at 11.45 a.m.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Before we resume, Mr. Nobilo,

    7 where are we now in respect of the time that you're

    8 going to spend with this witness? I know he is very

    9 important for you. How is our work going to go

    10 forward? You know tomorrow morning is an initial

    11 appearance, how do you see things? Because I think

    12 that the Prosecutor will have cross-examination to

    13 conduct and the judges will have some questions to

    14 ask. Perhaps it will be the entire week that we're

    15 going to devote to this witness. Please tell us where

    16 we are Mr. Nobilo and Mr. Hayman?

    17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we are at 17

    18 April 1993 and we will attempt to make a full

    19 reconstruction through April 23, 1993. And let me

    20 point out that the combat activities after 19th and

    21 through the 24th, the combat activities were subsiding

    22 diminishing, and the negotiations were increasing.

    23 We will also show the documents showing the

    24 Geneva Convention provisions and we will also produce

    25 some evidence concerning January 1993. If I am looking

  32. 1 at the boxes which I have here, we have emptied about a

    2 third of a third box out of five and a half boxes.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Well, he is your witness, Mr.

    4 Nobilo. I am just trying to organise things and to see

    5 where we are. Therefore, you can consider -- how long

    6 do you expect to be working with this witness?

    7 MR. NOBILO: This witness will, of course,

    8 stay here as long as the Trial Chamber needs him. I

    9 believe that it is very important that the Trial

    10 Chamber finds out everything they need from this

    11 witness. I think that we need another day, day and a

    12 half, so I believe that by Thursday morning we could

    13 finish with it.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Thursday morning. Thank you.

    15 Turning to the Prosecutor, about how long do you expect

    16 to cross-examine, Mr. Kehoe? I suppose you have a lot

    17 of questions you're going to ask?

    18 MR. KEHOE: Well, I have a couple of

    19 questions, Mr. President.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, we thought so. How long

    21 will it take?

    22 MR. KEHOE: In all honesty, I can't believe

    23 that if we finish on Thursday morning, that I'll be

    24 finished cross-examination by the end of the week. I

    25 mean we have, as you can see, I am not giving a rough

  33. 1 estimate, 100 exhibits so far --

    2 JUDGE RIAD: Two-hundred.

    3 MR. KEHOE: Two-hundred exhibits.

    4 JUDGE RIAD: It will be 200.

    5 MR. KEHOE: It will be 200, whatever. But by

    6 the time we finish, Judge Riad, that's 200 exhibits,

    7 plus, obviously, the Brigadier's testimony. I am not

    8 trying to be vague here, but it will be extensive.

    9 JUDGE RIAD: The witness will stay until next

    10 week?

    11 MR. KEHOE: Yes.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: All right. I suppose that my

    13 colleagues will also have some questions. Registrar,

    14 could we have a private session for just a few

    15 seconds.

    16 (In private session)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  34. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (In open session).

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, please proceed.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. As we

    18 said, we are still at April 17. Can I please have the

    19 next document distributed.

    20 JUDGE RIAD: I would like to ask the witness,

    21 as regards Kruscica, what was the proportion of the

    22 population? What were the different proportions of the

    23 different groups in that population?

    24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the witness,

    25 please.

  35. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Please turn the microphone on.

    2 Brigadier please put the microphone on, please. Thank

    3 you.

    4 A. My apologies. Mr. President, Your Honours,

    5 as far as I know, Kruscica was inhabited by Croats,

    6 Bosniak Muslims, Serbs and a certain number of

    7 Romalija. The most numerous segment were the Bosniak

    8 Muslims.

    9 JUDGE RIAD: I'm sorry, could you repeat

    10 that? The last sentence?

    11 A. The most numerous part of the population in

    12 Kruscica were the Bosniak Muslims.

    13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Riad. Thank

    15 you, Brigadier. Mr. Nobilo, will you please continue.

    16 THE REGISTRAR: The following is 288, D288A

    17 is the English version.

    18 MR. NOBILO: Brigadier, the Document 288 is

    19 basically a report of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade

    20 from Busovaca on the 17th of April, 1993. I will read

    21 it, it is very short, even though the copy is a poor

    22 one. It is addressed by to the command of the Central

    23 Bosnia operative zone, "Muslim Armed Forces, MOS

    24 launched an attack at 525 hours from Dvor and Grabalj

    25 or Gavrine Kuce, Putis and Jelinak. Fighting --"

  36. 1 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, the transcript

    2 doesn't seem to be working. Please go on.

    3 MR. NOBILO: We had some problems with the

    4 transcript, but it has caught up with us now and

    5 everything is fine. So let me repeat.

    6 Q. "The Muslim armed forces launched on attack

    7 on 0525 hours from Dvor and Gavrine on Gavrine Kuce

    8 Putis and Jelinak. Fighting is still in progress. At

    9 the moment we are successfully defending ourselves.

    10 Similarly they are regrouping their forces in the

    11 region of Kuber and Saracevici. The other lines are

    12 stable. Information has been received that six buses

    13 and two vans have arrived from Kakanj. Everything else

    14 okay. Brigade commander, Dusko Grubesic."

    15 Brigadier, is this photocopy a faithful

    16 replica of the report you received in the morning of

    17 the 17th April, 1993, from the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski

    18 Brigade?

    19 A. Yes, I remember the report, the Operative

    20 Zone commander had received it. It was sent by the

    21 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade and it was registered in

    22 the command.

    23 Q. Is this a faithful copy?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. Will you now please show the Court this new

  37. 1 attack? Where was it launched from? The attack that

    2 started at 525 hours in the territory of Busovaca

    3 municipality. Will you show us on the relief the

    4 direction of that attack against Busovaca

    5 municipality? Let me repeat, the attack came from Dvor

    6 and Gavrine Kuce Putis and Jelinak.

    7 A. Gavrine Kuce, this village is on the slopes

    8 of Mount Kuber. On this side of the mountain, Gavrine

    9 Kuce is here. And Jelinak and Putis are on the

    10 left-hand side in relation to the road going from

    11 Kaonik to Zenica. If you're going in the direction of

    12 Zenica on the left-hand side on the slopes of Mount

    13 Kuber are the village of Putis and Jelinak. And on the

    14 right-hand side are Gravina Kuce and Gravi.

    15 Q. What was the aim of that attack in your

    16 assessment?

    17 A. The aim of the attack was to intersect the

    18 road at the intersection of roads, Zenica Busovaca and

    19 Vitez Busovaca in the area of the inhabited locality of

    20 Kaonik as I have already mentioned.

    21 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, the last sentence

    22 says: "Information has been received that six buses

    23 and two vans have arrived from Kakanj." What does that

    24 mean, six buses and two vans? Was somebody in those

    25 buses and vans and who?

  38. 1 A. The buses that came from Kakanj, according to

    2 this report, brought with them members of the BH army

    3 who were to have been engaged in the offensive

    4 operations that were to be carried out in the area of

    5 Busovaca municipality. May I add that we often mention

    6 Zenica.

    7 Mr. President, and, Your Honours, for a

    8 better understanding of the balance of forces in the

    9 Lasva Valley I wish to tell you the following: Zenica,

    10 as a town, had more inhabitants than the whole of

    11 Busovaca, Vitez and Novi Travnik together. So that the

    12 forces that were in Zenica were more numerous than if

    13 we were to add up all the forces that we had. In Novi

    14 Travnik I am talking about BH army units even in

    15 comparison to the HVO forces in Vitez, Busovaca and

    16 Novi Travnik.

    17 So, in addition to the forces that were in

    18 Zenica and the local forces in the territory of Vitez

    19 and Busovaca, I mean BH army forces, reinforcements

    20 were coming from Kakanj and Visoko.

    21 Q. When the report says six buses, how many men

    22 is that for a soldier?

    23 A. That would be about 300 men. And in view of

    24 the organisational level of the BH army, that could be

    25 described as the strength of a battalion.

  39. 1 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please.

    2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 289, 289A for the

    3 English version.

    4 MR. NOBILO:

    5 Q. Brigadier, we all have before us a report of

    6 the Zrinski Brigade from Busovaca dated the 17th of

    7 April, 1993, but now at 830 hours. The officer on

    8 duty, or rather the Brigade commander, Dusko Grubesic

    9 says: "Units from Zenica have lost their positions on

    10 Kuber. And they separated from the units of the

    11 Zrinski Brigade elevation point 897 and grid points

    12 Seracivici are under the control of the BH army. You

    13 will be informed of any further activities. Brigade

    14 commander, Dusko Grubesic."

    15 Tell us whether you recall this document and

    16 whether it is a faithful copy of the original document

    17 that you had in your hand on that day?

    18 A. I remember the copy, the copy does correspond

    19 to the original. It was received by Packet link and it

    20 was entered in the register of the Central Bosnia

    21 Operative Zone command. As we are talking about events

    22 of the 17th, I had prepared a map indicating all the

    23 major conflicts and artillery operations in the Lasva

    24 Valley that had occurred in the course of the 17th of

    25 April.

  40. 1 MR. NOBILO: Can we ask the usher just to

    2 take away the cap from the projector so that we can

    3 have the map shown?

    4 Q. Until we come to that map, tell us, you told

    5 the Court that Kuber was of strategic importance. What

    6 does it mean that the HVO, that units from Zenica, had

    7 lost on Kuber the elevation point 897 and grid point

    8 Saracevici, and that they were taken over on the 17th

    9 of April at 0830 hours by the BH army? What did this

    10 mean for the military position of the HVO in the Lasva

    11 Valley?

    12 A. From the order of the commander of the

    13 Operative Zone addressed to the commander of the Nikola

    14 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade saying that Kuber must not

    15 fall. In spite of such an explicit order, HVO units

    16 did lose a part of Kuber, a part of Kuber. They lost

    17 elevation point 897 and a part of the mountain called

    18 Saracevica, which means that the road was endangered at

    19 Kaonik, and this also shows that HVO units in the Lasva

    20 Valley in the territory of Busovaca and Vitez

    21 municipalities were endangered by BH army attacks.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please.

    23 THE REGISTRAR: The map that is being

    24 projected has been marked D290.

    25 THE WITNESS: If possible, can we have it

  41. 1 focused?

    2 MR. NOBILO: We'll come to the map later.

    3 For the moment, we'll look through all the reports, and

    4 only then will we look at the map, towards the end of

    5 the day. Let's first examine all the reports.

    6 THE REGISTRAR: Document D291, D291A for the

    7 French version, D291B for the English version.

    8 MR. NOBILO:

    9 Q. Brigadier, for the first time, we see a

    10 report by the HVO from Zenica. Something is obviously

    11 happening there, so I'll read some key parts. The

    12 command of the HVO Zenica and the forward command post

    13 of Zmajevac, the date is the 17th of April, 1993, 1020

    14 hours. It is addressed to the command of the Central

    15 Bosnia Operative Zone, and the heading is "Request."

    16 "1) HVO members in the village of Stranjani are under

    17 a complete siege, may have been given an ultimatum to

    18 surrender their weapons. I have ordered a breakthrough

    19 towards the villages of Janjac and Osojnica. Morale is

    20 increasingly declining; therefore, I am not certain

    21 that the order will be executed. 2) Muslim forces are

    22 increasingly surrounding Zmajevac, Cajdras, and

    23 Stranjani. They have broken up our sparse forces into

    24 groups, and they are trying to disarm and destroy

    25 them. 3) Displaced persons are coming to Cajdras.

  42. 1 However, Cajdras is being encircled. 4) I will try to

    2 reach the village of Cajdras. 5) Please issue urgent

    3 instructions for further action and provide us with any

    4 assistance as the morale of the fighters is very low."

    5 Signed, "Commander Vinko Barisic."

    6 First, Brigadier, tell us whether this

    7 photocopy is a faithful replica of the original

    8 document that reached you from the HVO Zenica at 1020?

    9 A. Yes. It is a faithful copy, and this can be

    10 seen from the incoming stamp of the communications

    11 centre. All the hand-written notes were written by

    12 General Blaskic, and those of us who were working on

    13 these documents had certain instructions to go by.

    14 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, it says "Commander Vinko

    15 Barisic." Wasn't Zivko Totic the commander of this

    16 brigade? Let us remind the Court.

    17 A. This document, as can be seen, was issued on

    18 the 17th of April, 1993. Prior to that date, as we saw

    19 yesterday, the commander of the Zenica Brigade, today

    20 Brigadier Zivko Totic, was abducted and his escort was

    21 killed. So that in the case of the Zenica HVO, the

    22 first task had been accomplished. The leaders had been

    23 removed, so the position of commander is taken over by

    24 Vinko Barisic.

    25 Q. In item 1, Vinko Barisic says that he is not

  43. 1 sure that the order will be carried out, his order to

    2 make a breakthrough towards Janjac, because of the fall

    3 in morale. Why do you think this unit suddenly lost

    4 its combat morale, and we will see later on that it was

    5 eventually put out of action?

    6 A. The decline in combat morale occurred because

    7 the soldiers of the HVO in the village of Stranjani,

    8 let me show you where it is, this is next to Stranjani,

    9 right next to Zenica. It is a settlement with a

    10 majority Croatian population, and they found themselves

    11 totally surrounded, under siege.

    12 Q. In addition to this encirclement, was their

    13 morale also affected by the fact that their commander

    14 had been abducted?

    15 A. Certainly. This affected the whole chain of

    16 command when it comes to HVO forces in Zenica.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please.

    18 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 292, 292A

    19 for the French version, 292B for the English version.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. Brigadier, this document was received by you

    22 from the Busovaca Brigade at 12.00. It is brief. It

    23 is self-explanatory. There were no important events,

    24 so I won't read this document. I should just like you

    25 to tell the Court whether this is a faithful photocopy

  44. 1 of the original document that you received from the

    2 Busovaca Brigade at 12.00?

    3 A. Yes. It is a faithful copy. The document

    4 was sent from the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. It

    5 reached us by Packet. It was entered in the register

    6 of the Operative Zone command.

    7 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please?

    8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 293, 293A for the

    9 French version, 293B for the English version.

    10 MR. NOBILO:

    11 Q. Brigadier, I will read this document, though

    12 the copy is rather dark and is hardly legible, but

    13 we'll do our best. The Croatian Defence Council, from

    14 Vitez, on the 17th of April, 1993, at 1430 hours, to

    15 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone command, is sending a

    16 combat report which reads:

    17 "In the zone of responsibility of the

    18 Viteska Brigade, during the day today, extremist Muslim

    19 forces continued to provoke in all areas of the

    20 municipality. Last night, Muslim forces constantly

    21 conducted regrouping of their forces in order to

    22 realise their sinister aims, that of destroying the

    23 Croatian population in these parts and the Croatian

    24 Defence Council, the only legal and legitimate armed

    25 force which has, so far, already contributed greatly to

  45. 1 protect these lands from Chetnik conquest and

    2 destruction of Croatian, as well as Muslim, property

    3 and lives.

    4 In the early morning hours, after evacuating

    5 their own population, Muslim forces opened infantry

    6 fire on our forces and around 0500 hours started

    7 shelling the town. Our forces did not respond to all

    8 the Muslim forces' provocations during the night, and

    9 they respected the order issued by the Central Bosnia

    10 Operative Zone command.

    11 After the provocations became more frequent

    12 and considerable material damage was incurred to our

    13 population's property, our forces responded fiercely

    14 and forced the Muslim forces to abandon their sinister

    15 plans.

    16 During the day today, our forces merely

    17 responded to Muslim provocations, aiming exclusively at

    18 military targets in order to protect their civilian

    19 population from the suffering which they are being

    20 subjected to by their extremist leaders.

    21 The total number of those killed among the

    22 Croatian population in conflict so far is 7 HVO members

    23 and 11 HVO members wounded, while the number of

    24 civilian casualties is not known. The Muslim forces

    25 are continuing to burn our houses in the inhabited

  46. 1 areas of Poculica and Gornja Dubravica, from where our

    2 population has been expelled."

    3 This is hardly legible, because there's a

    4 stamp covering the text, and then it goes on to say:

    5 "A considerable number of our citizens were

    6 arrested, so that in Poculica alone, about 45 citizens

    7 have been arrested, among whom there are mothers with

    8 small children from the age of two days.

    9 We received information in the early

    10 afternoon hours that Muslim forces are moving from the

    11 direction of Opara village in Novi Travnik in the

    12 direction in the village of Zaselje which is gripped by

    13 fear and panic among our population. The same are

    14 moving out in the direction of Veceriska.

    15 We informed Zeljko Sabljic, commander of the

    16 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, immediately about this." It

    17 is signed by Mario Cerkez, commander of the brigade,

    18 though it cannot be seen exactly who drafted this

    19 report.

    20 Tell me first, Brigadier, whether this

    21 photocopy, in spite of it being a poor one, corresponds

    22 to the original report received from the Viteska

    23 Brigade on the 17th of April at 1430 hours?

    24 A. The copy does correspond to the original.

    25 The document was drafted in the Viteska Brigade. It

  47. 1 reached the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. It was

    2 entered in the register.

    3 Q. We have a specific style of writing here, for

    4 instance, reference to the Muslim forces' sinister

    5 aims. Is this an example of the type of reporting you

    6 referred to in the morning?

    7 A. Yes. A part of the text in this report is an

    8 eloquent example of the kind of reports I was referring

    9 to, because commanders or members of brigade commands,

    10 due to lack of military training, would write this kind

    11 of combat report using terms which are not important

    12 for military terminology.

    13 Q. Tell the Court, as far as you know, what was

    14 the educational background of Mario Cerkez?

    15 A. Mario Cerkez, as of March 1992, was the

    16 commander of the Viteska Brigade. As for his

    17 education, as far as I know, he had completed a school

    18 for qualified workers. This is a three-year school

    19 following obligatory secondary education.

    20 Q. Let me draw your attention to the paragraph

    21 on the second page, which I will repeat: "This text

    22 was drafted on the 17th of April at 1430. During the

    23 day today, our forces only responded to Muslim

    24 provocations, aiming exclusively at military targets in

    25 order to protect their civilian population from the

  48. 1 suffering which they are being led into by the

    2 extremist leaders."

    3 What do you think? What is the message of

    4 this report? Why is this included in his report of the

    5 17th of April at 1430 hours?

    6 A. If we remember the order of General Blaskic

    7 written in the night between the 16th and 17th and the

    8 sentence when he emphasised in block capitals that the

    9 civilian population must not be killed, because that is

    10 a crime, this commander who wrote this report had

    11 received that order, and he is informing his commander

    12 that he had conveyed this order to his own

    13 subordinates.

    14 Q. I think there is no need to dwell further on

    15 this document, because it is self-explanatory.

    16 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please?

    17 THE REGISTRAR: Document D294, D294A for the

    18 French version, D294B for the English version.

    19 MR. NOBILO:

    20 Q. So we have before us document D294. I will

    21 read parts of it because this is a report sent by the

    22 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade from Busovaca on the 17th

    23 of April, but this time at 1800 hours, addressed to you

    24 in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. "1) During the

    25 day in the zone of the Zrinsjki Brigade Busovaca,

  49. 1 Muslim extremists combat activities continued. At 530

    2 hours, a fierce infantry attack was launched by Muslim

    3 extremists and oppositions in the region of Kuber and

    4 Obla Glava. Muslim fanatics attacked our positions all

    5 day with sizeable artillery support from the territory

    6 of Zenica municipality.

    7 As mortar shells started landing on the

    8 centre of the town of Busovaca, a general alert was

    9 sounded at 1000 hours as a precaution in order to avoid

    10 unwanted consequences. Our positions in the villages

    11 of Bare and Dornja Rovna was also under fire all day

    12 from the direction of Pezici and Gornja Rovna. There

    13 was some occasional fire from the village of Merdani on

    14 oppositions in the region of the villages of Strane,

    15 Gavrine Kuce, and Podjele" .

    16 I will not read the rest of this report, but

    17 I should like to ask you whether you recall this report

    18 and whether this copy is faithful to the original?

    19 A. I remember the report. This is a faithful

    20 copy of the original. It was sent from the Nikola

    21 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. It was signed by Ljubo Lovric,

    22 whom I know. It bears the stamp of the Brigade and the

    23 incoming stamp of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone

    24 command.

    25 Q. How was it sent? By fax?

  50. 1 A. This document was received by fax. As can be

    2 seen from the indication on the stamp, it says TLF,

    3 which means telefax.

    4 Q. Tell me, Oblaglava, you've already told us

    5 about Kuber, where is Oblaglava?

    6 A. The places of the conflicts referred to in

    7 this report are all in the territory of Mount Kuber and

    8 I will show them to you on this map. So you see

    9 Oblaglava, Kuber is a large mountain where we have both

    10 Obla Glava at the foot of which is the village of

    11 Jelinak, the village of Putis, then Saracevici. So

    12 this is the area where BH army units launched a strong

    13 attack. But this report as it was written at 1800

    14 hours, so we must remember the previous reports and the

    15 forces coming from Kakanj and Zenica. And we now have

    16 on the ground the results of those activities by forces

    17 of the BH army brought from Zenica and from Kakanj,

    18 which is off the map.

    19 Q. Brigadier, let us now read the last report of

    20 the Viteska Brigade issued on 2400 hours on the 17th of

    21 April and after that we shall try to summarise your

    22 recollections with the help of the map to indicate

    23 where the clashes were. This is the last document

    24 dated the 17th of April at 2400 hours.

    25 THE REGISTRAR: This is 295, D295A is the

  51. 1 English version.

    2 MR. NOBILO: This is 17th April, report of

    3 17th April.

    4 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me the English booth

    5 did not receive its copy and there is none projected on

    6 the ELMO. Can we please have one or the other?

    7 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel, nothing that

    8 counsel is reading is being translated because they are

    9 unable to read it. So if you can just wait until they

    10 either get a copy or -- I take it that's the problem in

    11 the booth? So if counsel could...

    12 MR. HAYMAN: It was on the ELMO, Mr.

    13 President, just the video monitor is showing the map

    14 and not the document on the ELMO. That's why they're

    15 not seeing it.

    16 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you it is fine now.

    17 Thank you.

    18 MR. NOBILO:

    19 Q. I will read from the top: "This is the

    20 Viteska Brigade command of 17th April, 1993, at 2400

    21 hours. It is sending its report to the Central Bosnia

    22 Operative Zone command." And here we come from the

    23 body of text.

    24 "During the afternoon hours and especially

    25 in the evening hours, after regrouping its forces, the

  52. 1 enemy launch infantry attacks from several directions

    2 as follows:

    3 1) From the direction of Zenica towards Kuber

    4 it was observed that Mujahedeen and other extremist

    5 Muslim forces were on the move. Their task was to take

    6 control in the Kuber region and then with the support

    7 of artillery pieces, make a break through on the

    8 stretch Gola Kosa --" I can't read the next word.

    9 "Join with Muslim forces in the village of Ahmici and

    10 cut off the Kaonik Travnik communication line and join

    11 Muslim forces in the Rovna region.

    12 Our forces have been trying to withstand

    13 fierce attacks from Muslim forces and unable to offer

    14 the appropriate resistance. They carried out a

    15 temporary retreat to reserve positions. However, upon

    16 the arrival of fresh forces, they have successfully

    17 retaken the lost positions and the control of a new

    18 region.

    19 The retreat of our forces provoked a

    20 temporary drop in morale among a number of soldiers.

    21 However, this lost self-confidence soon returned and in

    22 the end it resulted in their return to the previous

    23 positions.

    24 2) In the region of Santici village, combat

    25 activities were conducted almost throughout the day.

  53. 1 The intensity of combat activities was especially

    2 pronounced after Muslim forces joined in from the

    3 Sljivcica, Sivrino Selo and Pirici direction with

    4 constant artillery support from the direction of

    5 Poculica and Vrhovine villages. The goal of Muslim

    6 attack was to take control of the Santici region and

    7 provide support to Zenica and cut off the Kaonik

    8 Travnik portion of the road and join in with the Muslim

    9 forces in the region of Rovna, Vranjska and Kruscica.

    10 3. Forces of the BH army located in the

    11 region of Kruscica village --" I can't read the next

    12 couple of words, but it says, "Open intense fire

    13 towards the region of Vitez and fired several mortar

    14 missiles from the region of Sivrino Bukve to the

    15 village of Donja Veceriska, killing two of our

    16 soldiers. And in the Kruscica village one soldier was

    17 killed and several were seriously and slightly

    18 wounded. The material damage incurred to civilian

    19 buildings was significant, especially the property of

    20 Muslims who sought protection --"

    21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the usher please move

    22 to the next page. A bit further down, please.

    23 MR. NOBILO: "The Muslims who had sought

    24 shelter and served as a special purposes production.

    25 According to the information received from our

  54. 1 reconnaissance group there was mortar fire from

    2 elevation point 536 on the Rovna and Donja Rovna region

    3 in the area of Busovaca municipality.

    4 4) From the Preocica village where the

    5 majority of Muslim forces, mostly those who have come

    6 from outside of the region have been concentrating and

    7 there was an attempt to launch infantry attacks in two

    8 directions as follows:

    9 The main attack direction was in the village

    10 of Tolovici, which they had taken earlier and in the

    11 direction of the villages Krcevine and Dubravica with

    12 the goal of cutting off the defence line, destroying

    13 our positions as well as the civilian population and

    14 material goods and breaking through to the Vitez

    15 Travnik communication line, taking control of it and

    16 further advancing towards Stari Vitez.

    17 Auxiliary l forces have been sent in the

    18 direction of Poculica village and they joined with the

    19 forces in Sljivcica and Vrhovine. This break through

    20 of Muslim forces was thwarted and thanks to the high

    21 morale of our soldiers, who are mostly from this area,

    22 and who are determined to defend these Croatian lands,

    23 the enemy's attack was repelled.

    24 5) The part of extremist Muslim forces that

    25 have come from outside of the region and local members

  55. 1 of Muslim forces from the village of Preocica,

    2 Moratovici (phoen), Bukve and Pukovici, as well as part

    3 of forces from the village of Klaka (phoen) joined in a

    4 fierce infantry attack on the Brdo village where one of

    5 our smaller units is located. Considering that the

    6 enemy was far superior, both in the strength of troops

    7 and materiel and equipment, our units were forced to

    8 retreat in the direction of the village of Zabilje.

    9 There were no casualties among our troops; whereas the

    10 enemy casualties were not reported.

    11 6) Late in the evening, the enemy continued

    12 with further acts of provocation along our positions,

    13 especially prominent among the enemy activities was

    14 sniping on all parts of our municipality. So that we

    15 warned our population to be on full alert while in

    16 their homes." The signature is illegible so I can't

    17 read it. Somebody signed it on behalf of the commander

    18 but I can't read the signature. But let me ask you:

    19 Can you assist us in this, did you see this document

    20 when it arrived from the Viteska Brigade?

    21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the witness,

    22 please.

    23 A. Apologies.

    24 MR. NOBILO:

    25 Q. Again let me repeat this question, do you

  56. 1 recall this document and did you see it on 17th April,

    2 1993?

    3 A. I did see this document, it arrived in the

    4 Operative Zone command. I remember the contents of the

    5 document even though the signature is illegible, I can

    6 recognise it. It is Borislav Jozic's signature and he

    7 signed it on behalf of the commander Mario Cerkez.

    8 Q. Thank you. Let me now again ask you to come

    9 to the scale model in order to try to reconstruct the

    10 fighting on the 17th of April in the Vitez municipality

    11 because this is a document that was drafted at the very

    12 end of that day. The judges can see where this

    13 fighting took place. First, this is from the direction

    14 of Zenica towards Kuber and the Mujahedeen forces were

    15 observed, which we are trying to take control of

    16 Kuber.

    17 A. Mr. President, I have already pointed this

    18 direction towards Kuber and the forces which were

    19 dispatched before this time of reporting were not

    20 sufficient, so additional forces were brought in to

    21 complete the task. See, it is from this direction of

    22 Zenica.

    23 Q. Second, the report says that the fighting

    24 went on throughout the day in Santici and then

    25 Sljivcica, Sivrino Selo and Pirici?

  57. 1 A. The village of Santici is along the road

    2 between Vitez and Kaonik. That is Busovaca Vitez

    3 road.

    4 Q. Brigadier, is this the first neighbouring

    5 village to Ahmici?

    6 A. Yes, it is the neighbouring village. The

    7 village of Santici is directly on that main direction

    8 of attack of the BH army with the objective of linking

    9 up with their forces in Vranjska.

    10 Q. Further, the report states that the Muslim

    11 forces from the area of Sljivcica, Sivrino Selo and

    12 Pirici joined in the fighting?

    13 A. This is Sljivicica and Sivrino Selo and

    14 Pirici are neighbouring villages to Santici and

    15 Ahmici. All this is within an area of one square

    16 kilometre.

    17 Q. Can we say that Sivrino Selo, Pirici and

    18 Sljivcica were all on a higher ground than the villages

    19 of Santici and Ahmici, which are both closer to the

    20 road?

    21 A. Yes, you can see from this model that the

    22 Sivrino Selo is leaning on Sivrino Selo which is

    23 actually a hill. And also the village of Pirici is

    24 sort of a continuation of Sljivcica. I cannot recall

    25 the name of this hill here, but you can see clearly the

  58. 1 relations between those.

    2 Q. Further on, the report says that the forces

    3 which were at these two villages are trying to link up

    4 to these other two villages, Kruscica, Rovna, and

    5 Vranska. Where are Pirici, Sivrino Selo and Sljivcica

    6 in relation to that?

    7 A. The Sljivcica hill, Sivrino Selo, and Pirici

    8 are to the left, moving from Vitez to Kaonik. The

    9 villages of Vrhovine, Rovna -- no, no, I mean, Rovna,

    10 Vranska -- my apologies. The villages of Kruscica,

    11 Rovna, and Vranska are to the right of the road going

    12 from Vitez to Kaonik, and this is where the positions

    13 of the HVO were.

    14 The HVO positions were squeezed --

    15 JUDGE JORDA: It is to the right of the

    16 villages where, you're saying, Vitez is? Are you sure

    17 about that? I'm looking at this map here. You're

    18 talking about Sivrino Selo and Pirici; is that correct?

    19 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, in order to

    20 follow what I'm pointing at on the scale model, I'm

    21 also going to try to point it out on the map which we

    22 have on the easel.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, but I want to

    24 understand you. On the map, when you go from Vitez to

    25 Kaonik, we have the impression that Ahmici and Nadioci

  59. 1 are to the left. Santici, I don't see very clearly, at

    2 least that's what it seems to me, looking at this map

    3 and looking at this one as well.

    4 MR. NOBILO: That is correct. That is

    5 absolutely correct.

    6 Q. Brigadier, could you show the villages on the

    7 large map on the easel, Sivrino Selo, Sljivcica,

    8 Ahmici, Santici. Going from Vitez towards Busovaca, on

    9 which side of the road are those villages?

    10 A. Sivrino Selo, Ahmici, and Santici are in this

    11 circle (indicating). It's here.

    12 Q. Which side of the road is that?

    13 A. That is the left side of the road going from

    14 Vitez towards Kaonik, that is, towards Busovaca.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: To the left then, correct, to

    16 the left?

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

    18 That is one group of villages where the Muslim forces

    19 were.

    20 Q. Now, the other group, please, could you show

    21 Rovna, Kruscica, where they are going from Vitez to

    22 Busovaca?

    23 A. These villages are on the right-hand side,

    24 and this is the village of Vranska here (indicating),

    25 Kruscica, Vranska, Rovna. These villages are in this

  60. 1 circle. I'm going to try to mark them with this

    2 pointer. They are situated within a square area of

    3 about three square kilometres.

    4 Q. On which side of the road going towards

    5 Busovaca?

    6 A. The village of Vranska, Kruscica, and Rovna

    7 are on the right-hand side of the highway going from

    8 Vitez towards Kaonik.

    9 Q. Looking at the map and looking due north and

    10 south, Ahmici, Santici, Pirici, where are they?

    11 A. Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici, looking in

    12 relation to the Vitez-Kaonik road, are on the north

    13 side. Kruscica, Rovna, and Vranska are on the south

    14 side of the road.

    15 Q. Thank you. Turn to channel 6 for your

    16 interpretation.

    17 For the Court, we have forces attacking from

    18 the north towards the road. Then we have some forces

    19 attacking from the south towards the road. In this

    20 combat situation, what, do you infer, is their

    21 objective?

    22 A. The main objective of forces which were

    23 attacking in this way is to cut off the communication

    24 line, to destroy the command of the Operative Zone, and

    25 taking control of the explosives factory in Vitez.

  61. 1 Q. Brigadier, is this development something that

    2 corresponded to the intelligence reports which we

    3 received and about which the previous witness had

    4 talked about?

    5 A. This report corresponds fully with the

    6 information which was furnished to us by our

    7 intelligence unit in the area of Busovaca and Vitez

    8 municipalities.

    9 MR. NOBILO: Can we have the maps

    10 distributed, please? This is Exhibit D290. In other

    11 words, the map had already been marked for

    12 identification. We have it up on the easel, but we

    13 also have provided hard copies, and it shows the combat

    14 situation on 17 April.

    15 Q. I would like you to analyse the combat

    16 situation on the 17th of April, to your best

    17 recollection, once we have all of these copies

    18 distributed.

    19 THE REGISTRAR: The map is Exhibit D290.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. Brigadier, first, who made this map?

    22 A. I did.

    23 Q. What does it represent?

    24 A. It represents the development of combat

    25 operations in the municipalities of Busovaca, Vitez,

  62. 1 and Zenica on 17 April, 1993.

    2 Q. Do you agree that the circle would represent

    3 the area of combat, the arrows where the artillery

    4 shells or projectiles would fall, and the elliptical

    5 shape would be where the HVO forces and Croatian

    6 civilians were surrounded?

    7 A. Yes. Those are the symbols used in this map.

    8 Q. Brigadier, could you please describe this map

    9 in your own words. If you can just summarise your

    10 recollections of the day, you don't need to go into

    11 every detail. What were the main developments and what

    12 were the main problems on the 17th of April, 1993?

    13 A. On the basis of the reports which were

    14 presented, we have been able to see what the size of

    15 the conflict was, the size of the forces deployed by

    16 the BH army, and the key areas where the most intense

    17 fighting took place.

    18 The key problem, the key difficulty, for the

    19 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command was the

    20 following: The fate of the Stranjani and its

    21 inhabitants; also, the fate of the HVO troops and

    22 civilians in Podbrijezje, a village, and then the hill

    23 of Zmajevac and the village of Cajdras. All this, we

    24 can see from the reports of the new commander of the

    25 Jure Francetic Brigade, Mr. Vinko Barisic. Also, we

  63. 1 did not know the fate of the Zenica Brigade commander.

    2 Because of this situation, we had the influx

    3 of refugees from the Zenica municipality to the

    4 Busovaca municipality. As far as the Vitez

    5 municipality is concerned, it can be seen that the

    6 local forces in the area of Vitez municipality had

    7 linked up with the main forces which had arrived from

    8 Zenica, and they linked up with the Mujahedeen unit and

    9 with the units of the 7th Muslim Brigade.

    10 The most significant fighting has been marked

    11 here, and I'm going to go in order. It is the villages

    12 of Brdo, which, on that day, the army of the BH took

    13 control of.

    14 Q. Brigadier, could you show the village of Brdo

    15 on the map?

    16 A. Yes. It is here (indicating), and it was an

    17 exclusively Croatian village. Its inhabitants were

    18 exclusively Croatian. The army of BH attacked it. The

    19 local troops which were there had to retreat to the

    20 neighbouring village of Zabilje, another Croatian

    21 village.

    22 The next flash point, also very important,

    23 was the attack of the BH army units against the troops

    24 in the village of Krcevine which is also a village with

    25 a full Croatian population.

  64. 1 The further attack which took place in the

    2 Vitez municipality was Donja Dubravica. This is Donja

    3 Dubravica (indicating). Again, this is the attack of

    4 the BH army from the direction of Poculica village and

    5 Gornja or upper Dubravica. Let me remind you that

    6 there's an upper Dubravica and a lower Dubravica.

    7 Donja Dubravica was controlled by the HVO, and Gornja

    8 Dubravica, upper Dubravica, was controlled by the BH

    9 army.

    10 The next flash point was a conflict in the

    11 village of Santici, Sivrino Selo, and the village --

    12 just a moment, Santici, Sivrino Selo, and Pirici.

    13 These villages are directly along the road and near the

    14 village of Ahmici. From those villages to the village

    15 of Vranska, to the village of Kruscica and Rovna, the

    16 distance, that is, the area separating the two forces,

    17 Santici and Sivrino Selo, that is, the forces which are

    18 at Vranska and Kruscica, is no more than 1.5

    19 kilometres.

    20 The next flash point is Obla Glava, Jelinak,

    21 Putis. Those are all on Mount Kuber. I recall that

    22 the units of BH army took control of both the villages

    23 of Jelinak and Putis.

    24 The next flash point is the village of Strane

    25 and the village of Podjele, the area between Ravno and

  65. 1 the village of Bare, and we have constant intense

    2 shelling which is shown by these arrows. In other

    3 words, Donja Veceriska was shelled; the town of Vitez

    4 was shelled; the town of Busovaca and the village of

    5 Donja Polje. There was more artillery shelling, but I

    6 only marked the very intense powerful shelling on this

    7 map.

    8 Also, another characteristic of that day was

    9 steady sniper fire from the area controlled by the BH

    10 army and sniping of the town of Vitez where the HVO

    11 units were located.

    12 Q. In closing right now, are these circles only

    13 the main flash points, not any points where the

    14 fighting took place on that day?

    15 A. That is correct. These are only the major

    16 flash points, but the fighting took place along the

    17 entire line of defence where the HVO and the BH army

    18 units were.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, it is 1.00. I

    20 think it's time for our break.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: All right. The hearing is

    22 adjourned. We will resume at 2.30.

    23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.02 p.m.



  66. 1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Please have Colonel Tihomir

    3 Blaskic brought in please. Mr. Nobilo.

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

    5 Q. Brigadier, we had stopped with this map that

    6 you compiled and you said that the arrows indicate the

    7 places where artillery shells fell. Were they only

    8 mortar and artillery shells or were there any other

    9 shells as well?

    10 A. In addition to the artillery and mortar

    11 shells, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in its attack on

    12 Vitez and Busovaca also used two tanks which were

    13 situated in the village of Poculica here. Here.

    14 Here, this here.

    15 Q. On the 17th of April, were the tanks there

    16 and operating?

    17 A. Yes, the tanks were in the village of

    18 Poculica and they were firing on the Town of Vitez.

    19 And not selectively, that is without selecting the

    20 targets, but shelling the Town of Vitez as such.

    21 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, on the 17th of April,

    22 they used two tanks, how many tanks did the HVO have in

    23 Central Bosnia?

    24 A. In Central Bosnia, the HVO had no tanks.

    25 Q. You said that on the 17th of April in the

  67. 1 vicinity of Santici, Pirici, there were clashes

    2 according to reports. Tell me, near the village of

    3 Ahmici where was the front-line on the 17th of April and

    4 could you show us on this map where the front-line was

    5 established?

    6 A. On the 17th of April, 1993, a front was

    7 established about 50 metres or so from the village of

    8 Ahmici or more precisely near Alangji (phoen). That

    9 position of the HVO on the 17th of April is about 500

    10 metres from the Vitez Kaonik Busovaca Road. I shall

    11 try and point it out with this pointer.

    12 Here, where the pointer is, that would be the

    13 front-line established by the HVO on the 17th of April.

    14 That is 50 metres from the last house in Ahmici in

    15 Barin Gaj.

    16 Q. And how many metres from the HVO front-line,

    17 and you said that that front-line was 50 metres from the

    18 last house in Ahmici, and how far was the front-line of

    19 the BH army from the last house in Ahmici?

    20 A. The distance between the HVO positions and

    21 the BH army positions was about 150 to 200 metres,

    22 which depended on the location on the ground, so that

    23 the front-line was in Barin Gaj outside the village of

    24 Ahmici.

    25 Q. That's north of Ahmici, about 200 metres

  68. 1 north of Ahmici?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Tell us, did this front-line move at all until

    4 the end of the war?

    5 A. The front-line established on the 17th of

    6 April, 1993, between units of the HVO and the BH army

    7 remained unchanged until the Washington Agreement.

    8 Q. Is it your opinion that that line was held by

    9 local forces from Ahmici or did they receive

    10 reinforcements? Did fresh forces come to the

    11 assistance of the local forces in Ahmici outside Vitez

    12 municipality?

    13 A. In explaining the combat situation on the

    14 17th and the 16th of April, I had mentioned that forces

    15 from Zenica had come to the assistance of the local

    16 forces in the villages and, therefore, the local forces

    17 in the village of Ahmici itself. Those forces arrived

    18 and together with those forces, units of the BH army

    19 established at the front-line in Barin Gaj in relation

    20 to the HVO units.

    21 Q. Thank you. Can we now distribute the next

    22 document, please.

    23 JUDGE RIAD: Brigadier Marin, when you say

    24 local forces in Ahmici, what do you mean by the local

    25 forces in Ahmici?

  69. 1 A. The local forces in Ahmici were units of the

    2 BH army, a unit which roughly the strength of a company

    3 because when talking about the organisation of both the

    4 HVO and the BH army was that the basic premise was that

    5 units should be formed in villages: One village; one

    6 unit. If the village was inhabited exclusively by

    7 Bosniak Muslims then there would be a unit of the BH

    8 army. If a village was inhabited by Croats then there

    9 was an HV unit there. If there were mixed villages,

    10 such as Ahmici was up to an extent, the Croats joined

    11 HVO units and the Bosniak Muslims joined BH army

    12 units.

    13 Q. The transcript says "HV units", the Brigadier

    14 said HVO units, so could the record be corrected,

    15 please. Let me ask you once again, were there any HV

    16 units there or HVO units, the Croatian Defence Council

    17 units?

    18 A. In Central Bosnia, during the war, there were

    19 never any units of the Croatian army. In Croatian

    20 villages, in Central Bosnia, there were units of the

    21 HVO, the Croatian Defence Council.

    22 Q. Thank you. Next document. Can we have the

    23 number, please?

    24 THE REGISTRAR: D296, 296A for the French

    25 version, 296B for the English version.

  70. 1 MR. NOBILO:

    2 Q. So we have before us, Document 296. Now we

    3 will be seeing a series of orders by Colonel Blaskic of

    4 the 17th of April. Up until now we were reviewing the

    5 reports he received and now we're looking at the

    6 orders. Let me read, "Central Bosnia Operative Zone

    7 command, the 17th of April, 1993, at 1850 hours. An

    8 order is issued to the Viteska Brigade, the Zrinski

    9 Brigade and the 4th Military Battalion. Three units

    10 are affected by this order." Preamble: "Because of

    11 the intensified attacks by Muslim forces in the area of

    12 Kuber and because the safety of the Kaonik Vitez Road

    13 may be called in question with the objective of

    14 preventing the enemy from seizing and taking control of

    15 the said road, I hereby order:

    16 1) With the forces of the Viteska Brigade,

    17 the Zrinski Brigade and the 4th Military Police

    18 Battalion form a defence line in the wider area of

    19 Kuber and link up with forces from Vidovic, grid point

    20 514 to grid point --" I would say it was 646, "Jelinak

    21 and Oblaglava, with the following task: To organise a

    22 decisive defence on the above-described line and to

    23 prevent the enemy advance toward Kaonik and Nadioci at

    24 all costs."

    25 Item 3 in the second sentence says: "Report

  71. 1 to me immediately about all significant changes on the

    2 said defence line.

    3 4) Report to me about the execution of this

    4 order by 2400 hours." First it said 11 or 77 of April,

    5 1993. Obviously there was some typing errors in the

    6 original. "Signed, Commander Colonel Blaskic."

    7 Tell me, Brigadier, first, whether this

    8 photocopy is true to the original order written by

    9 Colonel Blaskic on the 17th of April at 1815 hours?

    10 A. Yes. It is a faithful copy. I personally

    11 drafted the document. It was signed by General

    12 Blaskic. It bears the stamp of the command of the

    13 Operative Zone. The letters ONO refers to me because I

    14 followed the implementation of this order.

    15 Q. Can we say that in items three and four

    16 emphasis is laid on the need to report back?

    17 A. Yes, especially in Item 4 because both the

    18 time, the day and the hour is indicated. That is a

    19 deadline for reporting because the situation

    20 underground was very complicated and difficult and the

    21 commanders sought in every possible way to obtain

    22 information as to what was happening.

    23 Q. Brigadier, could you use the pointer to show

    24 us the front-line according to this order? Could you

    25 show it to us on the relief, please?

  72. 1 A. Yes, I can.

    2 Q. Please do so. Will you show us Vidovici and

    3 the grid reference point 514 and grid reference point

    4 646 Jelinak, Oblaglava?

    5 A. This is Vidovici, just above Mahala, which is

    6 not mentioned here but it is important to prevent

    7 infiltration into Nadioci and the slopes of Kuber and

    8 here is the village of Jelinak and Oblaglava. It is

    9 rather difficult to show because the line is a winding

    10 one.

    11 Q. Brigadier, tell us, is it true that the line

    12 was established on the southern slopes of Kuber between

    13 the main road or the Lasva River and Kuber?

    14 A. Yes, the line was established on the southern

    15 slopes, actually at the very foot of Kuber right next

    16 to the road. More simply speaking from the road to the

    17 locality called Gavrine or Jelinak. It may have been a

    18 kilometre and a half or two kilometres as the crow

    19 flies.

    20 Q. Does that mean that on the 17th of April at

    21 1815 you had actually lost Mount Kuber and the most

    22 dominant features on that mountain?

    23 A. Yes, that can be seen from this order. That

    24 we had totally lost the feature Kuber and that it was

    25 under the sovereign control of the army of

  73. 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This entire mountain plateau was

    2 in their hand, so that the road that we insisted on

    3 defending was in jeopardy. And here it says a decisive

    4 defence, which means there can be no withdrawal, it has

    5 to be defended at all costs. And now the Vitez Kaonik

    6 Busovaca Road was endangered.

    7 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Next document,

    8 please. Can we distribute it?

    9 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 297, 297A

    10 for the French version and 297B for the English

    11 version.

    12 MR. NOBILO:

    13 Q. So the commander, Colonel Blaskic, on the

    14 17th of April, 1993, at 2000 hours is addressing the

    15 commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic and Viteska Brigades

    16 with an order for reinforcements to Vitez forces. And

    17 he says: No. 1, for the needs of the Vitez defences,

    18 immediately dispatch a unit numbering 25 to 30 men with

    19 the task of preventing the advance of Muslim forces

    20 from the direction of the village of Krcevine towards

    21 Vitez.

    22 First, Brigadier, is this photocopy faithful

    23 to the original? Does it correspond to his order of

    24 that day and hour?

    25 A. This order was also written by me. And there

  74. 1 is the stamp of the Operative Zone and the signature of

    2 the commander of the Operative Zone, General Blaskic.

    3 Q. Can you show us with your pointer on the map

    4 the village of Krcevine and which is the access which

    5 is endangered from the village of Krcevine to Vitez?

    6 A. Here is the village with a majority Croat

    7 population. BH army forces are attacking towards the

    8 Krcevine village. If they managed to break through,

    9 they would reach the road, link up with the forces in

    10 Stari Vitez, endanger the Town of Vitez and link up

    11 further with their forces in Kruscica.

    12 Q. The commander is requesting assistance

    13 numbering 25 to 30 men, don't you think that this is a

    14 very small number in view of the ongoing combat

    15 operations?

    16 A. This figure best testifies to the quality of

    17 the organisation of the HVO. If the HVO had been

    18 structured as a well-organised army, the commander of

    19 the Operative Zone would never order a subordinate

    20 commander to send him 25 or 30 men or he would send me

    21 a company or a battalion or two battalions. So this is

    22 an eloquent indication of the state of the HVO in terms

    23 of organisation. And it corroborates what I said on

    24 the first day and that is that in HVO brigades we

    25 didn't have ready, rapid deployment units.

  75. 1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 298, 298A for the

    2 English version.

    3 MR. NOBILO:

    4 Q. Here we have another order by Colonel Blaskic

    5 dated the 17th of April, 1993, at 2000 hours. The

    6 order is addressed to all Brigades, all independent

    7 units, the Vitezovi and the communications company.

    8 The subject heading is, "Maximum Combat Readiness of

    9 the Units." And I am reading: "In keeping with the

    10 order of the HVO main staff commander and then

    11 hand-written number 02-2/1-01 --" and the rest is

    12 illegible. "And due to the open aggression of Muslim

    13 forces against the HVO and the Croatian people," then

    14 again we see the date written in by hand, "the 17th of

    15 April, 1993. I hereby order:

    16 1) All HV units in the zone of responsibility

    17 of this command shall raise combat readiness to the

    18 highest level. 2) To terminate all R&Rs and prohibit

    19 all leaves; to include all able-bodied manpower in the

    20 zone of responsibility capable of military service

    21 should participate in the zone structure. 3) To break

    22 and repel the attacks and the aggression of Muslim

    23 forces with all available forces and equipment; to

    24 engage all available potentials in the zone of

    25 responsibility for the defence and, if necessary, use

  76. 1 force. 4) To dig in on the established frontlines and

    2 prepare a counterattack. 5) To submit written reports

    3 to me every four hours by Packet communications as of

    4 the 18th of April, 1993 at 0600 hours. 6) This order

    5 shall take effect immediately and unit commanders shall

    6 be personally responsible to me for its execution.

    7 Commander, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic."

    8 Brigadier, can you confirm that this

    9 photocopy is faithful to the original and signed by

    10 Colonel Blaskic on the 17th of April at 2000 hours?

    11 A. Yes. I can confirm it because I drafted the

    12 document. General Blaskic signed it, and there is the

    13 stamp of the Operative Zone command.

    14 Q. Brigadier, could you explain to the Court,

    15 how it is possible that on the 17th of April, the

    16 second day of the war, at 2000 or at 8.00 p.m., Colonel

    17 Blaskic is ordering maximum combat readiness of units

    18 in the sense of banning all leaves and raising combat

    19 readiness to a maximum? How can this be explained?

    20 A. When the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina launched

    21 its attack on HVO units on the 16th of April, certain

    22 negotiations were conducted, and we, in the HVO or,

    23 rather, in the Operative Zone command, expected the

    24 agreed cease-fire to be observed. However, as time

    25 went by, the attacks by the BH army gained in

  77. 1 intensity. The BH army engaged very large forces. The

    2 intensity of the fighting increased. So that on the

    3 17th of April, the commander analysed the situation and

    4 opted in favour of such an order.

    5 This order also shows, very convincingly,

    6 that the commander of the Operative Zone had not

    7 prepared attacks on BH army units on the 16th of April,

    8 because if we had prepared for an attack against BH

    9 army units, we would have, before the 16th, in fact,

    10 before the 15th, carried out a general mobilisation.

    11 All the things indicated under item 2, we would have

    12 terminated vacations and prohibited taking leaves and

    13 engaged all our available effectiveness for the attack.

    14 However, the gravity of the situation

    15 required that the commander should say in item 3 that

    16 all available resources should be used to repulse the

    17 attack, because we were in a situation of waging a

    18 decisive battle, because a step forward in attaining

    19 the goal of the BH army, that is, to intersect the

    20 road, to destroy the command, to reach the ammunitions

    21 factory, and place the whole Lasva region under their

    22 control, would lead to the disbanding and disarming of

    23 HVO units ultimately.

    24 Q. Let us recall how many command staff members

    25 managed to reach the command of the Central Bosnia

  78. 1 Operative Zone on the 16th?

    2 A. I said that on the 16th of April, there were

    3 seven members of the command staff, and that by the

    4 17th, which we are now discussing, no new arrivals had

    5 come, because the road through Grbavica was still

    6 blocked, and passage from Busovaca was very dangerous

    7 because of constant fire. Members of the command staff

    8 who were not in the headquarters on that day did not

    9 arrive. The command continued to function with only

    10 seven members of its staff present.

    11 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Can we proceed to

    12 the next document, please?

    13 THE REGISTRAR: Document D299, D299A for the

    14 English version.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. Brigadier, let me take you back a little bit

    17 in time. We had reached the evening of the 17th of

    18 April, but now we're going back to the morning of the

    19 same day at 0910 hours. Colonel Blaskic is issuing a

    20 preparatory combat order for the tying up of a part of

    21 the Muslim forces which were attacking the HVO. It is

    22 addressed to the commander of the Ban Jelacic Brigade

    23 in Kiseljak. This is an order from the 17th of April.

    24 "1) The enemy is continuing the intense

    25 attack against the forces of the HVO and is trying to

  79. 1 completely ethnically cleanse the region of Croats and

    2 destroy all the HVO institutions in the Lasva River

    3 Valley. The probable objective of the aggressor is,

    4 after an accord with the Chetniks regarding the

    5 surrender of Srebrenica and other regions, to

    6 militarily defeat the HVO and included our regions to

    7 some kind of greater Serbia or a new Yugoslavia.

    8 In the combats which raged yesterday, the

    9 enemy used a much-used method of the Chetniks, keeping

    10 women and children in front and using them as human

    11 shields, and then occupying the main strategic

    12 objects. Nevertheless, they did not succeed, and the

    13 enemy forces are concentrating on Jablanica, Konjic,

    14 Vitez, and Busovaca.

    15 2) The mission of your troops: Is to tie up

    16 the forces of the aggressor in the following way: A)

    17 Engage in the blockade of Visnjica and other villages

    18 that could be used by the enemy to launch an attack.

    19 B) Take control of Gomionica and Svinjarevo after a

    20 strong artillery support by the VBR and mortars. The

    21 attack of the main forces shall be made from Sikulje

    22 and Hadrovci."

    23 Then in handwriting, it is added, "Establish

    24 a line of defence and keep the troops together." "C) In

    25 sector number 5, reinforce the troops at the feature of

  80. 1 Badnje (one company) and at the feature of Pobrde (one

    2 company).

    3 3) All the attacks of the aggressor have been

    4 repelled. The city of Vitez is under our control, and

    5 the forces of the Viteska and Busovacka Brigades have

    6 taken complete control of the Kuber and Saracevica

    7 features, and they have repelled the aggressor's

    8 attacks from Zenica.

    9 4) Keep in mind that the lives of Croats in

    10 the Lasva River Valley depend upon your mission. This

    11 region could become a tomb for all of us if you do not

    12 show enough resolve.

    13 5) The time to start this mission will be

    14 sent to you from the command upon the receipt of

    15 reports stating your preparedness which should be

    16 submitted before 2330 hours on the 17th of April,

    17 1993"

    18 Brigadier, is this a faithful copy of the

    19 order which Colonel Blaskic issued on 17 April at 0910

    20 hours?

    21 A. Yes. I recognise this as Colonel Blaskic's.

    22 I recognise his signature and the stamp.

    23 Q. On page 1, something was added in

    24 handwriting. Can you recognise that handwriting?

    25 A. That is the handwriting of General Blaskic.

  81. 1 It is a similar case as we had in some other

    2 documents. If he had any comments to make, he would

    3 immediately, directly add those comments in

    4 handwriting, and the document would then be dispatched

    5 in that form.

    6 Q. Brigadier, can you tell me, there are many

    7 typographical errors. There are lots of errors. Why

    8 did you not retype them?

    9 A. It would have taken us too much time. We had

    10 a member of the command of the Zrinjski Brigade who was

    11 not a professional typist and, additionally, we had

    12 combat operations going on at the time, so we were in a

    13 hurry.

    14 Q. Now, can you tell us why the Visnjica village

    15 was to be blocked and Svinjarevo and Gomionica were to

    16 be taken?

    17 A. On the basis of the intelligence reports

    18 which we had, the BH army units were in the largest

    19 concentration in the entire municipality of Kiseljak in

    20 the village of Gomionica. By taking control of these

    21 villages, we would prevent cutting off those enclaves,

    22 and we would defend the HVO units in the Kiseljak

    23 area.

    24 You may recall that the BH army was bringing

    25 in reinforcements from Visoko and Kakanj. These

  82. 1 preparations were done in order to tie up those forces,

    2 the reinforcements, so that we would, sort of, bring

    3 relief to the HVO units in the Lasva River Valley so

    4 that they could better defend Vitez and Busovaca.

    5 Q. I'm going to read you another item from this

    6 order, and it doesn't sound very military to me. It's

    7 on page 2 of this report after a very dramatic

    8 statement of the situation which you give. It says

    9 under number 4: "Keep in mind that the lives of Croats

    10 in the Lasva River Valley region depend upon your

    11 mission. This region could become a tomb for all of us

    12 if you do not show enough resolve."

    13 Why did General Blaskic need to order the Ban

    14 Jelacic Brigade into action in such a dramatic way,

    15 such an emotional way? Why didn't he just order, "Go

    16 ahead. Do such and such a thing"? Wouldn't that have

    17 been militarily more proper?

    18 A. Yes, that's correct. It would have been more

    19 proper in military terms. However, as I mentioned,

    20 there were very, very few militarily educated officers

    21 with proper military training and enough experience.

    22 In order to phrase a task in such a way, by

    23 using such words, the commander intended to bring home

    24 to the officers the seriousness of the situation. This

    25 was to find a way for an officer to understand the

  83. 1 situation in the Lasva River Valley and the

    2 municipalities of Vitez and Busovaca and to act

    3 accordingly.

    4 Q. Does this order sound a little bit like

    5 imploring?

    6 A. It reflects the situation in which the HVO

    7 troops found themselves in Vitez and Busovaca, and

    8 it is, sort of, imploring. It is the call of a person

    9 who is in desperate straits.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Let me show you

    11 another document now.

    12 THE REGISTRAR: Document D300, D300A for the

    13 French version, and D300B for the English version.

    14 MR. NOBILO:

    15 Q. Brigadier, this is an order for combat

    16 operations of the 17th of April, and the time of this

    17 order is 2345 hours. The Defence has received this

    18 document from the Prosecution, as can be seen from the

    19 number. Can you tell me, do you recognise the stamp

    20 and the signature?

    21 A. I drafted this document. I signed it on

    22 behalf of Colonel Blaskic. This was being drafted all

    23 day while he was next door.

    24 Q. Can you tell me, is this order linked to

    25 Exhibit 299, the document which we just read?

  84. 1 A. Yes. That can be seen from the orders that

    2 were issued to the individual units.

    3 Q. Is the goal the same as it was for the

    4 preparatory order, in other words, to tie up and

    5 alleviate the pressure on the HVO?

    6 A. Yes. That was the key interest of ours at

    7 the time.

    8 Q. On the basis of this report, does it anywhere

    9 state that, in order to carry out this task, civilians

    10 should be killed or private property destroyed?

    11 A. No.

    12 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Next document,

    13 please.

    14 THE REGISTRAR: Document D301, D301A for the

    15 French version, and D301B for the English version.

    16 MR. NOBILO:

    17 Q. We're reading document 301. This is an order

    18 of Colonel Blaskic drafted on 17 April, 1993 at 2210

    19 hours. It is addressed to the commander of the Viteska

    20 Brigade and the subject heading is "Organisation and

    21 Conduct of Vitez Defence. Order: 1) The Enemy:

    22 Wielding overt aggression against the Croatian people

    23 and territories, the enemy, the Muslim forces, are

    24 trying to completely destroy the HVO and all its

    25 installations in the areas of the Lasva Valley,

  85. 1 applying the most brutal methods of combat directed

    2 against anything Croatian. So far, the enemy has not

    3 been very successful but has made extensive use of its

    4 advantage in numbers.

    5 2) The task of our forces is as follows: To

    6 deploy forces on defence lines and organise a decisive

    7 defence; to prevent the enemy from entering the town of

    8 Vitez and taking control of the Kaonik-Vitez-Bila road;

    9 to organise the defence according to sectors as

    10 follows:

    11 Sector 1: Zabilje-Brdo-Jardol-Krcevine, grid

    12 point 356; Commander of the Viteska Brigade shall name

    13 the commander of the sector.

    14 Sector 2: Vidovici, grid point 514, grid

    15 point 646, Jelinak-Obla Glava; Commander of the Viteska

    16 Brigade will also appoint the commander of the sector.

    17 Additional sector of Kruscica: To secure the

    18 rear guard, Besce, grid point 511, and Baskarad.

    19 3) To carry out 1st level engineer work in

    20 the sectors (to dig standing trenches). Deadline is

    21 0500 hours on 18 April, 1993.

    22 4) To organise coordination between the

    23 sectors; to make contact in Sector 1 in the left flank

    24 of the defence with the Frankopan Brigade units; to

    25 apply all measures of combat security while carrying

  86. 1 out these activities; to replenish units with weapons

    2 to carry out the defence activities; to supply soldiers

    3 with two combat sets. In the event of a deficit of

    4 formation weapons, appropriate the arms from the other

    5 population who is not eligible for military service and

    6 use them for this purpose.

    7 5) Commanders of the sector are subordinated

    8 to the Viteska Brigade commander. Send reports every

    9 four hours with the exact date on the positions of our

    10 forces and enemy forces, as well as emergency reports

    11 as needed.

    12 6) Commander of the Viteska Brigade is

    13 personally responsible to me for the execution of this

    14 order. Send me reports about the execution of these

    15 orders by 1000 hours on 18 April, 1993.

    16 Commander, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic."

    17 Brigadier, could you tell me, is this

    18 photocopy a fair reflection of the original of the

    19 organisation and conduct of the Vitez defence order of

    20 17 April, 1993 at 2210 hours?

    21 A. Yes. I compiled this order on the orders of

    22 the commander of the Operative Zone and under his

    23 authorisation.

    24 Q. Now we will move on to 18 April and see where

    25 the defence lines were established on that date.

  87. 1 First, let's clarify something. In item 3, he's

    2 mentioning "1st level engineer work." What does that

    3 mean?

    4 A. That means that the trenches had to be deep

    5 enough so that a soldier could stand in it, in other

    6 words, that his body would not be exposed anymore, as

    7 well as shelter facilities, which means that they have

    8 to be covered with earth and wood and any other

    9 construction material which was available in the area.

    10 Q. On page 2, he says: "Replenish the units

    11 with weapons for defence activities and supply soldiers

    12 with two combat sets." What does that mean?

    13 A. The combat set depends on the type of weapons

    14 that the soldiers have. If it is an automatic rifle, a

    15 combat set would be 300 bullets, 300 rounds. If it's a

    16 semi-automatic rifle, it would be less; if it were an

    17 M-48 rifle, then even fewer rounds of ammunition.

    18 Q. What does it mean for the population which is

    19 not eligible for military service, appropriate

    20 weapons -- first of all, what are formation weapons?

    21 A. Formation is what a soldier should be issued,

    22 given his position in his unit. If we did not have

    23 enough, we would probably use something like a hunting

    24 weapon, because those were available in the area.

    25 Also, you can see that the personnel, which

  88. 1 were listed as belonging to the Viteska Brigade, did

    2 not all have weapons. We had between 55 and 60 per

    3 cent of the weapons that covered the units in Vitez,

    4 Busovaca, and Kiseljak. So what we would do, we would

    5 then supplement it with hunting weapons.

    6 Q. In 5, it says: "Communications between the

    7 sectors are to be organised in accordance with the

    8 available communications equipment." Is that also

    9 military? Do units usually have a type of

    10 communications equipment that is issued to it by

    11 formation?

    12 A. Yes. At every level of unit, you have

    13 particular communications equipment. Different types

    14 of equipment are used for battalions, different

    15 equipment for companies, and so on. We used whatever

    16 we had in the area. If, in one sector, you had a

    17 certain type of equipment, the other sector may not

    18 have had it, so they had to coordinate, in the best way

    19 they could, how they would establish the link, how they

    20 would keep the communication lines open.

    21 I would just like to clarify a term that is

    22 being used. It's the term "sector," and this order is

    23 a bit more detailed than usual. We saw, at the level

    24 of brigades in the Viteska Brigade, that was around the

    25 20th of March, 1993, the command of this Viteska

  89. 1 Brigade was not yet enabled to fully operate in the

    2 event of combat operations in this area.

    3 Given the continued attacks by the BH army, I

    4 was given an order by the commander to spell out

    5 additional details in this order and even draw how

    6 certain things should look in the field and which lines

    7 should be occupied.

    8 Q. The Viteska Brigade had to have had

    9 battalions; battalions had to have had companies; they

    10 all would have had to have soldiers. Now you're

    11 talking about sectors. You're saying that the brigade

    12 commander had to assign the sector commanders. Isn't

    13 that a step backwards?

    14 A. Yes. That was the case, but at that time,

    15 the Viteska Brigade had only one battalion which was

    16 fully organised. The area of the Viteska Brigade was

    17 too large for just a single battalion. So what we did

    18 is we started out with having the units in the

    19 villages. In other words, there were units deployed in

    20 the village. We linked up a number of villages, and

    21 from those villages and the area which was covered by

    22 these villages, they were then linked together and

    23 called a particular sector.

    24 It may be best if I can illustrate this by

    25 showing you on the map, and let me try to do it from

  90. 1 here.

    2 If we had a village here (indicating), and we

    3 had Krcevine, Dubravica, and Santici, and we said that

    4 the area covered by these three villages, this would be

    5 to one hill here and another hill over there, that

    6 would be one sector. The forces that are supposed to

    7 occupy this sector would be the units from the local

    8 villages, from Santici and the others. This is how we

    9 organised the defence throughout the Vitez

    10 municipality, because in the Vitez municipality, we had

    11 been completely surrounded.

    12 As I said, we had the BH army units which

    13 were deployed here in Kruscica, Vranska, and Rovna.

    14 It's this area here (indicating), and the BH army units

    15 which were here Barin Gaj, Sljivcica, Krtina-Mahala,

    16 and Kuber.

    17 Where are the HVO units now? They are pretty

    18 much right next to the road, to the right and left of

    19 the road. From both the north and south side were the

    20 BH army units. In a situation like this, the only

    21 possibility was to organise the brigade in this way and

    22 to defend the town of Vitez.

    23 Q. Brigadier, are you telling us that the

    24 companies and battalions were not actually acting but

    25 only the villages and units in those villages?

  91. 1 A. Yes, that is just what I said. We are

    2 telling the Brigade commanders to appoint sector

    3 commanders because it means that only on the 17th of

    4 April was someone to be appointed as commander of the

    5 sector to organise defences there. We did not have a

    6 commander of battalions or company commanders, which

    7 would have been logical and normal in any organised

    8 army.

    9 Q. Brigadier, could you please come to the --

    10 approach the relief and bring with you this document

    11 that you wrote yourself and show to the Court where

    12 were the defence lines for Vitez municipalities on the

    13 evening of the 17th April, 1993.

    14 A. I will start from the sector -- from Sector

    15 1, the village of Zablje, which is here from the

    16 village of Zablje, there is a road for the sake of

    17 orientation this Village Zablje is next to the Bila,

    18 Han-Bila Road. So we're going from the left to the

    19 right.

    20 Q. Could you please put the little flags there

    21 to show where Zablje is. The village of Zablje, the

    22 green flag in front of the village of Zablje, not in

    23 the village, but in front of it where the Muslim forces

    24 were positioned. That's one point.

    25 A second, Jardol. Take another green flag

  92. 1 and place it in front of the village of Jardol where

    2 the Muslim forces were. Krcevine, another green flag

    3 in front of the village of Krcevine, please.

    4 A. Then TT356. This is a feature, a hill, that

    5 cannot be seen here, but it is within the area of

    6 Krcevine village. So that is one sector. That is one

    7 sector. It is the area here. Then there is a second

    8 sector, Vidovici.

    9 Q. Place a flag there, please.

    10 A. Here it is Vidovici. TT514646. This is the

    11 position near Mahala. Just a moment, please. Then

    12 Jelinak, Obla Glava, which is here. Then we have an

    13 additional sector Besce, grid reference point 511,

    14 Baskarad. Kruscica.

    15 Q. So, the flags are now indicating the

    16 front-line between the Croats and the Muslims on the

    17 17th of April.

    18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 302, 302A for the

    19 English version.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. Brigadier, we won't be reading this

    22 document. Will you just tell us what it's about?

    23 A. This is a medical finding for Zoran Pilicic,

    24 who was a member of the command of the Operative Zone

    25 and he was wounded on the 17th of April, 1993, together

  93. 1 with Marco Prskalo, returning from negotiations at the

    2 UNPROFOR base and leaving the warrior in front of the

    3 main entrance of the building where the headquarters of

    4 the Operative Zone was housed. He was wounded.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please. We are

    6 going on to the 18th of April and we will see the kind

    7 of reports that arrived on the 18th of April.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: A small clarification, Mr.

    9 Nobilo, you are not presenting all the reports on a

    10 particular day. You understand my question? Because

    11 the reference numbers of the reports do not follow one

    12 another in consecutive order. I assume that you're

    13 showing us some of the reports because you just said we

    14 are now going to see the reports for the 18th of

    15 April. You mean some of the reports for the 18th of

    16 April, I assume? Very well.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I am thinking of

    18 all the reports that the Defence managed to obtain.

    19 Naturally, there must have been many more documents

    20 circulating in the headquarters. They may have been

    21 reports, information, orders, but these are the reports

    22 that the Defence has found.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: So I was just commenting

    24 because of the reference numbers. Because very often

    25 those reference numbers do not follow one another in an

  94. 1 uninterrupted fashion. So I assume that in between

    2 there must have been other reports. That was the

    3 purpose of my question.

    4 THE REGISTRAR: The next document is 303,

    5 303A for the English version.

    6 MR. NOBILO:

    7 Q. Talking about these numbers, Brigadier, can

    8 you explain to the court how the records were kept; how

    9 these numbers were placed on the documents leaving the

    10 command and those being received by the commands,

    11 internal documents and so on?

    12 A. A record of arriving documents, if they came

    13 through communication, that is by telefax or by Packet

    14 links, those documents would be entered in the

    15 communications centre in a register. Those documents

    16 would reach the commander. The commander would study

    17 it, give assignments to one of the officers in the

    18 command and then the document would be entered in the

    19 register of the command. The document drafted in the

    20 command itself would also bear a number and these

    21 reference numbers would follow one another.

    22 However, in the case of the 16th, 17th and

    23 even the 18th of April, I was telling you of the

    24 problems we had in the processing, the person who was

    25 the typist also kept the files, so that on some days we

  95. 1 didn't have time to register them because we had far

    2 more complicated work to do than simply registering

    3 documents. So that there may be some lack of order and

    4 logic regarding the time a document was received when

    5 it was issued and the reference number that figures on

    6 the document. I wish to underline that this procedure

    7 of filing was not standardised, it was not regulated by

    8 the defence ministry, but members in the headquarters

    9 and I personally participated on the basis of my own

    10 personal experience from the pre-war period, we tried

    11 to establish a certain system of bookkeeping

    12 ourselves.

    13 Q. Are you telling us that the incoming stamp

    14 would be filled in several days subsequent to the event

    15 to the day it was actually received or sent?

    16 A. Yes, that is so.

    17 Q. Do you know what the number figuring on the

    18 documents issued by Colonel Blaskic consisted of? Do

    19 you remember?

    20 A. The first number 01 meant that it was a

    21 document of the commander. The second number would be

    22 the date and the year -- no, no, the date then the

    23 number under which it was registered and then the

    24 year.

    25 MR. NOBILO: I am not quite sure that I

  96. 1 remember this. Maybe we'll analyse one of the

    2 subsequent documents from that standpoint to see if you

    3 can remember. So we have now another document, has it

    4 been given a number, Mr. Registrar? What is the number

    5 of this document, please?

    6 THE REGISTRAR: It is 303.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. So this is a document dated the 18th April at

    9 0100 hours, report of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade to

    10 the commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone.

    11 And the subject is: Disappearance of officers of the

    12 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade. Tell us, in the area of

    13 Novi Travnik, was there any fighting on that day, or

    14 were they still primarily concerned with the

    15 disappearance of their officers?

    16 A. On the day on which this report was written,

    17 there was no fighting between the HVO and the BH army.

    18 The key problem for the Brigade was the kidnapping of

    19 three officers and their driver, who were taken away in

    20 an unknown direction.

    21 JUDGE RIAD: Would the interpreter please say

    22 question and answer. Sometimes we don't know who was

    23 speaking. Thank you.

    24 MR. NOBILO:

    25 Q. In Novi Travnik, let us repeat, was there any

  97. 1 fighting between units of the BH army and the Croatian

    2 Defence Council?

    3 A. No.

    4 Q. Next document, please.

    5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 304, 304A for the

    6 French version, 304B for the English version.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. I will read a part of this operative report

    9 issued by the command of the Viteska Brigade on the

    10 18th of April, 1993, at 1845 addressed to the command

    11 of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. And it says:

    12 "At 1730 minutes, a terrible explosion occurred whose

    13 exact location can still not be determined, but it

    14 happened between the municipal enterprise Vitkom and

    15 the store, Borac. According to data at our disposal

    16 and the strength of the detonation, most probably there

    17 was an explosives warehouse in one of the houses in the

    18 immediate proximity of the store. Because fierce

    19 battles were being waged at that time, it can be

    20 assumed that the warehouse was hit by a mortar shell,

    21 which activated the explosives. On the basis of the

    22 intensity of the explosion, one can conclude that it

    23 was a matter of a large quantity of explosives. We

    24 have no information about any casualties, but one can

    25 already affirm that huge damage was incurred. I cannot

  98. 1 see the name of the operations officer on duty."

    2 Tell us, Brigadier, did you receive this

    3 operative report on the 18th of April at 1845 hours

    4 from the Viteska Brigade?

    5 A. Yes, and I remember the contents.

    6 Q. Is this a faithful copy of the original

    7 report you received?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Thank you. Do you know anything about this

    10 explosion that is referred to in this report?

    11 A. As far as I am aware, this explosion occurred

    12 a little earlier than this report was written, a day or

    13 two before then. And the place where it occurred was

    14 inaccessible for HVO units because it was a place in no

    15 man's land between HVO and BH army forces, so that we

    16 were not able to establish on the spot the scope of the

    17 damage as a result of the explosion. And also my

    18 duties in the command on the 16th, 17th and 18th did

    19 not give me time to think about this or to analyse this

    20 particular event in any detail.

    21 Q. Thank you.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, have you finished

    23 with this document?

    24 MR. NOBILO: Yes, yes.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: In that case we shall have a

  99. 1 break and adjourn until ten past four.

    2 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.

    3 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have

    5 the accused brought in, please.

    6 (The accused entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, please continue.

    8 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. We

    9 can now start with a new document.

    10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D305, D305A for the

    11 English version.

    12 MR. NOBILO:

    13 Q. Brigadier, we have seen the preparatory order

    14 issued by the commander to the brigade in Kiseljak on

    15 the 17th of April. We saw the executive combat order

    16 sent to Kiseljak by the commander, also on the 17th of

    17 April. Now we're going to read the regular combat

    18 report coming from Kiseljak on the 18th of April as of

    19 1000 hours. It is addressed to the command of the

    20 Central Bosnia Operative Zone, and it says:

    21 "1) Enemy. A) Chetniks. There are no

    22 actions within the zone of responsibility of the HVO

    23 and Croatian villages, but Koscan has been attacked

    24 severely with artillery. A lot of houses are on fire

    25 in Bukovica. B) Muslim armed forces, MOS forces which

  100. 1 are fulfilling their tasks in the village of Gomionica,

    2 are under attack. They are mostly using snipers. A

    3 large number of troops have left Gomionica and pulled

    4 out towards the village of Stojkovici.

    5 2) Our forces: Tasks are being carried out

    6 according to orders. We have reached Mlava," which is

    7 a river. "Fierce fighting is ongoing. We are using

    8 artillery and anti-air defence as support. Jahovac,

    9 Gromljak, as far as Mlava and Palez, have been

    10 disarmed. We have wounded men. We are continuing with

    11 the execution of our tasks. We have received zip from

    12 the Fojnica Battalion. Everything is ready. They are

    13 asking for negotiations. At this moment, the UNPROFOR

    14 has come to the commander.

    15 3) Suggestions: None.

    16 4) Requests: Send us reports on situations

    17 in the zones of responsibility of other brigades."

    18 Signed, "Officer on Duty, Mato Lucic."

    19 Tell us, Brigadier, is this a faithful copy

    20 of the report you received from Kiseljak, and how did

    21 it reach you?

    22 A. We received the report from Kiseljak by

    23 Packet link. This is a faithful copy of the original.

    24 I remember the contents. I know Mr. Mato Lucic

    25 personally.

  101. 1 MR. NOBILO: We will distribute another

    2 document, and then we will say a few words about the

    3 events of the day in Kiseljak.

    4 THE REGISTRAR: Document D306, D306A for the

    5 English version.

    6 MR. NOBILO:

    7 Q. Document D306 is another report coming from

    8 Kiseljak with the same date, the 18th of April, 1993,

    9 and the time is 1645 hours. It is addressed to the

    10 commander, Tihomir Blaskic, by the brigade commander,

    11 Mijo Bozic. The subject heading is "Report. The

    12 situation is as follows: The conflict has spread to

    13 the villages of Rotilj, Visnjica, Doci, Hrcezi, and

    14 Brestovsko. We have lost Zavrtaljka. We did not

    15 manage to handle Gomionica, but we did take around 1

    16 kilometre on both sides around Gomionica. Heavy

    17 fighting is in progress.

    18 We have had three killed and four wounded.

    19 The number of missing is unknown."

    20 Brigadier, did you receive this document on

    21 the 18th of April from Kiseljak?

    22 A. Yes. We received this document from

    23 Kiseljak. This is a faithful copy of the original.

    24 The document was received by Packet link, and I know

    25 the brigade commander in person.

  102. 1 Q. On that day, the 18th of April, one report

    2 was received at 10.00, another one at 1645 hours.

    3 Outside the facts mentioned in these reports, do you

    4 have any other recollections about events in Kiseljak

    5 municipality or was your knowledge limited to the facts

    6 indicated in these two reports?

    7 A. All we knew about events in Kiseljak was what

    8 was written in these two reports.

    9 Q. Were these reports linked to the orders

    10 received from you on the 17th of April, the previous

    11 day, therefore?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Let us proceed to

    14 the next document, please.

    15 THE REGISTRAR: Document D307, D307A for the

    16 French version, D307B for the English version.

    17 MR. NOBILO:

    18 Q. Brigadier, I will read document D307,

    19 actually, a report by the Viteska Brigade of the 18th

    20 of April at 0600 hours, and the heading is:

    21 "Operations Report for the period between 0000 and

    22 0600 hours. During the night, there were almost no

    23 combat activities. We were constantly under

    24 intermittent fire from infantry weapons.

    25 In the second part of the night, it was

  103. 1 observed that Muslim forces were regrouping in all

    2 parts of the municipality where their forces are

    3 concentrated, and new arrivals of Muslim forces from

    4 Zenica were registered, and they are being taken into

    5 the regions of Preocica, Brda and Zabilje.

    6 During the night, the Muslim population from

    7 the village of Donja Veceriska was evacuated in the

    8 direction of Bila, Han-Bila. They were evacuated

    9 through the mediation of UNPROFOR.

    10 In the early morning hours, to be more

    11 precise, at 0555 hours, Muslim forces attacked the

    12 Croatian population in the village of Divjak. The

    13 attack was launched from infantry weapons and three

    14 civilians were wounded.

    15 Our forces did not open fire and did not

    16 respond to provocations by Muslim forces, but, instead,

    17 they further fortified the positions taken in

    18 accordance with orders from the superior command.

    19 Operations Duty Officer, signed," and it doesn't say by

    20 whom.

    21 Brigadier, is this a faithful copy of the

    22 operations report that reached the headquarters at

    23 about 600 hours on the 18th of April?

    24 A. Yes. I remember the report and its

    25 contents. The command of the Viteska Brigade was far

  104. 1 removed from the headquarters of the Operative Zone, so

    2 these messages reached us by messenger. Here, we do

    3 not have the stamp of the communications centre. So

    4 when we come across a report of this kind, it meant

    5 that it was carried by messenger to our headquarters.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Next document,

    7 please?

    8 THE REGISTRAR: Document D308, D308A for the

    9 French version, and D308B for the English version.

    10 MR. NOBILO:

    11 Q. This is another operations report of the

    12 Viteska Brigade on the 18th of April, but now at 8.30

    13 hours. The duty officer of the Viteska Brigade has

    14 sent it, and it says: "This morning, on the 18th of

    15 April, 1993, we have, again, received information on

    16 incomprehensible actions by Muslim extremists.

    17 According to information from our citizens,

    18 who managed to flee their frenzied neighbours, informed

    19 us that Muhamed Sivro arrested Marica Kristo, Anto

    20 Kristo (taxi driver), his wife and his sister. All the

    21 prisoners are from Poculica who fled towards Krizancevo

    22 Selo after fierce attacks by Muslim forces.

    23 The reason for this arrest, as we have

    24 learned, was the alleged disappearance of Muhamed

    25 Sivro's son. His son is a soldier in the Muslim

  105. 1 forces, and we have established that he was not among

    2 those taken captive. This was most probably nothing

    3 more than a justification for the incomprehensible

    4 actions.

    5 The prisoners have been "accommodated" in

    6 rooms in the cellar of Muhamed's house where the

    7 conditions are intolerable. In this part of Kruscica

    8 in the region of Crna Kuca, two Croatian families, who

    9 did not manage to pull out, along with our unit located

    10 in Lovac, stayed behind.

    11 These are the families of Sinisa Jozic (wife

    12 and two children) and Jozo Kalemba and his wife. There

    13 are indications that they are being held in," and,

    14 again, this is hard to read, "a house."

    15 We can't really read what it says. "We

    16 believe that representatives of UNPROFOR, UNHCR, and

    17 Red Cross should be immediately informed about this.

    18 Duty Officer of the Viteska Brigade."

    19 Brigadier, is this a faithful copy of the

    20 operations report of the Viteska Brigade of 830 hours?

    21 A. Yes. I remember the report and its contents,

    22 and it reached us by courier, like the previous report.

    23 Q. These private arrests, were they typical of

    24 those times and those areas in the Lasva Valley? We

    25 see that Muhamed Sivro believes that the Croats

  106. 1 arrested their son, and so he, in return, arrested some

    2 Croats, probably for the purpose of exchange. Was this

    3 typical for both sides?

    4 A. Such an event fully reflects the situation

    5 that prevailed in the Lasva Valley during the war

    6 between the BH army and the HVO in the Vitez and

    7 Busovaca municipalities. There were several such

    8 incidents, and we can see from this report, there was

    9 such behaviour by BH army members, but similar such

    10 actions taken by members of the HVO.

    11 Q. These terms "private arrests, private

    12 exchanges," were these terms regularly in use in those

    13 days?

    14 A. Yes. There were such occurrences on both the

    15 side of the BH army and the HVO. I wish to point out

    16 that the village of Poculica had no HV units in it but,

    17 rather, BH army units. Those arrested were living in

    18 that village. So there wasn't any conflict, but an

    19 arrest did occur for the reasons that the duty officer

    20 has given in this report from the Viteska Brigade.

    21 THE REGISTRAR: The next document is D309,

    22 D309A for the French version, D309B for the English

    23 version.

    24 MR. NOBILO:

    25 Q. Brigadier, this document consists of a single

  107. 1 line, and it says: "Urgent to Operative Zone in

    2 Central Bosnia. This morning around 5.30, the

    3 headquarters had been attacked from three directions.

    4 We are surrounded. Commander Vinko Baresic." It was

    5 received on packet. It was received on the 18th of

    6 April. Can you also tell me whether you recall this

    7 message? Can you refresh your memory? Who is Vinko

    8 Baresic?

    9 A. I recall this message. It was received

    10 through the packet radio communications. This is a

    11 copy of the original. It was received on the 18th of

    12 April at 0608 hours. Commander Baresic replaced the

    13 abducted Zivko Totic, who was commander of the Jure

    14 Francetic Brigade in Zenica. He was in the village of

    15 Cajdras. Let me show it to you.

    16 Q. What municipality was this in?

    17 A. This was in the municipality of Zenica. Both

    18 the command and the members of the HVO units are

    19 completely surrounded. This is in the village of

    20 Cajdras which has a majority Croatian population.

    21 Q. This is the command of the HVO brigade in

    22 Zenica?

    23 A. Yes, it is. The very brief wording of the

    24 report speaks of the difficult situation in which the

    25 commander and his unit had found themselves in.

  108. 1 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Next document,

    2 please.

    3 THE REGISTRAR: Document D310, D310A for the

    4 French version, D310B for the English version.

    5 MR. NOBILO:

    6 Q. Very well. The Viteska Brigade command at

    7 1300 hours, and the date is not given, but in

    8 handwriting was added "18 April, 1993," sends a report

    9 to the Central Bosnia Operative Zone command in Vitez.

    10 Again, the body of text is hardly legible, but here it

    11 is: "Provocations and attacks by extremist Muslim

    12 forces have continued during the day. Croatian houses

    13 have been looted and destroyed and the elderly people,

    14 women, and children who are exhausted have been taken

    15 in an unknown direction. During the day today, 20 to

    16 25 Croatian citizens, mostly children, women, and

    17 elderly, were arrested in the Grbavica village and

    18 taken in an unknown direction.

    19 The precise number of those arrested cannot

    20 been established because these Croatian houses were,

    21 for the most part, located in the village of Grbavica,

    22 which is populated mostly by Muslims. The Muslim

    23 extremists continue to realise their sinister plans,

    24 especially prominent have been sniper activities which

    25 are destroying anything that moves throughout the

  109. 1 territory of the municipality.

    2 The Muslim forces are also still in the

    3 process of regrouping. New forces from outside the

    4 region are being brought in. A unit of Muslim forces

    5 was observed moving from the village of Opara in Novi

    6 Travnik along the Has area -- this is probably some

    7 kind of mistake -- towards Vitez where they intend to

    8 join with the Muslim forces with the villages of

    9 Vranska and Kruscica.

    10 Last night, one of our members, Josip

    11 Livancic, was killed in the Kuber area while Jako

    12 Opacak is considered missing and is now believed to

    13 have been killed. Our forces are still holding the

    14 defence positions under firm control and are not

    15 allowing the further advance of Muslim forces. Morale

    16 among our soldiers is good," and it was signed by the

    17 brigade duty officer, Ivan Sucic.

    18 Brigadier, do you recall this document? Is

    19 this copy a true reflection of the original?

    20 A. Yes, it is. I do know Ivo Sucic, the brigade

    21 duty officer, and this is his signature.

    22 Q. The text is self-explanatory, but I want to

    23 draw your attention to the snipers. Were snipers a

    24 serious problem on that day and could you tell us

    25 something more about the activities of snipers in the

  110. 1 Lasva River Valley?

    2 A. The sniper activities in the Lasva River

    3 Valley in the period we are concerned with was the

    4 strongest in the Vitez area which was controlled by the

    5 HVO units in the villages of Krcevine. We had

    6 significant losses through these activities, both in

    7 Krcevine, the town of Vitez, and at Grbavica. I can

    8 recall some names, names of persons who were killed by

    9 such snipers. For instance, Franjo Nakic's mother,

    10 Franjo Nakic was chief of staff. And then a person

    11 called Dzambas who was from the unit which came in

    12 support to the brigade at Krcevine. A member of the

    13 command was killed by sniper. Mr. Borislav Josic,

    14 whose report we read here, he was killed in the town of

    15 Vitez by sniper fire. Those are the details that I

    16 recall.

    17 Q. Brigadier, did the snipers operate from Stari

    18 Vitez, from old Vitez, and which units did it belong

    19 to?

    20 A. When I talked about these snipers in Vitez, I

    21 was referring to the old Vitez which was under the

    22 control of the BH army. So they were operating in the

    23 direction of the town of Vitez and were targeting

    24 civilians who were in the area controlled by the HVO.

    25 All this was at a distance of about 100 metres, so this

  111. 1 sniper fire was very efficient.

    2 Also, in the case of Grbavica, which was

    3 populated partly by Croats, and also in the village of

    4 Krcevine, where there were lines held by both the BH

    5 army and the HVO, so the sniper fire was used

    6 especially where the demarcation lines were very close

    7 to one another. In all these three locations, the

    8 demarcation lines were less than 100 metres away from

    9 one another. So you had the BH army soldiers on the

    10 one side and the HVO soldiers on the other side, and

    11 they were in places less than 100 metres away from one

    12 another. So this sniper fire was very efficient.

    13 Q. Brigadier, can you tell me about Vitez? Were

    14 civilians or the soldiers more -- were more casualties

    15 amongst civilians than amongst soldiers?

    16 A. The civilians were targeted much more, and

    17 there were much more casualties of the sniper fire. I

    18 also know that in Grbavica, some children were

    19 targeted. They were coming back from the Sunday mass,

    20 from church, and they were targeted.

    21 Q. How about the Town of Vitez, did you have to

    22 pull a string across the street and cover it with

    23 blankets so that citizens could pass through?

    24 A. Yes, we had to put such protective walls. We

    25 had to put them up from the region of the primary

  112. 1 school along Tromnice, which is the region separating

    2 the village of Komasin (phoen), or rather locally known

    3 as the village of Marica. And the section of Old Vitez

    4 called Mahala because it was the only path we had

    5 available if we wanted to go towards Novi Travnik.

    6 Because sniper fire was very dangerous for the main

    7 road as well, which was under the HVO control and I'll

    8 try to show here. Here is Vitez and the main road.

    9 The blue line is the Lasva River. And the road was

    10 built here. It's along the river. So from Old Vitez,

    11 snipers targeted anyone who passed along this road

    12 regardless of whether they were civilians or soldiers.

    13 Also, throughout the war the sniper fire was

    14 used all the time from Sivrino Selo and the Vitez

    15 Kaonik Road was targeted there. And a number of people

    16 were killed by this sniper fire. I will try to recall

    17 who these people were. For instance, the chief of the

    18 civilian police was one among them.

    19 Q. Was there a big canvass which was stretched

    20 in the street?

    21 A. Yes. And it was there until the day of the

    22 Washington Accord, so it was there for a full year.

    23 MR. NOBILO: Very well, let's move on to the

    24 next document, please.

    25 THE REGISTRAR: Document D311, D311A for the

  113. 1 French version, D311B for the English version.

    2 MR. NOBILO:

    3 Q. The next report is from the Zenica HVO. This

    4 is also from 18 April, 1545 minutes. And it says:

    5 "Military secret, urgent, urgent." So underscored

    6 urgent. "Through their aggression, political deceit

    7 and deceased in the media. The Muslim force have

    8 managed to instil anxiety and fear in a great number

    9 of our members. A very complex tactical position of

    10 our units is a loss contributed to this. Personnel

    11 from the 3rd Battalion of the Second Brigade has

    12 already agreed to an agreement with the Muslim forces

    13 and the frightened population on the territory of the

    14 1st and the 3rd Brigade will most probably accept

    15 this.

    16 In the Jure Franatic Brigade, the 1st

    17 Battalion with about 100 armed troops is controlling

    18 the region around the village of Cajdras as follows:

    19 The intersection Cajdras, Paljike, Serusa, Strpci,

    20 Osredak, Jezero, Tomnice. It is very hard to hold such

    21 a long line with only 200 weapons. The 2nd and 3rd

    22 Battalions are under siege and will most probably

    23 surrender.

    24 At the time of this writing this report, I

    25 received information that the Muslim radio is inviting

  114. 1 the refugees to return to their homes and the HVO was

    2 given an ultimatum to surrender their weapons by 1800

    3 hours. This announcement, this decree, has completely

    4 shaken the morale of the remaining soldiers. The

    5 troops from Zmajevac are abandoning their positions."

    6 And there is an illegible word. "And this will put the

    7 village of Cajdras in a very difficult position. Some

    8 other officers and myself do not want to surrender. If

    9 we were to surrender, I am sure that we would be

    10 executed. If it should come to it that the army does

    11 surrender, please request our transfer to Vitez or

    12 Busovaca through the auspices of UNPROFOR. Here in

    13 Cajdras, I saw Colonel Stewart who was willing to do

    14 this. It would, therefore, be good if two of his

    15 armoured personnel carriers could be here tonight.

    16 Please send us urgent instructions what to do.

    17 Commander Vinko Baresic."

    18 Brigadier, is this photocopy a faithful copy

    19 of the original which you received on 18 April at 1545

    20 from Zenica?

    21 A. Yes, I know Vinko Baresic. This report was

    22 received through Packet radio link and it speaks of a

    23 very, very difficult situation in Cajdras on that day.

    24 Q. Next report, please.

    25 THE REGISTRAR: Document D312, D312A for the

  115. 1 French version and Document D312B for the English

    2 version.

    3 MR. NOBILO:

    4 Q. Brigadier, this is the report of 18 April,

    5 1993 of 1600 hours sending central Bosnia Operative

    6 Zone command in Vitez. There is no name, just the

    7 signature and it's the operations report. "During the

    8 afternoon hours yesterday the enemy continued with

    9 activities from the Muslim bases mentioned earlier and

    10 snipers kept up continuous activity throughout the

    11 municipality. The current situation on the defence

    12 line is as follows: First, in the Kuber region our

    13 defenders are firmly holding the fortified positions.

    14 There has been no major combat activity, but an ever

    15 larger regrouping of the enemy forces has been

    16 observed. We, therefore, need greater support from the

    17 HVO Busovaca to assist our defenders in halting enemy

    18 attacks.

    19 2) In the Gornij Santici Mahala hamlet there

    20 is heavy fighting against far superior Muslim forces

    21 who have intensified their attacks from the region of

    22 Strpci and Bresce. The villages of Santici, and

    23 Dubrava Dubravica are under constant fire by Muslim

    24 forces from the villages of Sivrino Selo and Sirotici.

    25 We therefore need support of the multiple rocket

  116. 1 launchers in order to try to neutralise the most

    2 exposed fired positions in the village of Sivrino Selo

    3 and thus halt the activities of the Muslim forces.

    4 The defence lines on the stretch Krizanicevo

    5 Selo, Krcevine and Jardol remain unchanged and there

    6 are no major combat activities with the exception of

    7 occasional acts of provocation by the Muslim forces

    8 from small arms weapons.

    9 4) In the region of Divjak and Bila, our

    10 population is exposed to constant shelling and sniper

    11 fire from the region of Grbavica. So the move by

    12 members of the UN to block our areas in a direction and

    13 prevent us from retaliating against the enemy is

    14 baffling. It is necessary to send a protest, an urgent

    15 protest to the UN forces regarding this behaviour and

    16 request of them to treat the Muslim forces and this and

    17 other areas in the same way.

    18 5) The region of Kruscica continues to be

    19 under attack from Muslim forces from the villages of

    20 Vranjska and Gornij Rovna. Negotiations are in

    21 progress and we are awaiting results.

    22 6) There is no information from the Brda

    23 Zabilje villages since communications with this area

    24 have broken down completely. We have requested the UN

    25 to visit the region and protect the population from a

  117. 1 massacre by the extremist Muslim forces. We have

    2 received information that two more defenders have lost

    3 their lives and several civilians were wounded.

    4 Something is illegible and it probably means that the

    5 casualties of the enemy are not known." And it is

    6 stamped and signed.

    7 Now, Brigadier, do you know, is this a

    8 faithful copy of the original which we received on 18

    9 April at 1600 hours?

    10 A. Yes, I recall this report. I recalled

    11 receiving it. I remember its contents. All the

    12 underlined parts shows that we analysed this report and

    13 it has the stamp of the Viteska Brigade.

    14 Q. Yesterday we read and today we have had a

    15 number of reports. Can you tell me, Brigadier, did you

    16 have any offensive attacks in those days in April of

    17 1993 or do these reports truthfully reflect the

    18 situation in which you found yourself?

    19 A. In these days, from 16th to 18th April, the

    20 HVO units did not undertake any offensive operations

    21 because we had no forces to use them in such a way. We

    22 were defending ourselves and these reports all reflect

    23 the situation that the HVO units were in and the

    24 circumstances under which the Operative Zone command

    25 worked under.

  118. 1 Q. The locations that are mentioned here, are

    2 they the sector that we referred to before the break?

    3 So we don't have to show them again.

    4 A. Yes, the operations officer on duty has

    5 adjusted his report to the order he received on the

    6 establishment of sectors so as to describe in detail

    7 the situation in each sector and each village within

    8 the sector.

    9 Q. Let us proceed to the next report, please.

    10 THE REGISTRAR: Document 313, 313A for the

    11 French version, B for the English version.

    12 MR. NOBILO:

    13 Q. Now we have a report from the Busovaca

    14 Brigade and the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade on the

    15 18th of April, 1993, at 1800 hours to the central

    16 Bosnia Operative Zone command in Vitez. Text: "The

    17 situation in the zone of responsibility of the Zrinski

    18 Brigade has remained unchanged since our last report.

    19 The Muslim forces continue with their combat activities

    20 on our positions in the region of Kuber and the

    21 villages of Barin Donja Rovna. An anti-air machine gun

    22 fired from the region of Crna onto our positions in the

    23 Strane village. At 1750 hours an entire heavy attack

    24 was launched by Muslim forces on our positions. There

    25 were no casualties. All defence lines continued to be

  119. 1 quite stable and the morale of soldiers and the

    2 logistic support are satisfactory. There are no other

    3 observations." Signed "operations officer on duty." I

    4 can't read very well his name. I think it's Rajic.

    5 Tell us, Brigadier, do you recognise this

    6 report? Did it reach your headquarters on the 18th of

    7 April and is this a faithful copy of the original?

    8 A. I do remember the report and its content.

    9 This is a faithful copy of the contents of the report

    10 that reached us from the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade.

    11 It reached us by Packet link.

    12 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Next document,

    13 please.

    14 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D314, 314A

    15 for the French version, 314B for the English version.

    16 MR. NOBILO:

    17 Q. It's a report on the implementation of Order

    18 No. 01-4-323/93. Dated April 18, 1993, from Busovaca.

    19 Let me repeat in any case. It is a report from the

    20 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade dated 18 April, 1993, and

    21 it has to do with the implementation of Order No.

    22 01-4-323/93 addressed to the command of the Central

    23 Bosnia operative zone in Vitez and it reads: "Further

    24 to your Order No. 01-4-323/93 of 17 April, 1993, we

    25 would like to report to you the following: We

  120. 1 immediately issued to all our units an order reference

    2 No. 774/93 on 17th of April, 1993 at 2100 hours.

    3 1) The combat readiness of the Zrinski

    4 Brigade has been raised to the highest level of

    5 readiness.

    6 2) All recreation privileges for soldiers

    7 have been cancelled and all absence forbidden.

    8 3) All available forces are engaged in combat

    9 against the onslaughts on our forces by Muslim

    10 extremists.

    11 4) Entrenchment has been carried out on all

    12 defence lines in order to organise the defence from the

    13 enemy as efficiently as possible.

    14 Last night was relatively quiet in the zone

    15 of responsibility of our Brigade. The enemy was

    16 provoking from infantry weapons and all defence lines.

    17 Our units did not respond to the provocations. There

    18 were no casualties. Brigade Commander, Dusko

    19 Grubesic."

    20 My first question, Brigadier, is this a

    21 faithful photocopy of the original report you received

    22 from Busovaca on the 18th of April, 1993?

    23 A. Yes, we received the document by Packet link

    24 from the command of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade

    25 and it is a report on the implementation of the order

  121. 1 issued by the commander of the Operative Zone to

    2 brigade commanders and the actions that are taken by

    3 the brigade can be seen from the content of the report.

    4 Q. Is that the order of the commander of the

    5 Operative Zone regarding the abolition of rest and

    6 recreation and leave of absence and the raising of

    7 combat readiness?

    8 A. Yes, this order also meant carrying out a

    9 general mobilisation of all able-bodied men capable of

    10 combat.

    11 Q. Let us look at the heading which has

    12 reference to a number. So let us try and explain to

    13 the Court how this reference number was formed in the

    14 command of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

    15 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, we can see from

    16 this number the following: That this reference number

    17 of documents consists of the following: 01 is an

    18 indication that the document comes from the commander

    19 of the Operative Zone. Four, the second number, is an

    20 indication of the month. 323 is the number from the

    21 files. Slash 93 indicates that the document was

    22 drafted in 1993.

    23 Q. Tell me, this number, which is mentioned in

    24 the report of the Busovaca Brigade because the Brigade

    25 is referring to it, it is the number of the commander

  122. 1 of the Operative Zone. Were only orders filed under

    2 this number or all documents signed or issued by the

    3 commander Tihomir Blaskic?

    4 A. This number 01 was placed on all documents

    5 signed by the commander of the Operative Zone of

    6 Central Bosnia, at the time Colonel Tihomir Blaskic.

    7 Q. My colleague has indicated in yellow the

    8 number we are referring to. And that is the code used

    9 by Colonel Blaskic. But, tell me, let us look at the

    10 number of the Busovaca Brigade. That number does not

    11 apply the same system of numbering. It could have had

    12 0304 or something. It just has a reference number,

    13 slash 93. This number has now been coloured in

    14 orange. What does it mean?

    15 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, we can see from

    16 this that in the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia,

    17 there was no standardised procedure for marking

    18 documents with a reference number. Therefore, in the

    19 Operative Zone command we applied this system. As for

    20 the command of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, it

    21 used an entirely different system as can be seen from

    22 their reference number, which means there was no

    23 standard. And this is also an illustration of the

    24 level of development of the HVO organisational

    25 structure.

  123. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, just for the sake

    2 of clarification, don't answer straight away. Are you

    3 wishing to tell us when did this system of numbering

    4 begin? It is not urgent that you give me the answer

    5 today. For example, the organisation in October, 1992,

    6 there was simply the date and the signature of Colonel

    7 Blaskic. You don't have to answer me now, I should

    8 just like a clarification, when did this system begin

    9 to be applied 01-4 and so on? But I am not asking you

    10 to answer it straight away.

    11 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I don't know

    12 because I wasn't there, but I can ask the witness or

    13 someone else.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: I wasn't there either, so I am

    15 asking you to assist us.

    16 THE REGISTRAR: The next document is D315,

    17 315A for the French version and 315B for the English

    18 version.

    19 MR. NOBILO:

    20 Q. Brigadier, we have another report from the

    21 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade from Busovaca, dated 18th

    22 of April, 1993, but at 2200 hours. And since we had

    23 several reports on the same day, I am not going to read

    24 it. The document speaks for itself. Their Honours

    25 will read it. Just tell us whether this photocopy is a

  124. 1 faithful copy of the original document that reached the

    2 Operative Zone command after 2200 hours on the 18th of

    3 April?

    4 A. Yes, it reached us by Packet and it was

    5 received by the command of the Operative Zone.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please.

    7 THE REGISTRAR: Document D316, D316A for the

    8 French version, D316B for the English version.

    9 MR. NOBILO:

    10 Q. We have a document of the main headquarters

    11 of the HVO in Mostar, dated the 18th of April, 1993,

    12 addressed to the Operative Zones of Central Bosnia,

    13 Bosanska Posavina, Northwest Herzegovina, and Southeast

    14 Herzegovina. The subject heading is: "Cessation of

    15 Hostilities Between the BiH Army and the HVO. Order:

    16 On the basis of the conclusions reached after talks

    17 between Mr. Mate Boban and Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, which

    18 took place on the 18th of April, 1993 in Zagreb, and in

    19 accordance with point 3 of the agreement, I hereby

    20 order:

    21 1) All HVO units shall immediately cease

    22 hostilities with the BH army units.

    23 2) The exchange of prisoners, both solders

    24 and civilians, shall start immediately.

    25 3) The wounded shall be cared for, regardless

  125. 1 of which forces they belong to.

    2 4) Reliable information shall be gathered

    3 concerning the protagonists of the conflict, the

    4 expulsion of the civilian population, the killing of

    5 captured soldiers and civilians, the torching of houses

    6 and other buildings.

    7 5) Contact shall be established with the BH

    8 army command, asking them to implement the same order.

    9 6) All HVO units shall be familiarised with

    10 this order.

    11 Chief of Staff of the HVO Main Headquarters,

    12 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic."

    13 Brigadier, did you receive this order on the

    14 18th of April, 1993 in the headquarters of the

    15 Operative Zone?

    16 A. Yes. That can be seen from the stamp of the

    17 communications centre. It reached us by packet.

    18 Q. Could you tell us, in view of the fact that

    19 you knew Colonel Blaskic, could it be possible for him

    20 not to implement a command of the chief of staff of the

    21 main headquarters?

    22 A. That could never happen. As far as I

    23 remember, on the basis of this order, we issued our own

    24 order for all subordinate commanders. General Blaskic

    25 carried out orders of the chief of staff of the main

  126. 1 headquarters, to the letter, as they were issued.

    2 MR. NOBILO: My client is telling me that

    3 "HV" has been entered in this transcript, and the

    4 whole text has to do with the HVO, the Croatian Defence

    5 Council, not the HV. May that be corrected, please?

    6 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, we've been talking about

    7 the 18th. We've been dwelling, at some length, on the

    8 18th. Could you tell us, on this map, where the places

    9 of conflict were on the 18th of April, to the best of

    10 your recollection?

    11 We will distribute the maps in the meantime.

    12 Just wait a moment for us to do that.

    13 THE REGISTRAR: The map bears the number

    14 D317.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. Before we proceed with a viewing of this map,

    17 you mentioned that, on the basis of the order you

    18 received from Petkovic, you issued a new order.

    19 MR. NOBILO: I should like to ask my

    20 colleague, Hayman, to read that order and distribute

    21 it, because it was issued originally in the English

    22 language, among others, in English and Croatian. We

    23 only have a signed and stamped English language

    24 version.

    25 Could this document be distributed too,

  127. 1 please?

    2 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D318.

    3 MR. HAYMAN: The document is titled "The

    4 Cease-Fire Between the HVO and ABiH Units, Vitez, April

    5 18, 1993," and is addressed to "Commanders of all HVO

    6 Units in Operative Zone Middle Bosnia, UNPROFOR,

    7 BRITBAT Commander Colonel Robert Stewart, European

    8 Monitoring Mission, 3rd Corps ABiH Zenica. On the

    9 basis of the orders given by the HVO head of staff,

    10 Herceg office number," number is given, "dated April

    11 18th, in order to completely, I command:

    12 1) All the," appears to be, "subordinate HVO

    13 units are to stop immediately all combat actions

    14 against the units of the ABiH.

    15 2) Exchange the detained soldiers and

    16 civilians at" and then an illegible word.

    17 "3) Take care of all the wounded, no matter

    18 what army they belong to.

    19 4) Gather the relevant data about the actors

    20 of the conflict, the causes of banishing people,

    21 murdering civilians and soldiers, burning houses and

    22 other buildings.

    23 5) Make contacts with ABiH commands and ask

    24 for the adequate command to be given and obeyed

    25 completely.

  128. 1 6) This command is to be presented to all the

    2 subordinate HVO units. Signed, Commander Colonel

    3 Tihomir Blaskic."

    4 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    5 Q. Brigadier, will you please look at the stamp

    6 and signature? Do you recognise the signature of

    7 Colonel Blaskic?

    8 A. Yes, I do. This is the signature of General

    9 Blaskic. The stamp is of the Operative Zone command.

    10 The document was drafted in the Operative Zone, and it

    11 was drafted on the basis of the order we received from

    12 the main headquarters of the HVO. Its contents shows

    13 that all the activities and actions ordered by the

    14 chief of staff of the HVO were passed on to our

    15 subordinate units for implementation.

    16 Q. Do you remember, Brigadier, whether this

    17 document was also drafted in Croatian, as well as in

    18 English?

    19 A. Yes. I remember that there was a Croatian

    20 version of the document as well.

    21 Q. If we have enough time in the next four

    22 minutes that are left, if you could indicate on this

    23 map of the 18th of April, 1993 --

    24 MR. NOBILO: Could the registrar give me the

    25 number of this map? The number is D317. Thank you.

  129. 1 Q. Could you indicate to us, on the 18th of

    2 April, where were the areas of conflict between the HVO

    3 and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    4 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, on the 18th of

    5 April, 1993, the fiercest clashes in the Lasva Valley,

    6 that is, the municipalities of Busovaca, Vitez, and

    7 Zenica, between HVO units and the BH army were in the

    8 following places:

    9 In the Zenica municipality, there's a place

    10 called Cajdras. We saw, from the report of the Jure

    11 Francetic Brigade in Zenica, what was happening there

    12 and what the situation was in the village of Cajdras.

    13 In the area of Kuber, and we are now talking

    14 about the foothills of Kuber, the villages of Jelinak,

    15 Putis, no longer on the mountain itself, because the BH

    16 army had gained control of the mountain, but on the

    17 slopes of that mountain near the road, there was fierce

    18 fighting between HVO units and BH army units.

    19 Then, also, Gornji Santici, this is a village

    20 in the immediate vicinity of the village of Ahmici.

    21 When we were referring to the 17th of April, a

    22 front-line had been established there between the BH

    23 army and the HVO.

    24 In the region of Dubravica, between Poculica

    25 and Dubravica, again, a front-line had been established

  130. 1 between the HVO and the BH army.

    2 In Donja Veceriska, you saw the report that

    3 UNPROFOR had evacuated the civilian population, that

    4 is, the Muslims/Bosniaks from Donja Veceriska.

    5 Then in the area of Divjak, which is a

    6 locality next to Grbavica where BH units had

    7 considerable forces, in the territory of Busovaca

    8 municipality, the area of Gornja Rovna, and the village

    9 of Bara, those would outline the places of conflict.

    10 Let me now show you the places exposed to

    11 heavy shelling on the 18th of April, 1993. The town of

    12 Busovaca itself, the locality called Bara, Rovna. In

    13 Rovna, part of the population were Bosniak Muslims in

    14 Gornja Rovna, and in Donja Rovna were Croats. It was

    15 exposed to shelling. Then Grbavica or, to be more

    16 precise, this area of Divjak where the conflicts were,

    17 and the inhabited area of Stara Bila, those would be

    18 the most important localities which were under

    19 shelling, fierce shelling, on the 18th of April.

    20 In addition to these cases of shelling, I

    21 have already reported on sniper fire activities which

    22 continued to be most pronounced in the area of the town

    23 of Vitez from Stari Vitez, where BH army units were

    24 stationed, towards Vitez, where the HVO were situated,

    25 and the villages along the road from Vitez to Kaonik,

  131. 1 and from Grbavica to inhabited areas of Stara Bila.

    2 Q. Did you, yourself, make this map?

    3 A. Yes, I did. We can see from the key, from

    4 the legend, what it shows.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Your Honour, Mr. President, if

    6 this is a convenient time, we could adjourn now.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We'll adjourn the

    8 hearing and resume tomorrow, Wednesday, at 2.00 p.m.

    9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    10 5.30 p.m., to be reconvened on

    11 Wednesday, the 30th day of September,

    12 1998 at 2.00 p.m.