1 Monday, 23rd November, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please sit down. Good
5 afternoon to the interpreters. I hope they had a good
6 rest and are ready to go on. I would like to greet the
7 Defence counsel, and I shall ask Mr. Dubuisson to have
8 the accused brought in.
9 (The accused entered court)
10 JUDGE JORDA: So now I can greet both
11 Prosecution and the Defence counsel. We are going to
12 resume the proceedings. So we are having a witness;
13 are there any protective measures with regard to this
15 THE REGISTRAR: No, no protective measures
16 was requested. We're dealing with Mr. Tolo Edvard.
17 JUDGE JORDA: But Mr. Nobilo is going to tell
18 us that exactly; isn't he?
19 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, the name is
20 Edvard Tolo who is the next Defence witness.
21 (The witness entered court)
22 JUDGE JORDA: Please stand up for a few
23 moments. Please tell us your name, your date of birth,
24 your place of birth. You're not a protected witness,
25 so you can tell us your birth and what your occupation
1 is, and only then will you read the oath.
2 THE WITNESS: My name is Edvard Tolo. I was
3 born on the 26th of June, 1960, in Hanover, and I live
4 in Vitez.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. The usher is going
6 to show you the solemn declaration which you will
7 please read out.
8 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Please
12 sit down.
13 You agreed to come to testify as a Defence
14 witness as asked by the Defence counsel of General
15 Blaskic, who is accused for the International Criminal
16 Tribunal. You're going to have questions put to you by
17 the Defence to start with, then by the Prosecution, and
18 the last stage by the Judges.
19 Who is going to take the questions?
20 Mr. Nobilo, you are going to; aren't you?
21 WITNESS: EDVARD TOLO
22 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
23 Q. Mr. Tolo, good afternoon. You said that you
24 were born in Hanover, the Republic of Germany. Can you
25 explain to the Trial Chamber, that is to say, your
1 parents, which ethnicity do they belong to, although it
2 wasn't important in Bosnia? Could you explain to the
3 Court, please?
4 A. I come from a mixed marriage. My father is a
5 Croat, my mother is a Muslim.
6 Q. Which schools have you completed?
7 A. I went to the military academy for higher
8 military skills.
9 Q. The military academy of the Yugoslav People's
10 Army; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, of the former Yugoslavia.
12 Q. Briefly, tell the Court, please, having
13 completed your military academy training, I suppose you
14 were in Belgrade for that; where did you take up active
15 military service for the first time?
16 A. I completed my schooling at the beginning of
17 1990, and my first service was in Postojna in the
18 Republic of Slovenia. Then I was commander of a
19 platoon and my first superior was Mr. Blaskic, as
20 commander of the battalion.
21 Q. Having left the Yugoslav People's Army, where
22 did you go then? Which organisation did you join?
23 A. This was in 1992, and I became a member of
24 the special police in Tuzla under the Lillies (phoen),
25 and under the leadership of the BH army and the MUP of
2 Q. To make things simpler, in Tuzla the dominant
3 power and authority was held by the Muslims Bosniaks;
4 is that correct?
5 A. (No audible answer)
6 Q. Could you answer the question, please? Is it
7 correct that you were in the units which was led by the
8 government in Sarajevo, that is to say, the Bosniaks
10 A. Yes, that is correct. While I was in Tuzla,
11 from the beginning of 1992 to the latter half of 1992,
12 I was in the special purpose police units, and the
13 government in Sarajevo and the government of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina was in charge of that.
15 Q. You were wounded in those units; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it also correct that you returned to Vitez
19 after that?
20 A. In the first half of July I returned to
22 Q. What do you do today?
23 A. Today I'm unemployed, and from time to time
24 I'm a bus driver for a bus going from Vienna to
1 Q. We're going to talk about where and when you
2 first got to know first-class captain Tihomir Blaskic.
3 Could you tell us the circumstances governing your
4 first meeting?
5 A. I met Mr. Blaskic for the first time as
6 commander of the company. He had the rank of captain
7 at the time. He was my immediate superior. In view of
8 the fact that I had just come down from military
9 academy with only theoretical knowledge, in addition to
10 being my immediate superior, he was there to train me,
11 that is, to train me in practical commanding matters
12 and service duty.
13 Q. Tell us, please, when you say my immediate
14 superior, what unit was this? Where was it located and
15 what was its name?
16 A. It was the unit in Postojna, part of the
17 company of the 228th Brigade of the former JNA, and
18 that was at the beginning of 1990.
19 Q. Captain Blaskic, therefore, was your superior
20 officer. Can you describe to us how you found him as
21 an officer and a man, and how other people saw him?
22 What was the impression he left on the units, on that
23 particular unit of the Yugoslav People's Army?
24 And I would like to ask you to slow down when
25 answering, please. Try and speak as slowly as possible
1 to enable our interpreters to interpret.
2 A. With his outer aspect and his attitude, his
3 build and his behaviour, he was a man who was -- you
4 could see he was an officer, whether he was wearing
5 civilian clothes or a uniform, he was a true officer.
6 He had all the characteristics and traits of a real
8 His conduct was such, the manner in which he
9 issued his commands were such, and he set an example to
10 people of what an officer should be. His relationship
11 towards his subordinates was a correct one, but he did
12 not allow for any intimacy, but kept to the ranks.
13 Q. Tell us, Mr. Tolo, what was the system of
14 assessment and appraisal in the JNA, the evaluation?
15 Can you give us the levels of evaluation?
16 A. Unsatisfactory was the lowest level,
17 satisfactory, very good and exceptional as the best and
18 top level of grading, outstanding level.
19 Q. Could you please tell the Court what grading
20 did Blaskic receive in the JNA?
21 A. While I was with him he had outstanding
22 achievement, outstanding grades, the best grades
24 Q. In the environment in Slovenia, the JNA
25 environment in Slovenia, was he considered to be the
1 best officer with a good future ahead of him?
2 A. Yes, absolutely.
3 Q. Can you remember anything as regards his
5 A. While I was there he was promoted to the rank
6 of captain first-class because of his merits and
7 outstanding achievement in work, and that year very few
8 officers were promoted. He is one of the rare
9 individuals who were promoted.
10 Q. Through his work was he able to be promoted
11 further but did not have the necessary years of
13 A. As far as I know, through his work and the
14 schooling he had, he had also passed the examination
15 for major but was not able to move forward and be
16 promoted because he didn't have enough years of
17 service. So all he needed was an additional number of
18 years of service to move from captain first-class to a
19 higher rank.
20 Q. In the JNA at that time, was it difficult to
21 receive a promotion? Was it a very rigorous, rigid
22 system through which the officers had to pass?
23 A. There was promotion after a set number of
24 years in the service, and if an unsatisfactory grade
25 was received, then ranks would be deducted if there
1 were any negative forms of conduct or anything else.
2 The better the result the better the marks, the faster
3 the promotion would be.
4 Q. Could you please tell the Court whether
5 captain first-class Tihomir Blaskic had wielded
6 authority, vis-a-vis his subordinates, and what his
7 relationship was with them?
8 A. Well, in concrete terms towards his
9 subordinates, first and foremost, he did wield
10 authority by virtue of his uniform, and then also by
11 virtue of his conduct, and he became an authority.
12 He was an honest man, and towards his
13 subordinate commanders, he never criticised anybody in
14 front of the army for his work, but always did so -- he
15 would take somebody aside and criticise them if he felt
16 the need. He would never do this in front of anybody
17 else, and thus built up his subordinates authority, as
18 well. Towards the rank and file of the army, he was
19 always objective in his conduct.
20 I should like to mention that during our
21 service in Slovenia, many soldiers were of the Albanian
22 nationality, Albanian ethnicity, and I might add that
23 he never had pretensions towards any nation, or for
24 giving better marks to somebody with regard to his
25 ethnicity or withholding those marks, whether they were
1 from his area and from his ethnic group or not.
2 For him, he had two groups of soldiers, a
3 good soldier and a bad soldier. If somebody was bad,
4 his behaviour towards him would correspond. If they
5 were good, he would also react in the proper way.
6 Q. Now, towards bad soldiers, would he use
7 measures of any kind, punishment, or would he reward
8 good soldiers?
9 A. Yes, soldiers would be rewarded. They would
10 get extra leave or anything else that the army provided
11 for. Bad soldiers would be punished according to law,
12 of course, and the rules and regulations of the former
13 Yugoslav People's Army.
14 Q. Tell the Court, please, you were, in
15 practical terms, his neighbour from a neighbouring
16 municipality, a Croat. You find yourselves in far off
17 Slovenia; were you privileged by him in any way as
18 compared to the others?
19 A. No, I did not feel any preferential treatment
20 towards me as being from his ethnic group, and my
21 official marks were in the middle somewhere. I was
22 satisfactory, no more, no less.
23 He could have given me a better assessment,
24 because in fact, the assessment he made of me did not
25 influence his own final assessment or mark in any way.
1 So it was immaterial whether he would give a higher or
2 lower mark, but he was always objective and looked at
3 things as they stood.
4 Q. Tell us, in addition to what you mentioned
5 already, did he wield his authority in any other way?
6 Did he use force? Did he hit the soldiers or did he
7 use different methods to convince soldiers of what they
8 are supposed to do, or junior officers?
9 A. Through our training and education, we also
10 studied psychology. His methodology was
11 psychological. He dealt with the soldiers'
12 psychology. He made a soldier feel in a certain way.
13 If he was guilty, then the soldier himself would feel
14 guilty. He simply didn't want to punish soldiers for
15 the sake of punishment. It was important for him to
16 convince a soldier that he had done something wrong.
17 In the army no one ever resorted to force in
18 the former JNA, never. That would have had a negative
19 impact on the overall assessment of a commander.
20 Psychologically, by using words, he would mete out
21 punishment, and that is how soldiers achieved better
22 results, too.
23 Q. What did he say about recording activities
24 and orders? Tell the Court about this. This was back
25 in 1990, I believe.
1 A. This is the first lesson I learned from him:
2 All the orders that I give or receive, that I write
3 down in a notebook, because that is a kind of document,
5 Q. With a properly organised army, can you agree
6 with me that Blaskic enjoyed the reputation of the best
7 officer, the best kind, one that was predestined to be
8 a General?
9 A. Mr. Blaskic was an exemplary officer, an
10 ideal. He was someone who was an example to all.
11 Q. Now, we're going to move away from Slovenia
12 where you served together. You were still in the JNA,
13 and you came across Blaskic once again. This was in
15 Could you just tell us a few sentences about
16 the circumstances under which you met Colonel Blaskic
18 A. Mr. Blaskic was already a civilian. That day
19 I was the officer on duty in the barracks and
20 Mr. Blaskic was arrested, brought in by the military
22 Q. Yugoslav People's Army?
23 A. Yes, Yugoslav People's Army. He was a
24 suspect, and he and another boy were taken in as
25 suspects because they were found in a passenger
1 vehicle. There was a bag of arm bands that they had in
2 the car. Also, apparently Mr. Blaskic had not returned
3 his uniform and his pistol, so they charged him with
4 that too.
5 Q. Military berets and arm bands that had the
6 insignia of the Croatian army; right?
7 A. Yes, yes, that was the case, but apparently
8 all this belonged to the boy who was in the car with
9 Mr. Blaskic.
10 Q. What about the pistol? Ultimately did they
11 realise that he had rightly kept it?
12 A. At the time when we were in Slovenia we had
13 already paid for Zastivas (phoen) 357 and for new
14 magnums, and we did not receive them while we were up
15 there, and an agreement was reached that official
16 pistols could be kept because we did not get the new
17 pistols, and this would be a compensation for the
18 pistols we had already paid for.
19 Q. After this second meeting, you saw HVO
20 Colonel Blaskic in Vitez for the third time. Explain
21 to the Court when this happened, under what
22 circumstances and what you talked about.
23 A. It was my third time when I saw Mr. Blaskic
24 in Vitez, in mid-July. This was the second day after I
25 arrived from Tuzla. He was waiting for me in front of
1 the house, in front of the entrance, with three more
2 gentlemen who were with him and a soldier who was their
3 escort, their security, and he was waiting in the
5 First we said hello to each other, and then
6 he asked me whether I wanted to go to town and have a
7 little talk with him, because we didn't want to
8 irritate my parents, because it wasn't the usual thing
9 for a group of soldiers to come to civilian houses,
10 because this could only make the neighbours feel
11 afraid, too.
12 In the cafe, when we went downtown, he
13 offered me to join his army. He offered me a
14 commission. He offered me weapons, and finally he said
15 that on the opposite side was the commander of the Serb
16 forces in Vlasic, former Major Bosko Peulic. And it
17 was a well-known fact that we had clashed in the former
18 JNA, too. He said that, in a way, this way I could get
19 my own way back to Peulic.
20 However, the conversation that we had was not
21 customary. It was not what I had been used to from
22 him, because all the time these three other gentlemen
23 whom I did not know kept interrupting him. They
24 interrupted his sentences. They told him what to ask
25 me. They gave him guidelines as to how he should
1 speak. And I thought that he was the one who was in
2 charge, and it seemed as if he was their subordinate,
3 and this was in contrast to what I had been used to.
4 That is to say, when senior people spoke juniors would
5 keep quiet, and then they would ask for permission to
6 speak, but that was not the situation then.
7 Q. Blaskic gave you an offer to join the army.
8 Did you refuse that?
9 A. At that point I did, because I was still
10 wounded, because I could not take it physically at that
11 point, and on the other hand, for many years I'd been
12 separated from my father, and his wish was for me to
13 spend more time with him, in a way, to make up for the
14 time we had lost being together as father and son.
15 Q. And did you also want to get some respite to
16 see what the situation was altogether?
17 A. After I arrived in Vitez I had already been
18 on the frontline for a few months. In Vitez things
19 were relatively peaceful, and I heard what individuals
20 had to say at that point, and I was a bit offended
21 too. Generally speaking, I was offended by their
22 attitude towards the war. For them it was a game, and
23 I had already seen what a war was really like, and I
24 saw it on the ground, so I really needed a break.
25 Q. You had graduated from the academy, and you
1 already had some years of service in JNA troops, and
2 you also spent some time actually fighting within
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Bosniak police, so
4 could you tell the Court, as a civilian in Vitez and
5 with all the knowledge you had had, everything I
6 mentioned, your entire experience; what was your
7 assessment? What was the kind of army that Blaskic
8 commanded? What type of soldiers were there? What
9 kind of units? Because, after all, you had a
10 privileged position and you had a vantage point for
11 viewing all of this.
12 A. As an observer from, the very outset, I could
13 make a distinction between three different groups of
14 soldiers there. The first group were the special
15 purposes units, as independent soldiers.
16 The first thing that was striking about them
17 was that they had black attire. Should I describe it?
18 So the first thing you could see was their black
19 attire, their black uniforms. These were very young
20 men as a rule, and they were Rambo copies from American
21 movies, and they were well-equipped. They had good
22 weapons, automatic rifles, good equipment, cartridge
23 belts, soldier belts. All of it looked like from
24 American movies, as I said.
25 Also, they carried long rifles in town, which
1 is unheard of, because it frightened civilians. Then
2 they would even take these kind of weapons into cafes,
3 and also then mixing weapons and alcohol, which gives
4 rise to new danger. Then shooting, shooting in town
5 without any reason whatsoever, carousing.
6 Then many criminals joined these units and
7 they were hiding behind these uniforms and behind what
8 these units stood for. They would try to hide their
9 own criminal records, their criminal past.
10 Then also in the centre of every town there
11 was some kind of special purpose unit. For example, in
12 Vitez there was the Vitezovi, and most of them were
13 locals from Vitez. They were the strongest, and they
14 dominated Vitez. All of them were very young men,
15 tough guys, strong. On the other hand, they were
16 inexperienced. They had the town under their control,
17 particularly cafes and restaurants, and their command
18 was even in a Cafe.
19 Q. Tell me, how could we characterise these
20 young men, as former street gangs?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell me, was their total loyalty to their
23 commander Darko Kraljevic? Could anybody replace Darko
24 Kraljevic and put someone else in command?
25 A. No. Darko Kraljevic, the late Darko
1 Kraljevic, was God in their eyes. Whatever he said was
2 sacred. That was the gospel. No one dared oppose him
3 and they all appreciated him very much.
4 Q. You said that every such territory had this
5 kind of unit which was a local unit and held this
6 territory under their control. In Vitez it was the
7 Vitezovi. What about Nova Bila? Who was in charge
9 A. Zuti and Krupce. They also had a Special
10 Purposes Unit.
11 Q. I imagine you were not familiar with the
12 situation in other towns, but tell us, was there some
13 kind of solidarity between these street gangs, or let
14 us call them special purposes units? Were there any
15 clashes between them?
16 A. There was an unwritten agreement that one
17 would not interfere in the turf of the other. That is
18 to say, the Vitezovi would not go to Nova Bila and the
19 other way around. Zuti does not go to Vitez. So they
20 did not interfere in each other's affairs.
21 Q. There is an exception?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When Tuka, the commander of one such unit,
24 and Zuti the commander of another such unit --
25 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. I would ask if
1 there's an exception, that counsel ask what the
2 exception is as opposed to explaining what the
3 exception is ahead of time. It's purely a matter of
5 MR. NOBILO:
6 Q. There was a principle that such special
7 purposes units do not clash between themselves, but
8 there was only one exceptional event, and can you
9 explain to the Court which was this exceptional event?
10 A. There were the Mujna under the command of the
11 late Tuka. These Mujna, Thunders -- or, rather, the
12 commander of Mujna and Zuti clashed, and the late Tuka,
13 on one occasion, shot at Zuti, wounded him, and he
14 ended up in hospital, and finally in a wheelchair too.
15 In retaliation, the bodyguards, the soldiers, whatever
16 you want to call them, of Zuti, took revenge of Tuka,
17 and killed him in town, far away from the frontline.
18 This was actually in revenge terms of what he did to
20 Q. In your opinion, looking at it from the
21 sides, do you think that Blaskic could have commanded
22 Darko Kraljevic, Zuti and similar individuals as a
23 commander vis-a-vis his subordinates?
24 A. Under conditions of these kind, not at all.
25 At no events.
1 Q. And if he wanted to use the Vitezovi, what
2 would Blaskic have to do?
3 A. Blaskic would have to reach an agreement
4 about this and find a compromise solution, and convince
5 the unit and Darko to send a certain number of soldiers
6 to do something or to be included into anything of this
7 kind. So Darko was the ultimate person making the
8 decision. Everything else was on the basis of decision
10 Q. You have now described briefly the special
11 purpose units. What was the other group, recognisable
12 group, of military units in the area of Vitez
14 A. Well, there was a village -- every village
15 had one unit, because the locals of a village would
16 rally round in defence of their village and so make up
17 a unit. Within these units they would elect their
18 representative. As opposed to the first instance, they
19 were much -- of much less weaponry, were not as
20 well-equipped, and they commented the orders, whereas
21 they did not have a commander whom they followed
22 blindly, which was as in the case of the first group.
23 If they appointed a commander, they would
24 replace him and comment his decisions, comment his
25 orders. It was the will of the locals as a whole. So
1 if somebody made a decision that didn't agree to the
2 locals, they would raise up their voices and criticise
3 the decision made, and they would organise sort of
4 village watches to begin with, and set up defence
5 barricades in their own villages.
6 So within this circle they did not have a
7 barracks. Everybody went home to their own houses, and
8 they would take the weapons home with them to their
9 house overnight.
10 As a military formation, they were not able
11 to function properly because they were fragmented,
12 dispersed, and nobody could actually rally the forces
13 and command them.
14 Q. You mean to say that control was made more
15 difficult. Why?
16 A. Well, if there is one commander then he
17 cannot be in all houses at the same time. He hasn't
18 got an insight into what is going on, so he could have
19 several individuals going around with him.
20 Q. And where were the soldiers usually to be
22 A. The soldiers were in their own homes, in
23 their own houses. If they took part in the village
24 watch, they would spend a couple of hours every evening
25 together and then go home, because everything took
1 place within the confines of a village.
2 Q. What about uniforms and rifles? Where did
3 they keep them?
4 A. They kept them with them. First of all, they
5 were hunting rifles, repetition rifles and a little
6 more modern weaponry but not much.
7 Q. So in addition to the units which represented
8 the village, or the village which represented a unit in
9 itself, and in addition to the special purpose units,
10 which was the third group that was recognisable and
11 could be distinguished in the Vitez area?
12 A. It was the Vitez battalion with Mr. Cerkez
13 and Mr. Bertovic. In fact, it was, as I was able to
14 understand at the time, an active composition of --
15 with active commanders. Later on, when they were
16 mobilised, when this reserve unit was mobilised, they
17 were placed under their command.
18 Q. What about the reserve formations of the
19 Vitez Brigade? That was the village units; is that
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Can you tell me the characteristics of the
23 Vitez battalion, who commanded them and whether the
24 commanders were appointed democratically or was it
25 established in a different way altogether?
1 A. The Vitez brigade could be placed as the
2 basis of a new -- could form the basis of a new army,
3 because little by little, we had the
4 superiority/subordination relationship established.
5 Mario Cerkez was the main commander, and his
6 subordinates were well-known and they had to follow
7 orders from him, but as a military formation, they did
8 not have enough men to be able to perform all the tasks
9 and duties that a unit of that kind should have.
10 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber, please, you graduated
11 from the military academy. You have had the benefit of
12 the JNA practical training. What you learned at the
13 academy and army, was all this knowledge applicable to
14 the situation that prevailed and the army that existed
15 as it did in Vitez at that time, in your opinion?
16 A. No, not under such conditions, absolutely
18 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, please,
19 whether the civilian police and the Military Police
20 could allow itself to arrest Zuti, one of the Zuti men,
21 or somebody else?
22 A. No. There was too great a fear of the same.
23 So not even the Military Police or the civilian
24 police. They avoid all contacts, all official
25 contacts, with members of this unit.
1 Q. After some time had elapsed, you,
2 nonetheless, took part in the military structures of
3 the HVO. Could you explain to us the components of
4 this and what your duties were?
5 A. From October 1993, Mr. Blaskic -- I received
6 orders from Mr. Blaskic to report to him, and he
7 deployed me to Nova Bila, to the barracks, and the
8 primary school there, which was turned into a
9 barracks. The idea was, and I had received orders
10 along those lines, for me to take over the soldiers
11 there as an instructor, to train the soldiers in
12 dealing with weapons and handling weapons.
13 Q. Tell us, please, was it a young army? Was it
14 made up of young men who had never had any military
16 A. They were young soldiers, 18 years of age,
17 had become adolescents, but had not done their military
19 Q. Before those young soldiers, were training
20 sessions organised in Vitez, as you, in fact, organised
21 in the autumn of 1993?
22 A. The training centre, such as the one existed
23 in Nova Bila, did not exist, only along the frontlines
24 where there was a crash course as to how to load your
25 rifle and how to shoot your rifle, but that was very
2 Q. Tell the Court, please, how many young men
3 went to this primary school in Nova Bila?
4 A. There were about 100 of them, perhaps a
5 little less.
6 Q. Would you describe to us now, please, what
7 you actually did? What did the training consist of,
8 and who drew up a plan and programme for the training?
9 A. Well when I went to Nova Bila, I had already
10 heard that these men had been functioning for a month
11 to two months before my arrival. They were under the
12 command of Mr. Vukovic, and they worked according to
13 Mr. Vukovic's programme. It was my task to train them
14 in dealing with and handling rifles and weapons.
15 I tested a few of the young men to see what
16 knowledge they had already gained, but I saw that in
17 practical terms they knew nothing, and I suggested to
18 Mr. Vukovic that we start from the beginning, from
19 zero, and then I drew up a plan and programme of
20 training myself, which I was to implement. I used the
21 model of the former JNA, the number of hours of
22 training for each particular category of weapon, and
23 Mr. Vukovic accepted this training programme. So we
24 started from scratch.
25 Q. Apart from rifles, did you have any other
1 aids? Did you have a military training polygon?
2 A. Well, the school was turned into a barracks
3 very rapidly. There were some classrooms. We threw
4 out the desks from other classrooms to make room for
5 beds where the men could sleep. We had a blackboard
6 and chalk, and, in fact, we had weaponry which were no
7 longer very effective and efficient on the frontline.
8 We had a small meadow behind the school
9 building to train in, so the training programme that I
10 was in charge of was, in fact, more or less
11 theoretical, because we did not have the necessary
12 equipment and means to actually go into practical
14 Q. Tell the Court, please, whether you were able
15 to have any tactical training, and if so, what group of
16 people did you do this training with?
17 A. As we had very restricted space and the
18 terrain was such that I had a group of, say, ten
19 soldiers to train, and even there we would collide with
20 one another or we would lose the soldiers. They would
21 become scattered around the countryside. So we weren't
22 able to go very far because we weren't that far from
23 the frontlines.
24 Q. Before you took over this purely military
25 function and duty, Blaskic had ordered you to take part
1 in a project which was to have held in these -- reigned
2 in the special purposes unit. Could you tell us what
3 that was all about?
4 A. Sometime in August, Mr. Blaskic told me to go
5 to Prahulja and to contact a Colonel there. I don't
6 remember his name. He did not give me any details, but
7 when I got there this commander told me that there was
8 an idea to form a (inaudible) unit which --
9 intervention unit to intervene on occasion, and I was
10 one of the commanders of the platoon.
11 When I was told that these special purpose
12 units were to form this composition, were to form the
13 company, I found this ludicrous, because it was
14 impossible to put them altogether and to function in
15 this way. So I left the commander my telephone number,
16 and if he ever succeeded in doing so I told him to call
17 me, but I did not really believe in the possibility of
18 forming a unit of this kind.
19 Q. Did he ever telephone?
20 A. No, he never called me. So that means that
21 he never succeeded in pulling this off.
22 Q. You personally found yourself in a very
23 delicate situation. You could not have -- betray your
24 father or mother. You were from a mixed marriage and
25 you had two ethnic groups in your parents. Could you
1 tell us whether Blaskic discussed the situation with
2 you ever?
3 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. With all due respect,
4 I mean -- certainly the comments of counsel are not
5 evidence, and I just would -- I would ask,
6 Mr. President and Your Honours, if counsel would ask
7 the questions and let the witness answer the question
8 without giving a preface to the question concerning
9 what this individual -- this man's position was. Just
10 let the man speak for himself.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Well, you all do so, whether
12 from the Prosecution, from the Defence, but try and
13 limit your comments as much as you can. Do endeavour
14 to meet the Prosecution's concerns, Mr. Nobilo,
16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.
17 Q. Very simply, did Blaskic ever show any
18 interest in your personal situation and your attitude
19 towards the conflict between the Muslim and Croat
20 ethnic groups?
21 A. On one occasion he told (sic) me to -- to
22 headquarters and then we finally had this private
23 conversation. He of all, asked me firstly, naturally,
24 about my parents' health, how the folks at home were,
25 and then he asked me about my own views, because he
1 knew I was from a mixed marriage. I told him, "We are
2 defending ourselves here, and if my own father were to
3 shoot at me, I would answer with fire."
4 MR. NOBILO: Thank you Mr. President. We
5 have thus conclude our questioning.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE JORDA: You have the floor.
9 MR. KEHOE: Thank you.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:
11 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tolo. My name is Greg
12 Kehoe from the Office of the Prosecutor. My two
13 colleagues are Mr. Harmon, and to the far right is
14 Mr. Cayley. Welcome.
15 Mr. Tolo, were you in the HVO when you
16 returned to Vitez in July of 1992? Did you join it?
17 A. Not straight away.
18 Q. When did you join the HVO?
19 A. A few months later my father bought me a
20 Combi van and I drove between Vitez and Travnik and
21 there was work duty. When soldiers were supposed to be
22 taken to Slatkevode, to the frontline against the
23 Serbs, but this was within my own private activities,
24 within my own private business, so to speak.
25 Q. No, my question for you, Mr. Tolo, is when
1 did you join the HVO? Give me a date.
2 A. I don't understand. You mean as a soldier or
3 as an officer?
4 Q. Any way. Just part of the HVO. Soldier,
5 officer, you know, anything.
6 A. As a soldier, this was the end of 1991. As a
7 soldier, driver, who would drive to Slatkevode every
8 now and then, this was my first active contribution to
9 the HVO.
10 Q. I'm sorry. Are you talking about the end of
11 1992? I think you might have misspoke on the
12 transcript, if I might be mistaken, counsel.
13 Are you saying that you joined the HVO at the
14 end of 1992?
15 A. Exactly.
16 Q. And how long did you stay in the HVO?
17 A. Until '94, when I was finally demobilised.
18 This is to say, after the conflict between the Croats
19 and the Muslims.
20 Q. So it would be --
21 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. It is '91 or '92,
23 MR. KEHOE: It is actually 1991, Judge. I'll
24 have a document for him. The witness actually got into
25 the HVO in September of 1992.
1 JUDGE RIAD: '91 or'92?
2 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. It's in 1992, Judge.
3 The transcript had 1991, and I believe we corrected it.
4 It is in 1992. I made a mistake.
5 JUDGE RIAD: September, was it?
6 MR. KEHOE: I'm going to ask him about that.
7 MR. KEHOE: If I may, if I can show the
8 witness a document, this is only in B/C/S. Mr. Usher?
9 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit 549.
10 MR. KEHOE: Unfortunately, Mr. President, and
11 Counsel, this is only in the B/C/S language; but on
12 that page that is a list of individuals in the HVO.
13 Q. Mr. Tolo, your are on that page, are you
14 not? You can see your birth date being the 22nd of
15 June, 1970?
16 JUDGE JORDA: I don't know where you are. I
17 didn't quite grasp what you are doing. Could you give
18 us the page again, Mr. Kehoe?
19 MR. KEHOE: The second page of the document,
20 Mr. President, we have the names down, one, two, three,
21 four, five, six, seven, eight, ninth.
22 JUDGE JORDA: That's right. Nine, Tolo
23 Edvard. Thank you very much, Mr. Kehoe.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. That's you, is it not, Mr. Tolo?
1 A. Yes, except that this is the citizen's
2 registration code next to it.
3 Q. It does reflect you were in the HVO from 1
4 September, 1992 to 1 July of 1994; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So as of the 1st of September, 1992, sir, you
7 were in the HVO wearing a uniform that had the HVO logo
8 on the sleeve; is that correct?
9 A. That is not correct, because there weren't
10 enough uniforms, so I had some of my former JNA
11 clothes. At that time I was working as a driver with
12 the defence department.
13 Q. Were you considered a soldier within the HVO,
14 sir, working for the defence department driving
15 soldiers around?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. So did you tell either Mr. Nobilo or any of
18 the Defence counsel that you declined to join the HVO
19 military? Did you ever tell them that?
20 MR. HAYMAN: Could we have a time frame?
21 MR. KEHOE: I'm reading your statement.
22 MR. HAYMAN: Ask him about the spring of
23 1992, Counsel.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. "After the witness left the JNA he returned to
1 the Vitez municipality. He declined to join the HVO
2 military and instead undertook various alternate forms
3 of service, including driving HVO soldiers from place
4 to place."
5 So when were you driving soldiers from place
6 to place, you were a member of the HVO military; is
7 that correct?
8 MR. HAYMAN: Counsel is asking several
9 questions here. If he wants to know, in the spring of
10 1992, if the witness was asked to become active duty in
11 the HVO, and if the witness declined, why don't he pose
12 that question?
13 JUDGE JORDA: Wait a minute. For the time
14 being, Mr. Hayman, would you mind letting Mr. Kehoe ask
15 the questions? The witness will answer. You are not
16 the witness, Mr. Hayman. For the time being everything
17 is very clear.
18 Mr. Tolo, you understand that the Prosecution
19 was trying to ascertain, as is its right, what time it
20 was when you joined, when it was that you joined the
21 HVO. We have got an official document, and according
22 to this document you were an HVO member by
23 September '92. I think we should leave it at that for
24 the time being.
25 Please specify the dates, Mr. Kehoe, so as to
1 reassure Mr. Hayman.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. You came back to the Vitez municipality in
4 July of 1992; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. And that is in the summer of 1992; correct?
7 A. Yes, it was summertime. Yes.
8 Q. And summer follows spring; don't it?
9 A. Yes, naturally.
10 Q. So after you got back to Vitez in the summer
11 of 1992, by September of 1992, you were a member, a
12 soldier in the HVO; is that right?
13 JUDGE JORDA: Wait a minute, Mr. Kehoe.
14 Please be specific. I know summer follows spring, but
15 could you be more specific? We're talking about the
16 1st of September. Is that the date when the witness
17 joined the HVO? And he came back to Vitez a few weeks
18 earlier; is that right?
19 MR. KEHOE: That would appear to be what the
20 records reflect and what the witness now reflects. My
21 only problem, of course, is the summary that was
22 provided to us that says "After the witness left the
23 JNA he returned to the Vitez municipality." New
24 sentence, "He declined to join the HVO military and
25 instead undertook various alternate forms of service,
1 including driving HVO soldiers from place to place."
2 JUDGE JORDA: Well, that is the summary
3 provided by Mr. Nobilo, isn't it?
4 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, my colleague
5 did this, but never mind. It would be fair, though, to
6 ask the witness, because my colleague is asserting
7 various things and don't leave any time for the witness
8 to put a question, he hasn't asked him a thing yet.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Well, I'll have you notice that
10 you were the ones to interrupt, Mr. Kehoe, rather than
11 the opposite.
12 Ask your questions, Mr. Kehoe, and you will
13 have your time again in due time for the Defence. You
14 have the floor, Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. The bottom line Mr. Tolo, is that by 1
17 September 1992, you were a soldier in the HVO;
19 THE INTERPRETER: The witness's microphone is
20 not on.
21 MR. KEHOE: The witness's microphone is not
22 on. He's not supposed to be putting it on. Maybe you
23 turned it off by mistake, Mr. Tolo.
24 A. From the 1st of September, that's what it
25 says, I was an HVO soldier.
1 Q. Okay, and what rank did you hold when you
2 were an HVO soldier?
3 A. At that time nobody paid much attention to
4 rank, so I functioned as a soldier, but I had retained
5 the rank I had in the former JNA, but it had not been
6 translated into a new rank with the Croatian Defence
7 Council, yet.
8 Q. So were you a lieutenant in the HVO?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Well, the rank that you had in the JNA was a
11 lieutenant; was it not?
12 A. According to the new translation I was a
13 lieutenant in the former JNA, but then I turned into a
14 warrant officer second class in the HVO. But nobody
15 really paid much attention to it at that time.
16 Q. So in the HVO you would have been called
17 possibly a warrant officer second class; is that right?
18 A. Why do you say second class? I don't
20 Q. I'm sorry, if it's just warrant officer,
21 period, I stand corrected, because I thought that's
22 what the translation said.
23 A. I'm a noncommissioned officer in translation,
24 that's it.
25 Q. Now as a noncommissioned officer, what were
1 your duties and responsibilities?
2 A. I was a soldier and a driver, and nobody made
3 me do anything else. I wasn't supposed to give or take
4 orders. So I was simply supposed to drive during my
5 tour of duty, and that's it.
6 Q. Did you work in the Hotel Vitez as part of
7 the command with Colonel Blaskic?
8 A. What period are you asking about?
9 Q. From when you took -- from 1992, or any time,
10 did you work in the Hotel Vitez? If you did, tell us
11 when it started.
12 A. I was sent from October 1993 to the Nova Bila
13 barracks. I was sent by headquarters.
14 Q. Now prior to October of 1993, were you part
15 of the Hotel Vitez command structure at all?
16 A. No. My immediate superior was Mr. Zibonjic
17 (phoen) of the defence department until the conflict
18 with the Muslims broke out. As soon as the conflict
19 broke out between the Muslims and the Croats, as a
20 soldier/driver, I was given to the Vitez Brigade.
21 Q. So you were not part of the Hotel Vitez
22 command structure at all, or at least not before
23 October of 1993; is that right?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you see the written orders that Colonel
1 Blaskic issued to the Vitezovi?
2 A. The Vitezovi? No.
3 Q. Did you see the written orders that were
4 written by Colonel Blaskic to the Zuti special purpose
6 A. No.
7 Q. Let me show you a document, and this is a
8 Defence document, Defence Exhibit 250.
9 Now before we move to that document, you said
10 you never saw any written orders issued by Blaskic to
11 the Vitezovi. Were you part of discussions between
12 Blaskic and Darko Kraljevic, where Blaskic discussed
13 with Darko Kraljevic what to do?
14 A. I was never present on such an occasion.
15 Q. Okay, so you never saw any orders and you
16 were never present on any occasion where Blaskic
17 discussed with Darko Kraljevic what to do.
18 Let me turn your attention to Exhibit 250,
19 and let us turn our attention to -- and bear with me a
20 second. I know the page in the English version and I
21 will just see if I can find it in the B/C/S version.
22 Maybe you can help us out, Mr. Tolo. Look
23 for the first date that starts the 16th of April,
24 1993. Did you find that, sir? It pretty much goes in
25 chronological order, if you can move down the pages
2 I think it's on page 4 of the B/C/S version,
3 about halfway down, it says "Dana, 16.04, 1993;" do you
4 see that?
5 A. Yes, I see it here, the 16th of April, 1993.
6 Q. Now, let me tell you, Mr. Tolo, this is a
7 Defence exhibit that was introduced and it is a report
8 by the Vitezovi back to the defence department in
9 Mostar. Have you seen this document before?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Let me show you the 16th of April, 1993. It
12 notes that a battle team of 18 soldiers cleared the
13 area of the gas station Kalenn, Rakita, Novaci, and it
14 notes that on that occasion several Vitezovi were
15 wounded and Ivan Zuljevic was killed.
16 Who gave the order for those 18 soldiers to
17 clear that gas station? You know where that gas
18 station is don't you?
19 A. I'm familiar with the area, but I don't know
20 who could have issued this order.
21 Q. Let's go down to the next line, next
22 sequence, next paragraph. It says after that, "The PPN
23 Vitezovi was engaged in the forming of the frontline
24 against the Muslims from Vitez to Busovaca;" do you see
25 that in the statement?
1 A. I don't understand. I mean, I see it, but I
2 don't see what your question is. I don't understand
3 what your question is.
4 Q. Here is my question: Who gave the order to
5 deploy the Vitezovi to the frontline against the
6 Muslims from Vitez to Busovaca? Who gave them that
8 A. I don't know, because I did not have any
9 insight into these orders or I didn't know what the
10 soldiers were doing, and I don't know who could have
11 issued these orders.
12 Q. Look at the rest of these, sir. When we go
13 down that page the fact of the matter is, on all these
14 orders, such as the 6 soldiers on the 18th of April,
15 going to Crkva Vitez, and the 18th of April going to
16 Stari Vitez, and the 19th of April going to Gornja
17 Veceriska; you have no idea who gave the orders to
18 deploy those Vitezovi to those areas, is that right?
19 A. The only person who could have commanded the
20 Vitezovi was Mr. Darko Kraljevic.
21 Q. Do you know if Blaskic gave them that order?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Mr. Tolo, do you have any facts to support
24 your contention that the Vitezovi -- let me withdraw
1 Do you know of an instance when the Vitezovi
2 refused an order of Colonel Blaskic, and if you do know
3 that, tell the Judges.
4 A. I cannot give a single example. I don't know
5 who else could have ordered the Vitezovi but Darko
6 Kraljevic. Nobody else. It is quite obvious.
7 Q. Well, it is true, is it not, Mr. Tolo, that
8 the Vitezovi were under the operational command of
9 Colonel Blaskic while they were in the Central Bosnian
10 Operative Zone? Isn't that true? Or do you not know
12 A. No, no, I don't know.
13 Q. So you don't even know whether or not they
14 were under the operational command of Blaskic; is that
16 A. No.
17 Q. Let me show you a couple of orders, if I may,
18 -- excuse me, I'm sorry, 456/37, if I may, at the
19 outset. That's a Prosecution exhibit. There is a
20 French version, Mr. President, as well as a B/C/S
22 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to have a break at
23 3.30, because this is going to be a long afternoon, so
24 we will have a break at 3.30; or do you have a lot of
25 questions to put to this witness? We're going to have
1 two breaks during this afternoon, a short one to start
2 with, and I wouldn't like to cut off at a time where it
3 might be difficult for you. What do you think?
4 MR. KEHOE: I have a couple more questions,
6 JUDGE JORDA: So we may as well stop now.
7 MR. KEHOE: We can stop now, Mr. President,
8 or we can finish this one document, or I can go to
9 3.30, or whatever Your Honour wants to do. If I can
10 finish this document and move on.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Okay, you finish this
12 document and then we will have a short break. Thank
13 you very much. Go ahead.
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Now, Mr. Tolo, this is a document that has
16 been received in evidence dated the 19th of June, 1993;
17 isn't that right, sir?
18 A. I can hardly see the date here.
19 Q. Well, certainly June of 1993; can you see
21 A. I can see June, yes, yes.
22 Q. We'll work off June of 1993, a period of time
23 you were in the HVO. This particular command is issued
24 by Blaskic to all independent units under the command
25 of the HVO 3rd Operative Zone commander. And in that,
1 in those independent units under the command of the 3rd
2 Operative Zone commander, that is Colonel Blaskic, is
3 the Vitezovi and also Zuti; isn't it?
4 A. It says here that in all brigades and
5 independent units, but who exactly commanded them, that
6 I don't know. But since we were surrounded, I imagine
7 that it had to be under the command of the command
9 Q. Well, Mr. Tolo, I will read you the English
10 version that was signed by Colonel Blaskic. And in
11 this English version he relates, he gives this
12 distribution of this order to all the independent units
13 under the command of the HVO 3rd Operative Zone
14 commander, and to MTD, the 4th LTRD, the 4th Military
15 Police Battalion, the Vitezovi, Tvrtko 2 and Zuti. Do
16 you have any knowledge of these units being under the
17 command of Colonel Blaskic?
18 A. I'm not aware of that.
19 Q. So Mr. Tolo, you have no facts about orders
20 issued by Blaskic, conversations between Darko
21 Kraljevic and Blaskic, or whether or not the Vitezovi
22 or these other units were under Blaskic's operational
23 control; do you? You have no knowledge about that?
24 A. I did not see a single order, and I didn't
25 see that they were meeting with one another.
1 Q. My last point is: You have no knowledge
2 about what the relationship was between Vitezovi and
3 Blaskic; do you?
4 A. I know about the relationship between Blaskic
5 and Vitezovi. I know there was some problems with
6 regard to giving any kind of orders to Mr. Darko
7 Kraljevic. It was very difficult to issue orders to
9 Q. Give the Court one order Blaskic gave to
10 Darko Kraljevic that you know about that Darko
11 Kraljevic and the Vitezovi refused to obey. Give us
13 A. I am not aware of Mr. Blaskic having issued
14 any order to the Vitezovi.
15 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. We can
16 take a break right now.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. This will be a 15-minute
19 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Please have the accused brought
23 (The accused entered court)
24 JUDGE JORDA: Please excuse us for the short
25 delay. Breaks are not breaks necessarily for Judges.
1 As soon as we get to the Chambers we're snowed under, a
2 lot of requests, so we have to deal with them, but you
3 have the floor, Mr. Kehoe, please carry on.
4 MR. KEHOE:
5 Q. Now, you said that the independent units such
6 as the Vitezovi and the Zuti were filled with
7 criminals. Do you recall saying that?
8 A. Yes, I recall that. I mentioned the
9 Vitezovi. Zuti I only know from hearsay, the stories
10 told by the soldiers that I drove when passing through
12 Q. But to your knowledge, you said the Vitezovi
13 was filled with criminals; is that right?
14 A. There were several of them who damaged the
15 reputation of the Vitezovi.
16 Q. Did everybody know that?
17 A. Not everybody.
18 Q. Did Blaskic know that?
19 A. I don't know whether he did or not.
20 Q. You don't know whether Blaskic knew or didn't
21 know that these members of the Vitezovi had some
22 criminal actions in their past; is that right?
23 A. General Blaskic moved around in commanders'
24 circles, so he didn't have any close contacts with the
25 soldiers -- or contacts at all with the soldiers.
1 Hierarchically, we go down to the soldiers via their
2 commanders, so he would know what his subordinates
3 would inform him of.
4 Q. Well, let's speak about Blaskic and his
5 subordinates. You have offered us some opinions during
6 your testimony on direct. Were you present when
7 Blaskic had meetings with Mario Cerkez?
8 A. No, not as a soldier/driver. I could not
9 have been present at a meeting of that kind, but I know
10 that Mario Cerkez went to him frequently.
11 Q. And how did Dusko Grubicic, the commander of
12 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. Do you know
13 Mr. Grubicic?
14 A. I don't know him, no. Perhaps I met him but
15 I don't know him by name. I don't know who that is.
16 Q. How about meetings with Blaskic and his other
17 brigade commanders. Did you sit in on those meetings?
18 A. I've already said I was in the role of a
19 soldier/driver, so I could not have been present at
20 meetings of that kind.
21 Q. So you don't know anything about Blaskic's
22 command as it related to the brigade commanders and as
23 it related to other units under his command, do you,
24 because you were just a driver and a soldier?
25 A. I only know what I was told by the soldiers
1 who were with me, and they very often distorted the
2 picture of Blaskic. Blaskic was a foreigner down there
3 in those parts, and they thought, "Why do we need
4 somebody from outside to come and impose his power and
5 authority over us?" So they would make jokes and fun
6 of Blaskic, and they would say, "He's asked Darko to do
7 something once again," and sort of make a joke of it,
8 and said, "Darko promised to do something," but these
9 were stories told by the soldiers, and the Vitezovi
10 would boast about their commander and that Blaskic had
11 to ask their commander for things.
12 Q. Well, Mr. Tolo, you said, during your
13 direct-examination, that the Military Police and the
14 civilian police wouldn't arrest Zuti; is that right?
15 Or his soldiers; is that right?
16 A. Well, there was fear. There was fear of
17 conduct of this kind. A lot of people were afraid of
18 the repercussions and ensuing reactions after something
19 like this.
20 Q. Well, as a soldier within the HVO, do you
21 know that Blaskic disciplined soldiers within the Zuti
22 Special Purposes Unit?
23 A. I don't know. Once again, I only know the
24 circle around Vitez. We were bent on the Defence of
25 Vitez, whereas the Zuti were in Nova Bila.
1 Q. Well, the military disciplinary court was in
2 Vitez; wasn't it?
3 A. I don't understand what kind of court you
5 Q. Well, let's take a look at Defence Exhibit
6 237 and 239. These are Defence exhibits admitted
7 during the Defence case through the testimony of
8 Brigadier Slavko Marin. D237 and D238 (sic).
9 Mr. Usher, you can show the witness both of
10 those exhibits at the same time, both 237 and 239.
11 Mr. Tolo, did you ever see these documents
13 A. I'm seeing them for the first time. This is
14 the first time that I've seen this document.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Tolo, in those documents, Blaskic
16 and the HVO command in Vitez are disciplining Zuti --
17 members of the Zuti Special Purposes Unit for refusing
18 to follow orders; isn't that right? Both of those.
19 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, can we leave the
20 witness some time to acquaint himself with the
21 documents, because he says that he hasn't had occasion
22 to see them? So can we give him time to read the
23 title, the date and so forth?
24 MR. KEHOE: I certainly apologise, Mr. Tolo.
25 I don't mean to rush you through those documents in any
1 way. If you need more time to study those documents,
2 please take it.
3 I apologise, counsel, and to the bench. I
4 didn't mean to rush the witness through the exhibits.
5 Q. Mr. Tolo, let us know when you've had a
6 chance to acquaint yourself with those documents.
7 A. Yes, you can ask me your question now.
8 Q. Well, Mr. Tolo, the fact is that in both of
9 those orders -- I'm sorry. If we can just wait one
11 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, Mr. Kehoe.
12 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Tolo, the fact is that in both of those
14 orders, the HVO is disciplining, issuing 30 days in
15 gaol, to two members of the Zuti Special Purposes Unit
16 who refused to follow orders, isn't that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right, but I should like to
18 mention that this is a period in which Mr. Blaskic had
19 already taken over control of certain units. For
20 example, starting with me myself, orders of October, I
21 was doing things with my school, whereas of October
22 1993, for example, officers from the reserve force of
23 the former JNA that had certain military knowledge were
24 appointed to commanding posts, and some sort of
25 organisation was established and control was being set
1 up, so something could be done in that direction at
2 that period.
3 Q. Mr. Tolo, did you tell us that during
5 A. Could you repeat your question, please?
6 Q. Did you tell us what you just said concerning
7 Blaskic setting up structures within Central Bosnia,
8 did you tell us that during your direct-examination
9 upon questions with Mr. Nobilo?
10 A. That as of October I was performing the
11 function that I was? I'm not quite clear. What do you
12 mean exactly? What do you want me to tell you?
13 Because as of October -- I was appointed to the post in
14 October and the structure was changing, the structure
15 of command. More and more power and authority was
16 being won over in the military structures. Prospects
17 were being opened up for command going down to the
19 Q. Well, sir, you haven't -- you had not seen
20 those documents before I showed them to you; is that
22 A. That's correct, I didn't see them.
23 Q. Do you know of other members of the Zuti
24 Special Purposes Unit who were disciplined?
25 A. I remember an event that took place at the
1 beginning the year, where the civilian police arrested
2 the members of Zuti, and Mr. Zuti, with his team, came
3 to free him, and he took control of the entire police
4 station. When he found that the detainee was not at
5 the police station but was in prison, they freed him
6 and marched through the town and demonstrated their
7 power and authority, and showed signs that he was the
8 ruling power and that this was not to be repeated.
9 That is a story about the Zuti and the rest.
10 This took place at the beginning of 1993, and the
11 picture then was quite different.
12 Q. What is the date of those orders where these
13 two individuals are disciplined?
14 A. The 6th of November, 1993.
15 Q. What date is the other one, the one on your
16 right hand -- the one by your right hand? Turn it
18 A. The order was issued on the 26th of November
19 and made known on the 29th of November, 1993.
20 Q. Now --
21 A. The second one, I don't know.
22 Q. Mr. Tolo, was anybody -- was Zuti or any
23 member of Zuti disciplined for the event that you just
24 talked about? The event of breaking that person out of
25 prison, was anybody disciplined for that?
1 A. I'm not aware of it. I don't know.
2 Q. You were in the HVO from 1992 -- September of
3 1992. These orders are in November. Let's take you to
4 a starting point. You don't know anybody in the
5 Vitezovi being disciplined for that outrageous act in
6 the prison in November, December, January of 1994,
7 through the time you left in July of 1994 and
8 thereafter; is that right? I'm sorry, in the Zuti. If
9 I said "Vitezovi", I meant "Zuti."
10 Zuti or nobody else was disciplined for that
11 act of breaking a member of the Zuti Special Purposes
12 Unit out of gaol; were they?
13 A. I haven't got any knowledge of that, so I
14 can't tell you anything in any detail.
15 Q. Let's move on, sir. Now, with regard to that
16 particular event, did the Military Police have the
17 power to stop the Vitezovi from breaking that person
18 out of gaol -- excuse me, Zuti, I apologise, Zuti from
19 breaking that person out of gaol?
20 A. Whether they had an order to do this I don't
21 know, but I know that nobody dared stand up to them at
22 that time, starting with the commander, right down to
23 the ordinary rank-and-file soldier.
24 Q. Well, let me show you an exhibit, and I'll
25 show you again Defence Exhibit 213. This is an
1 order -- or a report by Pasko Ljubicic concerning the
2 event that you discussed.
3 Take a look at this report. It deals with
4 Zuti breaking Ferdo Gazibaric out of the Kaonik
5 Prison. I ask you to turn to the last page of the
6 document where Pasko Ljubicic, the commander of the 4th
7 Military Police battalion notes as follows: "I
8 received, on time, the information about the intentions
9 of this group to free Gazibaric by means of firearms,
10 and at the same time I warned about what would happen,
11 so that there were many possibilities to organise the
12 Military Police units and prevent this group on time in
13 their intentions."
14 So Mr. Tolo, from this Defence exhibit, the
15 commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion himself
16 said that he could have stopped Zuti and his men from
17 completing this act. Have you seen that document
18 before you came here today?
19 A. No, I haven't seen that document before. But
20 according to this report, he pushes the responsibility
21 onto somebody else. He saw all this, put it on paper
22 and passed it on to somebody else to protect himself
23 from doing so. It doesn't say he would undertake this.
24 Q. Mr. Tolo, did it occur to you that Colonel
25 Blaskic did not want to arrest Zuti and his men? Did
1 that occur to you?
2 A. It's possible, but I doubt it, because this
3 would be negative for him.
4 Q. Well, the fact of the matter is that in the
5 entire time you were in Central Bosnia, Zuti nor any of
6 his men were prosecuted or charged in any court for
7 this outrageous conduct at Kaonik camp; isn't that
9 A. I was not informed of whether anybody was
10 prosecuted. I didn't hear of anything like that
12 Q. Now, the second prong of your discussion
13 about the problems within Central Bosnia focused in
14 villages and villagers. Do you recall that second
15 prong in your direct examination by Mr. Nobilo?
16 A. You mean when I described the village, a
17 village unit as being a unit?
18 Q. That's correct.
19 A. Yes, I remember that.
20 Q. And you said that if someone, if the decision
21 was made and someone in the village didn't like the
22 decision, they would protest the decision; do you
23 recall that?
24 A. Yes, and I have examples of this. For
25 example, when I took the people to Slatkevode, we knew
1 a village should give, let's say, five soldiers, and
2 there would be a lot of argument, "Why do I have to
3 go? Why doesn't he go?" So there were quarrels going
4 on before they entered the vehicle.
5 Then once we would start off for the place,
6 there would be the same kind of situation once again,
7 and he would go back home and say, "Why me, why aren't
8 the soldiers? Their weapons weren't checked, the
9 soldiers weren't examined" and so on.
10 And when we returned from the frontlines on
11 one occasion when there were problems on the Muslim
12 side of Kalinska (phoen) and we weren't able to pass
13 through, and they shouted that we should go home, "I
14 have had an enough of the frontline, I'm hungry, I'm
15 dirty, I want to go home" and the other half would be
16 waiting for a government representative to turn up, and
17 then together with the military police or the civilian
18 police would enable safe passage and so on.
19 So there was a lot of shouting, arguments,
20 and the commanders couldn't do anything much.
21 Q. But the soldiers went; didn't they?
22 A. Very often what happened was that the
23 soldiers appointed did not go but others would go,
24 because they would decide this matter amongst
25 themselves, and they would say, "Listen, you go now and
1 I will go next time."
2 Q. So you went there to pick up five soldiers
3 and you picked up five soldiers; right?
4 A. Five soldiers from one village, then perhaps
5 ten soldiers from another, until I had filled up my
6 vehicle, and then we would go in column towards
8 Q. Mr. Tolo, you were in the JNA and you know
9 that the JNA defence of the former Yugoslavia was based
10 on the Territorial Defence system; isn't that right?
11 A. Yes, but there was a skeleton in terms of the
12 active corps of the JNA.
13 Q. And when the HVO was set up and they had
14 these individual village units, they were following the
15 format that had been set up by the JNA; isn't that
17 A. In many cases everything that resembled the
18 JNA, or the Serbian part as such, they simply rejected
19 it out of hatred. They said this was the occupier's
20 way of thinking, et cetera, et cetera. So many rules,
21 many formations that existed in the former army were
22 simply skipped. They said all of that was
23 pro-communist, pro-Yugoslav, and a lot of that was
24 simply rejected, a lot of these previous principles.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, allow me to tell you
1 that the examination-in-chief lasted 45 minutes.
2 You're going over that line now, so think of it so it
3 remains within the ratio.
4 MR. KEHOE: I will move as quickly as I can.
5 Q. Mr. Tolo, the HVO, like the JNA, was based on
6 the Territorial Defence system; wasn't it?
7 A. I cannot say exactly about these formations,
8 because from what I could see, the HVO was formed for
9 the purpose of accelerated defence from aggression. At
10 first there was no special kind of defence. People
11 bought weapons on their own. They took away weapons on
12 their own, and then village by village they tried to
13 get weapons, and also the special purpose units were
14 set up.
15 But there was no traditional Territorial
16 Defence system like with the warehouses that existed,
17 et cetera. It was not exactly according to the picture
18 that existed in the former Yugoslavia.
19 Q. Let's talk a little bit about training, and
20 we will go through this very briefly. You said you
21 started training HVO soldiers in October of 1993. You
22 do know that there was training of HVO soldiers going
23 on in Central Bosnia and elsewhere in Herceg-Bosna
24 prior to that; don't you?
25 A. While I was there I was not aware of any
1 other barracks except the one in Draga, but most of
2 that was warehouses too, and I cannot speak about
3 Herzegovina because I wasn't there. So I am not aware
4 of any kind of training of soldiers taking place
5 anywhere, before the barracks in Nova Bila, that is.
6 Q. Take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 456/104,
7 105, 106, 107 and 108. Those exhibits, Mr. Tolo, are a
8 series of training orders signed by Colonel Blaskic
9 between July of '92 and March of 1993. Now, that was a
10 time period you were in Vitez; isn't it?
11 A. I cannot see the dates, exactly. During this
12 period of time I was in Vitez.
13 Q. Do you know that from July of 1992 through at
14 least March of 1993 and thereafter, Blaskic issued a
15 series of orders to conduct training of HVO troops?
16 A. I am not aware of him issuing such orders.
17 Q. Let me show you a photograph, 433/8.
18 Mr. Tolo, take a look at this on the ELMO. This is a
19 photograph that was received in evidence by former
20 Captain Lee Whitworth of the Prince of Wales own
21 regiment of Yorkshire in the summer of 1993 where he
22 testified that HVO troops were training in the Vitez
23 area. This was a photograph that he took. Are you
24 aware of the training taking place in the summer of
1 A. I am not aware of that. Seems quite strange
2 to me, because as far as I can see, these are former
3 JNA uniforms.
4 Q. That's fine, sir.
5 Now, sir, let us turn to another subject.
6 You said during the JNA time that Blaskic was a very
7 excellent officer who knew the rules and was destined
8 to be a general; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I think you said he was the best officer
11 in Slovenia; is that right?
12 A. Exactly.
13 Q. He was a strong man, was he not?
14 A. In what sense do you mean that? As a strong
15 personality, yes.
16 Q. He was a strong personality, which made him
17 an excellent officer; is that right?
18 A. Not only that, but his knowledge, too. And
19 the way he built up authority, he was a great
20 psychologist, too.
21 Q. And he knew the rules, and how to apply those
22 rules in order to discipline his troops; isn't that
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. And all of that put together, his strength as
1 an officer, his use of psychology, his knowledge of the
2 rules, and his fairness in dealing with soldiers made
3 him, in your view, an outstanding officer; isn't that
5 A. All of that together, yes.
6 Q. And it was no surprise to you that in the
7 summer of 1994, Blaskic became Chief of Staff of the
8 HVO; is that right?
9 A. Could you please repeat the year?
10 Q. Excuse me, it was the summer of 1994, he
11 became Chief of Staff.
12 A. I don't know exactly when he became
13 commander. You're meaning 1994? This was after the
14 war. You mean after the war? For the merits and for
15 his contribution, yes, certainly he deserved it.
16 Q. Now, you mentioned during your direct
17 examination an individual who you served under in
18 Slovenia by the name of Bosko Peulic; is that right?
19 A. Bosko what?
20 Q. Bosko Peulic.
21 A. Did I mention my superior, Major Bosko
22 Peulic, you mean?
23 Q. Peulic, pardon my pronunciation.
24 A. Bosko Peulic was in the command of the 228th
25 Brigade, basically the right-hand of the commander of
1 the brigade. Very often he came for controls, and very
2 often he created problems for me. He discredited me in
3 front of the other soldiers as I was teaching them,
4 training them.
5 I mean, I was a very young officer and I was
6 inexperienced, and I certainly made many mistakes, but
7 to tell me directly and in front of all the soldiers,
8 that's not the way he was supposed to do it. He built
9 his authority by trampling upon other people's
11 Q. And in Slovenia, he was Blaskic's immediate
12 commander; isn't that right?
13 A. He was above Blaskic. He was in the command
14 of the brigade. He was deputy commander in the
15 brigade, yes.
16 Q. And where was he during the fighting when you
17 were in Vitez in July of 1992, and he was part of the
18 Bosnian Serb army; where was he serving?
19 A. He was in a brigade which was in Banja Luka,
20 and very often he would go out to Vlasic.
21 Q. The Vlasic feature, which is the mountain
22 overlooking the Lasva Valley area?
23 A. Above the Lasva River Valley; that's right.
24 Q. Let me show you a document, Prosecution 528,
25 if I may, Mr. Dubuisson.
1 Take a look at that document, Mr. Tolo, and I
2 ask you to look at that signature page. This is a
3 letter concerning negotiations with Ustashe, being the
4 Bosnian Serbs, and it is signed by the commander, Bosko
5 Peulic. Do you see that signature?
6 A. I see the signature of Mr. Peulic.
7 Q. That's the same man you served under and
8 Blaskic served under in Slovenia; correct?
9 A. Yes, by his name and surname, but he just got
10 a different rank afterwards.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Tolo, my last subject, and just a
12 couple of questions about this. You said you were a
13 driver and a soldier when you were in the HVO. Were
14 you aware, Mr. Tolo, Bosnian Muslim civilians were
15 forced to dig trenches in the Vitez area while you were
16 in the HVO?
17 A. There was a rule down there. A person who
18 could not hold a rifle could hold a shovel or give a
19 contribution to the state in some other way. For
20 example, there was a work platoon consisting of the
21 Romany. We are neighbours, and I would see them
22 working most often, and I would see how they were
23 organised. And it wasn't only the Romany, there were
24 all ethnic groups in this work platoon. If they were
25 not able to hold a rifle or if they were afraid to
1 fight, they could hold a shovel during the night and
2 dig and help in that way, or whatever. Everybody tried
3 to give his own contribution to the Defence of the
4 Lasva River Valley, regardless of ethnicity, religion,
5 et cetera.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Tolo, when you said that a person
7 who could not hold a rifle could hold a shovel or give
8 contribution to the state in some other way, the state
9 you're talking about is the Croatian community of
10 Herceg-Bosna; isn't it?
11 A. I'm not talking about the state, I'm talking
12 about the defence of the Lasva River Valley. I'm
13 talking about Vitez, perhaps I misspoke. I'm talking
14 about Vitez, which was surrounded then, and we were in
15 this pot, in the very middle, and we all suffered the
16 same destiny.
17 Q. So my question to you, again, is: Were
18 Bosnian Muslim civilians forced to dig trenches for the
20 A. I did not see anyone who was forced to do
21 this, in the sense of being held at gunpoint. It was
22 natural, a work platoon.
23 Q. So when you talk about seeing the group of
24 Romanies or gypsies digging trenches for the HVO, is it
25 your testimony that those individuals were digging
1 those trenches voluntarily?
2 A. Not a single gypsy is going to take a shovel
3 into his own hands and dig of his own free-will, and
4 this is commonly known. There are many settlements of
5 the Romany down there, and they are my neighbours, and
6 they were organised as a work platoon, and they had a
7 commander of their own, and they took shifts when they
8 went out to dig.
9 And afterwards they were returned to their
10 villages. They received their food rations, naturally,
11 and they were treated just like soldiers who held
12 rifles in their hands. They got cigarettes, food and
13 everything else that others were given, as well.
14 Q. So given what you just said about the
15 Romanies, that the Romanies were forced to dig
16 trenches; is that correct?
17 A. Everybody had to do his own work duty. As
18 soon as you were of military age you had to contribute
19 to defence in some way. If I could have not waged war
20 I would have opted for that, but I had to work at least
21 as a driver because that was the only way we could save
22 our own lives, our families, and Vitez as a town in
24 Q. Mr. Tolo, did you pick up prisoners from the
25 cinema in downtown Vitez and take them to dig trenches
1 in your minibus? And if so, how many times did you do
3 A. I did not. I did not ever drive prisoners
4 out to dig. I often drove civilians, but these were
5 people mostly elderly. I didn't know what ethnicity or
6 religion they were, because for a longer period of time
7 I had been absent and I knew very few people because
8 prisoners, after all, are those whose hands are tied
9 in, who are guarded, et cetera, and I drove people who
10 were taken up there to dig.
11 Q. How many times did you drive civilians up to
12 dig trenches?
13 A. Whenever necessary. I drove people who were
14 military conscripts, because, you know, it was
15 different. Military age men were one thing, and
16 civilians were men who were younger than 18 or older
17 than 65, and women and children.
18 Q. How many times did you do it, Mr. Tolo, 50,
19 100, 150, how many times?
20 A. Less than 50 times, I'm not too sure now.
21 Q. And how many civilians would you take every
22 time you went? How many civilians would you take up to
23 dig trenches?
24 A. My minibus takes 20 persons, and again, I
25 want to mention that these were not civilians, these
1 were military age men.
2 Q. Well you told us there were elderly men in
3 that group; didn't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And certainly the Bosnian Muslims weren't in
6 the HVO; were they?
7 A. Probably.
8 Q. So if you took 50 trips with 20 people at a
9 trip, that means you took approximately a thousand
10 people to dig trenches; is that right? Would that be a
11 rough estimate?
12 A. Most of them were the Romany from our
13 village, and they were taken up there in groups. I
14 don't know how many I took, really. I do not have an
15 accurate idea.
16 Q. Were any of them shot? During your 50 trips
17 and your thousand people, were any of those people shot
18 when they were up there digging trenches?
19 A. Well, there were woundings, especially when
20 the frontline would fall and then a new line would be
21 fortified in an accelerated manner, and then some were
22 engaged in order to keep the line until new trenches
23 were dug.
24 So there were woundings, yes. But there were
25 mistakes that they made themselves. Again, I'm talking
1 about the Romanies because I was together with them.
2 As they were digging, when they would go to a
3 neighbouring house, to steal a hen or whatever,
4 something from the house, then they would cross our
5 minefields, their minefields, and they would be wounded
6 sometimes, when they would cross a minefield that,
7 would happen, too.
8 Q. So they had civilians, the people taken up
9 there to dig trenches were both shot and wounded and
10 also wounded by mines on the frontline; is that right?
11 A. We had military age men who were wounded by
12 BH army members while they were fortifying the battle
14 Q. And Mr. Tolo, when did you take these people
15 up to dig trenches and where did you take them up to
16 dig trenches?
17 A. Mostly during the night. I would take them
18 to Bobasi, to frontlines that were held by the first
20 Q. Where? Where?
21 A. From Kuber to -- I don't know the names in
22 this terrain very well. To Krcevine and beyond
23 Krcevine. Wherever necessary.
24 Q. And where did you pick these people up?
25 A. You mean when they were on their way to do
1 the digging?
2 Q. That's correct.
3 A. In their village, or, rather, in front of my
5 Q. Who told you to pick them up?
6 A. Everything went through requests of certain
7 battalions, and Mr. Vinac was responsible for the
8 Romanies, and he would be informed that a certain group
9 would be necessary for digging in such and such a
10 place, and that we would have to come and report to the
11 commander there, and that is what I did, I took them
13 Q. So you got your orders from Vinac; is that
15 A. Not my orders, but I got my orders from
16 Mr. Zuljevic, who was head of the car-park or that part
17 of the Vitez Brigade, regarding fuel distribution and
18 everything else. He was in charge of that. He would
19 give me instructions to take the vehicle to such and
20 such a place, and it was easy for me because this was
21 in front of my house where I would pick them up.
22 Q. And both Zuljevic and Vinac were in the Vitez
23 Brigade and members of the HVO?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And this taking civilians to dig trenches,
1 people to dig trenches on the frontlines, that was an
2 organised endeavour, wasn't it?
3 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, my learned friend
4 keeps using a term which this witness is denying
5 repeatedly, but the Prosecutor continues to use it,
6 hoping that the witness will forget and that it will go
7 down into the record. The Prosecutor keeps talking
8 about civilians. The witness says that he drove
9 military conscripts.
10 So I think, in the interest of correctness,
11 proper terms should be used. Also, we are using a
12 great deal of time, more than used for the
14 JUDGE JORDA: Carry on, Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Mr. Tolo, the people you took to dig
17 trenches, such as the Romanies; were they members of
18 the HVO?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The Romanies were members of the HVO and they
21 had to be forced to dig trenches; is that right?
22 A. I have already said they were not forced,
23 because when you use force, I understand that somebody
24 is digging under threat of weapons. They knew that
25 they had to do the digging, because that was their
2 If we're talking about Romanies, they were
3 digging trenches at Zabreza, an attack occurred, the
4 HVO soldiers fled, throwing away their weapons. They
5 picked up those weapons and restored control of the
6 frontline. If they were acting under force, under
7 coercion, why did they do that?
8 Q. Mr. Tolo, prior to Mr. Nobilo's objection,
9 did you ever call the people you took to dig trenches
10 conscripts? Did you ever call them conscripts or did
11 you say they were men of fighting age? How did you
12 describe them, prior to Mr. Nobilo's objection?
13 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I object to the
14 form of the question. The record is clear.
15 MR. KEHOE: It's clear he didn't use the word
16 "conscript" until he objected to the word.
17 MR. HAYMAN: With all due respect to
18 Mr. Kehoe, my friend and colleague, the witness
19 repeatedly said that there was work obligation, there
20 was work obligation imposed on the population. Call
21 that conscript, call that whatever. It's clear, and
22 it's inappropriate to question the witness about the
23 transcript. The transcript is the transcript. He can
24 ask him what his testimony is, but it's inappropriate
25 to question him about the transcript.
1 JUDGE JORDA: I agree with you at least on
2 one thing, Mr. Hayman, the transcript is the
3 transcript, and the Judges will decide on the basis of
4 the transcript.
5 With respect to the merits of this question,
6 Mr. Nobilo is the one who raised the objection as to
7 the difference between the civilians and those who did
8 not have the status of civilians, and Mr. Kehoe is
9 taking that in account. He's asking the witness to
10 describe who the civilians were, and he's trying to
11 assess who were members of the HVO among those who were
12 sent to dig trenches. Please don't interrupt him too
13 often so as not to exceed the time for
15 This is a very important question for the
16 indictment, so I think it's a very legitimate
18 Mr. Hayman, you have the floor one last
19 time. You want to come back to this question?
20 MR. HAYMAN: We haven't objected as to time,
21 Mr. President, but you've mentioned the time allotted
22 for cross-examination. May we inquire, what is the
23 time allotted for cross-examination? Our records
24 reflect we're 30 minutes over the length of the
25 direct-examination, and we have sat here patiently,
1 with all due respect, without interrupting frequently.
2 JUDGE JORDA: You are very well aware of
3 this, Mr. Hayman. This is a recurrent issue. We
4 discussed at length among Judges on this very relevant
5 issue. We are attempting to make sure that some kind
6 of balance exists between cross-examination and
7 direct-examination. We agree on this. This being
8 said, you cannot prevent Judges, when certain questions
9 arise, especially if the questions are important ones,
10 you can't prevent the Judges from showing interest in
11 what is their mission, which is to search for the
13 I agree with you, Mr. Hayman, I said this to
14 Mr. Kehoe on several occasions. I do not want the
15 cross-examination to be too long. Therefore, it may be
16 better not to have too many objections put to interrupt
18 Mr. Kehoe did go too far, but the question of
19 digging trenches is a relevant one. I know this is
20 bothering you, I can understand that, but the witness
21 must be clear when he answers, and I think that the
22 questions are quite accurate. But tell us, Mr. Kehoe,
23 how long do you plan to take for the rest of your
24 cross-examination? We know that --
25 MR. KEHOE: About two minutes. Two minutes.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Two minutes. Okay.
2 Mr. Hayman, is that okay, two minutes? You seem to be
3 happy with that. So your objection has achieved
5 You'll have two minutes, Mr. Kehoe.
6 JUDGE RIAD: I shall add that in order to be
7 fair we decided this: If the cross-examination is
8 above the time for the direct-examination, we're not
9 counting this for the Defence.
10 JUDGE JORDA: But we thought that we hadn't
11 been too far. We hadn't exceeded by too long a time.
12 This rule is not easy to implement and it doesn't
13 belong to my traditional proceedings. I'm trying to
14 use it as least as I can, but never forget, Mr. Hayman,
15 this is no civil law, this is no common-law. We are
16 trying to carry out our mission, which is to find what
17 the truth is, and this is the first obligation that
18 Mr. Blaskic has towards us. He wants us to establish
19 the truth; doesn't he?
20 So Mr. Kehoe, you have another two minutes.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Mr. Tolo, how many other drivers, besides
23 you, drove people to dig trenches?
24 A. I know about myself. That is where I drove
25 from. There was another van with a military driver,
1 attached to the Vitez Brigade. We took turns
2 occasionally for digging and for other tasks, but I
3 don't know exactly. I know about myself.
4 Q. And, Mr. Tolo, you know that between you and
5 these other drivers, Bosnian Muslims were taken to the
6 frontlines to dig trenches; weren't they?
7 A. The ethnic affiliation of each individual is
8 not written on his forehead. I hadn't spent much time
9 there. I didn't know them very well. Many of my
10 school friends got killed. I don't even know all my
11 next door neighbours. The people were changing all the
12 time. There were people coming in from the outside.
13 Q. Mr. Tolo, are you telling these Judges that
14 you do not know that Bosnian Muslims were taken to dig
15 trenches by you and other drivers of the HVO? Are you
16 telling these Judges that?
17 A. I wish to say that if they were taken, they
18 were taken together with others, because I wish to
19 underline, once again, I can't tell when I see somebody
20 in front of me that he's a Muslim or not. It doesn't
21 say what he is on his forehead. Maybe they were,
22 probably they were, but again, they were with others.
23 So there was no exception as to who would go to dig.
24 In the case of Romanies, they have a typical
25 appearance so it's easier to tell who they are.
1 Q. And none of these Bosnian Muslims were in the
2 HVO; were they?
3 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the witness has
4 answered that he doesn't know whether there were any
5 Muslims, and then the Prosecutor says, "And not one of
6 those Muslims was in the HVO," and he has already said
7 that he doesn't know.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, you're right, Mr. Nobilo.
9 Well, this question had already been asked by you,
10 Mr. Kehoe. You've got one question and one minute.
11 MR. KEHOE: If I might have one moment,
12 Mr. President, we may be through.
13 Mr. President, I have no further questions of
14 this witness.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. We're going to have a
16 ten-minute break before resuming the proceedings.
17 --- Recess taken at 4.18 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.55 p.m.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo, you have the
21 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:
22 Q. Mr. Tolo, the last subject you discussed with
23 the Prosecutor was the work obligation, so I should
24 like to ask you a few more questions so as to assist
25 the Court to understand what a work obligation was.
1 You said that you refused Blaskic's offer to
2 join the army, that is the HVO units, in the summer, in
3 July 1992; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In October 1992, you said that you were a
6 driver of a minibus. Will you explain to the Court, on
7 the basis of what were you engaged for the needs of the
9 A. There were several vans and minibuses, and
10 everyone had to make a contribution. All this was
11 organised through the Defence Department. We would
12 drive once a week or twice a week, shifts to
13 Slatkevode. We had a schedule. On the other days we
14 would do our normal duties. I myself --
15 Q. When you were doing your normal
16 duties, please explain to the Court --
17 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. I don't think the
18 witness was finished. He said, "I myself," and then
19 the question came in. With all due respect, counsel, I
20 don't think the witness was finished responding.
21 JUDGE JORDA: That is right, Mr. Nobilo. Put
22 short questions to the witness if you want him to
23 answer quietly, calmly. Take the time it takes.
24 MR. NOBILO:
25 Q. Tell us, please, what was your private job?
1 What were you doing on a daily basis?
2 A. I was maintaining the Vitez-Travnik line for
3 money. That was my job. As a private entrepreneur, I
4 transported people along that line.
5 Q. And for the HVO, as part of your work
6 obligation, how many times a week or a month did you
7 drive HVO soldiers?
8 A. That varied. Sometimes twice a week,
9 sometimes once in a fortnight. So it varied.
10 Q. So in this way you were performing your work
11 obligation from the month of October in 1992 until the
12 beginning of the war in April 1993; is that right?
13 A. Yes, until the beginning of the war.
14 Q. Will you now tell the Court, in legal terms,
15 is there a difference in work obligation, the kind that
16 you performed by driving a minibus for the needs of the
17 HVO, and the only work obligation that your neighbours,
18 the Romanies, did by digging trenches? Is that one in
19 the same work obligation?
20 A. The work obligation is the same. I was
21 making my contribution by driving and they by digging.
22 We would have the same benefits in the sense of
23 cigarettes and food, as far as it was possible under
24 those circumstances, and we also got the same
25 certificates from the HVO in terms of years of service,
1 regulation of years of service and that kind of thing.
2 Q. Tell us, your work obligation in the HVO from
3 October 1992 until April 1993, is it counted in the
4 same way as if you were on the frontlines armed as a
5 member of the HVO?
6 A. I, as a driver and a HVO soldier with a rifle
7 in his hand, were treated in the same way. We had the
8 same status.
9 Q. Was your work obligation recognised as part
10 of your years of service in the same way as a soldier?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Your work obligation, is it recognised in the
13 distribution of shares, in the transformation of
14 socially owned enterprises into privately owned
15 enterprises in the same way as if you were a soldier?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did the Romanies have the status of HVO
18 soldiers in terms of years of service, pensionable
19 years of service and shares of socialist enterprises in
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In the legal sense, in property terms, in
23 terms of revenue, in terms of status, was there any
24 difference between an HVO combatant and somebody who
25 was participating in the war under the work obligation?
1 A. No, everything was the same in terms of
2 revenues, rights and every other way.
3 Q. As far as you know, serving in the army and
4 work obligation, were these two components one and the
5 same obligation?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you ever drive civilians who were under
8 guards or under military escort going to dig trenches?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Where did you drive the civilians from?
11 A. Mostly from my district, Sofa, and from the
12 downtown area.
13 Q. When you were driving from Sofa, or from the
14 downtown area, were the civilians rounded up by
15 civilians, or did they come of their own accord?
16 A. The military commanders would indicate how
17 many people they needed and they would come and I would
18 pick them up.
19 Q. Did anyone ever tell you "I am a Muslim" when
20 he went to dig trenches?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And were there Muslim individuals in the HVO?
23 A. Yes, (redacted). He was a member of the
24 military police. He was my school friend. He was a
25 Muslim and a member of the HVO, and that's how I know,
1 because we went to school together.
2 Q. Let us go on to another area. You told the
3 Prosecutor that you never saw a Blaskic order addressed
4 to Darko Kraljevic, nor were you ever present when
5 Blaskic and Kraljevic were having a conversation.
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. On the basis of which facts did you come to a
8 conclusion regarding relations between Blaskic and
9 Kordic that you told the Court about?
10 A. As a soldier, a driver, I was in the field,
11 surrounded by the military, among others, by the
12 soldiers of Mr. Darko, and through their conversations
13 they would keep saying, "You see how important Darko
14 is? He is God and Blasko is to appeal to him." And
15 there were other soldiers showing off in this sense,
16 either while we were driving or while we were waiting
17 for people to get together for us to take them wherever
18 we were taking them.
19 Q. You were shown a Blaskic command on a
20 disciplinary measure against a member of a unit Zuti on
21 the 26th of November, 1993. So you were shown this
22 order dated the 26th of November, 1993, punishing
23 members of the Zuti unit.
24 Will you explain to the Court, after
25 Commander Tuka seriously wounded Zuti so that the
1 latter ended up in a hospital, and after the Zuti unit
2 killed Tuka, what happened next?
3 A. First members of the Mujna, that is the
4 soldiers under Tuka's command, wanted to take their
5 revenge against members of Zuti, that is, to kill him.
6 But they didn't manage, because after Tuka's killing,
7 this was resolved at a different level.
8 While Zuti was in the hospital, his personal
9 bodyguards were with him, and the soldiers had lost
10 their leader so they were placed under the command of
11 another brigade, so that the number of soldiers were
12 not the same as Zuti had before he went to the
13 hospital. All he had left were his personal bodyguards
14 and the others went and joined the brigade.
15 Q. While Zuti was in the hospital, which unit,
16 and in what way was his unit subordinated?
17 A. The only unit that was capable of such a
18 thing, and that was the 4th Military Police Battalion.
19 Q. Was there an armed conflict? Were there
21 A. There was some shooting.
22 Q. That military operation which subdued the
23 Zuti unit and placed it under another command, did it
24 occur before the punishment was issued or afterwards?
25 A. It was before the measure was taken, after
1 Tuka was killed and to prevent revenge by the Mujnas.
2 So the military police did it before the Mujnas.
3 Q. Are you trying to tell the Court that the
4 military police first subdued the resistance of the
5 Zuti and then disciplinary measures were taken?
6 A. Yes, I tried to say before that Mr. Blaskic
7 would occasionally try to create conditions to
8 establish his control. At the beginning that was not
9 possible, but as time passed he gained more control
10 over individual units and manifested his authority.
11 Q. Let us go to another area, very quickly,
12 now. The Prosecutor showed you the orders that Blaskic
13 issued for starting training as far back as 1992.
14 Tell the Court, did you ever hear of, before
15 the months of August and September, when the training
16 centre in New Bila started working, where you worked
17 too, did anybody ever organise that before?
18 A. In the area of the Lasva River Valley I never
19 heard of training facilities nor did I ever see one.
20 Q. You told me during the break that the screen
21 was not very clear to you. Could you please look at
22 the photograph showing the soldiers, if possible, just
23 look at the photograph from over here.
24 A. (Complies)
25 Q. Please sit down. Did you perhaps recognise
1 any of these soldiers?
2 A. Yes, I did. The second one behind, the one
3 at the second row, rather, they are actually the young
4 soldiers who had completed training at our course, and
5 they ended up in the military police. I don't know the
6 other men by their names, because I really worked with
7 all of them and for a very short period of time. I
8 know them because I would meet them afterwards.
9 Q. Are you trying to tell us that that is
10 precisely these young soldiers that you had trained?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now let us move on to a new area. The
13 Prosecutor tried to get an answer from you which would
14 say that the territorial principle that was taken over
15 from the JNA and the principle one village, one unit
16 are the same. Now I'm asking you the following: In
17 the Territorial Defence, where were weapons and
18 equipment, and who distributed it?
19 A. It was in warehouses, and equipment was
20 distributed at the command post where people would come
21 after they received papers to come. So they would get
22 everything from the warehouse, food, ammunition, and
23 weapons, et cetera, that is to say, according to the
24 Territorial Defence principle of the former Yugoslavia.
25 Q. And what about the village, how did the
1 village get equipment and food? I mean in the HVO
3 A. They bought it mostly on their own. They
4 would procure it in different ways. They would steal
5 it. They would inherit it. And these same weapons
6 were on them all the time, and they kept it at home as
7 their own property, not as part of the military
8 inventory, but as their own things.
9 Q. In the territorial principle of the JNA, who
10 appointed the entire command structure?
11 A. The general staff, and there was a commander
12 who said who would be in charge of what. There was a
13 structure. So it's not from the village that somebody
14 was issuing orders, but the main staff that commanded a
15 broader area.
16 Q. And in the HVO village unit principle, who
17 appointed the commanders there?
18 A. The locals on their own. They chose their
19 commander, and usually this would be a strong guy,
20 somebody who they would be afraid of, perhaps, who
21 would not really meet their requirements, but who would
22 try to fulfill their interests to the greatest possible
24 Q. You said that in the HVO one village was one
25 unit. What was the name of Territorial Defence units
1 and how were they set up?
2 A. After doing one's military service, one had a
3 military booklet saying exactly where one's post was.
4 And in case papers were sent, then people would have to
5 respond and to come for an exercise, and then a unit
6 would be set up, up to the level of company or
8 But in this other situation, the entire
9 village was a unit. So it could have been a group of
10 40 people or a group of 100 people, and they would all
11 be called that village's company.
12 Q. And the Territorial Defence had detachments;
13 is that correct?
14 A. That's correct, several villages, because it
15 depended on the size of the village how many villages
16 would be part of one detachment.
17 Q. And my last area of questioning. You
18 confirmed to the Prosecutor that Blaskic had a strong
19 personality, that he was a psychologist, that he was
20 knowledgeable, that he knew the rules of discipline and
21 he knew how to wield authority. We are saying all of
22 this in terms of the former JNA?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And now I'm asking you the following: These
25 characteristics of his, this knowledge of his, the
1 knowledge that you also acquired in the JNA academy,
2 was it usable at all in Vitez in the situation that you
3 were in at that time, and with the army, the troops
4 that Blaskic had under his command?
5 A. With that mode of work, no, and with the
6 knowledge he had, no, no, he had to change. He had to
7 adjust to the new environment, but not with ones like
8 that, no.
9 Q. And in your opinion, was Blaskic more able,
10 more skillful in the situation that he had in the JNA
11 or the situation that he found in Vitez? Where did he
12 feel better, and where was he more efficient and
14 A. In the former JNA, naturally, that is where
15 he could show his right results. I mean, his true
16 value, that is what I'm saying.
17 MR. NOBILO: That would be all, Mr.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much,
20 Mr. Nobilo. I am now turning to my fellow Judges.
21 Judge Riad you have the floor.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much. Good
23 afternoon, Mr. Tolo. I would like to follow on from
24 the last questions put by Mr. Nobilo. You said that
25 the then Colonel and then General Blaskic was an
1 exemplary commander in all respects. This may imply
2 that he was respected and obeyed by his soldiers. Or
3 was his authority challenged, violated? What do you
5 A. In the former army, that is to say, in the
6 JNA, all the soldiers respected him and they could not
7 disobey his orders. He was an exemplary officer in the
8 former JNA. He came to Vitez as a stranger, a person
9 from the outside, imposed upon someone to the local
10 commanders, and the local commanders were not pleased
11 to see someone else take over something that they had
12 created, the way they had created it.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Did you notice cases of open
14 challenges to his authority?
15 A. Well, the first case of this kind for me was
16 the bad stories that were being told among the rank and
17 file. They did not trust General Blaskic, and that is
18 the first way they opposed his authority and his
19 knowledge, that is to say, while I was in Vitez among
20 the rank and file soldiers.
21 JUDGE RIAD: I believe this is often the
22 case, rank and file soldiers often criticise their
23 officers. But would they show openly that they didn't
24 follow his orders? Apart from the fact they were
25 criticising him, would they show open rebellion? Would
1 they openly not obey his orders?
2 A. I don't know whether General Blaskic ever
3 directly gave orders to such a soldier, all of this
4 went through other commanders, too. And now these
5 higher echelons, how much they limited his scope of
6 authority or not, that I don't know. I mean, I'm not
7 familiar with that.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Well, this forces me to ask you
9 another question and get some specific data as to your
10 rank in the HVO. There seems to be some contradiction
11 between the summary that was given of your testimony
12 and your testimony as such. In the summary I quote,
13 "He declined to join the HVO military and instead
14 undertook various alternative forms of service." You
15 were in the HVO. You did not refuse to join the HVO.
16 You were in it, weren't you? So you are in it or
17 you're out of it.
18 A. Your Honour, at that time, General Blaskic
19 asked me to take part in combat, as an active officer
20 in the Lasva River Valley, in the HVO. However, at
21 that time I had been wounded, physically, so I was
22 physically incapable of carrying out this duty, and for
23 various other reasons that I mentioned.
24 But later, as I started this private activity
25 of my own, in terms of transportation, I was
1 automatically subjected to this work obligation within
2 the scope of defence.
3 JUDGE RIAD: As an HVO officer, or as a
5 A. As a soldier/driver at that time. In my
6 documents perhaps they mentioned my rank from the
7 former JNA, but I was a soldier/driver, in this case.
8 JUDGE RIAD: I believe that you took part in
9 training the younger people. There was a training
10 programme coming from Vukovic, and did you carry out
11 the training?
12 A. From October 1993.
13 JUDGE RIAD: I see. And this training
14 programme was aimed at training soldiers; was it a
15 serious one, or not? And this was a programme that
16 existed before you, or was it not?
17 A. I don't know what curriculum they had before
18 I came up there, but according to the knowledge and
19 skills that the soldiers had exhibited, the trainees
20 had exhibited, I suggested to Mr. Vukovic that we work
21 according to my own training programme. So the point
22 was to actually teach the soldiers what I had been
23 teaching them. So I was the one who wrote my own plan
24 and programme.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Before that, there was training,
1 this was part of a continuous training; wasn't it? You
2 were not the first one to train HVO troops.
3 A. That was the first group of soldiers who were
4 trained in that training centre. Before that were the
5 people who came before me. These same trainees had
6 been in the same barracks a month or two before I
8 So I came there as an instructor among junior
9 soldiers. But this was the first group and the last
10 one that was in these barracks.
11 JUDGE RIAD: And were they properly trained?
12 Were they well trained, or not?
13 A. No way.
14 JUDGE RIAD: You testified -- I wrote down
15 your words. You said that each unit was independent
16 and would not encroach on another unit's territory or
17 tasks. Still, all these units were under the same
18 command; weren't they? As is the case in
19 administration, you have several departments or
20 services, but they are all under one and the same
21 command. So in the military, in the same way, they
22 were under the same command and would obey the same
23 commanding officer; wouldn't they?
24 A. I'm sorry, but I don't understand what period
25 you're asking me about. Because during the initial
1 period they did have the same task, and they were all
2 fighting to defend the Lasva River Valley.
3 But specifically, the special purposes units
4 did not have their own joint commander in the Lasva
5 River Valley in the initial period. But afterwards,
6 when they were encircled as the war continued, if
7 somebody was above Darko, there was no one who was in
8 contact with him. And they were aware, themselves,
9 they had to put one another under somebody's command in
10 order to get ammunition, food, et cetera, so they
11 needed it for logistics purposes. But they really had
12 to see what their own estimates were.
13 JUDGE RIAD: So everybody was waging war the
14 way they pleased?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE RIAD: How should I put it, there were
17 several gangs or troops, so this would come down to
19 A. Well, on the one hand you could describe it
20 that way, but with the same objective, the same
21 ultimate objective.
22 JUDGE RIAD: There is something else I would
23 like to know. I would like to have some details as to
24 the trenches that were being dug at the time. You are
25 in an excellent position to know who is a Muslim and
1 who is a Croat, given that you have parents in both
2 ethnic groups.
3 If you would transport people to places where
4 they were supposed to dig trenches, you were not in a
5 position to ascertain from the way they would speak,
6 their accents, whether they were Croats or Muslim?
7 A. I left when I was 17 years old. I went to
8 military schools. I talked to everyone. My official
9 language was the Serbian version with Ejekavica
10 (phoen). Because when I came back to Vitez, I had a
11 lot of problems, because I spoke the Ejekavica, the
12 Serbian version, and when somebody looked at me they
13 would have thought I was a Serb, judging by my accent.
14 So first of all, I had to get used to
15 speaking the Ejekavica again, our language. And how
16 could I possibly discern what other people were? I
17 simply couldn't tell.
18 JUDGE RIAD: But were there Muslims, or not,
19 by their names?
20 A. I don't know these people. I just arrived
21 there in 1992, and I didn't manage to get to know these
22 people. Had somebody introduced themselves to me, then
23 I could have said more or less who this person was.
24 JUDGE RIAD: You said that no matter who they
25 were, whether they were Romanies, Croats or Serbs,
1 these people were willingly going to dig trenches. Did
2 anybody among them try to flee? And what would happen
3 if somebody was trying to flee?
4 A. As far as the Romanies are concerned, there
5 were some cases when they would escape from trench
6 digging, but then others would cover up for him. So
7 that's the way they handled things, but nobody went to
8 dig voluntarily. I mean, me, for one, I would not like
9 to be engaged in this military work obligation. I
10 would prefer to make a hundred Deutschemarks doing
11 other things, but then I knew that the military police
12 would be after me and I would have to pay a fine and
13 disciplinary action would be taken against me.
14 But since the Romanies were all from one
15 village, they managed to cover up these individual
16 cases when people would escape to their homes. So the
17 commanders did not realise what had happened, so they
18 couldn't take any action against them.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, but they were being guarded
20 when they would dig trenches. They were under the
21 supervision of soldiers who were making sure they
22 wouldn't escape, or was that just to work, what they
23 were doing?
24 A. I already mentioned once, there weren't any
25 military escorts or guards. They were simply brought
1 up there to the frontline where the soldiers were in
2 front of them. The soldiers were out there in the
3 field or behind a rock or whatever, and then they were
4 supposed to dig the trenches where these soldiers were
5 supposed to go into.
6 And, of course, they normally talked to these
7 soldiers, and there were breaks, naturally, and during
8 the break there was no problem to leave, because they
9 usually worked at night, anyway. They, of course, did
10 not have to go in front of the rifles, but they were
11 running back home to the back.
12 JUDGE RIAD: So you would take people, or
13 what you call the civilians or the military, you would
14 take them to places that were very close to the
15 frontline; is that so? Very close to the enemy,
17 A. That was the frontline, naturally.
18 JUDGE RIAD: So they could be hit by the
19 enemy? The enemy could shoot at them; is that right?
20 A. The characteristic of the terrain was that we
21 could be hit when we were in the centre of town,
22 because they were everywhere and they were so near
23 BiH. For example, sometimes the frontlines were 500
24 metres away, as the crow flies, so all of it was the
1 JUDGE RIAD: One last question: You said
2 that criminals were being recruited for the Vitezovi;
3 who would recruit those criminals?
4 A. They volunteered. It's not that anybody had
5 to recruit them and that any one of them would show up
6 and say "I'm a criminal." They would say that they
7 want to volunteer, to be part of the PPN, the special
8 purposes units and the HVO.
9 Darko Kraljevic was in charge of this,
10 together with his commanders, and nobody put any
11 questions to them, and nobody asked them for any
12 documents, and they didn't have to give police records
13 or anything to show whether they were criminals or
14 not. But afterwards they would take advantage of this,
15 in terms of the crimes that they wanted to commit
16 anyway. They didn't do it all the time, but they would
17 go out and commit robbery, for example.
18 But everybody was afraid of Darko, so nobody
19 dared initiate proceedings against these people, so
20 they actually got asylum within the Vitezovi.
21 JUDGE RIAD: But was there no way of sorting
22 through these recruits? It would be dangerous for any
23 army to take anybody in. Were they not trying to see
24 what were the incidents of these would-be soldiers?
25 That might have proved dangerous for the army, couldn't
2 A. As far as I know there wasn't a special
3 selection involved.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolo.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you Judge Riad. I give
6 the floor to Judge Shahabuddeen.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Tolo, I'm trying to
8 grasp the meaning of what you said concerning these
9 independent units.
10 Would the position have corresponded to the
11 popular idea of a warlord? You know, a warlord is
12 supposed to be a military commander who has supreme and
13 unquestioned authority in his own area. He may have
14 understandings or agreements with other warlords, but
15 in his own area his authority is supreme. Was that the
16 idea that you were putting forward?
17 A. As General -- or, rather, Colonel Blaskic
18 came. That was probably what happened, because they
19 brought in a person who had very good prospects in that
20 other army, so he could only be helpful and he could
21 only contribute to the creation of this army. So the
22 idea was certainly there. After all at the end of the
23 war he did carry this through.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Am I correct in
25 understanding you this way: There was an evolution in
1 the system, and that gradually there appeared a more
2 structured form of military authority with one supreme
3 commander at the top? Is that the idea, that there was
4 this gradual evolution?
5 A. Yes. Gradually a central authority was being
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Could you help me with
8 this last point? At what point of time would you say
9 that the evolution had reached a point where
10 General Blaskic was able to exercise effective
11 authority throughout the military structure?
12 A. For me, from my own point of view, when he
13 activated me and when he replaced these untrained and
14 uneducated officers who were only there by virtue of
15 their physical strength, and when he appointed officers
16 from the reserve corps, and also when he would break-up
17 the PPNs, the Special Purposes Units now and then, it
18 is perhaps that period, September or October 1993.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Mr. Tolo.
20 Thank you.
21 A. You're welcome, sir.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Tolo, I only have a couple
23 of questions for you because my colleagues have put all
24 the questions I had in mind to ask, and I thank them
25 for it. You were in charge of training; weren't you?
1 Is that so?
2 A. Yes, from October onwards.
3 JUDGE JORDA: And during the training of
4 those soldiers, who happened to be soldiers, sort of
5 makeshift soldiers who were actually villagers, given
6 the hierarchy you were under, did you think of trying
7 to make them aware of the Laws and Customs of War, of
8 telling them, "This can be done but this may not be
9 done," or did you not try at all?
10 A. There were several instructors, and
11 specifically I was in charge of teaching them how to
12 handle weapons, how to use weapons. So there were
13 several instructors and each one of them had his own
14 area of instruction.
15 JUDGE JORDA: And were there instructors in
16 charge of teaching the laws of war?
17 A. I would call this theory, classical theory,
18 and that was carried out by commanders of platoons and
19 squads. So what was less important at that time -- in
20 those times, that is what they did.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but let's be clear. There
22 is a trend to tell us that commanders would not have
23 such authority, and we heard and we often had the
24 impression that the training was not carried out.
25 Maybe regrettably so. So this is a very simple
1 question I'm putting to you.
2 You are telling me that this activity was not
3 within the scope of your activities. I'm asking you
4 now whether in that same training centre there were
5 colleagues of yours who were in charge of providing
6 this theory. You can answer in a very simple way, by
7 yes or no.
8 A. In the teaching centre, theory was taught by
9 commanders of platoons and commanders of squads, et
10 cetera, and I was there only for a professional
11 training and for subject matter that they were not
12 sufficiently familiar with.
13 JUDGE JORDA: But when you would discuss with
14 colleagues coming from the other training fields, would
15 they tell you, "Yesterday I'm going to tell them what
16 they may do with civilians, what they may not do with
17 them." Would such cases take place or were you left in
18 the dark altogether?
19 A. The instructors who were with me were for
20 tactical operations, for engineering, and that part
21 would belong to Mr. Zvonko Vukovic, and I was not
22 familiar with the teaching plan and programme that he
23 had made.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. I shall not insist on
25 this. I believe you are a driver, or you were a driver
1 for the HVO, but you had some prior military training;
2 is that right? Hence, a very simple question I'd like
3 to put to you. Why did Colonel Blaskic not use you for
4 higher positions or jobs, regardless of your wounding?
5 A. You mean after arriving in Vitez, after
6 Tuzla? After I arrived in Vitez, you mean?
7 JUDGE JORDA: That's right.
8 A. First of all, it was my wish to take a short
9 break, and basically to stay away from military
10 operations and from the military in general from any
11 point of view. He did not tell me then that I would be
12 an instructor, whatever, but he simply mentioned rank
13 to me, and rank would be followed by assignments that
14 he would give me later.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Mr. Tolo, I have no
16 further questions for you. I think you can be
17 released. Thank you very much for coming to the
18 Tribunal to testify before it, for trying to answer the
19 best you could all the questions that you heard. Do
20 not move.
21 It's nearly five past six or 6.00. I think
22 this clock has not been adjusted yet. The only one not
23 to have been adjusted by the Tribunal yet. So we have
24 the feeling we worked even harder than we did.
25 Anyway, the hearing is adjourned. We shall
1 resume tomorrow at 10.00 in the morning.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
3 6.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
4 the 24th day of November, 1998 at
5 10.00 a.m.