1 Friday, 9th October 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated and have the
5 accused brought in.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, has someone gone to
8 get the witness?
9 (The witness entered court)
10 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the
11 interpreters. Does everybody hear me? General, do you
13 A. Yes, Mr. President, I can hear you.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. We
16 will move through this document quickly, Mr.
17 President. I don't think that on the 498 document,
18 that we were discussing yesterday, we will submit the
19 exhibits that we have tabbed there with our chart for
20 the Court's review, and that being the receipt that is
21 in tab number 1 on 498, as well as, the orders that are
22 listed in this binder from tab 2 through 11, and their
23 corresponding Defence numbers.
24 The ones provided by Mr. Primorac have no
25 numbers, the ones introduced by the Defence do, in
1 fact, have numbers. We direct the Court's attention to
2 tab 12, which is the letter of Mr. Blewitt, the Deputy
3 Prosecutor, to Mr. Primorac asking for the source of
4 these documents, and for the originals. Mr. Primorac
5 responded in document 13 in that response to
6 Mr. Blewitt. He reflected that he received these
7 documents from an individual by the name of Jure Brkic
8 and that he never possessed the originals.
9 Tab 14, Mr. President, is the establishment
10 by the Narodni Lists or the official Gazette of the
11 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna to establish the war
12 archive. Tab 15 is the decision appointing a director
13 of the war archive by the name of Stjepan Ivankovic and
14 tab 16 is the appointment of Mr. Jure Brkic as the
15 deputy director of the war archive, that is the person
16 from whom Major General Primorac says he got these
18 Now, if I may, Mr. President, as the Court
19 knows in the issue of binding orders by this Court, a
20 binding order was issued by this Court and I would
21 like, at this point, to address my attention and the
22 attention of the witness to two particular documents
23 and/or orders that have been issued by the federation
24 in the Ministry of Defence pursuant to this Court's
25 orders. And if I may take those in series.
1 JUDGE JORDA: What order are you talking
2 about Mr. Kehoe?
3 MR. KEHOE: I'm about to give it to the
4 usher, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Ordinarily orders are covered
6 by either ex parte or by closed sessions. Do you want
7 this to still be a public session.
8 MR. KEHOE: I have no objection one way or
9 the other Mr. President.
10 JUDGE JORDA: If you have no objection, we
11 can remain in public hearing.
12 MR. KEHOE: Let me consult with my colleagues
13 on this point, but I don't think there is any
15 MR. HAYMAN: We would just like to get a
16 question to the witness, Mr. President. We have been
17 in session now for five minutes, we haven't had a
18 question put to the witness yet.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Just wait a minute Mr. Hayman.
20 You know that in this Tribunal everybody takes his
21 time. You were the first to do so, in fact, when the
22 witness answers the Prosecution's questions. But, I
23 will ensure that the questions are asked. Have faith
24 in me.
25 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President, and if I
2 INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President, and if I
4 may give these particular documents, the first one,
5 which is dated the 28th of February, 1997, signed by
6 Mr. Ante Jelavic and there are English and BCS copies.
7 JUDGE JORDA: These are documents that you
8 are giving to the witness in order to cross-examine
9 him --
10 MR. KEHOE: That's correct.
11 JUDGE JORDA: -- or you simply want to open a
12 discussion. Very well. All right, you see,
13 Mr. Hayman, the questions will be asked.
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, this discussion
15 of the binding order is absolutely outside of the scope
16 of these proceedings, but I trust that you will reach
17 the right decision on it.
18 JUDGE JORDA: We have to wait to see what
19 kind of questions are going to be asked in order to
20 decide whether what you said is right. The witness,
21 thanks to you, in the first place, covered so many
22 issues, that are at the very core of this trial, that
23 you cannot limit the cross-examination, although I am
24 watching to hear what is being asked. Let's wait for
25 the questions.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 499, 499A for the
2 English version.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. Brigadier, I will give you a moment to review
5 that document, sir. We are talking about the document
6 signed by Mr. Jelavic on the 28th of February, 1997?
7 JUDGE JORDA: Could I have a translation,
9 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, this particular
10 document has not been translated yet into --
11 JUDGE JORDA: No, I understand. I'm not
12 trying to interrupt things. I would like you to read
13 it quickly so the interpreters can interpret it, and I
14 don't lose any of the meanings. I see, generally, what
15 it's about, but I would prefer to have it read so I can
16 understand all nuances. Why don't you begin with
17 pursuant to articles 27. Don't read the heading.
18 MR. KEHOE: Yes, sir.
19 "Pursuant to articles 27 and 28 of the law on
20 defence of the BH Federation, official Gazette of the
21 BH Federation, issue 1596, in order to provide, and in
22 order to provide complete protection of the records and
23 archives, I hereby order that:
24 1. The commanders of the Operative Zones
25 subordinate units, administrations and institutions of
1 the HVO to gather and catalogue all available archives
2 pertaining to the war for the homeland in their zone of
3 responsibility. Prior shall be given to the period
4 between 1 April, 1992 and 1 January, 1994.
5 2. The gathered material shall be urgently
6 forwarded to the Croatian Defence Council offices in
7 Mostar by 15 March, 1997.
8 3. The commanders mentioned under paragraph
9 1 of this order shall be responsible to me for the
10 execution of this order. Copies going to the HVO
11 command, HVO Operative Zones, all HVO subordinate
12 units, all HVO administrations, all, and files, and it
13 is signed by the Defence minister, Ante Jelavic."
14 Now, my question, Brigadier, with regard to
15 this document was, did you ever see this document
17 A. I do not remember such a document, but as far
18 as I can recall, I believe that this is the signature
19 of the Defence minister, Mr. Jelavic.
20 Q. Brigadier, what position did you hold on the
21 28th of February, 1997?
22 A. On 28 February, 1997, I was on duty in
23 Tomislavgrad as chief of staff, and in this period for
24 which the documents are sought, the period between 1
25 April, 1992 and 1 January, 1994, I was on duty in
2 Q. This particular order, and to whom it's
3 directed, would cover the command in which you were
4 working in Tomislavgrad on the 28th of February, 1997;
5 would it not?
6 A. Yes, yes. This order was central commands
7 and I was in the command in Tomislavgrad, yes.
8 Q. Did you ever hear about this order, sir?
9 A. Regarding this order and the tasks that it
10 sets out, in Tomislavgrad command, I have not, I did
11 not hear of it, and I never saw it, even though I was
12 on such a post that the commander would have had to
13 notify me of it, because here it is clear that the
14 document is going directly to all the commanders.
15 Q. Let me, Brigadier, turn your attention to
16 another document with the assistance of the usher.
17 THE REGISTRAR: This is 500, 500A for the
18 English version.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. Brigadier, if you could review that document
21 for us, Exhibit 500.
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, with your
23 permission I will read this document again, starting
24 with the date of 4 March, 1997 and again starting
25 pursuant to article 27 and 28.
1 Q. The date is 4 March, 1997, "Pursuant to
2 articles 27 and 28 of the law on defence of the BH
3 Federation, citing the Official Gazette, and in order
4 to provide complete protection of the records and
5 archives, I hereby order that:
6 1. You protect against damage, destruction,
7 removal and relocation all archives gathered, as
8 stipulated in the order reference number 01-112/97 of
9 28 February, 1997.
10 2. The commanders of Operative Zones,
11 subordinate units, administrations and institutions of
12 the HVO shall be responsible to me for the execution of
13 the task under paragraph 1 of this order. Copies: HVO
14 command, HVO operative zones, all; HVO subordinate
15 units, all; HVO administrations, all; and files."
16 Again, signed by the Defence minister, Ante
18 Brigadier, again, that is Mr. Jelavic's
20 A. This signature is identical to the signature
21 on the other order, and I think I said as far as I know
22 that this is the signature of Mr. Ante Jelavic.
23 MR. KEHOE: For the record, Mr. President,
24 the reference number of 01-112/97 is the number in the
25 prior order, Exhibit 499.
1 MR. KEHOE:
2 Q. Again, Brigadier, you were in the
3 Tomislavgrad headquarters on the 4th of March, 1997?
4 A. Yes, I was in command in Tomislavgrad. Let
5 me repeat, the documents which have been produced, that
6 is, the time frame within which these were produced, I
7 was not in the command of Tomislavgrad, I was in the
8 command in Vitez in the pertinent time period.
9 I am just trying to understand why I am not
10 aware of these documents. It could be that this is why
11 I did not learn of them, because these documents may
12 have been produced at a time when I was not present at
13 the command.
14 Q. Well, sir, you, in the command, would have
15 been covered by the copies, and your command would have
16 received a copy of this order; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes, but from the first document, you can see
18 that it was addressed to the commanders, and it was
19 specifically addressed to all the commanders.
20 So, the commander who was there in
21 Tomislavgrad, if he had received this document, he
22 acted accordingly, to the best understanding of what he
23 was supposed to do.
24 During that period, during the time frame
25 which is referred to in the document, I was not present
1 there; so, maybe that was the reason why I was not
2 included, I was not let known of this document.
3 Q. Brigadier, this exhibit, this order on the
4 4th of March, 1997, have you ever seen this before?
5 A. As far as I recall, I have not seen this
6 document, either. Because this document is linked to
7 the previous document. So, had I seen the previous
8 document, or had I seen this document, I would have
9 looked up the previous document, as well.
10 Q. Would it be accurate to say that you haven't
11 heard about it, either?
12 A. I have not heard of the document, per se, but
13 I did see, in the command, that there was some work
14 done, some archival work; that is, the officers who
15 were in charge of the archives. I'm aware of the fact
16 that certain things were classified.
17 Now, what was being done, how it was
18 classified, that, I don't know, because I was not
19 working at the Tomislavgrad command. Had I been in
20 Vitez, then obviously I would have been involved and I
21 would have known what was done, because I worked with
22 all these documents while I was in Vitez.
23 Q. Well, Brigadier, when you saw these people
24 gathering archival material in the Tomislavgrad
25 headquarters, did you ask them what they were doing and
2 A. Let me be accurate. These were not people.
3 There is an office, general services, and this is what
4 is being done there on a regular basis. It wasn't
5 something extraordinary. There were certain premises
6 where these documents, all the documents which were
7 produced there, was being stored and put in archive.
8 It wasn't a special type of activity that was involved
9 in classifying and archiving it.
10 Q. So, what you observed was people in the
11 headquarters going about their normal course of
12 business; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. KEHOE: Just for clarity sake, Mr.
15 President, so we can distinguish between these two
16 sets, the documents received in 499 and 500, the two we
17 just discussed, those were the documents that were
18 issued subsequent to the binding order or subpoena
19 litigation. I just want to clarify that.
20 In 498, the documents with the orders were
21 documents received by the Office of the Prosecutor in a
22 request for assistance by the Office of the Prosecutor.
23 So, just for the clarity of the record, and any
24 inaccuracies, I just wanted to segregate those two
25 aspects of these documents. I will move on to another
1 subject. Excuse me a moment.
2 I have just one further clarification: On
3 these two orders, 500 and 499, Mr. Harmon informs me
4 that they were issued pursuant to the subpoena and not
5 the binding order litigation. So, it was pursuant to
6 the subpoena. So, to be perfectly clear as to where
7 these documents follow-up in the sequence of the
8 litigation --
9 JUDGE JORDA: What's the date?
10 MR. KEHOE: The date of these two orders?
11 JUDGE JORDA: No, the order. What was the
12 date of the order you're talking about, so I can
13 remember what you're talking about.
14 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President, consult
15 with Mr. Harmon.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Yes, the subpoena
17 was the one from Judge McDonald; is that correct?
18 MR. KEHOE: That's correct, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE JORDA: So, it was January of 1997; is
20 that right?
21 MR. KEHOE: It was actually, the specific
22 date, Mr. President, is the 28th of February, 1997.
23 I'm sorry, the date of the subpoena is the 17th of
24 January, 1997.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, it was January.
1 MR. KEHOE: Yes, it was.
2 JUDGE JORDA: It seemed to me it was January.
3 All right, January, 17 January, 1997. So, that was
4 further to the -- the order is further to the -- from
5 the Appeals Chamber, about five months later; is that
7 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Harmon informs me that it was
8 before that. Mr. Harmon conducted this litigation, if
9 you want further explanation.
10 JUDGE JORDA: No, I don't need any further
11 explanation about that. All right, perhaps after these
12 clarifications, perhaps we could go back to substantive
14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, we are.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Brigadier, before we move into a new subject,
17 which we will do shortly, I just want to recall you
18 back to an exhibit we discussed yesterday. And if I
19 could show that you exhibit again, which is 456/65.
20 MR. KEHOE: Just move that down a little bit,
21 Mr. Usher.
22 Q. Brigadier, this is the order that we
23 discussed yesterday concerning Ivica Bagaric, and you
24 said that Mr. Bagaric had no troops, soldiers under his
25 command; is that right?
1 A. Yes. Mr. Ivica Bagaric, while acting as
2 chief of the anti-air defences, did not have a
3 commanding function. That position is not a commanding
4 function, it is an expert position, just as when I was
5 head of the operations and training department. I
6 didn't have a command function.
7 Q. Well, let me show you a document, sir.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 501, 501A for the
9 English version.
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. Brigadier, is that Colonel Blaskic's
12 signature, or someone signing on his behalf?
13 A. This is, as far as I can recognise, a
14 document signed by the Chief of Staff of the
15 headquarters, Franjo Nakic, on behalf of Colonel
17 Q. Is that the stamp of the Central Bosnian
18 Operative Zone?
19 A. Yes, this is the stamp of the Central Bosnian
20 Operative Zone.
21 Q. Let's read it quickly. 9th of January, 1993
22 at 10.45, and the subject is anti-aircraft defence
23 units. "Attention: The Travnik Brigade. The chief of
24 anti-aircraft defence, the commander of the 4th
25 anti-aircraft defence, light artillery missile
1 division. Order:
2 All anti-aircraft defence weaponry on the
3 Travnik defence line, including the 4th anti-aircraft
4 defence light artillery missile division, 3rd platoon
5 of the first battery, shall join the anti-aircraft
6 defence units that form the HVO Brigade of the Central
7 Bosnian Operative Zone, anti-aircraft defence, light
8 artillery missile platoon and the anti-aircraft defence
9 platoon of the manoeuvring battalion.
10 2. Mr. Ivica Bagaric, chief of the
11 anti-aircraft defence brigade, shall select and train
12 troops on the weaponry that are at the brigade's
14 Do you see that, sir?
15 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, it is because of
16 the translation that I'm standing up. Point 2 has been
17 misinterpreted. Ivica Bagaric is not chief of the
18 anti-aircraft brigade, but he is chief of anti-aircraft
19 defence. Ivica Bagaric is not a commander of a unit,
20 but a chief of anti-aircraft defence. It is an error
21 in the translation of point 2.
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I'm reading the
23 translation that was given to us by the translation
24 section. I don't pretend to read -- and if the
25 interpreters can read it, if it can be put on the ELMO.
1 JUDGE JORDA: The interpreters give us a
2 translation Mr. Nobilo. Reread point 2 and we will ask
3 our interpreters to be very careful as to what they are
4 going to tell us, as they do always, but especially on
5 this occasion. Oh, slowly, point 2, Mr. Ivica Bagaric.
6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. "The chief of
7 anti-aircraft Defence of the brigade, Mr. Ivica
8 Bagaric, shall select and train troops on the weaponry
9 that are at the brigade's disposal." For the sake of
10 clarification, reference is to the Travnik brigade, as
11 can be seen from the whole text.
12 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President?
13 JUDGE JORDA: In other words, if I understand
14 you well, for the Prosecution, he is the chief of the
15 anti-air defence brigade, and for the defence, he is
16 head of the anti-aircraft defences at the level of the
17 brigade. So this seems to me rather semantic. I must
18 say I don't quite understand the distinction, but
19 perhaps you could explain it to us, or maybe the
20 witness could.
21 As far as I'm concerned, if you are head of
22 the anti-air defence at the level of the brigade, you
23 do have command responsibilities. Perhaps it would be
24 better to say chief of the anti-air defence brigade.
25 But please continue.
1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, if I may make a
2 suggestion. Not one of us is a soldier, but the
3 witness is. Perhaps we could ask him because there are
4 some abbreviations here that are not translated. The
5 4th LTRDPZO, that can be the key to everything so we
6 avoid any guesswork.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Before putting the question to
8 the witness, I should like to hear the opinion of the
9 Prosecutor regarding the translation that was given to
10 us. We asked our interpreters for their expertise, so,
11 Mr. Prosecutor, what do you think of it? And then we
12 can go on to the question.
13 MR. KEHOE: I think the accurate thing to do,
14 Mr. President, is give the translation to the
15 translation section, put it on the ELMO and have them
16 translate it. I don't speak the language, Mr.
17 President, and this is the interpretation that was
18 provided upon submission of this document.
19 JUDGE JORDA: I think that perhaps, after
20 all, this is not the most important thing. We must
21 focus on what we are trying to see. The Prosecution is
22 trying to show, I think, that Ivica Bagaric had troops
23 under his orders whether he was chief of the
24 anti-aircraft defence brigade or chief of the
25 anti-aircraft defence at the level of the brigade. I
1 would like to ask the Brigadier, according to this
2 text, was Mr. Ivica Bagaric, should Mr. Ivica Bagaric,
3 according to this order, select and train troops under
4 his responsibility? What is your feeling, Brigadier?
5 Will you please answer my question?
6 A. Mr. President, Ivica Bagaric was not in
7 command of units. As chief of anti-air defences, chief
8 of anti-air defences within a command, he is the most
9 qualified person who should watch over the situation
10 regarding units of the anti-air defences. So, between
11 Ivica Bagaric and the anti-air defence units, there are
13 These units are part of a brigade, like a
14 battalion. The commanding role, or function, in every
15 command, is in the hands of the commander only. All
16 the others are associates, they make suggestions,
17 express their opinions and pass expert decisions, but
18 they cannot give orders.
19 Therefore, Ivica Bagaric could never write an
20 order and say "I hereby order." In the area of air
21 defences, he could prepare a document, but the order
22 will be issued by the commander. Why? Because that
23 order is addressed to subordinate commanders, that is
24 commanders of anti-air defence units. But he is an
25 expert, he will go to the command and assist, but he
1 cannot give orders to those soldiers.
2 MR. KEHOE: Well, Brigadier, you would agree
3 with me that the order says that individuals shall join
4 the anti-aircraft defence that form the HVO brigade;
5 does it say that in the first paragraph?
6 A. Mr. President, let me try to explain the
7 first paragraph word-by-word, if I may.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but try and go a little
9 more quickly, otherwise we will still be here in a
10 month's time asking you questions about the brigade.
11 But I remember that we had a chart, and under the
12 orders of the accused there was an anti-air brigade.
13 As far as I remember, Ivica Bagaric was mentioned, and
14 he was at the same level at the other brigades. I
15 would like this polemics to end rather quickly and the
16 Judges will judge.
17 Mr. Nobilo first, and then your comments, and
18 then we will close this discussion; because otherwise
19 we will never get out of it. Mr. Nobilo, quickly,
21 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I quite agree
22 with you that this is not decisive for this case, but
23 in this way our witness is trying to be impeached. But
24 let us give the witness the chance to explain himself
25 fully, because we wouldn't like his credibility to be
1 called in question. As it has been opened to scrutiny,
2 please let him explain himself.
3 JUDGE JORDA: But, Mr. Nobilo, the Brigadier
4 is here before us. There is no need for -- he doesn't
5 need your help. He's big enough to defend himself.
6 So, if you need to comment on this, Brigadier, please
7 do, but quickly.
8 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, when we are
9 dealing with anti-air defence units in the Operative
10 Zone Central Bosnia command, you noticed very well, Mr.
11 President, that the commander of the Operative Zone had
12 under his command a unit called the 4th LTRD, and it
13 had its commander. It had its commander.
14 Because of needs on the defence lines, all
15 the weaponry from the brigades and from the 4th
16 anti-aircraft defence light artillery missile division
17 had to be collected together. As we're talking about
18 the area of the Travnik Brigade, the qualified person
19 for selecting those weapons is the chief of anti-air
20 defences, Mr. Ivica Bagaric.
21 In the command of the Operative Zone we also
22 had a chief of anti-air defences, but we also had a
23 commander. The same applies to the Travnik Brigade.
24 In the brigade command, in addition to the commander,
25 there are 15 other persons.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, we have more or less
2 understood. One last question and then move forward,
3 please, Mr. Prosecutor.
4 MR. KEHOE:
5 Q. One last question on this, Brigadier. In
6 addition to this, according to paragraph 2, there was
7 training of these troops being done also; correct?
8 A. The anti-air defence weaponry, because of
9 their importance and use, training was carried out, so
10 as to react as quickly as possible should the need
11 arise for the personnel to be able to use these
12 weapons. Because what else would they be doing except
13 training for the use of these weapons, so, there was
15 JUDGE JORDA: We are going to go to another
16 question. Let me summarise. Mr. Bagaric officially
17 did not have troops under his command, but in view of
18 this order, which is not challenged, he had the duty to
19 select and train troops. The Court will judge on that
20 basis. Please move forward, Mr. Kehoe.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Brigadier, let's move to another section.
23 You were asked some questions by Defence, my learned
24 colleague, Mr. Nobilo, concerning the causes of the
25 conflict between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian
1 Croats, and we're certainly not going to read
2 everything that you stated at that point, which runs
3 from page 12.240 to 12.245; but I would like to ask you
4 a couple of follow-up questions about some of what you
5 said and some of the documents that were introduced by
6 the Defence. I would like to talk to you preliminarily
7 about Defence Exhibit 199.
8 JUDGE JORDA: It was the first Defence
9 exhibit, Mr. Kehoe, wasn't it?
10 MR. KEHOE: I think either the first or
12 JUDGE JORDA: I just hope you won't have
13 questions regarding all the exhibits that are going to
14 come after this one.
15 MR. KEHOE: No.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, thank you.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Do you see that document, Brigadier?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. You identified that document, and you
21 discussed that document, and you pointed to number 1 in
22 that document that was talking about the crisis
23 headquarters being renamed the HVO command; isn't that
25 A. Yes, I identified this document by
1 recognising General Blaskic's signature. It is clear,
2 that at the time, General Blaskic was a commander in
3 Kiseljak. In point one, the crisis headquarters is
4 renamed the municipal command. Yes, that is the
5 transformation. It is the first step towards
6 reorganisation. It was first called a crisis
7 headquarters, and then after a certain amount of time
8 these municipal commands were established. So, that's
9 quite clear.
10 Q. Brigadier, you said that the setting up of
11 the municipal headquarters, the municipal HVO command,
12 was one of the steps that Blaskic took in trying to
13 organise the HVO; didn't you say that?
14 A. That is not quite what I said, because it
15 wasn't possible under those conditions. I'll explain
17 At the time General Blaskic was on duty in a
18 municipality in May 1992, and the organisation of the
19 municipal command followed the chain of command,
20 probably it was called the main headquarters at the
21 level of the HVO at the time.
22 Q. Well, sir, you would agree with me, based on
23 what you said in direct, that this was an effort by
24 Blaskic to organise the HVO in Kiseljak. Didn't you
25 say that?
1 A. It is visible from this document that General
2 Blaskic sought to establish the HVO in Kiseljak. I
3 wish to draw attention to the heading of this document.
4 It says that it came from a higher level.
5 JUDGE JORDA: But today is Friday, let us
6 make an effort to speed up the debate. I apologise for
7 reminding you of this.
8 Mr. Kehoe, when you show a document in the
9 cross-examination to the witness, I would like to ask
10 you to go directly to your question. We are not going
11 to repeat all that has been confirmed by the witness.
12 If that is being challenged, yes, then you can ask
13 whether it was signed by Blaskic or not.
14 This was a Defence exhibit. If you have one
15 or two or three questions to put regarding this
16 exhibit, please do so; because you know very well that
17 the witness is very eloquent and he has many things to
18 say, he is going to explain, going into a great deal of
20 After all, I am responsible for the
21 scheduling and the work and the progress of this
22 hearing. If there is something that is being
23 contradicted, go to it immediately; if not, proceed to
24 the next document.
25 MR. KEHOE: I appreciate your point, Mr.
1 President, and I will move as quickly as I possibly
3 I would like the Brigadier to take a look at
4 a series of documents, Prosecutor's documents, that are
5 numbered 314, 315, 316, and 317, in series. If I can
6 ask the Brigadier to keep Exhibit 199 with him.
7 MR. KEHOE:
8 Q. Brigadier, the first document is Exhibit 314,
9 and it is signed by Josip Boro, the chairman of the
10 crisis committee, and dated the 23rd of April, 1992.
11 It says -- in Kiseljak -- it says, "On the basis of
12 article 7 of the Kiseljak municipality statute," and it
13 gives the number, "at its meeting held on the 23rd of
14 April, 1992, the municipal crisis staff passed the
15 following decision:
16 The HVO headquarters for the area of Kiseljak
17 municipality shall be formed. This decision comes into
18 effect on the day of its proclamation."
19 Exhibit 315, another document, very brief,
20 signed by Mr. Josip Boro four days later, and it
21 says: "Pursuant to the record, the hand over and
22 acceptance of the barracks signed by the commander of
23 the barracks, Ljuban Kosovac, and the chairman of the
24 municipal crisis staff, Josip Boro, at its meeting on
25 the 27th of April, 1997, the municipal crisis committee
1 passed the following decision:
2 The barracks in the Kiseljak municipality are
3 handed over to be used and managed by the HVO
4 headquarters of the Kiseljak municipality. This
5 decision comes into effect on the day of its issue."
6 I apologise for the dates going back, but
7 this is the series that it went in, 316, another order
8 on April the 24th, again by Mr. Boro, that appoints a
9 commission for the building of the inventory list of
10 weapons in the Kiseljak barracks, five individuals,
11 both Muslims and Croats with the accused, Mr. Blaskic,
12 on the list.
13 The last in the series, on the 17th, there is
14 a distribution, an agreement to distribute the weapons
15 on a national representation. "The earlier distributed
16 arms will be compensated by the commission mentioned
18 Now the next document we have is the document
19 that you talked about previously on the 10th of May,
20 wherein Colonel Blaskic renames, or the crisis
21 headquarters is renamed the municipal HVO staff.
22 Let me show you a document that was issued
23 the next day, the 11th May, 1992, and signed by the
25 THE REGISTRAR: This is 502 and 502A for the
1 English version.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. Take a look at that document, Brigadier, and
4 my first question: Is that the accused's signature on
5 the bottom of the page?
6 A. I believe that this is the signature of the
8 Q. Let's read this document very briefly.
9 Again, it's the 11th of May, 1992, the day after the
10 document you said was setting up the HVO municipal
11 headquarters in Kiseljak.
12 "On the basis of the orders received from the
13 main headquarters," and it gives a number of 10 April,
14 1992 and 8 May, 1992, "and with the intention of
15 defining precisely the legal status of all formations,
16 I am issuing the following order:
17 1. The only legal military units in the area
18 of Kiseljak municipality are HVO units.
19 2. All other military units in the mentioned
20 area must join the unified defence system and recognise
21 the municipal HVO command as their main command.
22 3. Each member of the above mentioned
23 military units is obliged to wear the HVO insignia,
24 coat of arms on the cap, linen HVO sign on the left
1 4. I forbid the establishment of private
2 military units. Persons who do not obey this order or
3 do not carry it out ... and it's illegible ... and the
4 established formation militarily destroyed.
5 5. By this order, all orders of the
6 Territorial Defence are rendered invalid and the
7 Territorial Defence in this area considered illegal.
8 All troops are to be formed into ranks and the deadline
9 to form them into ranks is the 11th."
10 This order, it clearly reflects that the only
11 legal military units in the Kiseljak area is the HVO
12 and the Territorial Defence is now an illegal entity;
13 isn't that right?
14 A. Yes, you can see that from the order.
15 However, you can see that this document was drafted on
16 the basis of the, another order by the main
17 headquarters of the HVO. I was not in Kiseljak at that
18 time. I do not know the circumstances under which this
19 document was drafted, so I cannot speak to anything
20 that is set out in this document.
21 But I can say that it was drafted on the
22 basis of another document, and I can refer you to the
23 number and the date here.
24 Q. Well, Brigadier, you discussed with us your
25 Defence Exhibit 199, which was issued one day before,
1 and you explained what that document was, and I'm
2 showing you a document one day after that, and my
3 question for you is: Was the HVO taking over in the
4 Kiseljak municipality?
5 A. I do not know whether the HVO had taken over
6 Kiseljak. That was 11 May. This is the time when I
7 was working in the defence office in Novi Travnik.
8 There may be other things which may indicate what has
9 transpired here, but I'm not aware of it.
10 Q. Let me show you a photograph that is
11 photograph 80/7.
12 MR. KEHOE: If we could put that on the ELMO,
13 Mr. Usher, and if we could push the ELMO closer to the
14 Brigadier. Mr. Usher, the all too valuable chopstick
15 is at your disposal.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This one?
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: It's 9.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. Now, taking a look at 80/9, you, of course,
21 recognise Colonel Blaskic in that photograph; do you
23 A. Yes, I do recognise him.
24 Q. Do you see a man by the name of Dario Kordic
25 in that photograph?
1 A. Yes, I do recognise Mr. Kordic.
2 Q. Could you take the pointer and point to him?
3 A. I believe that this is Mr. Kordic.
4 Q. Okay. Now, I would like you to take a look
5 at the Prosecutor's Exhibit 208 at this point.
6 MR. KEHOE: Keep that handy, please. You
7 don't have to necessarily leave it there.
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Now, take a look at this document, Brigadier,
10 and we can put that on the ELMO. This is a document
11 that is received in evidence, signed by Mr. Kordic, and
12 pardon my pronunciation, Ivo Brnada.
13 Before we talk about this document, did
14 Mr. Kordic visit the Hotel Vitez while you were working
16 A. Mr. Kordic, in fact, I saw Mr. Kordic in the
17 Hotel Vitez in 1992 at Christmas when there was a
18 reception at the command. This was on Christmas Eve
19 when Mr. Blaskic organised a party to celebrate
20 Christmas. There were UNPROFOR representatives there,
21 and I believe there were also the BH representatives
22 there, and this was the first time that I saw
23 Mr. Blaskic at the Operative Zone command. This was in
24 the Vitez Hotel.
25 Q. I'm sorry, you said Mr. Blaskic, I think you
1 mean Mr. Kordic.
2 A. That is when I first saw Mr. Kordic in the
3 Operative Zone command. This was a celebration, a
4 reception at Christmas. I attended it, there were
5 political representatives present, representatives of
6 UNPROFOR; and I am not sure about the BH army
7 representatives, but I believe that they may have
8 attended, too.
9 Q. How often did you see him in the Hotel Vitez
10 after that?
11 A. I did not see Mr. Kordic very frequently in
12 the Vitez Hotel. I have no information that he was a
13 frequent visitor there. Let me just take you back to
14 the word "frequently." To me frequent would mean once
15 a week, once every ten days; so if I say he was not a
16 frequent visitor, this is what I have in mind, 10, 15,
17 20 days.
18 As far as I know, Mr. Kordic had his office
19 in Busovaca, and I never was in his office.
20 Q. Well, you would agree with me, Brigadier,
21 that the photograph, 80/9 we just had on the ELMO, is a
22 shot, that is a photograph, that is taken outside of
23 the Hotel Vitez.
24 A. I will attempt to analyse this structure. I
25 cannot say that this is in front of the Hotel Vitez.
1 Q. Okay, sir. Let's move on. How frequently
2 did Blaskic appear in press conferences with Dario
4 A. As far as I know, that is as far as I can
5 recall, the press conferences were introduced at a time
6 when we were completely surrounded, when we were
7 completely isolated, and we did not have media outlets,
8 radio, we did not have access to the Bosnian state
9 television. The situation in the enclave where we
10 lived was so complex, so difficult, that General
11 Blaskic, Mr. Kordic as a politician, and I know that
12 Mr. Ignac Kostroman also appeared at these press
13 conferences; so, they would appear and they would
14 answer questions by journalists regarding the issues
15 which were then topical.
16 Let me just give you an illustration of how
17 difficult the situation was. I took the list of those
18 killed in the Vitez municipality, and on average, about
19 60 people were dying in Vitez, and about 65 were
20 injured or wounded. So that was the situation.
21 Without the media and proper way of communication, I
22 think, this is why the press conferences were
23 instituted; and these were public events, so anybody
24 could come and attend or have access to it.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, since this morning
1 is long, perhaps we will take a 15 minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.24 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the
5 hearing. Have the accused brought in, please.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 MR. KEHOE: May I proceed, Mr. President?
8 Q. Brigadier, the question I asked you before
9 the break was how often these press conferences were,
10 and let me make it simple. These press conferences
11 were weekly, weren't they?
12 A. I cannot confirm that, but I believe, yes.
13 Q. Now, let's take a look at photograph as well
14 as the document 208, which is -- this is Prosecutor's
15 208, which is dated the same day as Defence 199, a
16 document that you identified.
17 Does the witness have photograph as well as
18 the document 208?
19 Now, Brigadier, this is a document in
20 evidence, and you are certainly welcome to review it.
21 This discusses, in the preparatory language, "In
22 connection with the brutal armed attack by the
23 so-called Busovaca Territorial Defence led by Dervis
25 In any event, let's look at some of the
1 orders, and this is executed by Mr. Kordic and
2 Mr. Brnada, and the order is:
3 "1. The agreement between the HVO and the
4 so-called Busovaca Territorial Defence on the
5 distribution of weapons is hereby terminated, and it
6 has been decided that the Busovaca HVO forces take over
7 all weapons, equipment, material, as well as the
9 "2. The town of Busovaca is to be completely
10 blocked from all sides.
11 "3. All paramilitary formations, the
12 so-called Territorial Defence, individuals, and others
13 are given the ultimatum to hand over all weapons in
14 their possession by Sunday, 1200 hours, or place them
15 under HVO command, which includes the wearing of HVO
17 Again, you're welcome to read the entire
18 document, but let's move quickly to 7.
19 "7. The mobilisation of all Busovaca HVO
20 forces is to be completed."
21 And then down to 11.
22 "11. The Municipal Crisis Committee is
23 dismissed in accordance with the orders of the HVO of
24 the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna and the Busovaca
25 HVO is to take over all authority."
1 Now, based on the documents that you've seen
2 in Kiseljak and in Busovaca, it would appear that the
3 HVO is taking over power in both of those
4 municipalities; correct?
5 A. I cannot confirm that, whether this was so.
6 Mr. President, Your Honours, the documents
7 which we are reviewing now were drafted in the
8 municipalities. I did not see these documents and I
9 cannot comment on them. All I know about Busovaca in
10 this time period -- and this is what I heard from the
11 radio -- I know that there were certain incidents, I
12 know that there were certain incidents -- and here I
13 see that a member of the HVO was killed, and this was
14 going on during the period when the former JNA barracks
15 was being taken over, and this was all in connection
16 with the take-over of the barracks which was a depot and
17 by the distribution of the weapons there, and this is
18 all I know about those events that you are referring to
19 in Busovaca.
20 Q. Well, Brigadier, you gave us a series and an
21 explanation of the causes of the conflict between the
22 Muslims and the Croats, and I'm going to ask you a
23 series of questions on some of the documents in
24 evidence in that particular subject area, and I turn
25 your attention to the next photograph as well as the
1 document 318, 319, 323, and 324 and 325.
2 Once again, Mr. Dubuisson, that's 318, 323,
3 324, 325.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Is it a Defence --
5 MR. KEHOE: No, Mr. President, it's a
6 Prosecution Exhibit. I apologise.
7 Mr. Dubuisson, after we discuss these
8 documents, we'll move to Prosecutor's photograph as
9 well as the document 209.
10 Q. Now, let's talk about these documents in a
11 series, starting with the first one, 318, of the 12th
12 of May, 1992.
13 Now, on the 12th of May, 1992, again this is
14 an order by Josip Boro, the Chairman of the Municipal
15 Crisis Staff, and he orders or decides "that the
16 complete manpower, material assets, and technical
17 equipment of the reserve structure of the public
18 security station are to be put at the disposal of the
20 Now, this is one day after Blaskic's order
21 outlawing the Territorial Defence and making the HVO
22 the only legal military authority in Kiseljak; isn't
23 that so?
24 A. I cannot answer that this was so or that this
25 was not so. The documents speak for themselves.
1 Regarding the decisions which were adopted by
2 the municipal leadership, this is the time when the
3 republican authorities practically did not exist, and
4 the municipal authorities, for all intents and
5 purposes, took over those competencies. But I cannot
6 say anything about Kiseljak and -- I was far away from
7 it and the date is 12 May, 1992, so I am unable to
8 answer you either in the affirmative or in the
10 Q. Well, let's take a look at photograph as well
11 as the document 319, again another order from Mr. Boro
12 in Kiseljak, this one dated the 25th of May, 1992, and
13 again he's saying, "On the basis of the Statute of the
14 Kiseljak municipality, on the 25th of May, 1992, it is
15 decided with reference to the decree of the presidency
16 number," and he talks about the particular number, "the
17 Crisis Staff cancels the current account of the
18 Municipal Staff of the Territorial Defence and declares
19 the use of the seal of this body null and void."
20 So by this order, approximately two weeks
21 after Blaskic outlaws the Territorial Defence, the
22 Municipal Staff of the HVO in Kiseljak cancels their
23 bank account; is that right? Is that what the
24 documents reflects?
25 A. This is what is stated in this decision.
1 Whether this actually happened, I do not know.
2 But let me repeat, this document also speaks
3 of the paralysis of the central authorities and the
4 municipal authorities take over the competencies of the
5 central government.
6 Q. Let's talk about photograph as well as the
7 document 323, another order by the Municipal Crisis
8 Staff of the HVO.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?
10 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I have an
11 objection here, and this is just to rationalise these
12 proceedings. He said that in May of 1992, he was not
13 in Kiseljak; he does not know what went on there. But
14 we have a whole series of documents regarding Kiseljak
15 in that time period, and he had already initially
16 stated that he was not there, that he did not know what
17 was going on there.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, what do you answer
19 to that?
20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, this witness gave
21 us approximately six pages on the cause of the conflict
22 between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. We
23 are going through the virtual take-over of all of these
24 municipalities in addition to the witness's
25 municipality which we are going to get to very
1 shortly. That's the first point.
2 The second point is the document that the
3 Defence put in, photograph as well as the document 199,
4 which was a document that was described as Blaskic's
5 efforts to organise the HVO, has to be seen in the
6 context of what's happening in Kiseljak, and what's
7 happening in Kiseljak is a complete take-over of
8 Kiseljak by the HVO.
9 The order that was put in by the Defence was
10 followed by an order the next day by the accused
11 outlawing the Territorial Defence. At the same time,
12 what is taking place in Busovaca is a take-over of the
13 Busovaca municipality by the HVO there.
14 So certainly after the expansive testimony
15 given by this witness at the behest of questioning --
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, thank you. The witness's
17 testimony covered a very broad period, including his
18 own evaluation of the conflict's cause. I think the
19 Prosecutor is using a legitimate method, even though it
20 may appear long, even to me, but that is his method,
21 and I think it is legitimate for him to ask these
23 But perhaps, Mr. Kehoe, you could go a little
24 more directly to your question and present your
25 objectives a bit more clearly.
1 MR. KEHOE: Absolutely.
2 Q. Brigadier, I would like you to take a look at
3 a series of documents, and that is Prosecutor's Exhibit
4 323, 324, and 325.
5 If you could give the witness those
6 documents --
7 JUDGE JORDA: 323, right?
8 MR. KEHOE: 323, 324, and 325.
9 Mr. President, we will be talking about those in a
11 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps what you should do,
12 Mr. Kehoe, because I too am very worried, perhaps for
13 different reasons from Mr. Nobilo's, but I'm very
14 concerned about all the time that this is taking.
15 When you say that you're going to bring in
16 323, 324, and 325, perhaps you could very quickly say
17 that they concern this point, for example, Kiseljak or
18 Busovaca, and that I suggest doing that, because it is
19 true, it is taking a long time. That's my first
21 My second is that I am asking -- I know that
22 it is very difficult for Mr. Dubuisson, but I would
23 like him to remain as close as possible to the witness
24 so that putting the documents on the ELMO will take as
25 little time as possible.
1 MR. KEHOE: I will go through these documents
2 very quickly in accordance with your guidelines,
3 Mr. President.
4 Q. Now, in photograph as well as the document
5 323, on the 15th of June of 1993, the Croatian dinar is
6 introduced into Kiseljak as well as other currencies.
7 Photograph as well as the document 324 orders that all
8 pricing should be displayed in Croatian dinars in
9 Kiseljak. Exhibit 325 is a decision on changing the
10 name of the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly
11 of Kiseljak to --
12 JUDGE JORDA: That's how you should do it,
13 yes. That way the witness will react to all of these
15 Brigadier, you understood the question and
16 you may answer.
17 MR. KEHOE: The last document --
18 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. In the last document, the executive board in
21 Kiseljak changes its name to the HVO, and it says that
22 the HVO "shall consist of."
23 Now, do you see those documents, sir?
24 A. Yes, I have the document before me.
25 Q. Were similar things taking place in your
1 municipality, Novi Travnik?
2 A. After the formation of the Croatian community
3 of Herceg-Bosna, as far as I know, provisional
4 regulations were passed to establish civilian organs of
5 authority. I don't know the time, which forms of
6 civilian bodies, but I cannot claim categorically
7 whether, before those regulations were passed, any
8 documents of this kind were passed --
9 JUDGE JORDA: Will you please answer more
10 directly, Brigadier? Of course, it is your fundamental
11 right to make your comments, but in view of efficiency,
12 when a question is rather simple, will you please say
13 whether you had this or that, "Yes" or "No," in
14 Travnik, so please try.
15 When you need to make a comment that you
16 consider to be especially important, the Judges will
17 not prevent you from doing so, but let us try and focus
18 on the essentials.
19 Your next question, Mr. Kehoe.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. My question simply is: Did the HVO attempt
22 to take control of the Novi Travnik municipality during
23 this time frame?
24 A. I cannot say that with certainty because I'm
25 not quite fully familiar with it.
1 MR. KEHOE: Let us put photograph as well as
2 the document 80/7 on the ELMO, and if photograph as
3 well as the document 456/109 could be given to the
5 JUDGE JORDA: It is a Prosecution Exhibit?
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes. I'm sorry, Mr. President.
7 I neglected to say that both of those are Prosecution
8 Exhibits, the photograph as well as the document
10 JUDGE JORDA: Briefly, what are these
11 exhibits about, please, while they're looking for
13 MR. KEHOE: The particular photograph is a
14 photograph of the three individuals who operated in
15 conjunction with the accused at a meeting in Busovaca
16 that took place on the 22nd of September of 1992.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. And 456/109?
18 MR. KEHOE: That's correct.
19 Q. Now, before we review the particular
20 document, Brigadier, I would ask you to take a look at
21 the photograph that's on the ELMO, and do you know the
22 three men that are in camouflage uniforms, and using
23 the pointer, can you identify the three of them?
24 A. Mr. President, on this photograph I recognise
25 two gentlemen in uniform, Mr. Ignac Kostroman and
1 Mr. Dario Kordic. The third person I do not recognise,
2 or at least I can't recognise him on this photograph.
3 Q. Well, maybe we will show you another
4 photograph, 80/8. Do you recognise him in that
6 A. The one I didn't recognise in the previous
8 Q. That's correct. Well, do you recognise the
9 man that is the second from the left carrying the
10 suitcase and dressed in a camouflage uniform with a
11 moustache? Do you recognise him?
12 A. This gentleman?
13 Q. That's right.
14 A. I do recognise him on this photograph. It is
15 Mr. Anto Valenta.
16 Q. And Anto Valenta had an office at some point
17 in the Hotel Vitez, didn't he?
18 A. Mr. Anto Valenta did stay in an office in the
19 Vitez Hotel. As far as I recalled, he had the position
20 of vice-premier of the government of Herceg-Bosna. I
21 know he was in the civilian authorities.
22 Q. Now let me turn your attention to Exhibit
23 456/109, which is an excerpt of the minutes of the
24 meeting of the Croatian Defence Council in the
25 municipalities of Central Bosnia dated 22 September,
2 Now, Brigadier, the front page of that
3 document reflects the working presidency as Dario
4 Kordic, Anto Valenta, Tihomir Blaskic, and Ignac
5 Kostroman. Do you see that on the front page of that
7 A. Yes. That is what it says.
8 Q. Now, let us talk to -- under the sub-heading
9 "Situations in Municipalities." In Novi Travnik, your
10 municipality, the document reflects that "it is
11 estimated that the HVO holds about 70 per cent of the
12 authority while the Muslims hold about 30." Vitez:
13 "There is still dual authority. There is a
14 possibility of confrontation between the Croats and the
15 Muslims because of the HVO's taking power."
16 Let's turn the page, two pages, and go to
18 Busovaca: "HVO authority was set up on
19 9 May, 1992. HVO is the only authority. However, the
20 setting up of the Muslims People Council is a concern."
21 Turn the page. Kiseljak.
22 Kiseljak: "The HVO is in complete control.
23 However, there are frequent conflicts with respect to
24 the competencies of civilian and military authority.
25 Almost all enterprises are working. Salaries are paid
1 in Croatian dinar. After the conflict with the Muslims
2 which was staged by the leaders from Sarajevo through
3 Mujahedeen, the situation is quite stable. Military
4 HVO authority is dominant."
5 Now, these documents reflect the situation in
6 Novi Travnik, Busovaca, Vitez, and Kiseljak, and this
7 document reflects that the HVO has taken virtual
8 control of all of those municipalities; isn't that
10 A. This document reflects the situation in the
11 municipalities you mentioned, but I cannot claim that
12 power has been taken over because it is obvious that
13 there are some negotiations, and I can't explain the
14 document because I didn't participate in the meeting.
15 I cannot say on the basis of these documents that power
16 had been taken over.
17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, this document
18 consists of a number of pages. The Prosecutor is
19 selecting two or three sentences, and on the basis of
20 those sentences, asking the witness to give an answer.
21 If we were to act correctly, then the witness should
22 have time to read the whole document and only then
23 answer the questions.
24 JUDGE JORDA: I think that that is not the
25 first time in this hall, Mr. Nobilo, that one or the
1 other party is referring to passages from a document.
2 The witness did not say what you said; he gave quite a
3 different answer.
4 But now I am going to ask the witness, does
5 he wish to read the whole document? How many pages
6 does this document have?
7 MR. KEHOE: In B/C/S, Mr. President, it is
8 seven pages single-spaced.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I think the witness
10 is going to tell us: Do you wish to read the document
11 in its entirety, Brigadier, or can you answer on the
12 basis of the question put to you by the Prosecutor
13 referring to certain passages, which appear to me to be
14 quite clear but it is up to the witness to answer? Do
15 you wish to study it?
16 A. In order to be able to make proper
17 conclusions regarding specific questions, I would like
18 to read it. However, I too have an interest in
19 proceeding rapidly, so it is up to Your Honour to
21 JUDGE JORDA: Brigadier, I asked you a
22 question, and I just wish to draw your attention to the
23 fact that if you wish to read the document, you will
24 read it, but you will be staying much longer at the
25 disposal of the Tribunal. You will not be able to
1 return today, not even next week, to your offices. So
2 if you wish to read the document, you can read it, and
3 we will come back to that question later, Mr. Kehoe,
5 A. Mr. President, in order to speed up our work
6 and to make my answers proper, I would like to read
7 this document.
8 MR. HAYMAN: Can he read it during the break,
9 Mr. President? He can read it during the next break
10 perhaps and we can save some time.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, in agreement
12 with my colleagues, proceed to your next question, and
13 the General will read the whole document later on and
14 provide an answer.
15 I do wish to say that a part of the answer
16 was given before the objection of Mr. Nobilo. So it
17 was not the witness's request to read the whole
18 document but Mr. Nobilo thought it would be better for
19 his witness. So we will take note of that, and please
20 go on to your next question.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Well, Brigadier, at the end of September of
23 1993, where were you working?
24 A. At the end of September, at the end of
25 September, 1993, I was in the command of the Operative
2 Q. I misspoke, Brigadier, I apologise. The end
3 of September of 1992.
4 A. At the end of September 1992, I was working
5 in the Defence department in Novi Travnik and appointed
6 as Chief of Staff of the Civil Defence of the
7 municipality, and in view of my expertise, I assisted
8 in the establishment of HVO units in the town of Novi
9 Travnik itself.
10 Q. Now, Brigadier, the Defence department that
11 you were working at in Novi Travnik in September of
12 1992, that was part of the HVO; correct?
13 A. In September 1992 -- just a moment, please.
14 Let me try and remember. The Defence department
15 consisted of three premises, and there were both Croats
16 and Muslims working in those premises. May I go on to
17 the specific answer --
18 Q. Excuse me, Brigadier. My question is: Was
19 the Defence department that you were working for in
20 September of 1992 part of the HVO; "Yes" or "No"?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did the HVO have 70 per cent of the power in
23 Novi Travnik in September of 1992; "Yes" or "No"?
24 A. I cannot tell you exactly.
25 JUDGE JORDA: You are not being asked to
1 answer exactly, you are being asked whether it was
2 probably so or not, and I would like you to answer.
3 You had a position where you were able to assess with a
4 certain degree of probability.
5 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, it is possible
6 that that is so.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I'm asking the
8 witness a question, not the Defence.
9 A. Mr. President, Your Honour, it is quite
10 possible that that was so, because we saw it from the
11 report of the president of the HVO. I can say that on
12 the basis of that report and not on the basis of my
13 personal knowledge.
14 JUDGE JORDA: So, it is possible?
15 A. Yes, it is possible.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Please continue.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Brigadier, did the Bosnian Muslims in Central
19 Bosnia resist the taking over of power by the HVO?
20 A. I can't answer with a yes or no. Possibly
21 they did resist, because we saw that there were certain
22 incidents. I wasn't establishing that authority to be
23 able to say yes or no; but it is possible, because
24 there were certain incidents.
25 Q. Let me show you a document, Brigadier.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 503, 503A for the
2 English version.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. Brigadier, this is a document that is dated
5 10 September, 1992 from the Vitez municipality, the
6 coordination board for the protection of Muslim
7 interests. If you could read the first paragraph,
8 going into the second paragraph, it reads: "According
9 to the decision of the so-called Croatian Defence
10 Council government of Vitez Municipality, with a
11 number --
12 INTERPRETER: A bit slower, please.
13 MR. KEHOE: I apologise.
14 Q. "Of 3 September, 1992, it has been decided
15 that instruction in elementary and secondary schools in
16 the territory of the municipality of Vitez," some
17 illegible words, "in 1992, the same decision states
18 that schoolbooks published in the Republic of Croatia
19 shall be used during instruction, and the school
20 buildings and premises should be repaired in such a way
21 that all emblems, pictures, frescos associated with the
22 former Yugoslavia are removed."
23 Next paragraph, first sentence. "We hereby
24 voice our outrage at this decision, because it has been
25 made by an illegal organ created by a principle of a
1 single nationality."
2 You're certainly welcome to read the rest of
3 the document.
4 Now, did that event take place in Novi
5 Travnik, as well, i.e. the introduction of the Republic
6 of Croatia curricula into the schools of Novi Travnik?
7 A. I'm not aware of it.
8 Q. Now, as we move ahead, after, from September
9 to October, and in Vitez; is it not true that in
10 mid-October of 1992 the Vitezovi attacked the
11 headquarters of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
12 drove them out of their headquarters in Vitez?
13 A. I'm not aware of it; but among the events
14 that took place in Vitez in October, I'm aware only of
15 an incident that occurred when the road was blocked at
16 Grbavica and near Nadioci, between Nadioci and Ahmici
17 at the cemetery. So I'm aware of that incident within
18 this time period. As for the event you have referred
19 to, I'm not aware of it.
20 Q. Let us turn to Defence Exhibit 250, a
21 document you identified and was received in evidence
22 during your direct testimony. I direct your attention
23 on the BCS version, to page 2, and it's also page 2 on
24 the English version. It notes, does it not, that on
25 the 15th of October, 1992, a battle team of eight
1 soldiers sabotaged the headquarters of the army of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina? The commander of the team was
3 Major Darko Kraljevic, and this is a report of the
4 Vitezovi. Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, this is a report of the Vitezovi, and
6 what you said is stated in this document.
7 Q. Well, did that happen?
8 A. I cannot assert that it did happen; but if
9 the commander said it happened, then it happened.
10 Q. Okay. So, you would accept that on the 15th
11 of October, 1992, the Vitezovi attacked the
12 headquarters of the army?
13 A. I accept what is written here in the way it
14 was written in this report by the signatory, whose
15 signature I recognise, that is, Dragan Vinac, deputy
16 commander of the special purpose unit Vitezovi, Major
17 Dragan Vinac. That is all I can confirm.
18 Q. Sir, you're going to have the opportunity to
19 read the document from the presidency about the
20 take-over by the HVO in various municipalities; but my
21 question, as opposed to focusing on that document, is a
22 question: Was the HVO taking control in other parts of
23 Bosnia, other than the municipalities that we have
24 talked about here today? And were they driving the
25 Muslims out of various areas?
1 A. I do not know whether the HVO took over
2 control in other municipalities. But as far as the
3 take-over of power in Vitez, Busovaca and Novi Travnik,
4 I cannot confirm that, because I know that there was a
5 parallel Muslim authority. What form of authority it
6 took, I do not know that.
7 But I cannot confirm that the power was taken
8 over in Busovaca, in Vitez or in Novi Travnik, even
9 though the documents seem to say that the HVO
10 apparently have different powers or government
11 structure than the ones that used to exist before.
12 Q. Well, Brigadier, you just stated that, "I do
13 not know whether the HVO took over control in other
14 municipalities." In September and October --
15 A. Right.
16 Q. -- of 1992, you were working for the HVO; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes, I worked in the HVO Travnik as a
19 specialist for the organisation of units based on a
20 volunteer list which I had available, and I was trying
21 to organise units for the defence against the Serbs,
22 and that was my principal task at that time.
23 Q. How far is Prozor from Novi Travnik?
24 A. I'm going to try to tell you, approximately,
25 about 90 kilometres, as far as I can remember.
1 Q. 90 kilometres.
2 MR. KEHOE: If I could go to a video, and I
3 have a particular -- the video has a talking role and
4 it is in English. I have given copies of this, what
5 we're about to play, to the translation booth so they
6 can translate it into English, as well as translate
7 into BCS.
8 The video itself was a video that was played
9 on TV in the United Kingdom known as Bosnia's Last
10 Testament, and the narrator is s Vulliamy, an
11 individual who testified before this Court in this
12 Chamber, in this particular case. So, Your Honours, I
13 can give you the particular transcript that I have
14 previously given to the translators.
15 THE REGISTRAR: This video will be 504, and
16 the report 504A, transcript, rather.
17 MR. KEHOE: If we could play the video?
18 Could you back it up? Rewind it and raise the volume,
20 (Videotape played)
21 "This is Prozor, to the south of Travnik.
22 One night in October I stopped for coffee in the busy
23 main street. A few days later I returned to find
24 Croatian mobs roaming through town and 5.000 Muslims
25 driven into the mountains looking for caves in which to
1 hide. The pillage and killing in Prozor was the start
2 of a new Bosnian war and a bit of betrayal for the
3 Muslims. This is the consolidation of a hard-line
4 Croatian mini state within Bosnia calling itself
5 Herceg-Bosna. This territory flies a Croatian flag,
6 has a Croatian puppet government, uses Croatian money
7 and even has special Croatian number plates, and it
8 must say its rulers come under a Croatian army.
9 Bosnians who refuse that authority are dealt with in
10 the time honoured way."
11 MR. KEHOE: If we can put the lights back up,
13 Q. Brigadier, the events that we just reviewed,
14 the ends of which took place in October of 1992, in
15 Prozor, some 90 kilometres away from Novi Travnik. Are
16 you aware of what happened to the Muslims in Prozor
17 during the time period of September and October of
18 1992? Excuse me -- no, it was 1992.
19 A. Regarding the events in Prozor, I heard about
20 them through the media. I know that there was a
21 conflict, and what the results of that conflict were
22 can be seen from this video clip. I have no doubt that
23 it is authentic. I didn't go to Prozor before the war,
24 and I passed through Prozor after the Washington
1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I would like to
2 clarify something. It is not quite clear to me, on the
3 screen it said the 11th of April, 1993. My learned
4 colleague said it was October 1992. In the transcript
5 no mention of the year is made, but on the film we
6 could see that it was April, 1993.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is true.
8 Mr. Prosecutor?
9 MR. KEHOE: The date on the actual film is 11
10 April, 1993, which is the date it ran on TV in the
11 United Kingdom, and they date it from their filing
13 The October that he is talking about is the,
14 obviously, the previous year, October of 1992.
15 Q. You can clarify, Brigadier, that these events
16 took place in Prozor in October of 1992; isn't that
18 A. I know that there was a conflict in October
19 of 1992 in Prozor. I do not know the exact date, I do
20 not know the causes, I do not know the participants,
21 and if the consequences were such as are presented
22 here; because I don't know, because I was not there.
23 Q. Well, Brigadier, from what you do know, and
24 what you learned about Prozor, and the events in
25 October of 1992; were the Muslims driven out of Prozor
1 by the HVO?
2 A. When the conflict took place, its
3 consequences in Prozor, I don't know if it was 2.000 or
4 5.000, if the Muslim population withdrew from Prozor to
5 some neighbouring towns, that is the consequence of
6 this conflict.
7 What the reasons are for the withdrawal,
8 whether it was a consequence of combat operations, that
9 I cannot speak to. I cannot say either way.
10 Q. Let's turn our attention, again, to Vitez,
11 where you were in Novi Travnik, and let us move ahead
12 to November and discuss yet another document dated 26th
13 of November, 1992. And, again, this is an SDA
14 document, party of democratic action, which is the
15 Muslim party, in Vitez, 26 November, 1992.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 505, 505A for the
17 English version.
18 MR. KEHOE:
19 Q. Brigadier, this is a document, again, as I
20 noted, dated 26 November, 1992, and it's a press
21 release and reads as follows, and I will not read the
22 entire matter. I will read the first two paragraphs,
23 skip a paragraph, and go down to the fourth paragraph.
24 But, of course, as always, you are welcome to read the
25 entire document.
1 "26 November, 1992. Press release. Since
2 Wednesday, 25th of November, 1992, there has not been a
3 single representative of the authorities of Muslim
4 nationality in the building of the assembly of Vitez
5 municipality. The Croatian Defence Council government
6 of the municipality Vitez decided to ban, from the
7 building of the assembly of Vitez municipality, all
8 those who have not agreed to work within the system of
9 the HVO government of the Croatian community of
11 "For example, the president and one of the
12 members of the Vitez municipal assembly, the president
13 of the municipal misdemeanours court of Vitez, as well
14 as some of the employees of the organs of
15 administration, all of them Muslim nationality, have
16 been prohibited from entering the building."
17 Skip a paragraph.
18 "We would like to point out that since 20
19 October, 1992, policemen of Muslim nationality have not
20 been able to carry out their regular duties, only
21 because they thought themselves to be an integral part
22 of the police force of the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and not in the service of the
24 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna."
25 My first question for you, Brigadier, is: Do
1 you know about these events of people being prevented
2 from going to work for not coming under HVO authority,
3 and for the police of Muslim ethnic nationality, not
4 being able to do their work? Do you know about that in
6 A. These events, these specific incidents I'm
7 not familiar with. I'm not familiar with what was
8 going on with respect to the civilian authorities. But
9 let me give you a general comment, an overall comment.
10 All these documents about the establishment
11 of the HVO authority which were compiled by the Muslim
12 organisations was a result of the collapse of the
13 central authorities.
14 As you know, Sarajevo was already under
15 siege, and everybody was organising themselves. As I
16 pointed out earlier, they were taking over competencies
17 of the central government, and I think that this can be
18 seen in all these documents that we have been reviewing
20 Q. You would agree with me, would you not,
21 Brigadier, that the Bosnian Muslims believed they had
22 no voice in the decisions of the HVO; isn't that
24 A. I do not know what rights were being offered
25 in the HVO structures.
1 Q. Well, sir, during the same period of time,
2 houses of prominent Muslims were being burned in the
3 Vitez area; isn't that right?
4 During this time frame, October and November
5 time frame that we're talking about, Bosnian Muslim
6 houses of prominent Bosnian Muslims were being burned;
8 A. It is not correct for this time period. I
9 know that the consequence of the burning of houses was
10 as a result of the armed conflicts. I am not aware of
11 any incidents where houses were being burned outside of
12 this conflict.
13 Q. Outside the conflicts? Let me show you
14 Defence Exhibit 347. Do you have that document before
15 you, Brigadier?
16 A. This document was signed by General Blaskic,
18 Q. This is a document, Brigadier, that you
19 identified in direct examination, and I believe that
20 Judge Riad asked you a couple of questions about this.
21 The note in line one, in point one, is that all
22 measures shall be taken to prevent setting fire to
23 houses of eminent citizens of Muslim nationality.
24 A. Yes, that is what is stated in this document.
25 Q. The date of this document is 5 November,
1 1992; isn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So, during the time frame that we're having
4 these meetings in September, on the take-over of the
5 municipalities, and during the time frame when Prozor
6 is being burned and the Muslims are being driven out,
7 Muslim houses in Vitez, houses of eminent Muslims are
8 being burned.
9 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, Counsel knows
10 full well this was sent to the HVO in Novi Travnik, not
11 in Vitez.
12 MR. KEHOE: That's fine, that's closer to
14 Q. That's right in your backyard. That's better
15 still. Houses of prominent Muslims are being burned in
16 your municipality.
17 MR. KEHOE: Thanks.
18 A. Mr. President, Mr. President, this is what I
19 have to say regarding this document. This document was
20 compiled on the basis of the agreement of General
21 Merdan and Mr. Tihomir Blaskic and as a result of the
22 cessation of hostilities between the HVO and the BH
23 army, and it was within that conflict, which was in
24 October, sometime around the 20th, that these houses
25 were being burned.
1 Muslim houses were not being set on fire, if
2 there were no combat operations there.
3 Q. Brigadier, in Novi Travnik municipality, your
4 municipality, were the houses of eminent Bosnian Muslim
5 citizens being torched and burned? Yes or no.
6 A. Yes, but only at the time of conflict. As
7 far as I recall, during this conflict, one or two
8 houses in the town of Novi Travnik were burned down.
9 Q. So, the burning of these houses, in addition
10 to the take-over of the HVO, in Novi Travnik, your
11 municipality, and other municipalities, that that
12 caused tension between the Bosnian Muslims and the
13 Bosnian Croats in Central Bosnia.
14 A. Burning of houses, both Croatian and Bosnian,
15 certainly contributed to the raising of tensions. In
16 that respect, the answer is yes.
17 However, the take-over of power, that is what
18 I cannot agree with. I cannot, I don't agree that
19 somebody took over power and the other side was
20 completely outside of the power. I gave you the
21 reasons why I believe that this power was then divided,
22 that is, because of the collapse of the central
23 government. You saw all the other problems that arose
24 from this main collapse of central power.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Have you completed that point,
1 Mr. Kehoe? We will take a break, if you have.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
3 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to take a 15-minute
5 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
7 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have
8 the accused brought in, please.
9 (The accused entered court)
10 MR. KEHOE: May I proceed, Mr. President?
11 Q. Brigadier, we are going to --
12 JUDGE JORDA: Proceed, please.
13 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. We are going to move ahead from the fall and
15 winter of 1992 to the events in January of 1993. My
16 first question on this is: Did the people in the
17 headquarters of the Central Bosnian Operative Zone know
18 that a conflict was going to break out with the Bosnian
19 Muslims, an armed conflict?
20 A. Could you please tell me the time frame with
21 some precision when you are asking me whether we knew
22 that there would be a conflict with the Muslims or,
23 rather, the BH army?
24 Q. Well, in the first week of January of 1993,
25 was it the belief of the accused Colonel Blaskic and
1 the other members of the headquarters, that a conflict
2 was going to break out with the Bosnian Muslims and
3 with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. After the conflict in January 1993 and
5 according to our intelligence reports regarding the
6 activities and intentions of the BH army, I personally
7 did expect a conflict. My personal assessment was that
8 there would be a conflict.
9 Q. Now, maybe my question isn't clear,
10 Brigadier. I'm saying to you that when you are in the
11 headquarters in the first week of January in 1993, did
12 you believe and did Colonel Blaskic believe that there
13 was going to be a conflict with the army of
15 A. As far as I can recall, at that time, General
16 Blaskic did not believe that a conflict could break
17 out, but he always had a certain reservation as regards
18 the possibility of such a conflict.
19 Q. Let me show you a document, Brigadier.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 506, 506A for the
21 French version, 506B for the English version.
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. Now, Brigadier, do you recognise Colonel
24 Blaskic's signature on the document?
25 A. I do recognise it. This is Colonel Blaskic's
1 signature, and it is the stamp of the Operative Zone
3 Q. Okay, sir. Let's just read this very
4 briefly. It's 4 January, 1993, marked "Urgent." Time,
5 12.15. It's going to Central Bosnia Croatian Defence
6 Council brigades, the anti-aircraft defence, and the
7 artillery division, and there's deliveries in the lower
8 left-hand corner to all the brigades. Preparatory
9 language: "In order to draw up a plan of the tasks to
10 be carried out by the Central Bosnian Operative Zone
11 and to present a review of the state of engineering
12 works --"
13 JUDGE JORDA: I have it in French, so to
14 proceed more quickly, as we all have a copy, you could
15 go on to the question.
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Unless it is very important for
18 you to read it out.
19 MR. KEHOE: It's not, Mr. President. It just
20 gives the witness a bit of a chance to review a
21 document on the chance that he hasn't seen it before.
22 I'm just trying to give him some opportunity to review
23 it as well. But we will go straight to the questions
24 and they deal with first the paragraph.
25 Q. Paragraph 1 deals with an order by all
1 brigades "to review the state of engineering works and
2 territorial preparations."
3 Do you see that, sir?
4 A. Yes, I see it.
5 Q. And "engineering works" means, among other
6 things, trenches, does it not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. This particular order is marked "Urgent" with
9 a completion date of 10 January, 1993, for reports to
10 be issued to the headquarters?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. KEHOE: Let us turn to the next document,
13 which is an order of the 7th of January, 1993.
14 Mr. President, unfortunately, there is no
15 French version for this one, so I will have to be
16 pressed into the service of reading it.
17 JUDGE RIAD: The President has a wonderful
18 command of English now.
19 JUDGE JORDA: I am very pleased by what Judge
20 Riad has said, but I still get on a little better with
21 the French.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document 507, 507A for the
23 English version.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Now, Brigadier, this is a document, appeared
1 to be -- sending by packet, with the author looking to
2 be like you, is it not? "S.M." in the lower left-hand
4 A. Yes, yes, these are my initials.
5 Q. I'm not quite sure if that's the incoming
6 stamp of you or the HVO Travnik, but I believe it's the
7 incoming stamp of Travnik; right? If you don't know,
8 you don't know. It's not important.
9 A. It could be the packet stamp of Travnik. It
10 says HVO Travnik. It could be. I'm not quite sure.
11 Q. Now, Brigadier, you wrote this, did you not?
12 A. Yes, I wrote this document.
13 Q. On the 7th of January, 1993, at 15.20, and
14 let's read this order: The accused Colonel Blaskic
15 issues an order to the Central Bosnian Operative Zone
16 Brigades, to the HVO municipal authorities, as well as
17 the Vitez Regional Military Police. This is a
18 supplement to the order of 1419/92 of 5 December, 1992,
19 and 1618/92 of 8 December, 1992.
20 "Further to the need of harmonisation of
21 working hours for hotel and catering establishments and
22 the curfew in the zones of responsibility of the
23 Central Bosnian Operative Zone, I hereby order:
24 "1. Hotel and catering establishments may
25 be open according to the following:
1 "(a) In the municipalities of Travnik, Novi
2 Travnik, Zepce, Usora until 1900 hours. In Vitez, in
3 the Vitez municipality, until 2000 hours. In the
4 municipalities of Busovaca, Kiseljak, Kresevo, Fojnica,
5 Vares, Zenica, Kakanj until 2200 hours.
6 "2. Curfew hours in the municipality of
7 Novi Travnik, Zepce, Usora from 2000 hours until 0400
8 hours. In the Vitez municipality from 2100 hours until
9 0400 hours. In the municipalities of Busovaca,
10 Kiseljak, Kresevo, Vares, Kakanj, Zenica from 2300
11 hours until 0400 hours.
12 "This order goes into effect on 9 January,
13 1993, and the commander of the Military Police
14 Battalion is responsible to me for its execution."
15 Now, Brigadier, you wrote this document, did
16 you not?
17 A. Yes, yes, I did write this document.
18 Q. In this document, Colonel Blaskic is
19 exercising command over civilian authorities, is he
21 A. It could be interpreted in that way on the
22 basis of this order, but as I'm the author, let me
23 explain the circumstances under which it was written.
24 The document was issued because of repeated
25 disturbances of public law and order, shooting around
1 town, disturbing the peace, and then military men or
2 military conscripts who had weapons would cause
3 disorders in town, and the order was issued because the
4 commander reached agreement with the civilian
5 authorities, and it can be seen that he is giving it to
6 the government for their information, not as an order,
7 and the times were established as the civilian
8 authorities wanted it, and since the civilian police --
9 I just explained the situation it was in at the time
10 with inadequate arms and equipment, and it was not
11 capable of carrying out military policing, so this
12 assignment was given to the 4th Military Police
13 Battalion and all its units within the territory of the
14 Central Bosnia Operative Zone.
15 My conclusion: This document was designed to
16 improve law and order for the citizens in the territory
17 of this municipality.
18 Q. Well, Brigadier, you just said that it can be
19 seen that (Blaskic) is giving it to the government for
20 their information, not as an order." But it's quite
21 clear from this document, is it not, that Blaskic is
22 giving an order to civilians that run hotel and
23 catering establishments; isn't that right?
24 A. That is not right because I know how the
25 document was drafted and what its role was. The times
1 indicated were simply so that the Military Police would
2 know what the working hours of various establishments
3 were so that they could deal with problems together
4 with the civilian police. The times were given by the
5 civilian authorities.
6 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, this is an
7 example of manipulation, and that is why I am
8 objecting. I think the document needs to be read to
9 the end. By partially reading the document, an attempt
10 is made at manipulation. It says: "Deliver to the HVO
11 governments for their information and to the brigades
12 for execution," and if the document is read until the
13 end, this becomes clear.
14 MR. KEHOE: Please. Mr. President, I object
15 to these comments about manipulation. The document
16 speaks for itself. This is an order, not some
17 permission that Blaskic is asking for; he's issuing an
18 order to hotel establishments and catering
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Kehoe, Mr. Nobilo
21 suggested that the document be read to the end. Would
22 it be right to go to the top of the document and to see
23 whether any assistance can be had from Order No. 1419
24 of 1992, unless you have already provided us with it.
25 I don't know where it is. The writing there says that
1 this order is a supplement to the Order No. 1419/92 of
2 5 December, 1992.
3 Would that previous document be helpful in
4 throwing light on some of the issues raised?
5 MR. KEHOE: Yes, it would, Judge
6 Shahabuddeen, but I don't think we have that. That's
7 the problem. It would shed a tremendous amount of
8 light on everything that is said in this document.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.
10 I would simply like to say to Mr. Nobilo, the
11 word "manipulation," one must be very careful about
12 using it, especially to the opposing party.
13 Secondly, I think you are right. One should
14 see the document in its entirety, but this is still an
15 order sent for the sake of information. That's all.
16 It is still an order sent for information purposes. So
17 please be careful as regards your interpretations.
18 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I do
19 apologise if I misspoke.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Kehoe, please
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. Your testimony, Brigadier, is that with the
24 consent of the municipal authorities, Blaskic was given
25 the power to give orders to civilian businesses as well
1 as to civilians themselves?
2 A. I am not saying that. I cannot assert that.
3 In this specific case, one can see what has been
4 ordered and I said on the basis of what this order was
5 issued because I worked on it and I remember.
6 Q. Well, prior to this time, did you issue
7 orders to hotels and catering establishments to give
8 them the parameters of their working hours and did you
9 send out orders on curfews, telling civilians what the
10 curfews in the respective municipalities was going to
12 A. I do not recall specifically such orders, but
13 I should like to try and recall the documents mentioned
14 here by Judge Shahabuddeen. But I think that in this
15 order, the times were changed. I can't be sure, but I
16 think that in the previous orders, the times may have
17 been different. It may have been 2000 hours, and then
18 the municipalities probably thought that this was not
19 appropriate, they asked for the times to be changed,
20 and then we probably issued a new order indicating
21 these new times. But I'm not 100 per cent sure about
23 Q. Well, one last question on this document,
24 Brigadier. You would agree with me that in setting out
25 these hours, both the curfew hours and the business
1 hours, Blaskic orders the 4th Military Police Battalion
2 to ensure that people comply with this order; isn't
3 that correct? And I am directing your attention to
4 number 3.
5 A. Yes. By this order, the Military Police is
6 assigned to carry out these duties.
7 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to another
9 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. This again
11 is a document which there is no French translation yet,
12 so unfortunately, I will have to read this document,
13 which is one page over on to a little bit of the next
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 508, 508A for the
16 English version.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Brigadier, what we have before us is an order
19 from Brigadier Milvoj Petkovic; do you recognise that
20 signature, or the stamp of Brigadier Petkovic?
21 A. The main headquarters of the HVO had such a
22 stamp, and as far as I can recall, this could be
23 General Petkovic's signature.
24 Q. Let's read this order that emanates Mostar on
25 the 15th of January, 1993. It reads as follows: "On
1 the basis of an order of the HVO Croatian Defence
2 Council of the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna,
3 01-1-32/93 of 15 January, 1993, of an order of the head
4 of the defence department, 021/19 of 15 January, 1993,
5 regarding the Geneva agreement on the arrangements for
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the jurisdiction of the command
7 of the armed forces in the provinces, I hereby issue
8 the following order.
9 1. All units in the HVO and BH army, armed
10 forces, in provinces 3, 8 and 10, the Croatian
11 provinces, shall be placed under the command of the HVO
12 main staff, i.e. under the command of the Central
13 Bosnia north-west and south-east Herzegovina Operative
15 2. All HVO units in provinces 159, the
16 Muslim provinces, shall be placed under the command of
17 the BiH army staff, some of the brigades of the Central
18 Bosnia Operative Zone.
19 3. HVO forces in Kresevo and Kiseljak
20 municipalities shall remain under the command of the
21 HVO main staff, i.e. main staff, i.e. Central Bosnian
22 Operative Zone until further notice.
23 4. Members and units of the HVO and BH army
24 armed forces that fail to submit to the commands as
25 stipulated in items 1 and 2 of this order must leave
1 the territory of provinces they do not belong to,
2 otherwise they will be considered paramilitary and
4 5. Officers of the BH army shall be
5 represented in the HVO armed forces commands at the
6 Operative Zone and the brigade level, in proportion to
7 the number of soldiers in the front. This follows the
8 agreement on the joint commands.
9 6. BH army officers who, by their conduct,
10 have contributed to disruption of relations between
11 Croatian and Muslim nations shall not be members of the
12 joint commands.
13 7. Operative Zone commanders shall start
14 negotiating with BH army and find the best way of
15 establishing joint commands.
16 8. The deadline for implementation of this
17 order is 20 January, 1993.
18 9. A report on the implementation of this
19 order shall be submitted to me every eight hours."
20 Chief of the HVO main staff, Brigadier Milvoj
21 Petkovic, and the copies go to the Operative Zone
22 south-east, north-west Central Bosnia, 1st Mostar Brigade
23 and files.
24 Brigadier, do you remember this document?
25 A. I remember this document.
1 Q. Well, tell us about it, Brigadier, how did
2 this come about? And tell us about what happened in
3 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone when this order came
4 into your possession?
5 A. From the preamble, you see how it has come
6 about. It is through HZHB, and it is pursuant to the
7 negotiations in Geneva. I don't know what was decided
8 there, but it had to do with organising the provinces,
9 and I think that it regards the HVO as much as the BH
11 I do not know what type of order the BH army
12 main headquarters may have issued to their own units.
13 As far as Central Bosnia Operative Zone is concerned,
14 speaking operationally, we did not take any significant
15 steps, I mean specifically. Although, I think that the
16 commander may know more about the specifics of this
17 document, but this is as much as I know.
18 Q. Well, focusing on paragraph one, you do know
19 that province 10 is the area that covers basically the
20 Lasva Valley area; is that right?
21 A. I'm not sure that this is so. I assume that
22 it is so.
23 Q. Based on this order, and events around this
24 time, is it your testimony that the Colonel Blaskic
25 took no steps, based on this order, took no steps
2 A. I cannot confirm that, because the task here
3 is to establish contact with the BH army
4 representatives. I do not know whether he, as the
5 commander of the Operative Zone, established contact
6 with the 3rd Corps commander or somebody at the
7 equivalent level.
8 Q. Were there any other orders that came from
9 Mostar on the 15th that would have caused Colonel
10 Blaskic to take steps?
11 A. I cannot recall at this moment. If I was
12 given a document, and I then I would maybe be able to
13 refresh my memory. So, I cannot recall whether on that
14 specific date that there was this document.
15 Q. Brigadier, you were in the headquarters at
16 the time. Based on the decision to implement the
17 Vance-Owen Plan in January, 15th of January, 1993, was
18 it the belief within the headquarters that the HVO had
19 to take some defensive measures?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Let me show you a document, sir. 456/6.
22 MR. KEHOE: Now, if we could have the
23 Brigadier also take a look at 508, I'm sorry,
24 Mr. Usher.
25 MR. KEHOE:
1 Q. Brigadier, the exhibit we just read, the
2 order from Milvoj Petkovic, has a number of 0-70; is
3 that right?
4 A. Yes, 01/70.
5 Q. I'm sorry, 01-70. Let's turn to this
6 exhibit, which is an order of Colonel Blaskic. It
7 refers to an order coming from the Mostar headquarters
8 of 01/66, four orders prior to this implementation
9 order for the Vance-Owen Plan.
10 MR. KEHOE: Again, my apologies, Mr.
11 President, but there is no French version of this
13 MR. KEHOE:
14 Q. But the date of the order is 16 January, 1993
15 at 1140 hours. And the title is, "Full combat
16 readiness of all HVO formations in Central Bosnian
17 Operative Zone. Order." And it goes to all formations
18 in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, the Bruno Busic
19 formation, Ludvig Pavlovic formation, the Vitezovi
20 formation, Travnik police department, and the 4th
21 Battalion of the military police. By the way the
22 Travnik police department is a civil police structure;
23 isn't it?
24 A. The Travnik police department was part of the
25 Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
1 that was the civilian police.
2 Q. Fine. Let's read it.
3 "Pursuant to the order of the Mostar HVO
4 headquarters, number 01-66/93, dated 15 January, 1993,
5 and due to the open and deceitful aggression of Muslim
6 forces all over the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna,
7 which has caused scores of HVO members to be killed and
8 a number of them to be wounded, as well as Croatian
9 homes to be burned and the Croatian people driven out,
10 for the purpose of the self defence of the people and
11 the territory of the Croatian community of
12 Herceg-Bosna, I hereby order the following:
13 1. Raise the combat readiness of HVO
14 formations to the highest level.
15 2. All HVO formations are to be in a maximum
16 state of readiness. All armed members of the Croatian
17 people are to be included in the HVO formations.
18 Cancel all leave and stop allowing people to go home,
19 find accommodation for all HVO formations. Keep two
20 shifts on duty along the front-line with the Chetniks
21 and keep the other forces in full readiness for action
22 against Muslim forces. All Muslims in the HVO
23 formations who disobey our orders are to be disarmed
24 and isolated. All weapons in private hands are to be
25 collected in the logistics section of the brigades and
1 used for arming men who are ready to fight. All
2 Croatian villages are to be secured by sending in the
3 necessary number of men, as assessed.
4 3. All brigades in the areas of conflict
5 must have intervention units for mutual assistance.
6 4. HVO brigades, Jure Francetic from Zenica,
7 and the Nikola Subic-Zrinski from Busovaca, are to
8 organise monitoring of the stretch from Zenica and the
9 area under the control of the Operative Zone. HVO
10 Brigade Stjepan Tomasevic, from Novi Travnik, is to
11 monitor the stretch towards Gornji Vakuf and be
12 prepared to act if needed.
13 5. The 4th Military Police Battalion is to
14 control the traffic and confiscate equipment and
15 weapons of all Muslim transports and put them at the
16 disposal of HVO forces.
17 6. 4th Military Police Battalion is to use
18 its forces to secure the commands and HVO bodies.
19 7. I forbid members of the command to leave
20 and go home for rest.
21 8. All persons and formations outside of our
22 formations are not to be allowed into the zone of
24 9. We are to prevent any individual or group
25 in subordination.
1 10. All reports about the area and
2 formations are to be handed to me and signed by the
3 commanders themselves.
4 11. The deadline for readiness and
5 compliance with this order is 18 January, 1993, at 0500
6 hours, with reports at 0600" -- excuse me, "0600 to
7 0630, at 1100 hours to 1130, at 1800 to 1830, at 2300
8 to 2330, and anything exceptional immediately, sentence
9 as printed.
10 12. UNPROFOR humanitarian and transports are
11 to be let through."
12 And there is a delivery in the lower
13 left-hand corner to any number of individuals, the
14 brigades and the formations as we discussed.
15 Now, my first question, Brigadier: Does that
16 appear to be Colonel Blaskic's signature on the second
17 page, and his stamp?
18 A. Yes, this is General Blaskic's signature, and
19 the stamp is of the Operative Zone command.
20 Q. Was this order implemented?
21 A. This order, such as was given here, was not
23 Q. Well, what was done and what was not done?
24 A. I would have to take it from item to item.
25 Let me try to remember; because I did not remember the
1 date of this document, but as I read through the
2 contents, I recall the activities.
3 I could not tell you individually what we
4 did, what was implemented. I know there was no
5 disarming of the BH army or the Muslim members of the
6 HVO. I know that this did not happen.
7 I do not know how the traffic control was
8 conducted, that is, whether any convoy which was
9 carrying stuff to the BH army was stopped and their
10 goods confiscated.
11 Regarding leave and everything else in that
12 respect, we never had leaves, at least nobody in the
13 Operative Zone command.
14 Let me see about the mobilisation. Regarding
15 the weapons which were in private possession, we were
16 unable to collect it, because anything owned privately
17 we were unable to collect.
18 Later on, this was after Dayton, we were able
19 to do so through SFOR. Let me read further.
20 The intervention units and brigades we did
21 not have. As far as I know, from this order, on the
22 date when it was issued, there were no consequences,
23 there was no conflict with respect to the
25 I also want to add something else. It was
1 issued through an order of the -- we were tasked
2 ourselves by the Chief of Staff of the main
3 headquarters, but whether these activities were
4 necessary to be implemented in the larger areas of
5 Orasje, south-eastern and north-western Herzegovina, that
6 I do not know.
7 But we did work on this order, and we sent it
8 down to our subordinate units, but it had no effects.
9 In other words, this order did not cause any conflicts
10 on the 17th, 18th and following days. This is what I
11 recall about this document.
12 Q. Well, Brigadier, you told us on direct
13 examination that the conflict broke out in the Kacuni
14 area at approximately the 24th of January; isn't that
16 A. Yes, I said that, and I also said why. I
17 said what caused it. I think that there is a report
18 from the Nikola Subic-Zrinski Brigade on the killing of
19 a policeman, I believe.
20 Q. That's fine, the date I asked you for, excuse
21 me for interrupting you, but we're coming down to the
22 end of the day. You said it was the 24th of January.
23 Yet approximately a week before Blaskic is ordering
24 that two shifts be kept on the line against the
25 Chetniks, the Bosnian Serbs, and the other forces
1 should be moved into full readiness for action against
2 the Muslim forces.
3 Doesn't he order that on the 16th in
4 paragraph 2?
5 A. That was ordered.
6 Q. He also ordered that all Muslims and HVO
7 formations should be disarmed. He says that, as well.
8 A. Yes, but those who disobeyed the HVO orders,
9 because they were members of the HVO; so, who disobeyed
10 the HVO orders.
11 Q. Well, it doesn't say to disarm the Croats who
12 disobey orders; does it? It points out the Muslims.
13 A. It does not state that the Croats should be
14 disarmed, it just states the disobeying orders.
15 Q. On paragraph 5 he orders the military police
16 to confiscate equipment and weapons from all Muslim
17 transports and put them at the disposal of the HVO; do
18 you see that?
19 A. Yes, it states so here; and as far as I
20 recall, this type of confiscation did not take place.
21 Again, I repeat, this order was issued on the basis of
22 another order by the Chief of Staff of the main
24 Q. Well, Brigadier, it sounds like he is getting
25 ready for something; doesn't it?
1 A. This order is in the function of taking
2 certain steps which would prevent any kind of
3 surprise. As a professional soldier, this is how I
4 interpreted this order.
5 Q. Have you ever seen an order prior to this
6 where Blaskic took units off the line against the
7 Chetniks, told the Muslims to be disarmed, and then
8 told the 4th Military Police Battalion to stop Muslim
9 transports, to take weapons and equipment from them and
10 put that weaponry and equipment at the disposal of the
11 HVO? Is there another order like this?
12 A. I do not recall another order. But, Mr.
13 President, I would like to counter what the counsel is
14 saying, because he keeps the same number of men against
15 the Chetniks, except now we do not have three, but two
16 shifts. Then, it does not state that the Muslims are
17 to be disarmed. He only points out those who disobey
18 the orders, so this is the correction I want to put in.
19 And the rest is yes.
20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I'm about to go
21 into another area, if it would be a good time to break.
22 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to take five
23 minutes to have a private session.
24 (Private session)
13 Pages 13190 to 13198 redacted - in private session
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
22 1.40 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
23 the 12th day of October, 1998 at 2.00 p.m.