1. 1 Monday, 17th May, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 2.08 p.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Usher,

    5 please have the witness brought in.

    6 (The accused/witness entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Good afternoon to the

    8 interpreters, to the court stenographers. I see that

    9 they are here again. Also, good afternoon to counsel

    10 for Prosecution and the Defence, and good afternoon to

    11 the witness.

    12 This is a public hearing. Let me remind

    13 those people who are in the public gallery that in the

    14 trial which is being conducted by the Office of the

    15 Prosecutor against General Blaskic, the accused chose

    16 to testify. Like any witness, he is under oath. This

    17 is now the cross-examination of General Blaskic.

    18 I would like to recall, for reasons that all

    19 of you working in the Tribunal know, and given certain

    20 solemn ceremonies that are taking place at the Peace

    21 Palace, after some hesitation, the Judges have chosen

    22 for a minimal type of formula both to show that they

    23 are participating in an important event a century ago,

    24 that is an advance in International Humanitarian Law

    25 which interests all of us and which marks the progress

  2. 1 of civilisation, and not to disturb the conduct of our

    2 hearings, because our most important work is to render

    3 tribute to International Law and in doing so to devote

    4 ourselves primarily to the trial.

    5 In agreement with my colleagues, as I always

    6 wish to work, with their agreement we decided that we

    7 would not have a hearing tomorrow morning but only

    8 tomorrow afternoon, and we will resume our hearings but

    9 we will begin at 2.00, in the beginning of the

    10 afternoon, and we will stop at 5.30. So that tomorrow

    11 afternoon the registrar has to note that there will be

    12 a hearing from 2.00 until 5.30.

    13 We don't have a great deal of time. Let me

    14 remind the Prosecutor about the time constraints, and

    15 remind the witness as well so he can answer as

    16 concisely as possible those questions that have been

    17 asked him -- that he's been asked by the Prosecutor.

    18 Mr. Prosecutor, please proceed.

    19 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good

    20 afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, Counsel. Good

    21 afternoon, General.

    22 THE WITNESS: Good day.


    24 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:

    25 Q. General, let us turn our attention back to

  3. 1 Prosecutor's Exhibit 678.

    2 General, 678 is the exhibit that we spoke

    3 about at the end of last week concerning the burned

    4 houses in the Busovaca municipality in the area under

    5 HVO control, and of the 112 buildings damaged, we noted

    6 in paragraph 1, 53 were burned down.

    7 Now, General, both during your time in

    8 Kiseljak and after you returned to Vitez on the 3rd of

    9 March, you were aware of crimes committed by HVO troops

    10 in Busovaca, in the Busovaca municipality, were you

    11 not?

    12 A. As regards this document 678, it is only a

    13 partial document that was used for the work of the

    14 joint commission. As for the report --

    15 Q. Excuse me, General, that's not my question.

    16 My question for you is: Were you made aware or were

    17 you aware of crimes committed by HVO troops in the

    18 Busovaca municipality during January and February of

    19 1993? Were you aware of that?

    20 A. As regards the report pertaining to the crime

    21 that was committed by individuals from the HVO when

    22 they took two prisoners to dig trenches, I was informed

    23 about that. I asked for an investigation to be carried

    24 out. The investigation was carried out and the

    25 criminals were prosecuted by the district military

  4. 1 court in Travnik whose seat was in Vitez.

    2 I asked for an investigation to be carried

    3 out about each and every individual crime that I heard

    4 about through reports. I only know about the crimes

    5 that I heard about through the reports of the --

    6 JUDGE JORDA: I think that we've heard that.

    7 Let's move to the next question, please.

    8 MR. KEHOE:

    9 Q. General, what were these crimes that you

    10 heard about that were committed by HVO troops?

    11 A. It was the crime of taking two prisoners or,

    12 rather, taking them out of the district military prison

    13 by force to dig trenches and then these two prisoners

    14 were killed. This was done by a group of persons who

    15 were identified and then criminally prosecuted before

    16 the district military court in Travnik. The seat of

    17 the court was then in Vitez.

    18 Q. Was that the only crime that you were made

    19 aware of?

    20 A. I was informed about that crime, and I was

    21 informed about the crimes that were committed in Lasva,

    22 in the village of Dusina, in Visnjica. Then --

    23 Q. Excuse me, General. If we want to clarify

    24 this, please, we are talking about crimes committed by

    25 HVO troops in the Busovaca municipality. Other than

  5. 1 the two individuals that you allege were convicted for

    2 forcing Muslims to trench dig, what other crimes by HVO

    3 troops were you made aware of that were committed in

    4 the Busovaca municipality?

    5 A. I do not remember having received any other

    6 information related to crimes committed by members of

    7 the HVO. As regards this document, I already said that

    8 this was a partial document, document 678, because a

    9 comprehensive document shows that there was house

    10 burning on both sides. Actually, at a ratio 3 to 1,

    11 Croatian houses compared to Muslims houses that were

    12 burned down.

    13 Q. Well, General, of the 53 houses that were

    14 burnt down and the 112 buildings that were damaged as

    15 we see in 678, did you investigate the method and means

    16 in which those houses were damaged and destroyed, given

    17 that they were in HVO controlled areas or did you just

    18 disregard this?

    19 A. I did not disregard a single report, but I

    20 should clarify how these reports were processed by the

    21 joint commission which was set up in order to take care

    22 of everything that had happened as a result of the

    23 conflict in Busovaca and Kiseljak municipalities, that

    24 is to say, the joint commission collected comprehensive

    25 reports and then it informed me about this as well as

  6. 1 the commander of the 3rd Corps. On the basis of the

    2 conclusions that were reached at meetings, joint orders

    3 were passed as well forbidding the burning of buildings

    4 and other non-military conduct.

    5 So over a longer period of time, this was

    6 dictated by the chief of the European Monitoring

    7 Mission, Mr. Thebault, and most things were done under

    8 the mandate of the European Monitoring Mission within

    9 this joint commission.

    10 Q. General, listen to me very clearly. What HVO

    11 soldiers were disciplined, arrested, or convicted for

    12 burning Muslim houses in the Busovaca municipality in

    13 January and February of 1993?

    14 A. As regards disciplinary action, I already

    15 said that house burning is a criminal offence.

    16 Information reached the commander, then a criminal

    17 report was filed on that kind of offence. So it is not

    18 disciplinary action that could be taken against the

    19 same soldier against whom criminal proceedings were

    20 investigated against, that is to say, criminal

    21 proceedings were initiated at the district military

    22 court in Travnik.

    23 This court was not under my jurisdiction and

    24 I did not have the right to carry out this kind of

    25 prosecution. According to the law on criminal

  7. 1 procedure, I did not have jurisdiction over the

    2 criminal procedure and investigation.

    3 Q. General, my question is very simple. What

    4 information came to your attention about HVO soldiers

    5 burning down houses in Busovaca? What information came

    6 to your attention?

    7 A. For a longer period of time, from January

    8 almost until March, I did not receive any information

    9 because I was isolated and cut off, that is to say, I

    10 spent that time in Kiseljak. I only got information

    11 from the joint commission, that commission which was

    12 chaired by Mr. Dzemo Merdan and by Mr. Franjo Nakic.

    13 The burning of houses is a criminal offence,

    14 and I have no power or control over --

    15 Q. Excuse me, General. Excuse me, General. The

    16 question is: What information came to your attention?

    17 You got back to Vitez on 3 March, 1993. After you got

    18 back to Vitez on 3 March, 1993, what information came

    19 to your attention about HVO soldiers burning houses in

    20 the Busovaca municipality in January and February of

    21 1993?

    22 A. At that time I did not receive any

    23 information, but only at the next meeting. I think it

    24 was in March 1993, in Zenica. This was a joint meeting

    25 between myself and the commander of the 3rd Corps.

  8. 1 At that meeting, in the presence of

    2 Mr. Thebault, a report was submitted on buildings that

    3 were burned down. This was a joint report, and at

    4 these meetings we worked in accordance with the

    5 conclusions of the chairman of this meeting, that is to

    6 say, Mr. Thebault.

    7 Q. Now, what individuals in the HVO were

    8 responsible for these burnings? If you do not

    9 understand the question, General, I will rephrase the

    10 question. But I'm looking for individuals within the

    11 HVO responsible for these burnings based on the

    12 information you received.

    13 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, Mr. Kehoe is

    14 prefacing his questions with "Listen to me very

    15 carefully," and "You're not answering the question,"

    16 and so forth. He's asking different questions. He's

    17 trying to create the impression that he's asking the

    18 same question and not getting an answer, but if you

    19 look at the transcript over the last three or four or

    20 five questions, he's changing the question every time

    21 but making these speeches about how he's unhappy and,

    22 "Oh, won't the witness listen to the question," et

    23 cetera. He should ask questions and keep his comments

    24 to himself, please.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Would you like to make a

  9. 1 comment, Mr. Kehoe, about what Mr. Hayman has just

    2 said?

    3 MR. KEHOE: I think Mr. President and Your

    4 Honours have seen the reluctance with which the witness

    5 wants to answer a direct question. This has been going

    6 on for weeks with the witness being reluctant to answer

    7 a direct question not only from the Prosecutor but also

    8 from Your Honours. In order to cut short that, given

    9 the amount of time that the witness wants to waste

    10 during the answering of those questions, I want to make

    11 those questions very clear and very explicit.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Let me take your place,

    13 Mr. Prosecutor.

    14 I was wondering, General Blaskic, the

    15 question that you were asked for the third time, that

    16 is, whether you were aware of HVO soldiers who had been

    17 sanctioned or punished for those crimes, you at one

    18 point said that it was a procedure for the court, and

    19 at the proper time we will see whether in wartime an

    20 ordinary law court can judge that type of case. You

    21 also said most recently that you held a meeting with

    22 Mr. Thebault. I didn't change my question. I simply

    23 want to know whether HVO soldiers were punished,

    24 whether they were sanctioned. I assume that there

    25 would be disciplinary sanctions. Answer very quickly,

  10. 1 please. A crime is committed -- quickly, please,

    2 succinctly; otherwise I'm going to stop you -- were

    3 there disciplinary measures taken as a result?

    4 I wanted to remind you, Mr. Hayman, that

    5 ordinarily the witness is alone when he has to answer.

    6 Let me remind you of that.

    7 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. President, but you're

    8 pressing him to answer quickly, quickly, quickly. He

    9 doesn't have the translation yet, and it is difficult

    10 because Your Honour speaks very rapidly too. I'm

    11 hearing it in English and it is difficult. In his

    12 language, I'm sure it's difficult too, so please.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, you're right, Mr. Hayman.

    14 Excuse me. I will try to reformulate my question.

    15 When you were asked whether HVO soldiers were

    16 punished in Busovaca, I wanted to ask you only whether

    17 they were sanctioned by the court, and at the same

    18 time, were they the subject of disciplinary measures

    19 that were taken?

    20 A. Mr. President, the practice in the HVO was

    21 the following: If a soldier commits a crime, then a

    22 criminal report is filed against him to the district

    23 military court, and it is not disciplinary action that

    24 follows but criminal prosecution of that person. The

    25 military district prosecutor and the district military

  11. 1 court are in charge of this criminal procedure against

    2 a soldier, but if a disciplinary infraction is

    3 committed --

    4 JUDGE JORDA: I hate to interrupt you,

    5 General Blaskic, but you've said that several times,

    6 and we have the weakness of knowing that now, but that

    7 is not my question. You, as the commander, did you

    8 take any disciplinary measures? For example, they

    9 would not be allowed to return to the HVO.

    10 A. Your Honour, if I received a report that a

    11 soldier, given his name and surname, committed a

    12 disciplinary infraction, then I would certainly take

    13 care of that particular case, and I would certainly

    14 impose a disciplinary action.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I'm speaking to you about

    16 crimes, burned houses. When an HVO soldier -- let me

    17 speak slowly -- is suspected of having committed a war

    18 crime, at the same time, did you begin a disciplinary

    19 procedure?

    20 A. No. A criminal procedure is initiated.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Therefore, at that

    22 point, you keep the soldier as one of your military

    23 personnel?

    24 A. No. The soldier is placed under criminal

    25 investigation, he is detained, and an investigation is

  12. 1 carried out against him, but it is the district

    2 military prosecutor who is in charge.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: We've got to where we wanted to

    4 get. As a commander in the HVO, did your brigade

    5 commanders, and specifically in Busovaca, did they say

    6 that "Starting from such and such a day, we have ten

    7 HVO members who, for alleged crimes, have been brought

    8 to the district military court, and for the time being,

    9 they are no longer part of the HVO army"? Did you have

    10 information in that respect?

    11 A. I did have information in this respect for

    12 this case related to the killing of prisoners of war

    13 who were digging trenches, that is to say, that these

    14 soldiers were sent away from the unit, they were

    15 detained, and a criminal prosecution was initiated

    16 against them. They were no longer members of the HVO

    17 units.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: For all the crimes in Busovaca,

    19 did you have any other information which you might be

    20 able to give to your Defence attorneys? It's important

    21 to know because you're the one who is saying so.

    22 A. Mr. President, I did not have the right to

    23 supervise the work of the district military court;

    24 however, specifically --

    25 JUDGE JORDA: I'm not talking about the

  13. 1 military court's work, General Blaskic. Please listen;

    2 try to focus. I'm asking you, among the members who

    3 were there, with someone who was being brought before

    4 the military trial because of a complaint, you're

    5 saying that ipso facto he would no longer be counted

    6 among the HVO military personnel; is that correct? Did

    7 the Busovaca commander tell you, "Starting tomorrow,

    8 there are ten HVO soldiers who will no longer be part

    9 of the HVO army because they are being tried by the

    10 military court. They are being prosecuted." That's my

    11 question. It's very simple.

    12 A. Yes, he did inform me. I said about this

    13 concrete example of the killing of prisoners of war,

    14 that is to say, that the suspects were sent away from

    15 HVO ranks, that they were detained --

    16 JUDGE JORDA: That one case then. There was

    17 only that one case?

    18 A. I had information about that case. During

    19 the conflict, I was isolated in Kiseljak. I did not

    20 receive all information from units. They arrived to

    21 headquarters in Vitez. I received very little

    22 information.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: You are a general and a

    24 commander in chief who was very poorly informed. At

    25 least that's all we can see.

  14. 1 Please continue, Mr. Prosecutor.

    2 You're missing a lot of information. That's

    3 what can be said. That's the answer that would have

    4 been sufficient to give.

    5 Now, Mr. Prosecutor, please change the

    6 subject area. We're starting with the idea that the

    7 general, who was a colonel at the time, was badly

    8 informed about what was going on in Busovaca.

    9 MR. KEHOE:

    10 Q. Let us turn to the time when you were back in

    11 Vitez, and you got back on the 3rd of March, and you

    12 told us, in response to questions by my colleague, that

    13 you then took steps to fight criminals and criminal

    14 activity in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone; do you

    15 recall that testimony?

    16 A. Yes, I do.

    17 Q. What types of crimes were you trying to stop?

    18 A. All forms of criminal behaviour on the part

    19 of HVO members, that is to say, any activity that

    20 constituted a crime, regardless of whether this was

    21 looting, robbery, highway robbery, the burning of

    22 buildings, any form of criminal activity.

    23 Q. When did you learn that this criminal

    24 activity was going on? Was it a constant type of

    25 activity? Was it intermittent?

  15. 1 A. There were such activities in different

    2 periods of time depending on the situation, on the

    3 military situation. Especially when larger groups of

    4 refugees would come in, for example, from Jajce, then

    5 there were more criminals on the ground as well.

    6 However, the greatest problem was to establish, under

    7 those circumstances, who the protagonists of crime

    8 were, whether it was civilians or soldiers, because the

    9 same person would play the role of a soldier from one

    10 to seven days, and then after that, for 21 days, he

    11 would be a civilian, this person, and live in a home

    12 with his family.

    13 So it was very difficult to establish whether

    14 the perpetrator of the crime was a soldier or a

    15 civilian, especially because criminal offences were

    16 usually committed at night and in conditions when it

    17 was very difficult to discover this.

    18 Q. General, do you believe that you did

    19 everything in your power to stop this criminal

    20 activity?

    21 A. Yes. I'm deeply convinced that I did

    22 absolutely everything that was within my power to stop

    23 this, and I also tried to extend my command

    24 responsibilities because I kept insisting on changing

    25 the structure of the HVO. Because I said that the

  16. 1 military police was an instrument of command and

    2 control but also an important instrument of security

    3 which was not under my command, which certainly made it

    4 more difficult to prevent violence, terror, and crime

    5 within my zone of responsibility. So we tried for a

    6 longer period of time to eliminate the protagonists of

    7 unrest and crime in the HVO.

    8 Q. What steps did you take to eliminate these

    9 criminals within the HVO when you came back in March of

    10 1993?

    11 A. I demanded from my immediate subordinates to

    12 identify all the protagonists of destructive behaviour

    13 and criminal behaviour, then to make out lists of such

    14 persons, to try to disarm them, and also take their war

    15 assignments way from them, that is to say, that the

    16 competent civilian authorities give such persons a

    17 different war duty, that it be work duty rather than

    18 military duty, so that at least formally, they would be

    19 prevented from carrying weapons and keeping military

    20 equipment and other means in their hands which made

    21 them even more powerful. So practically in every

    22 brigade, we managed to identify lists with the

    23 protagonists of such criminal behaviour.

    24 In addition to this, I tried to change the

    25 structure within the organisation of the military

  17. 1 police. The civilian authorities also passed decisions

    2 on curfew in order to restrict the possibility of

    3 committing violence against all citizens and improving

    4 law and order within this area that was within the zone

    5 of responsibility of Central Bosnia.

    6 Q. General, tell us about these criminal groups

    7 that you discussed on direct examination. What were

    8 the names of these criminal groups?

    9 A. These were groups in the Lasva River Valley,

    10 practically in every municipality, and they were

    11 organised round individuals, round their leaders. Most

    12 often, individuals from these groups were infiltrated

    13 into HVO units as well. There were different groups,

    14 and usually they were called by the name of their

    15 leader, Poskoci, Celavi, and they were readily

    16 recognisable by their hairstyles. They had short

    17 haircuts, and they were well-armed, well-equipped, and

    18 they had high quality weapons.

    19 Q. Well, was the Vitezovi one of these groups?

    20 A. There were individuals within the Vitezovi

    21 who took part in such groups, but the whole unit had a

    22 total of about 120 soldiers, and it's not that the

    23 entire unit belonged to this kind of a group.

    24 However, the Vitezovi had a high degree of

    25 autonomy and, otherwise, a high degree of independence

  18. 1 as well. One could not say, though, that all of them

    2 were in a criminal group but there were individuals of

    3 this nature in Vitezovi as well.

    4 Q. So in addition to having, in your view, a

    5 high degree of autonomy, there were criminals within

    6 the Vitezovi as well; is that right?

    7 A. Well, there were persons who had a criminal

    8 record from the former structure, before they belonged

    9 to the HOS. They were established from three different

    10 municipalities, and most of them were young men from

    11 Vitez who only changed their name from the HOS into the

    12 special purpose unit Vitezovi, and they had a high

    13 degree of autonomy. However, it is certain that the

    14 whole unit was not a criminal one.

    15 Q. Well, you told us during your direct

    16 examination, on page 18085, that on the 15th of

    17 November General Merdan was arrested and taken into

    18 custody by the Vitezovi. That is on the page, as I

    19 noted, 18085.

    20 On 18095 you told us that on the 2nd of

    21 January, in the town of Vitez, opening of fire as well

    22 as active provocation by the special purpose unit

    23 Vitezovi in the course of the 2nd of January. You also

    24 told us, page 18267, that General Merdan informed you

    25 that the Vitezovi were dealing with problems in the

  19. 1 individual villages by using ultimatums and he had in

    2 mind Bosnian Muslim villages.

    3 This is the same group that is controlled by

    4 Darko Kraljevic, who, in response to Judge Rodrigues's

    5 question on page 19510, you noted that: "The commander

    6 of the Vitezovi had a selective approach to my orders,

    7 so if he considered or if his position coincided with

    8 the duties that I assigned to him, then he would carry

    9 them out. If not, then he would not carry them out or

    10 he would carry them out as he saw fit."

    11 Now, that's one in the same group that

    12 contains these criminal -- well, some criminal elements

    13 that you wanted to remove from Central Bosnia; is that

    14 right?

    15 A. I didn't understand the last question. I

    16 don't know what it pertains to. I tried to remove

    17 him? Who is he? Who is the person I'm trying to

    18 remove from Central Bosnia, or perhaps the

    19 interpretation was wrong.

    20 Q. I apologise. You wanted to remove the

    21 Vitezovi as an independent unit from Central Bosnia;

    22 isn't that right?

    23 A. Yes. I asked the members of the joint

    24 command to do that. I wanted this unit to be

    25 dislocated from Central Bosnia. I wanted it to be in

  20. 1 Mostar where its direct command and headquarters were.

    2 But in relation to the abduction of Dzemo

    3 Merdan, I would like to say a few words. It is true

    4 that this happened. However, I found out about the

    5 reason only later, because there were mutual arrests

    6 between the Vitezovi and the army of

    7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the commander tried to free

    8 them, et cetera, et cetera.

    9 As for resolving the problem of the

    10 ultimatum, I think it is very important to understand

    11 that I asked Dzemo Merdan to tell me in which villages

    12 the Vitezovi were presenting ultimatums and solving

    13 problems by ultimatums, and Mr. Dzemo Merdan didn't

    14 give an answer, any answer, to that. He didn't say

    15 which villages this concerned or where this was

    16 happening. So I thought that this claim was made at

    17 this meeting but it was unspecified.

    18 Q. General, the bottom line with the Vitezovi

    19 is, according to your testimony, there were criminals

    20 within the Vitezovi and the Vitezovi and its commander

    21 essentially did what they wanted; isn't that right?

    22 A. Reading document 250 that I read through

    23 several days ago, I saw that they did certain

    24 operations on command, but I had no insight into the

    25 orders they were receiving, and I thought they were

  21. 1 doing this arbitrarily, on their own, or following the

    2 wishes of their commander. There were situations where

    3 they took independent decisions, the commanders of the

    4 Vitezovi that is, and sometimes they were following

    5 orders from their superiors. However, in both cases,

    6 in both situations, I was not informed about their

    7 actions.

    8 So what I found very difficult is I was not

    9 able to establish control over their activities, in

    10 fact, and this made it very difficult for me to operate

    11 in the Central Bosnia area.

    12 Q. Let us turn to the military police, and in

    13 response to this question and answer by Mr. Nobilo at

    14 18405 at line 2, Mr. Nobilo notes that:

    15 "Q On 24 March --"

    16 And that's 24 March, 1993, General.

    17 "Q On 24 March there was something

    18 relative to the military police. You

    19 had a discussion with the deputy

    20 commander. If you can tell us now so

    21 that we don't have to repeat it every

    22 day, because now we will encounter this

    23 more frequently, what was the situation

    24 like in the military police with respect

    25 to crime?

  22. 1 A Within the military police, there was

    2 some perpetrators of criminal acts. In

    3 other words, individuals who had

    4 previous criminal records, and on

    5 several occasions, I insisted that

    6 measures against such individuals be

    7 taken as part of the reorganisation of

    8 the military police."

    9 Now, General, as of -- do I have the wrong

    10 page, counsel?

    11 MR. HAYMAN: 18405?

    12 MR. KEHOE: I believe that's correct,

    13 counsel.

    14 MR. HAYMAN: Wrong transcript, counsel.

    15 MR. KEHOE: Then it's either 18394 -- top of

    16 the page.

    17 Q. General, as of the 24th of March, you were

    18 aware of criminals within the military police; is that

    19 right?

    20 A. I knew that as of that date there were indeed

    21 individuals who had criminal records and who had

    22 committed certain crimes. That is why I demanded that

    23 corresponding measures be taken against them.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Answer the question, General.

    25 There is no need -- well, you already said that

  23. 1 starting the 24th of March there were individuals with

    2 criminal records. Please continue.

    3 MR. KEHOE:

    4 Q. Approximately how many individuals within the

    5 military police had criminal records? Would it be in

    6 excess of 100 or in excess of 200? How many?

    7 A. Approximately, taking the whole of the 4th

    8 Battalion, about 100 individuals for which I sought

    9 measures to be taken against them.

    10 Q. What types of crimes that you were informed

    11 had that these members of the military police

    12 committed?

    13 A. I did not receive specific information as to

    14 the types of crimes committed. What I did receive was

    15 information that they were individuals with criminal

    16 records, that is to say, individuals who had previous

    17 criminal records before the war broke out, and that

    18 these criminal records were kept as records -- indeed

    19 are kept by the police station in the towns and areas.

    20 Q. Well, in addition to the criminal records

    21 that these individuals had, you were also informed of

    22 such things as abuse of prisoners in Kaonik camp, which

    23 came after your discussion with Mr. Aleksovski, the

    24 warden of the prison, and that conversation took place

    25 on the 25th of March, 1993, is that correct, sir?

  24. 1 MR. KEHOE: That, I believe, is at 18398,

    2 counsel, top of the page, lines 3 through 6.

    3 Q. I can read it to you, General, if you see

    4 fit.

    5 "Q Did he ..."

    6 Speaking of Aleksovski.

    7 "... have any complaints about the

    8 military police?

    9 A Yes. He also had certain complaints

    10 about the behaviour of individual

    11 members of the military police and their

    12 treatment of detainees and, also, their

    13 treatment of the guards at the district

    14 military police prison."

    15 So you had that information as well.

    16 A. I received that information at the meeting,

    17 from the warden, yes.

    18 Q. Did information about the military police

    19 abusing detainees, and the guards -- you knew that

    20 there were approximately 100 with criminal records in

    21 the military police -- what other crimes were you

    22 informed that the military police were committing in

    23 Central Bosnia while you were under command? For

    24 clarity's sake, if I might just shorten it, prior to

    25 Ahmici. Prior to the 16th of April.

  25. 1 A. I did not have information that the members

    2 of the military police had perpetrated war crimes

    3 before that, before the events in Ahmici. I did not

    4 have any information of that kind, not for any of the

    5 members of the military police.

    6 I spoke about the criminal records that

    7 existed before the war broke out, for those individuals

    8 whom I -- because I considered these individuals could

    9 not be members of the military police if they had

    10 previous criminal records.

    11 Q. Well, General, let us turn to Tvrtko, the

    12 special purpose unit Tvrtko. What was the status of

    13 the members of the Tvrtko? Did they also contain

    14 individuals with criminal records in their ranks?

    15 A. I did not have any data on them, that is to

    16 say, whether there were individuals with criminal

    17 records. I don't remember receiving any information of

    18 that nature.

    19 Q. Now, there was another group that was

    20 controlled by an individual by the name of Zuti which

    21 Mr. Nobilo described in page 19612 as "Mafioso boss,"

    22 and I quote. Tell us a little bit about Zuti and his

    23 criminal activities.

    24 A. Well, he was within the composition of the

    25 military police unit when the military police was

  26. 1 organised to begin with. He was an influential

    2 individual in the region and, for the most part, crime

    3 groups would refer to him during their operations. As

    4 I say, he was a mighty individual, a powerful

    5 individual, and members of the UNPROFOR would contact

    6 him as well. I think I mentioned that in the course of

    7 my testimony previously. There were groups from

    8 different local communities, municipalities, Travnik,

    9 Novi Travnik, and Vitez, and they would refer to

    10 authorisation from Zuti, although, there was little

    11 data on his personal influence and personal activities.

    12 Q. Tell us about the information that you

    13 received about the crimes that Zuti was committing.

    14 What crimes was Zuti and his Mafia group committing?

    15 A. Most frequently it was looting and gaining

    16 material, wealth, and black marketeering. Black

    17 marketeering under wartime conditions. That would be

    18 the best term to use. The looting of convoys, seizing

    19 various goods from the convoy, high-profit goods,

    20 cigarettes, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and the

    21 individuals would refer to his name.

    22 Q. Well, let us turn to a few of those

    23 instances, and let me turn first to Defence Exhibit

    24 213.

    25 Now, General, this is a Defence document

  27. 1 concerning the incident where one of Zuti's gang, Ferdo

    2 Gazibaric, was brought in for questioning by the

    3 military police. Then Zuti, Zarko Andric, and other

    4 individuals from Vitezovi and Tvrtko II broke him out

    5 of the gaol; is that right?

    6 A. Yes, that's right. I was in Kiseljak when

    7 the incident occurred.

    8 Q. The person who wrote this is Pasko Ljubicic,

    9 the commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion;

    10 correct?

    11 A. Yes. Pasko Ljubicic wrote the report to his

    12 superiors, Valentin Coric and to the SIS head Ivica

    13 Lucic in person, but I did not receive this document

    14 and it wasn't addressed to me either.

    15 Q. The other person that signs this document is

    16 Miso Mijic, a commander of SIS; is that correct?

    17 A. Miso Mijic, I don't know what his functions

    18 in SIS were apart from the fact that sometime from

    19 April he was the head of the SIS centre. He has signed

    20 himself here as official -- SIS official for the

    21 Central Bosnia Operative Zone. Perhaps that is within

    22 the structure, although I don't know the structure but

    23 I do know that he was head of SIS at one point.

    24 Q. You were made aware of these events that were

    25 taking place in Vitez and in Busovaca while you were in

  28. 1 Kiseljak, weren't you?

    2 A. Yes. By telephone, the ordinary type of

    3 civilian telephone, I was informed about the events and

    4 I had the opportunity of talking to both the

    5 participants, that is to say, with Pasko Ljubicic, who

    6 informed me about it, and with Zuti, who was next to

    7 Pasko in the same office. The events were also

    8 witnessed by a major belonging to UNPROFOR.

    9 Q. When you returned to Vitez on the 3rd of

    10 March, 1993, did you order the arrest of Ferdo

    11 Gazibaric for these events?

    12 A. I demanded of the assistant for security that

    13 a complete investigation be undertaken on the events,

    14 what Zuti had done and what his group had done and,

    15 once again, that Ferdo Gazibaric be returned to prison,

    16 but the incident was a major incident and there were

    17 some problems because it was an incident within the

    18 military police itself.

    19 Q. Nothing happened either to Ferdo Gazibaric or

    20 to Zarko Andric, also known as Zuti, or to any members

    21 of the Vitezovi, or to any members of Tvrtko II for

    22 this breaking out of Ferdo Gazibaric from prison; isn't

    23 that right? Nothing happened?

    24 A. That is not correct. That is not correct.

    25 Mr. Ferdo Gazibaric, after a certain amount of time,

  29. 1 committed another criminal act. Then, with

    2 remuneration, monetary remuneration, and with the help

    3 of the members of the BH army, he fled to south-western

    4 Herzegovina. He escaped there.

    5 When I received authorisation of direct

    6 authority over the military police, I asked that the

    7 commander of the military police dispatch a writ for

    8 him to be returned, which was dispatched to Mostar and

    9 Gazibaric, and he was arrested. He was returned on the

    10 basis of this warrant. He was taken to the military

    11 district prison and tried at the military district

    12 court in Vitez.

    13 Furthermore, measures were taken against the

    14 other members who had taken part in these activities in

    15 November 1993. When an attempt was made to arrest

    16 them, there was an armed conflict between the members

    17 of the military police and the members of this criminal

    18 group, and eight to ten of them were arrested and put

    19 into prison, the district prison, and they were

    20 prosecuted at the military district court in Vitez.

    21 So these members were prosecuted and one of

    22 them lost their life in this shoot-out with the

    23 military police. A military police member was also

    24 wounded in this settling of accounts with the group

    25 that called itself the Zuti group or whatever else they

  30. 1 chose to call themselves.

    2 Q. General, this event that took place between

    3 the 26th and -- between the 27th of February, 1993 and

    4 the time when Zuti was shot and essentially paralysed

    5 on the 22nd of October of 1993, did you arrest Zuti for

    6 this outrageous act?

    7 A. Zuti, at the time you're asking me about, was

    8 a member of the military police, so I had no authority

    9 to even issue a disciplinary measure, let alone detain

    10 a member of the military police. This was not under my

    11 competencies. It was under the competency and the

    12 authority of the military police. So I wasn't able to

    13 give a disciplinary measure to the members of the

    14 military police. He was within the military police of

    15 the 4th Battalion, and Mr. Pasko Ljubicic was his

    16 superior. But I requested that an investigation be

    17 conducted, and I asked the security service, in

    18 addition to this material, the assistant SIS individual

    19 investigate it within the military police.

    20 Q. The bottom line, General, is that Zuti was

    21 not arrested between the 27th or the 28th of February

    22 and the 22nd of October, 1993 when he was shot; isn't

    23 that right?

    24 A. Well, he was not arrested, as far as I know,

    25 but I did not have information as to what the military

  31. 1 police undertook against him, what measures they took

    2 against him, because when he perpetrated this incident,

    3 he was, as I say, a member of the military police.

    4 Q. Let us turn our attention to Prosecutor's

    5 Exhibit 97. If we can highlight 97 and the other

    6 exhibits that I gave you a list of, please. It does

    7 note in 213 of this report, does it not, that:

    8 "From the rooms of the 4th Military Police

    9 Battalion, communication was established with Colonel

    10 Blaskic in Kiseljak. The situation they found

    11 themselves in was described to him, as well as the

    12 consequences which could result if their demands were

    13 not met and armed conflict occurred. Blaskic's

    14 suggestion was to do all this without the use of force

    15 and without bloodshed."

    16 Now, you were the one that was making the

    17 decisions on how the military police was going to

    18 conduct themselves in this matter, weren't you?

    19 A. Let me clarify here, Your Honours. The

    20 members of the military police attacked the command of

    21 the military police, the military police headquarters,

    22 and it was a settling of accounts within the military

    23 police because the military police had arrested a

    24 criminal and placed him in the district prison. When

    25 the military police was completely disarmed and the

  32. 1 commander of the military police found himself in front

    2 of his subordinate disarmed, he called me and informed

    3 me that he had been completely disarmed and that they

    4 threatened to liquidate him unless this particular

    5 criminal, Gazibaric, were freed from the prison, the

    6 district prison.

    7 I then wanted to contact the chief of that

    8 particular band, group of men, and told him not to free

    9 the prisoner by force, that this was illegal, against

    10 the law, and that he must be conscious of all the

    11 consequences of acting in that way were he to opt to do

    12 so. He told me over the telephone, he said, "Okay."

    13 Now, this "all right," I understood this to mean that

    14 he would not undertake the next step, that is to say,

    15 to attack the district prison and free the prisoner by

    16 force.

    17 Despite saying "all right" to me and despite

    18 agreeing with my position, he went to the district

    19 prison and forcefully freed the prisoner. The

    20 individual writing the report did not hear my

    21 conversation, the conversation that I had by

    22 telephone. It was an ordinary civilian telephone that

    23 I used for the conversation.

    24 Q. In the third-to-last paragraph of that

    25 document, Ljubicic notes:

  33. 1 "I received on time the information about

    2 the intentions of this group to free Gazibaric by means

    3 of firearms, and at the same time I warned about what

    4 would happen, so that there were many possibilities to

    5 organise the military police units and to prevent this

    6 group on time in their intentions."

    7 Now, on routine police matters, the military

    8 police was under your command. While operating as

    9 such, did Pasko Ljubicic warn you what was going to

    10 happen?

    11 A. Pasko Ljubicic, in that situation, was

    12 directly subordinate to the military police command

    13 according to the regulations on the organisation of the

    14 military police and according to explanations given to

    15 me by the officer of the military police in the

    16 presence of General Petkovic at a meeting on the 13th

    17 of December, 1992.

    18 Pasko Ljubicic called me up on the 27th of

    19 February, 1993 when the attack had already been

    20 completed and when he had been disarmed. So this group

    21 here, it transpired, was connected to other groups and

    22 was far stronger than the military police at the time,

    23 both with regard to their arms, the weapons they had.

    24 They had tanks within their composition, guns, that is,

    25 so it was very difficult to disarm these groups by

  34. 1 force. They were strong.

    2 Q. You would agree, General, that this act or

    3 crime by Zuti and his members was a very, very serious

    4 matter in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, wasn't

    5 it?

    6 A. Of course it was a serious matter, but the

    7 situation in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone was

    8 similar when the refugees from Jajce came into conflict

    9 with the Croats in Novi Travnik, and I think that this

    10 was an incident within the military police, as I say.

    11 There were other attacks on the district prison --

    12 Q. Excuse me. I have another question. If we

    13 can turn our attention to Prosecutor's 97? In

    14 prosecutor's 97, at 3D, this date is May the 11th,

    15 "... were two Muslim families in Nova Bila forced out

    16 of their houses by a special HVO unit, and two Croat

    17 families took over the houses. The commander of the

    18 HVO unit had the nickname Zuti or 'Yellow.'"

    19 It is signed down at the bottom by Lars

    20 Baggesen who was a witness before this Court and

    21 another individual, Stavros, and I'm not sure what the

    22 pronunciation of that Greek name is.

    23 Nevertheless, Mr. Baggesen testified at page

    24 978 about this incident: "Who did you complain to

    25 about this incident?" We can move up to the top on

  35. 1 1978 on line 3:

    2 "Q Where is Nova Bila?

    3 A This is close to Vitez. We went to that

    4 area and we witnessed two Muslim

    5 families were forced out of their

    6 houses, and their houses were given over

    7 to Croat families.

    8 Q Who forced them out of their houses?

    9 A It was an HVO unit, we were able to see

    10 that, and we were told the commander of

    11 this HVO unit had the nickname Zuti. We

    12 heard this name on other occasions as

    13 well."

    14 Line 22 of 1978:

    15 "Q Who did you complain to about this

    16 incident?

    17 A On our way back, we passed Colonel

    18 Blaskic, and we complained about this to

    19 Colonel Blaskic.

    20 Q You said you passed Colonel Blaskic.

    21 You passed the Hotel Vitez and you went

    22 into his headquarters and you told him

    23 about the incident? What did he say?

    24 A He said he was sorry and he would try to

    25 do something about it."

  36. 1 What did you do about it, General?

    2 A. Well, I asked that all information be sent to

    3 me on this incident and who the perpetrators were who

    4 had expelled the Bosniak Muslim families. I can't

    5 remember the names and everything else at the moment.

    6 But in cases of that kind, I would have talks with

    7 those who were expelled and ask the military police to

    8 ensure their return. I have jotted down some of the

    9 names that I found in my notes and records, but I can't

    10 remember the specifics of each individual case at this

    11 point in time.

    12 Q. Did you order the military police to arrest

    13 Zuti for expelling Bosnian Muslims from their homes,

    14 after you had written all these orders prohibiting

    15 that? Did you do that? If you did, when?

    16 A. I issued an order to the military police to

    17 arrest all the members of those criminal groups who

    18 referred to Zuti, and that was sometime at the end of

    19 October and beginning of November 1993, when I

    20 succeeded in organising and forming and capacitating

    21 the military police. I was not in a position to issue

    22 and command the military police until July 1993 because

    23 the military police was subordinate to the military

    24 police head office. I just had the right to issue them

    25 daily operative assignments.

  37. 1 Q. General, information was brought to your

    2 attention on the 11th of May, 1993 about a military

    3 policeman in your zone of operations committing crimes

    4 against Muslims. Did you go to the district military

    5 prosecutor and refer that information that Mr. Baggesen

    6 had given to you so that Zuti could be arrested and

    7 prosecuted?

    8 A. If information arrived that the members of

    9 the HVO had committed a certain offence, then that

    10 information -- what I did was I would ask the assistant

    11 for security to check the whole matter, to investigate

    12 the case, and then to file a criminal report with the

    13 district military court. The military police had a

    14 crime department within its composition who also had

    15 the task of filing criminal reports with the military

    16 district court.


    18 General, Mr. Kehoe asked you this question:

    19 "Did you go to the district military prosecutor and

    20 refer that information that Mr. Baggesen had given to

    21 you so that Zuti could be arrested and prosecuted?"

    22 Would you mind telling me what is your answer to that

    23 question? Did you go to the district military

    24 prosecutor, et cetera?

    25 A. Your Honour, I do not recall how Major

  38. 1 Baggesen formulated his assertion. Did he say they

    2 were members of the HVO or did he say in concrete terms

    3 that they were members of the HVO and the Zuti group?

    4 But if I did receive a complaint that individual

    5 members of the HVO had done something wrong, then I

    6 would ask the assistant for security to check it out,

    7 to check out the information, and then to send in a

    8 written report to me on what really took place. If

    9 they were the members of the HVO and the home guard

    10 units, then a criminal report would be filed with the

    11 military district court. I have a case dated the 27th

    12 of May, and it was a case of Nesib Ahmic who was thrown

    13 out of his home and who was returned later on with

    14 assurances from the military police.

    15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do I understand your

    16 position to be this, that you did not regard the

    17 information which Mr. Baggesen gave you as sufficiently

    18 concrete for you to refer to the military court?

    19 A. If Mr. Baggesen informed me that the members

    20 of the HVO did that without specifying who, I asked the

    21 security service to check this out and to get the

    22 actual names and surnames so that I could give this

    23 information to the military court or, rather, the

    24 military prosecutor.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: But you didn't have

  39. 1 information of that kind to enable you to refer the

    2 matter to the military prosecutor; is that it? I'm

    3 trying to understand you.

    4 A. When Major Baggesen gave me this information,

    5 I can only assume now that he did not give me the names

    6 and surnames of the members of the HVO who committed

    7 such an offence.

    8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, General.

    9 MR. KEHOE:

    10 Q. Now, General, certainly you know that the

    11 district military prosecutor has the capability and is

    12 authorised to conduct investigations himself; isn't

    13 that right?

    14 A. I believe he is authorised, although I'm not

    15 a lawyer, to carry out an investigation on this, but I

    16 know that members of the civilian and military police

    17 would file criminal reports concerning all events to

    18 the district prosecutor who would then decide on

    19 whether proceedings would be initiated. Then I would

    20 receive information on the sum total of criminal

    21 reports. During the first three months, there were 92

    22 criminal reports altogether, which is a lot for that

    23 area.

    24 Q. General, based on the event of the 11th of

    25 May, 1993 where you were informed that Muslims were

  40. 1 being expelled from their homes in Nova Bila by members

    2 of Zuti's group, did anything happen to either Zuti or

    3 to any member of his group as a result of this event?

    4 A. Measures were taken against all who were

    5 expelling people. Already on the 21st of April, I

    6 issued an order prohibiting expulsions and asking for

    7 security and safety.

    8 Q. I'm talking about the event of the 11th of

    9 May, 1993 that was brought to your attention by Major

    10 Baggesen concerning the expulsion of Muslims from Nova

    11 Bila by Zuti and his members. Did anything happen to

    12 Zuti or any of his members as a result of that crime

    13 that you were put on notice of?

    14 A. At this moment, I do not have individual

    15 information here with me on all the disciplinary

    16 measures that were taken or the criminal measures that

    17 were taken. I had numerous information, but at my

    18 level, I did not have information as to names.

    19 Q. Now, General, let us move to another incident

    20 on Zuti where you sent your chief of staff, Franjo

    21 Nakic, up to deal with, and that had to do with the

    22 theft of General Alagic's automobile by Zuti and Zuti's

    23 members; do you recall that?

    24 A. Could you tell me which date you're talking

    25 about?

  41. 1 Q. The 2nd of June.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: I think we're going to take a

    3 break. This is going to be a new area that you're

    4 getting into. I suggest that we take a 20-minute

    5 break.

    6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

    7 --- Recess taken at 3.20 p.m.

    8 --- On resuming at 3.50 p.m.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing.

    10 Please be seated. Mr. Kehoe?

    11 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.

    12 Q. General, did you have a chance to look at

    13 your chronology, and if you did, do you recall the

    14 event where Zuti and his men stole Alagic's property

    15 from him?

    16 A. I did not recall such an event nor did I

    17 speak of such an event.

    18 Q. Do you recall sending your chief of staff,

    19 Franjo Nakic, to meet with Zuti to get Alagic's

    20 property back?

    21 A. I do not recall having spoken about that. If

    22 you have it somewhere. I did speak about the incident

    23 with the commander of the Operative Group of Bosanska

    24 Krajina, Alagic, on the 2nd of June, 1993 but and not

    25 in that context and not about that event.

  42. 1 Q. In that context, did Zuti and his men take

    2 Alagic's property?

    3 A. Your Honours, perhaps the interpretation is

    4 not proper. The question was whether Zuti and his men

    5 take away Alagic's property. They did not. The

    6 members of Zuti did not have an incident on the 2nd of

    7 June, 1993 with General Alagic.

    8 It was this way: Commander Alagic was

    9 stopped and provoked by the members of the Travnik

    10 Brigade of the HVO. If that is the incident that

    11 you're referring to. I sent two officers,

    12 Mr. Jazbinski and Mr. Lovrenovic, with a letter of

    13 apology and they were supposed to report to Mr. Alagic

    14 with that.

    15 Q. Let us turn our attention to yet another

    16 order of yours, General, and we'll look at 456/37. I'm

    17 interested in the English version that was signed by

    18 the General.

    19 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. There is an English

    20 version that is signed by the General. That is the

    21 translation. There is an English version that is

    22 signed by the witness. If we can go up just a little

    23 further on that. Up the other way, Mr. Usher.

    24 Q. Now, General, this was an order that was

    25 signed by you on the 19th of June, 1993, and in number

  43. 1 3 it notes, among other things that: "Every stealing

    2 and holding of property shall be punished and solved

    3 through the military discipline measures and courts."

    4 The distribution, in the lower left-hand

    5 corner, is to all the HVO brigades and all the

    6 independent units under the command of the HVO

    7 3rd Operative Zone commander, MTD, 4th LTRD, the

    8 4th Military Police Battalion, the Vitezovi, Tvrtko II,

    9 and Zuti.

    10 Now, this is signed by you, isn't it,

    11 General?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. You describe these units, the 4th Military

    14 Police Battalion, Vitezovi, Tvrtko II, and Zuti as

    15 being under your command; isn't that right?

    16 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, regrettably, once

    17 again the interpreters are putting in words, key words,

    18 that do not exist here and they work to the detriment

    19 of our client. I thought that this was -- at first I

    20 thought it was an accident but now I see it is not.

    21 Look at this translation first. In the

    22 bottom left corner --

    23 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel. Before you

    24 make accusations, let us make sure that we are talking

    25 about the document that is signed by the accused.

  44. 1 It is an English document signed by the

    2 accused that is part of 456/37. In the lower left-hand

    3 corner, in English, in the English version that the

    4 witness signed, it notes: "All the independent units

    5 under the command of the HVO, 3rd Operative Zone

    6 Commander."

    7 JUDGE JORDA: We're talking about an English

    8 document here.

    9 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President. Perhaps I

    10 have been misunderstood. I'm not talking about the

    11 translation and interpretation unit of this court, I'm

    12 talking about Blaskic's people.

    13 I suggest that the original text in Croatian

    14 be put on the ELMO, the one that Blaskic could have

    15 read, and then you will see that it does not say: "All

    16 the independent units under the command of the HVO, the

    17 Commander of the 3rd Operative Zone," but it says --

    18 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel.

    19 Mr. President, this is a matter for redirect

    20 examination if counsel so chooses to bring this matter

    21 up in redirect examination.

    22 This is an exhibit that was signed by the

    23 accused where the witness makes representations to the

    24 International Community that these units are under his

    25 command. Now, if counsel wants to talk about this in

  45. 1 redirect, he's certainly free to do so, I would

    2 suspect.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic has to answer.

    4 Let me remind you once again that your client chose to

    5 become a witness and he has to be allowed to testify as

    6 he wants to. You will always be in a position to

    7 reply.

    8 It does seem that this is a document in

    9 English which is signed by General Blaskic, who at the

    10 time was a Colonel, Colonel Blaskic.

    11 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, but under

    12 the same number you have the document in the Croatian

    13 language and it is identical except for this part where

    14 it says that these are units under the command of

    15 General Blaskic. That's what I'm talking about. It is

    16 the same number, 38. There is the Croatian version

    17 that Blaskic understood and read. He doesn't

    18 understand the English version. I'm just showing this

    19 significant difference.

    20 At first I thought that this was a mistake in

    21 the interpretation here, but then after a few seconds I

    22 saw that this was a mistake in translation at

    23 Mr. Blaskic's office, but in this case we have the

    24 Croatian original.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: All right. You can develop

  46. 1 that in your redirect. Perhaps Colonel Blaskic should

    2 also have asked for disciplinary measures for his

    3 translators at the time, but for now I would like the

    4 Prosecutor to be able to ask the questions he wants of

    5 General Blaskic.

    6 MR. KEHOE:

    7 Q. General, in a document that you signed to the

    8 International Community, you noted that these units,

    9 the 4th Military Police Battalion, Vitezovi, Tvrtko II,

    10 and Zuti were under your command, the command of the

    11 3rd Operative Zone commander, which was you; isn't that

    12 right?

    13 A. I have the document that you're talking about

    14 here, 456/37, in the Croatian language and it is quite

    15 clear. Unfortunately, at that time, I really did not

    16 know a word of English and I did not understand

    17 either. I did not mean to say that all --

    18 JUDGE JORDA: What's in the Croatian

    19 language? Let's not spend any more time on this. What

    20 does it say in Croatian? Can we see it on the ELMO,

    21 and let's have the interpreters interpret it for us.

    22 Let's move forward. I think we're getting a little bit

    23 lost this afternoon.

    24 All right. Mr. Usher, would you give me the

    25 French version, please? We have the version in

  47. 1 Croatian. Would you give the Judges the English

    2 version, please? I have it in French.

    3 It says: "To all brigades." Could I ask the

    4 interpreters to translate the addressees of the

    5 document, that is, for Judge Shahabuddeen and for Judge

    6 Rodrigues, both the English and in French. I would

    7 like the Croatian version to be put on the ELMO and

    8 that it be translated in respect of the most important

    9 point, that is, the addressees.

    10 Mr. Nobilo, would you read it out, please?

    11 Don't you have it?

    12 Mr. Kehoe, yes?

    13 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I note that the

    14 witness sent out two versions, a version in B/C/S that

    15 he signed and a version in English that he signed at

    16 the time.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that's right, but the

    18 witness has the right to point out that perhaps this

    19 was not exactly the correct translation even if his

    20 defenders can do it during their redirect. So that we

    21 don't waste too much time let's try to throw light on

    22 the problem immediately.

    23 I ask, in respect of what is on the ELMO,

    24 whether the Judges can have the translation first of

    25 the document that's on the ELMO. I have the

  48. 1 impression, in respect to the French version, that it's

    2 addressed to all brigades. What does it say? Let's

    3 continue. "To all brigades and autonomous units"; is

    4 that right? Yes, go ahead. Please translate the rest.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Perhaps I can read it out. It

    6 says: "To all brigades and independent units." Then

    7 the next line says, "MTD, LARD, the 4th Battalion of

    8 the Military Police, Logistics Base Stojkovici, PPN

    9 Vitezovi, Tvrtko II, and Zuti" and nowhere does it say,

    10 "Under my command."

    11 JUDGE JORDA: So there are two documents that

    12 were issued on the same day. I'm going to ask the --

    13 have the Prosecutor ask the witness were there two

    14 documents. Do you have an explanation? Was the

    15 addressee indicated on the -- perhaps it means the same

    16 thing.

    17 I have the impression that the version you're

    18 referring to, Mr. Nobilo, talks about the distribution

    19 here, which is exactly the same. Could we bring it

    20 back up? For example, in the present version, on the

    21 left lower corner it says, "Made in three copies."

    22 Perhaps that is the only difference.

    23 MR. NOBILO: But it also says, "Copies to,"

    24 one to those whom it was addressed to, one to the

    25 operative teaching department, and one to archives, but

  49. 1 these are two identical orders. Only this part is

    2 different in terms of who copies are sent to.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Could we say that in the

    4 document that you were referring to, and the Judges

    5 thank you for having called their attention to this

    6 point, could one consider that when the Prosecutor

    7 says, "To all brigades and independent units" in one

    8 the version, that is the English version, in actuality,

    9 in the version that you're alluding to, "All of the

    10 brigades" is at the bottom on the left side; is that

    11 right?

    12 MR. NOBILO: In the Croatian version, in the

    13 top right-hand corner it says who all the addressees

    14 are, that is to say, all brigades, independent units,

    15 et cetera, whereas in the English text, the addressees

    16 are in the left-hand bottom corner. However, the

    17 significant difference is that in the English text it

    18 says that it is sent to special purpose units that are

    19 under the command of the commander of the Operative

    20 Zone. That does not exist in the Croatian language,

    21 the one that Blaskic understood then.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. All

    23 right. Mr. Kehoe, please ask your questions, because

    24 we know that there is this slight problem here.

    25 Mr. Kehoe?

  50. 1 MR. KEHOE:

    2 Q. General, did you inform the International

    3 Community that Zuti, this independent unit, was under

    4 your command?

    5 A. All special purpose units were under the

    6 command of my superiors, that is to say, the head of

    7 the defence department, the head of the security

    8 service. If I had a conversation -- I do not recall

    9 having had a conversation with representatives of the

    10 International Community about the structure. Perhaps I

    11 talked about that too but, specifically, I do not

    12 recall whether we had a conversation, because these

    13 documents, 456/37, pertain to agreements on a ceasefire

    14 in June 1993, but these special purpose units under my

    15 direct command, no, they were never under my direct

    16 command.

    17 Q. Let us move on, General. Now, after the

    18 military police commander became Mr. Marinko Palavra in

    19 early August 1993, you mentioned to him in a

    20 conversation, and I note on page 16752 of Mr. Palavra's

    21 testimony, that there were criminal elements not only

    22 within the military police but also the Vitezovi and

    23 the Zuti. So as of August when Mr. Palavra took over,

    24 there continued to be criminals within the Zuti unit;

    25 correct?

  51. 1 A. There were persons with a criminal record,

    2 but the greatest problem was to identify the

    3 perpetrators of these crimes. That was the major

    4 problem that the military police had in this area after

    5 Palavra became commander.

    6 Q. When Captain Whitworth testified on page

    7 10361 at line 11 that "Zuti seemed to have an endless

    8 supply of weapons," was that also true?

    9 A. I don't know what kind of a supply of weapons

    10 you are referring to that was under his control. I

    11 know that Captain Whitworth was the organiser of the

    12 meeting between Mr. Asim Fazlic, that is to say, to buy

    13 explosives for the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Zuti

    14 was a merchant and he traded with Bosniak Muslims, and

    15 he had very good trade relations with them, especially

    16 in view of the black market. But I don't know which

    17 context you're placing this, that is, in terms of the

    18 arms supplied during a total blockade and isolation of

    19 this area, that is to say, Central Bosnia.

    20 Q. Let me turn to the cross-examination

    21 questions by Mr. Hayman of Mr. Whitworth concerning

    22 Grbavica, and the question on page 10419 was:

    23 "Q Did Zuti come with a group of men to

    24 loot and scavenge?"

    25 We're talking about after the Grbavica

  52. 1 attack. His answer is:

    2 "A I don't recall seeing Zuti.

    3 Q Zuti was from Nova Bila; correct?

    4 A Nova Bila, Novi Travnik, yes.

    5 Q How do you recall that people came from

    6 Nova Bila specifically if you didn't see

    7 Zuti or some indication of Zuti's men?

    8 A There were a lot of people in Nova Bila

    9 than there were Zuti, and there were

    10 numerous flatbed trucks, and I knew a

    11 lot of people in Nova Bila whom I dealt

    12 with when doing the evacuations and

    13 could identify items and trucks that I

    14 had seen in the vicinity during the

    15 looting."

    16 Now, General, was Zuti involved in the

    17 looting in Grbavica?

    18 A. I am not aware of his participation, and I

    19 imagine that the witness, Lee Whitworth, replaced this

    20 by the Tvrtko unit from Nova Bila. They did take part

    21 in the Grbavica operation because they came from the

    22 same area, and they did take part, but they did not

    23 loot Grbavica. Grbavica was looted by refugees, mostly

    24 refugees from the municipalities of Travnik and

    25 Zenica. The civilian police killed one of the refugees

  53. 1 during looting, but they were not in the position to

    2 stop further looting.

    3 Q. To your knowledge, you don't know if Zuti and

    4 his men were involved in looting or not; is that right?

    5 A. I do not have any information as to their

    6 participation. I did not receive any information to

    7 that effect, whether there were such individuals. I

    8 really do not recall having received such information.

    9 Q. Now, General, Zuti was shot and paralysed in

    10 a gun battle between criminal groups on the 22nd of

    11 October, 1993; is that right?

    12 A. Well, this was a conflict in Novi Travnik,

    13 and he was paralysed, and that is true, yes, that he

    14 remained paralysed.

    15 Q. That took place on the 22nd of October, I

    16 think you told us, 1993?

    17 A. I can check the exact date if it's important,

    18 but it was around that date that this incident

    19 occurred, in October 1993.

    20 Q. Now, General, let me just refresh your

    21 recollection about an incident and time, and you told

    22 us that on the 30th of April, 1993 that Brigadier

    23 Petkovic came to Vitez and gave a speech to you and

    24 your staff. On page 19082 at line 13, he noted:

    25 "... the town is full of snipers, gangs, and

  54. 1 the ordinary men in the street is tired of all of this

    2 and they've had enough of all of this, and they're

    3 waiting for this to be over. So take all measures to

    4 control these groups in the area."

    5 Now, one of the criminal groups that he is

    6 talking about there is Zuti and his group; isn't that

    7 right?

    8 A. Let me just have a look, please.

    9 Q. The 30th of April, 1993.

    10 A. I think that this context is related to what

    11 Brigadier Petkovic or, rather, General Petkovic said,

    12 and this was in relation to the general situation in

    13 the town of Vitez. When he talked about snipers in the

    14 town and that area, he was referring to the snipers

    15 that were operating from Stari Vitez and individuals

    16 from the HVO. However, he did not refer to the

    17 criminal group of Zuti because they operated in the

    18 territory of the municipality of Travnik, that is to

    19 say, a completely different area. So that's not the

    20 way I understood him, nor is that the way he emphasised

    21 it in his statement, that is to say, he did not

    22 specifically highlight that criminal group or another

    23 criminal group.

    24 Q. So is your testimony, General, so I

    25 understand you correctly, is it your testimony that

  55. 1 when Petkovic noted, and I quote what you said:

    2 "He said the town is full of snipers, gangs,

    3 and the ordinary men in the street is tired of all

    4 this, and they've had enough of all this and they're

    5 waiting for this to be over. So take all measures to

    6 control these groups in this area, and they should not

    7 act as they wish to. Civilians have to be defended.

    8 Chaos is a folly for all. Let the military police

    9 arrest individuals."

    10 Now, the criminal groups that Petkovic is

    11 telling you and these others that must be suppressed,

    12 do those criminal groups include Zuti and his men or

    13 not?

    14 A. When Petkovic spoke about this matter, I

    15 believe he had in mind the town of Vitez because the

    16 meeting was held in Vitez, whereas Zuti and his group

    17 were active in the Travnik municipality area, that is,

    18 a neighbouring municipality, neighbouring on Vitez.

    19 Whether General Petkovic had that group in mind or not,

    20 I did not have a chance to exchange opinions as to

    21 that. I just believe that he was talking about the

    22 situation in Vitez because he held the meeting in

    23 Vitez.

    24 Q. Had you told General Petkovic, in all these

    25 communiqués that you had back and forth, about the

  56. 1 problems you had with people like Zuti? Had you told

    2 him that?

    3 A. I don't know what contacts you mean. I

    4 informed General Petkovic of all the more important

    5 events and formations in the Operative Zone area. At

    6 that time, we discussed the war crime that occurred in

    7 Ahmici mostly, that is to say, prior to the meeting

    8 that General Petkovic held with my command.

    9 Q. Did you tell him in all of the reports that

    10 you sent to him about the problem with this fellow Zuti

    11 and his band of thieves? Did you ever tell him

    12 anything about that?

    13 A. I informed General Petkovic about all the

    14 groups that were active in the region; however, Zuti as

    15 an individual could not be recognised in the region by

    16 criminal groups or criminal acts, but criminal groups

    17 would use his name. He personally engaged in trade,

    18 and with the Bosniak Muslims, he had communications

    19 throughout and relationships with them throughout. So

    20 it was not he himself that manifested activities of

    21 this kind but groups who would use his name. Except on

    22 the 27th of February, he didn't take part in any of the

    23 events, and he was a member of the military police at

    24 the time.

    25 Q. Now, General, we're talking about the same

  57. 1 man who broke prisoners out of the Kaonik gaol, aren't

    2 we? I mean, Zuti is the same man, isn't he?

    3 A. Yes, we're talking about the same man, but

    4 something else is being created here. He did not have

    5 the same function. When he broke out the prisoners, he

    6 was commander of the company, and it was an armed

    7 uprising. So he was the commander of the company of a

    8 military police company, and he stood up against the

    9 command of the battalion because one of the soldiers or

    10 sympathisers were placed in prison by the commander of

    11 the battalion. So this was an incident and a settling

    12 of accounts within the military police which is

    13 subordinate to the head office of the military police.

    14 Q. The bottom line, General, is that when he did

    15 that, that was a very, very serious crime, wasn't it?

    16 A. When he did that within the military police,

    17 of course, it was a serious crime, but for that crime,

    18 it was the head office of the military police that was

    19 responsible, that is to say, within the institution of

    20 the military police. That is where a crime had taken

    21 place, perpetrated by the commander of a company

    22 against the commander of a battalion.

    23 Q. General, let me refer you to your typed-out

    24 chronology, and take a look at the 4th of July, 1993.

    25 While you're doing that, I'll read to you what you said

  58. 1 on page 19406, your --

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Let the witness go back to his

    3 own chronology, and then you can say what you want.

    4 Thank you.

    5 MR. KEHOE: Yes. I apologise,

    6 Mr. President.

    7 A. You said the 4th of July, 1993, did you?

    8 Q. Correct.

    9 A. I've looked at my chronology.

    10 Q. Let me read to you, General, what you

    11 testified to this Court:

    12 "A On the 4th of July, 1993, I received

    13 information from the Military

    14 Intelligence Service that the BH army

    15 was grouping significant forces in the

    16 village of Zivcici which was in the

    17 Fojnica municipality and that it was

    18 bearing forces for offensive operations,

    19 probably in the direction of Fojnica,

    20 and from the security service, I was

    21 informed that three members of the

    22 Vitezovi had committed suicide while on

    23 duty with that unit."

    24 Do you have any information in your

    25 chronology about Zuti, Zarko Andric?

  59. 1 A. I do not for that day. I have no information

    2 for that day, and that corresponds to what I said.

    3 Q. Let me show you an order, General.

    4 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    5 685, 685A for the English version.

    6 MR. KEHOE:

    7 Q. There is no French copy of this, General, so

    8 we will read this. Firstly, is that your signature,

    9 General?

    10 A. Yes, that is my signature.

    11 Q. Is that your stamp?

    12 A. Yes, that is the stamp of the Central Bosnia

    13 Operative Zone.

    14 Q. Let us read this, dated 4 July, 1993, on HVO

    15 letterhead.

    16 "Pursuant to provisions of Article 34,

    17 paragraph 2 of the Decree on the OS /Armed Forces/ of

    18 the HVO /Croatian Defence Council/ of the HZ

    19 HB /Community of Herceg-Bosna/ - Final Version, and the

    20 approval given by the Supreme Commander of the OS HVO

    21 HZ HB, number 396/2 of 27 June 1992, the Commander of

    22 the OZ SB, hereby Appoints to the OZ SB Command:

    23 1. Mr. Zarko Andric as Assistant Commander

    24 for the Active Forces of the OZ SB.

    25 2. This appointment and establishment post

  60. 1 are temporary and valid until further notice.

    2 Signed, Commander Tihomir Blaskic."

    3 Now, General, this man who your counsel has

    4 described as a Mafioso boss and that you have described

    5 as a criminal, you appoint as the assistant commander

    6 for the active forces for the Central Bosnia Operative

    7 Zone on the 4th of July, 1993, don't you?

    8 A. Yes, that is true, and I did so to pacify him

    9 and to place him under any kind of control. At that

    10 time, for a military settling of accounts for him in

    11 any way there wasn't the power to do so, and he became

    12 assistant commander for the active forces which, in

    13 fact, did not exist in the Central Bosnia Operative

    14 Zone. We were only to create forces of that kind.

    15 After that, there were no major incidents after this

    16 appointment.

    17 Q. Except the fact that there was the shoot-out

    18 in October where one boss was shot and killed and Zuti

    19 was shot and paralysed; is that right?

    20 A. Nobody was killed. The shoot-out did not

    21 take place in that way. There was a settling of

    22 account between two commanders. On the one hand there

    23 was Zuti and on the other there was a commander called

    24 Tuka, and Zuti was wounded.

    25 Several days after that, there was -- a

  61. 1 killing took place perpetrated by his sympathisers,

    2 Zuti's sympathisers in Vitez. So that the settling of

    3 accounts was not between two criminals. Commander Tuka

    4 was commander in the Travnik Brigade.

    5 Q. Now, General, is this your idea of ensuring

    6 that criminals are removed from the HVO and don't have

    7 any influence in the HVO? Is this your idea of how to

    8 bring that out, by making Zuti a commander within the

    9 Hotel Vitez?

    10 A. That was not my idea. Zuti was never

    11 commander at the Vitez Hotel. From this order you can

    12 see that he is assistant for the active forces. At

    13 that time, in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, there

    14 was not a single active unit. So professional units

    15 began with the formation of a 3rd Guards Brigade on the

    16 15th of January, 1994. Zuti performed his function in

    17 a training centre in Nova Bila, and that is where he

    18 was in charge of the training of recruits. He helped

    19 logistically and so on. That was the only possible way

    20 at that time of placing him under any form of control

    21 whatsoever, because the military police did not have

    22 the strength to settle accounts with him at the time

    23 when we were under total encirclement.

    24 Q. General, you didn't tell us about this

    25 appointment when you were testifying in

  62. 1 direct-examination in response to questions by

    2 Mr. Nobilo, did you?

    3 A. My testimony did not contain details on every

    4 report I issued. Here we can see that until the 4th of

    5 September almost 70 documents were issued with the

    6 reference number 01. Had I testified on every order,

    7 it might have taken two years for me to testify. So I

    8 did not have occasion to say anything in this regard

    9 because it would have taken up much more time.

    10 Q. General, after Zuti was shot, you issued

    11 documentation to ensure that Zuti, who was shot in a

    12 gunfight with another gang, would receive a pension

    13 from the HVO?

    14 A. First of all, let me repeat before this

    15 Tribunal, Zuti was not wounded in this settling of

    16 accounts with the gang but in the conflict with the

    17 commander named Tuka.

    18 Second, for every wounded individual,

    19 regardless of the unit he belonged to, I cared for, and

    20 that is what I asked my subordinates to do. So for

    21 every wounded person to receive a pension and not only

    22 a pension but medical treatment and everything

    23 necessary under such conditions.

    24 I don't know how these pension systems worked

    25 and what the legal procedure was. That was done by a

  63. 1 separate service within the HVO, a separate department,

    2 but I do believe that he received a pension as well

    3 because in the first period, he was a member of the

    4 military police. When he stopped working for the

    5 military police, he was a member of the HVO, just as

    6 any other military recruit in the enclave and in the

    7 encirclement was.

    8 Q. Let us turn to the next document on that

    9 score, General, another order signed by you on the 24th

    10 of October 1993.

    11 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 686, 686A

    12 for the English version.

    13 MR. KEHOE:

    14 Q. General, this is an order of the 24th of

    15 October, 1993. At 1600 -- actually, it is a

    16 certificate signed by you delineating Zarko Andric,

    17 also known as Zuti, a period of service in the HVO. We

    18 will read it:

    19 "Certificate. Mr. Zarko Andric, son of

    20 Vinko, born 12 June, 1961 in Travnik, has held the

    21 following posts in the HVO units:

    22 "1. 1 September, 1992, he held the post of

    23 commander of the 2nd Company of the 4th Military Police

    24 Battalion. He was relieved of this post on 15 March by

    25 the head military police administration.

  64. 1 "2. April 1993 until 4 July, 1993, he held

    2 the post of commander of the special purpose unit of

    3 the Frankopan Brigade.

    4 "3. Pursuant to Article 34, paragraph 2 of

    5 the Decree of the Armed Forces of the Croatian

    6 Community of Herceg-Bosna, final version, and the

    7 approval of a supreme commander of the armed forces for

    8 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna ..."

    9 It gives the number of:

    10 "... 396/92, dated 27 June, 1992 ..."

    11 There's an illegible.

    12 "... Mr. Zarko Andric was appointed commander

    13 of the Vitez military district for the active duty

    14 forces of the Vitez military district (document

    15 no. 01-7-71/93)."

    16 The previous order.

    17 "He will hold this post until further

    18 notice."

    19 Now, General, this was a document that was

    20 executed by you two days after Zuti was shot and

    21 paralysed by Tuka and his men; right?

    22 A. The document was compiled by my assistant for

    23 personnel affairs, Mr. Zoran Pilicic, and I signed the

    24 document. It can be clearly seen from the document

    25 that he was commander of the military police company,

  65. 1 then a member of the Frankopan Brigade and, finally,

    2 assistant for the active duty forces. The active

    3 forces is something that we were to undertake to form

    4 in the future.

    5 Q. So from April 1993, when he took a position

    6 in the Frankopan Brigade, until the date of this

    7 certificate, the 24th of October, 1993, Zuti was under

    8 your command as a member of the Frankopan Brigade and

    9 then as a member of your staff; isn't that right?

    10 A. Zuti was under the command -- my direct

    11 command, and from point 3 you can see that was so from

    12 the 7th, 1993. From April 1993, as commander of the

    13 special purposes unit of the B formation, he was not

    14 under the direct command of the Operative Zone but he

    15 was under the direct command of the chief of the main

    16 staff or the defence department, depending on how the

    17 special purpose unit was registered, although I'm not

    18 sure whether that particular special purpose unit ever

    19 completed its registration process and the signing of

    20 an agreement and whether it was introduced into the

    21 structure of the HVO by registration, because there

    22 were a lot of changes.

    23 If a professional agreement was not signed

    24 with the defence department, then he was under the

    25 command of the Frankopan Brigade and my own command.

  66. 1 JUDGE JORDA: You've answered.

    2 MR. KEHOE:

    3 Q. General, are you saying that when he was in

    4 the special purpose unit of the Frankopan Brigade, you

    5 had no authority to discipline members of the special

    6 purpose units of the Frankopan Brigade? Is that your

    7 testimony?

    8 A. Could you repeat the question, please? I

    9 wasn't able to follow it.

    10 Q. The Zuti special purpose unit that were part

    11 of the Frankopan Brigade, did you or did you not have

    12 authority to discipline members of the special purpose

    13 unit Zuti which was part of the Frankopan Brigade? Did

    14 you or did you not have such authority?

    15 A. If that special unit was of the B type and

    16 registered with the defence department, then I did not

    17 have the authority. Neither did the commander of the

    18 brigade. If I was not -- I'm not certain whether it

    19 had defined its statistic with us and the defence

    20 department. So if he did not sign the agreement and

    21 contract with the defence department, then that unit

    22 was in the formation of the Frankopan Brigade and then

    23 I did have disciplinary authority over it.

    24 Q. Let me show you Defence Exhibits 237 and

    25 239. Take a look at both of them, General.

  67. 1 JUDGE JORDA: This is D239; correct?

    2 MR. KEHOE: And 237.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: We don't have the 237, D237.

    4 We don't have it. So try to explain this to us, since

    5 you're making comparisons, explain what you're doing,

    6 to us, please.

    7 MR. KEHOE: These are two disciplinary

    8 orders, that were signed by the accused, of two

    9 individuals that were in the PPN Zuti unit as part of

    10 the Frankopan Brigade.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Thank you very much.

    12 Please proceed.

    13 MR. KEHOE:

    14 Q. Now, General, these two Defence documents

    15 reflect that you had the authority to discipline

    16 members of the Zuti PPN unit, the special purpose unit,

    17 which was part of the Frankopan Brigade and you did, in

    18 these two Defence exhibits, 237 and 239; isn't that

    19 right?

    20 A. (No translation)

    21 Q. Excuse me, General. We're not getting a

    22 translation. If you can just hold on. I apologise.

    23 A. The date is the 26th of November, 1993, and I

    24 just have to look it up in my notes, please. I would

    25 like to look at my chronology just to find one date, if

  68. 1 possible. Thank you.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, have you found

    3 what you're looking for? I think -- do you really need

    4 your chronology immediately? I think this is a simple

    5 question. On the 26th of November, 1993, did you take

    6 disciplinary measures?

    7 Is that what you're asking, Mr. Prosecutor?

    8 MR. KEHOE: That's correct, Mr. President.

    9 A. Mr. President, there was a reorganisation of

    10 the HVO, and on the 23rd of July or the beginning of

    11 August 1993, I had direct command over the military

    12 police. Then the special purpose units of the B type

    13 were dismantled, that is to say, Tvrtko and all the

    14 other B-type units.

    15 I do believe that in November that no PPN

    16 special purpose unit Zuti existed. So that kind of

    17 unit did not exist at all by that time because

    18 reorganisation had come into being.

    19 Now, I would like to see when that

    20 reorganisation actually started. That's why I need to

    21 look it up.

    22 MR. KEHOE:

    23 Q. Well, General, if you want to look at that

    24 during the break, we'll move on to a different question

    25 and we'll hold that question in abeyance. We'll just

  69. 1 talk about the period of time --

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, you could do that during

    3 the break because these orders have to do with special

    4 units. Mr. Boro Lovrenovic, who was sent to the

    5 special unit, and Biljaka, who was sent to a special

    6 unit. All right. You'll check on that.

    7 Please continue, Mr. Kehoe.

    8 MR. KEHOE:

    9 Q. General, as of the 4th of July, 1993, when

    10 you appointed Zuti as an assistant commander of the

    11 military district for active duty forces, you certainly

    12 had the power to discipline him at that point, didn't

    13 you?

    14 A. Power over whom? To discipline who?

    15 Q. A member of your staff, Zarko Andric. Zuti.

    16 You, as the commander of the Central Bosnia Operative

    17 Zone, had the power, after you appointed him as a

    18 commander, to discipline him, didn't you?

    19 A. Yes. Yes.

    20 Q. After the 4th of July, 1993, Zuti did not

    21 stop being a thief, did he?

    22 A. I do not have any information of that kind.

    23 That he continued to be a thief, I already said that,

    24 in fact, he was a merchant and that that's what he --

    25 he traded. So apart from the incident with the

  70. 1 military police, there were those who would use his

    2 name, but to discover the perpetrator and arrive at

    3 him, that was pretty tough, a difficult thing to do.

    4 Q. General, on page 19788, you described Zuti as

    5 a local criminal gang leader. Now, after the 4th of

    6 July, 1993, did he stop being a local criminal gang

    7 leader?

    8 A. Those were rumours that were present in the

    9 region, circulating in the region. He never ceased

    10 being a leader. But at all events, at that time that

    11 was the only way of placing him under control of some

    12 kind. I think it was worse to let him do what he

    13 wanted, according to his own free will and have him

    14 outside any kind of control.

    15 Q. General, how big was the convoy that Zuti and

    16 his men stole on the 15th of April, 1993? How many

    17 trucks?

    18 A. There were -- I think that was -- the

    19 incident with the convoy took place before that,

    20 because we tried to return it on the 15th of April, but

    21 there were about 30 to 35 motor vehicles in all. There

    22 was some passenger cars. I'd have to have a look at my

    23 data to see exactly how much.

    24 Then we looked at the position where the

    25 convoy disappeared from, Putici to Nova Bila. Once

  71. 1 again, we had to contact the local leaders. This was

    2 in April 1993.

    3 Q. And Zuti did it, didn't he? He stole the

    4 convoy, he and his men.

    5 A. Direct information as to the perpetrators,

    6 that is to say, who hijacked the convoys, linked to the

    7 complete investigation, I never received this

    8 information to determine the actual perpetrator, but

    9 his men were suspects, yes.

    10 Q. This is the same guy who breaks people out of

    11 gaol, steals convoys, loots - on the 15th it's brought

    12 to your attention - that you make the commander on the

    13 4th of July, 1993, it's all the same man, in your

    14 efforts to suppress crime; is that right?

    15 A. Yes. But you must bear in mind the context

    16 in which all this took place. When he attacked the

    17 military police, he was a member of the military

    18 police. Later on, the military police wouldn't have

    19 anything to do with him and left him to work on his own

    20 bat, at his own initiative. That was the only way that

    21 we could place him under some kind of control, to

    22 appoint him commander of an army that did not exist.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: I think we're going round and

    24 round. We're repeating things here. I think the

    25 witness has already said all of that. He says that

  72. 1 Zuti was appointed by Colonel Blaskic, and then each of

    2 you can argue what should be concluded from this or

    3 should be deduced from this. Remember your time is at

    4 issue here, Mr. Prosecutor.

    5 MR. KEHOE:

    6 Q. Now, General, let us move ahead to the period

    7 of time when you ran your anti-crime programme

    8 Operation Pauk or Operation --

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Mr. Kehoe. Let me

    10 take advantage of this moment to remind you that there

    11 are essential points which are being discussed here.

    12 The Judges realise that you still have this week and

    13 next week; is that correct? We're going to take a

    14 break.

    15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. That's what's left

    16 approximately.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: You, of course, are going to

    18 speak to us about Ahmici in the next two weeks, aren't

    19 you?

    20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we're going to get

    21 there rapidly.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: You organise your work as you

    23 see fit, and, of course, far be it for me to tell you

    24 what to do, but we do have some powers according to the

    25 Rules. All right. We're going to take a 10-minute or

  73. 1 15-minute break. We're going to suspend the hearing

    2 for a few moments.

    3 --- Recess taken at 4.53 p.m.

    4 --- On resuming at 5.08 a.m.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing

    6 now.

    7 Mr. Kehoe?

    8 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.

    9 Q. Now, General, let us turn to Operation Pauk.

    10 Was Zuti arrested during Operation Pauk?

    11 A. As far as I remember, no, but it's very

    12 difficult for me to answer because there were over 360

    13 persons who were arrested during the Operation Pauk,

    14 during a very short period of time, but I think he was

    15 not arrested because the executive part of the

    16 Operation Pauk, I'm not sure whether it was carried out

    17 in that area. But I believe that during the

    18 preparatory stage, they did look at him, but there was

    19 a problem of evidence.

    20 MR. KEHOE: Let us give the witness Defence

    21 Exhibits 267, 268, and 269, please.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Is this Defence or

    23 Prosecution?

    24 MR. KEHOE: Defence.

    25 Q. These, of course, are your orders of the 15th

  74. 1 of April and the early morning hours of the 16th of

    2 April. Now, General, before we get into those orders,

    3 I want to read some of your testimony beginning on

    4 page, I believe it is, 18490. If there's a pagination

    5 problem, counsel, it may be 18479. It begins on line

    6 12, questioned by Mr. Nobilo:

    7 "Q After that --"

    8 And we are talking about the 15th of April.

    9 "Q After that, you had another meeting

    10 dealing with the abduction of that big

    11 convoy, the 15 trucks and 30 passenger

    12 vehicles with humanitarian aid. What

    13 were the conclusions of that meeting?

    14 A I had a meeting with the assistant for

    15 security because I was interested

    16 whether anything had been done following

    17 that request for return of goods, and

    18 the conclusion was that the military

    19 police were not able to retrieve this

    20 equipment, even though we knew at the

    21 time that the vehicles were parked on

    22 the side of the road between Han Bila

    23 and Nova Bila.

    24 Q Why was the military police not able to

    25 retrieve those vehicles?

  75. 1 A One of the answers was that an armed

    2 group was much more powerful than the

    3 police forces available and that an

    4 order for the military police to be able

    5 to carry out this, it would have to use

    6 force, and the armed group that was

    7 holding the convoy was much stronger."

    8 Before we continue on with the reading,

    9 General, this armed group that was much stronger than

    10 the military police was Zuti and his men; isn't that

    11 right?

    12 A. The armed group that held up the convoy

    13 mostly consisted of members of the criminal groups from

    14 the municipalities of Travnik, Novi Travnik, and partly

    15 the municipality of Vitez too. Some of them said that

    16 they were members of Zuti but not all of them were from

    17 that part of the Travnik municipality, that is to say,

    18 there were groups from Novi Travnik and from Vitez. It

    19 was hard to identify who stood behind this, but these

    20 were very strong and very mobile armed groups.

    21 Q. Let me continue reading on at 18480, line 6,

    22 the continuation of your testimony:

    23 "A ... The chief of staff, Mr. Nakic,

    24 happens to live very near Nova Bila, and

    25 he called me on the telephone and

  76. 1 confirmed that the vehicles from this

    2 convoy were still in Nova Bila, but he

    3 told me, 'I'm afraid those forces would

    4 mean nothing to these criminal groups.'

    5 Q So what did you decide to do in order to

    6 solve this problem?

    7 A The assistant for security suggested

    8 that we invite members of the military

    9 police, that is, the commander of the

    10 military police to a meeting and also to

    11 invite the commander of the Vitezovi, a

    12 representative of this group, his name

    13 was Zuti, and a member of the Tvrtkovci

    14 unit and to present to them the overall

    15 situation and problems that had arisen

    16 in connection with the taking of these

    17 goods and to ask for their assistance in

    18 retrieving them.

    19 Q Was this meeting organised and did they

    20 show up?

    21 A This meeting took place somewhere around

    22 17.00 and they did show up at it."

    23 So you have described the individual who was

    24 a representative of this group who stole the convoy as

    25 Zuti, did you not?

  77. 1 A. This was an individual who was present or,

    2 rather, invited to attend the meeting on the basis of

    3 the proposal of the assistant for security, together

    4 with the others who were present at the meeting. We

    5 certainly believed that he was the one who could help

    6 in returning the convoy because, unfortunately, the

    7 armed force of the military police was out of the

    8 question there.

    9 Q. Now, on page 18485, we begin the discussion

    10 of the reading of Defence Exhibit 267 and 268, the

    11 preparatory combat order which is 267 and the order to

    12 take action which is 268. You say at line 19, "I took

    13 both these orders and I read them out orally to the

    14 commanders present at the meeting." Now, the

    15 commanders who were present at the meeting to whom you

    16 read those orders were Pasko Ljubicic; is that right?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Darko Kraljevic?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Zarko Andric, Zuti?

    21 A. Just a minute.

    22 Q. At about line 18 of your testimony, you note

    23 that Zuti was present.

    24 A. I note that a member of Tvrtko was present.

    25 Let me just find this.

  78. 1 Q. General, would you like me to read your

    2 pertinent testimony regarding Zuti again, as being

    3 present at this meeting?

    4 A. I know that he was present at the meeting,

    5 but I'm not sure whether he was present when I was

    6 reading the order, during that part of the meeting, but

    7 I know that he was invited to the meeting and that he

    8 was present at the meeting. Could you please read that

    9 part of my testimony to me just to remind me?

    10 Q. You note: "I took both these orders and I

    11 read them out orally to the commanders present at the

    12 meeting. After I had read out the provisions of the

    13 order, after I had read them out, we concluded the

    14 meeting."

    15 MR. KEHOE: My pagination may be a tad off

    16 here, counsel, but I think it's 18485 at 19 or 20.

    17 MR. HAYMAN: It is. Where is the reference

    18 to Zuti? Do you have that?

    19 MR. KEHOE: The reference to Zuti, I believe,

    20 is at 18480, and his specific reference is line 18.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: What are you looking for,

    22 General Blaskic? What is the purpose of your search?

    23 You have just been read your statement.

    24 A. Mr. President, I'm trying to find in the

    25 transcript my own testimony in order to remind me of

  79. 1 this, and I'm trying to find this meeting and the

    2 circumstances. I know who was invited to the meeting,

    3 but a different part of the meeting was read out to

    4 me --

    5 JUDGE JORDA: For the time being, you've

    6 simply been asked whether Zuti was at the meeting.

    7 Isn't that right, Mr. Kehoe?

    8 A. The Prosecutor explicitly told me that in my

    9 testimony, I highlighted that Zuti was present at the

    10 meeting too when I read the order out, and now I tried

    11 to find it in my own testimony, that part of my

    12 statement, because I know that the order related to the

    13 members of the military police, Vitezovi, and Tvrtko,

    14 the commander of Tvrtko in that part in which I read

    15 the orders.

    16 MR. KEHOE:

    17 Q. General, you can find it at another date.

    18 We'll eliminate Zuti from the equation at this point,

    19 and we'll ask the questions about the other special

    20 purpose units and the military police in reference to

    21 Exhibits 267 and 268.

    22 You noted for us in Exhibit 267 and 268 that

    23 there are actual activities to be taken in the field by

    24 the 4th Military Police Battalion in Exhibit 267 and

    25 the Vitezovi, also in 267, and yet further activity to

  80. 1 be taken by the anti-terrorist platoon of the military

    2 police in Exhibit 268. General, my question concerns

    3 those units. At the time you issued those orders, you

    4 knew that there were criminals in the military police

    5 and you knew that there were criminals in the

    6 Vitezovi - we won't go into Zuti at this point - but

    7 for those two particular units, you knew that there

    8 were criminals. In those orders, did you order any

    9 special precautions to ensure that those criminals in

    10 those two units did not engage in any activities

    11 pursuant to these orders?

    12 A. First of all, we have to make certain

    13 distinctions in terms of criminals until these orders,

    14 and according to the information I received, not a

    15 single one of these persons committed a war crime.

    16 According to the information I had, it was not

    17 committed.

    18 Secondly, I did particularly bear in mind

    19 that all protagonists of criminal activity should be

    20 expelled from these units, and this can be seen from my

    21 chronology. I kept sending in requests to that

    22 effect. In 268 and in document 267, I very

    23 specifically defined this, particularly because of all

    24 the problems involved, I defined the objective of this

    25 activity and I limited the use of force, especially

  81. 1 from the point of view of command and control. I

    2 spelled out very precisely in a special section that I

    3 had to be informed about all extraordinary events, that

    4 is to say, that the orders are very specific and

    5 precise.

    6 Q. General, did you do anything in these orders

    7 to ensure that the people that you wanted to eliminate,

    8 these criminals that you wanted to eliminate from the

    9 military police and the Vitezovi, did not engage in

    10 activities that you ordered in 267 and 268? Did you do

    11 anything, and if you did, what did you do?

    12 A. First of all, you're asking me about these

    13 people, the 4th Battalion of the military police. I

    14 said that they had people who had a criminal record,

    15 and the ATG platoon of the 4th Battalion, I don't know

    16 whether it had such persons or not, this was a newly

    17 established unit according to the criteria of the

    18 military police administration.

    19 Furthermore, in order to prevent any kind of

    20 arbitrariness on the part of these individuals within

    21 the units, I spelled out very precisely in one of the

    22 items of this order, I said very specifically and very

    23 precisely -- if you read each and every point, you will

    24 see that it is very clearly defined, very precisely

    25 defined, what should be done, how it should be done,

  82. 1 when it should be done, and when I should be informed

    2 about this.

    3 Q. General, the bottom line is that you took no

    4 precautions, did you, to ensure that these criminals

    5 were not involved in these operations; isn't that a

    6 fact?

    7 A. I acted according to the provisions that were

    8 binding on me as commander, and I spelled out all the

    9 documents precisely. As for the decision, it can be

    10 seen in document 268. The commander of the unit knows

    11 his soldiers best of all, and it is up to him to decide

    12 who he is going to engage and how. I used all my

    13 abilities in order to exercise the greatest possible

    14 command control.

    15 Q. General, did you include any admonition in

    16 any of these orders to these brigades and these units

    17 that they have to protect and watch out for civilians?

    18 Did you include that anywhere in any of these orders,

    19 and if you did, could you point it out to us?

    20 A. The protection of civilians is a legal

    21 obligation for all, absolutely all persons, and in

    22 orders, we said what the doctrine of writing orders

    23 contains. Every order that I wrote was written in

    24 accordance with the doctrine that I was trained

    25 according to, and you can also look at a document

  83. 1 called "Guidelines for Writing Orders," and you can see

    2 that it is all spelled out very precisely. This is

    3 done in great detail. It should be done this way by a

    4 platoon commander or a company commander at the most.

    5 Q. Now, General, you testified in response to

    6 questions by Mr. Nobilo to two things, that you were

    7 dealing with a peasant army and that you had criminals

    8 in these units. Under those circumstances, as a

    9 commander, do you believe that you had to do more to

    10 ensure that the troops would protect civilians or

    11 less?

    12 A. You see, this question, what I think and what

    13 I thought would perhaps require a longer answer. From

    14 the moment I came, I did my best. There were thousands

    15 of soldiers going to Jajce, and I tried to tell every

    16 one of them about the importance of humane treatment in

    17 the battlefield and the humane treatment of all

    18 civilians.

    19 In September 1992, I issued a special

    20 document which specifically establishes the code of

    21 conduct for soldiers on the battlefield. However, I

    22 did not have any information as to anyone having

    23 committed a war crime before the 16th of April, and not

    24 a single one of these units committed a war crime

    25 according to the information that I had.

  84. 1 These orders were written according to the

    2 doctrine according to which I was trained, and they are

    3 far more precise because of the level of the

    4 commanders. Each and every one of these items can be

    5 analysed, and you can see that the place of operation,

    6 and the point of operations, and the purpose of

    7 operations, and the command over this command. Had

    8 every one of these commanders acted the way they should

    9 have, they would have informed me about each and every

    10 one of these events, et cetera.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: I think you've already said

    12 that.

    13 MR. KEHOE:

    14 Q. General, you had information, prior to

    15 issuing this order, that in Busovaca, at least where

    16 the Vitezovi was involved, that 53 houses had been

    17 burnt to the ground and another 112 had been damaged in

    18 the HVO-controlled area.

    19 A. I have already said that the problem of the

    20 conflict in Busovaca was regulated and resolved through

    21 the joint commission in Busovaca and that it was being

    22 resolved through the European Monitoring Mission. The

    23 total number of houses burnt is three times larger,

    24 although this is not really an argument, on the

    25 Croatian side as compared to the Bosniak Muslim side.

  85. 1 The problem was the identity of the perpetrators.

    2 In order to understand this sufficiently, you

    3 have to bear in mind the situation prevailing in

    4 Busovaca and where the houses were burned.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: That was not quite the question

    6 asked of you, General Blaskic. I think the question

    7 was to know whether, in light of why it was done in

    8 Vitezovi, specials measures were necessary.

    9 I think you've already answered. You said

    10 that you had taken certain specific measures. I think

    11 we have got to move forward.

    12 A. Mr. President, Vitezovi does not take part in

    13 Busovaca, according to my orders. This can be seen

    14 from the 250 documents related to Vitezovi, and I did

    15 not give any orders of this nature then and nor did I

    16 have any information that the Vitezovi took part in

    17 what happened in Busovaca.

    18 MR. KEHOE:

    19 Q. Well, General, you said with these orders

    20 that you gave very specific instructions to your

    21 troops. Take a look at 268. In 268, you tell the

    22 anti-terrorist platoon, the Jokers, to engage in

    23 activities to eliminate these terrorist groups; is that

    24 right?

    25 A. Sorry, which item are you reading now?

  86. 1 Q. I'm reading paragraph 2. Paragraphs 2.2 and

    2 2.3 in Exhibit 268.

    3 A. 2.3 relates to the military police; 2.2 does

    4 not pertain to the military police.

    5 Q. Your counsel said that you should read this

    6 and the other order together. Is that wrong or do we

    7 read these paragraphs individually?

    8 MR. HAYMAN: Form of the question,

    9 Mr. President.

    10 MR. KEHOE: I'm just trying to understand

    11 which way we should read these. Mr. Nobilo asked the

    12 witness whether or not we should read these two orders

    13 together and these paragraphs together, and the witness

    14 said, "Yes."

    15 JUDGE JORDA: You have to demonstrate what

    16 you're trying to show, Mr. Prosecutor. We're a bit

    17 lost here. What is the point of your question? You

    18 want to show that the witness has given very specific

    19 argument, especially in points 2.2 and 2.3; is that

    20 right?

    21 MR. KEHOE:

    22 Q. Let's look at the specificity of your

    23 orders. We have established that you didn't include

    24 any special cautions on the protection of civilians.

    25 Let's talk about what you told the anti-terrorist

  87. 1 platoon, to engage in fighting diversionary terrorist

    2 groups of the 7th Muslim Brigade, and we'll focus just

    3 on 2.3. You gave specific instructions to them to

    4 fight diversionary groups of the 7th Muslim Brigade; is

    5 that right?

    6 A. 2.3 is quite clear here. Within --

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Let me try to put things back

    8 in order because things are not moving right. I think

    9 that the witness answered -- well, you asked him

    10 several times whether he had taken any measures insofar

    11 as he was in a position to know things about the

    12 qualitative composition of delinquents and criminals in

    13 the units. You want to know whether he took any

    14 precautionary measures.

    15 Now we're having a dialogue of deaf people

    16 here. The witness says that very specific orders were

    17 given, 267, 268. I think the question is to ask

    18 Mr. Blaskic whether, in the very specific orders, one

    19 finds a trace of measures having to do with a certain

    20 degree of prudence in light of the composition of some

    21 of the special units like the Vitezovi or the Jokers.

    22 The witness also answered that question,

    23 Mr. Prosecutor. He said, more or less, that he had

    24 applied orders according to military doctrine that he

    25 had learned at the academy, I assume, and that as

  88. 1 regards the law, it was self-evident.

    2 Perhaps the question that could be asked,

    3 even if it is self-evident, is: General Blaskic, in

    4 268, for example, is there a trace of any type of

    5 prudence that you had demonstrated? That's what I want

    6 to be brought out. Then you can argue about that in

    7 the final arguments. Otherwise, we're not going to get

    8 out of this.

    9 Listen to my question, Mr. Blaskic. In the

    10 different orders, can we find a trace of any precaution

    11 that you would have taken in light of the fact that

    12 your units are composed of peasant soldiers, criminals,

    13 thugs, people who always wanted to get into fights?

    14 That's the question.

    15 Look at 268. It seems that that's the

    16 document that we were looking at.

    17 A. Can I answer that question?

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Not only can you, you can

    19 answer it, but you must answer it. All right. We're

    20 waiting to hear what you have to say.

    21 A. Mr. President, in document 268, in point

    22 number 1, everything I knew was spelled out in detail

    23 about the forces of the 7th Muslim Brigade, that is to

    24 say, a religious unit within the army of

    25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say, about its activity,

  89. 1 its terrorist activities, about acts that are

    2 well-known until then, and their forms of operating.

    3 Also, what is mentioned in detail is the deployment of

    4 this unit, in the first point. Then it --

    5 JUDGE JORDA: You're still not answering the

    6 question, General Blaskic, or else it's going to be

    7 very long. Try to be more concise.

    8 The question is a simple one. Is there a

    9 trace in your order of any measures which show certain

    10 precautions in respect of the civilian populations?

    11 I understand the answer you want to answer,

    12 saying that in light of the terrorist nature among the

    13 Muslims, you wanted to counter the terrorism. That's

    14 not really what the question is.

    15 A. Mr. President, I took special measures

    16 because in 2.3, when I gave tasks to the 4th Battalion

    17 of the military police, I once again said that the task

    18 of that unit is to act in the areas where the

    19 7th Muslim Brigade was deployed. You see, it says so

    20 in 2.3, that is to say, within areas of operation,

    21 location of the unit.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: It has a double meaning. We'll

    23 move to another question and you can argue that in your

    24 closing argument.

    25 You're giving a two-edged argument because

  90. 1 points 2 and 3 state clearly that you are in the act of

    2 establishing some kind of anti-terrorist brigades that

    3 were particularly rapid and energetic. Now, when you

    4 have a brigade that is to fight terrorism rapidly, one

    5 could ask whether they might be a little too energetic

    6 and too rapid in their responses.

    7 A. You see -- Mr. President, let me just say one

    8 thing. It is unusual that in point 2.3, again I'm

    9 referring to point 1, that is outside the doctrine,

    10 that is to say, that I'm telling the commander once

    11 again, in 2.3, to bear in mind point 1. So this is

    12 deviation from the doctrine because I want to underline

    13 once again what the point of this operation is.

    14 Furthermore, as far as security and safety

    15 measures are concerned --

    16 JUDGE JORDA: But safety measures for whom?

    17 Let me read this for the public:

    18 "3. Security and protection measures." The

    19 title is attractive, but we have to understand what is

    20 being protected, what is being made secure.

    21 "Security measures at command posts and

    22 commanding officers." The Prosecutor's question was

    23 not that. It was to prefer all useless, pointless,

    24 movements, to ensure protection of all information.

    25 This has to do with protecting civilians, not

  91. 1 information that is moving between the superiors and

    2 subordinates.

    3 I think this is a dialogue which isn't going

    4 anywhere, and you can go back to it when you have your

    5 final arguments. You say what you say, the Prosecutor

    6 says what he says, and the Defence says what it says.

    7 I don't think we can go any further than that. We want

    8 things to move forward, after all.

    9 I don't want to take the floor from you,

    10 General Blaskic, but try to move things forward. You

    11 speak about protective and security measures in the

    12 order, if I understand you correctly, but they're not

    13 protective measures for civilians, if I understand the

    14 translation correctly.

    15 A. I meant to draw your attention to point 6

    16 where command and control is mentioned, where, for the

    17 purposes of command and control, I'm saying that the

    18 system of control and command should be in continuity

    19 at all levels, that there should be an uninterrupted

    20 system of direction, and the command is to be secured

    21 at all levels, and that the regular reports are to be

    22 sent in, that is to say, in order to exercise the

    23 command and control over these units.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Well, that's your

    25 answer. We note it as having been given that way, and

  92. 1 we have no further comments to make about it.

    2 Mr. Kehoe, move on to another question in

    3 this subject or another subject or have I completely

    4 demolished your cross-examination? Excuse me if I

    5 have.

    6 MR. KEHOE: It's quite all right, Judge.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: I'm just trying to move things

    8 forward. Let's proceed.

    9 MR. KEHOE:

    10 Q. Now, General, let's look at order 268 where

    11 you give this order to the anti-terrorist platoon of

    12 the military police, in 2.3. This is the

    13 anti-terrorist platoon of the military police, the

    14 Jokers; isn't it?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Now, in this order where you allege that you

    17 are being specific, do you anywhere describe what one

    18 of this terrorists looks like, how they're dressed? Do

    19 you describe that?

    20 A. Which terrorists? I don't know which you

    21 mean.

    22 Q. The terrorists from the 7th Muslim Brigade

    23 that you're discussing in 2.3.

    24 A. All the data that I had about the 7th Muslim

    25 Brigade is contained in point 1. A description of what

  93. 1 they looked like, of what the members of the

    2 anti-terrorist group looked like, I don't know. I

    3 never saw a military order of that nature.

    4 Q. Well, I assume that you had reconnaissance

    5 platoons out patrolling, trying to find out who these

    6 people were, what they looked like, and where they were

    7 located specifically, didn't you, before you issued

    8 this order?

    9 A. Well, of course we had information who those

    10 individuals were and where they were located. We had

    11 that information, and that is what point 1 states.

    12 Now, as to what they looked like, those in the field

    13 knew what they usually looked like, what those members

    14 usually looked like, but I don't know the order of any

    15 commander who would say they look like that, they wear

    16 such and such a uniform, and their aspect is the

    17 following, because the diversionary groups are usually

    18 made up of three to five soldiers. They're very speedy

    19 in their operations. They are usually masked in some

    20 way and are detected too late.

    21 Q. You tell this anti-terrorist group, the

    22 Jokeri, that they are free to operate in the

    23 municipalities of Busovaca, Zenica, Travnik, Novi

    24 Travnik, and Vitez?

    25 A. In point 2.3, it is stated that they should

  94. 1 act according to the diversionary terrorist groups of

    2 the 7th Muslim Brigade where it is located in point 1

    3 of this particular order. So in the first paragraph, I

    4 refer to point 1 of order 268, and the bulk of the

    5 activity should be in the municipalities of Busovaca,

    6 Zenica, Travnik, Novi Travnik, and Vitez. That unit

    7 was intended to counteract diversionary terrorist

    8 groups, and the diversionary terrorist groups appear

    9 suddenly in the area.

    10 Q. That's fine. Let's take that comparison. In

    11 paragraph 1, where are the 7th Muslim Brigade troops in

    12 Busovaca? Where do you describe them in paragraph 1?

    13 They're not there, are they?

    14 A. They are not in the Busovaca area, but they

    15 are in the first neighbouring municipality. The

    16 diversionary terrorist groups never base themselves in

    17 the territory in which they are operating. They will

    18 go out, perform their operations, and withdraw to their

    19 base. So when, in point 1, the deployment of forces is

    20 mentioned, it mentions that part of the men are from

    21 Kakanj in Zenica, in neighbouring municipalities, that

    22 is.

    23 Q. Where are they in Vitez, according to

    24 paragraph 1? Because you tell the Jokeri that they can

    25 operate in Vitez as well. Where are they, the

  95. 1 7th Muslim Brigade, listed in paragraph 1?

    2 A. I have already said that the diversionary

    3 terrorist groups are manifesting their activities, that

    4 is to say, we usually learn about it once they have

    5 completed their operations. But parts of the

    6 7th Muslim Brigade units were in Stari Vitez and in the

    7 area of Preocica, Poculica. That's where those

    8 sections were. They could launch their operations from

    9 that area in any of the positions in Vitez

    10 municipality, and so could the ones from Zenica,

    11 because it wasn't very far off either.

    12 In fact, they did come in October 1993. They

    13 came from Ravno Rostovo and were operational in

    14 Rastovci, in the Novi Travnik municipality. They

    15 weren't in the town of Novi Travnik, but they launched

    16 their operation in Novi Travnik, in the town proper,

    17 and they came from Rastovci with the help of a convoy.

    18 Q. Now, General, do you think it was important

    19 for the Jokeri to know that you knew that there were no

    20 anti-terrorist groups in Ahmici? Do you think that was

    21 significant?

    22 A. I know and everybody knows that there were no

    23 anti-terrorist groups in Ahmici. According to all the

    24 reports that we received, no such groups existed in

    25 Ahmici.

  96. 1 Q. That's not my question. My question was: Do

    2 you think it was significant to inform the Jokeri that

    3 there were no anti-terrorist groups in Ahmici? Do you

    4 think that was important?

    5 A. In point 1, it was important to enumerate all

    6 the data and information we had as to where the 7th

    7 Muslim Brigade was based. Had I enumerated all the

    8 villages where there were no anti-terrorist groups,

    9 then it would be important to mention all the villages

    10 in the Vitez-Busovaca municipalities and, in fact, all

    11 the municipalities in Central Bosnia, but I set out in

    12 precise detail all the information I had in paragraph

    13 1, that is to say, where the units of the 7th Muslim

    14 Brigade were located and everything that we had

    15 knowledge of at that particular time.

    16 Q. Now, General, looking at this particular

    17 order, the actual choice of when the Jokeri was to

    18 operate was up to the commander of the 4th Military

    19 Police Battalion; isn't that right?

    20 A. That was also said to the other commanders as

    21 well, because we cannot know when a contact would be

    22 made and when a diversionary terrorist group would be

    23 discovered.

    24 Q. So by your order, General, the Jokeri was

    25 permitted to operate in Busovaca, Zenica, Travnik, Novi

  97. 1 Travnik, and Vitez with no specific instructions as to

    2 where the 7th Muslim Brigade was located, and they were

    3 allowed to do it at their own time frame; isn't that

    4 right?

    5 A. That is not right, because in point 2.3, I

    6 refer back to paragraph 1 of this order, paragraph 1

    7 stipulates, in great detail, everything that was known

    8 about the members of the 7th Muslim Brigade, that is to

    9 say, everything that they had done up till then, what

    10 they intended to do in the future and the concrete

    11 deployment of all command elements that we had linked

    12 to the 7th Muslim Brigade, so that it was very

    13 precisely stated.

    14 The basic command of the anti-terrorist

    15 groups, from the regulations of military groups, was to

    16 fight diversionary terrorist groups because that is why

    17 these units existed, for assignments of this kind, and

    18 that was their intentions. The term says so,

    19 "Anti-terrorist platoon." But I limit it to the

    20 municipalities where there had already been terrorist

    21 activities of this kind.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?

    23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: General, when you said a

    24 moment ago, "Everybody knows that there were no

    25 anti-terrorist groups in Ahmici," would you have been

  98. 1 including in that the 4th Military Police Battalion and

    2 the Jokers?

    3 A. Well, Your Honour, I did because the Jokers

    4 were used from the end of December 1992. They used a

    5 facility near the village of Ahmici, and there were

    6 never any major incidents. I do believe that had

    7 anti-terrorist groups existed, then probably they would

    8 have become manifest.

    9 However, there could have been the

    10 involvement and engagement of anti-terrorist groups

    11 from Preocica in the area of the village of Ahmici,

    12 which means that they weren't based there, they did not

    13 have their base there, but they could have been

    14 infiltrated into the region because that is what

    15 usually happens. They are infiltrated into the area in

    16 which they engage in their operations.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me ask you another

    18 question. Exhibit D268A was issued by you on 15 April,

    19 1993 at 15.45.

    20 A. Yes.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You issued an order of

    22 action. What's the English, Mr. Kehoe? I have the

    23 French before me.

    24 MR. KEHOE: It is "Order to take action" on

    25 268.

  99. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: "Order to take action."

    2 Is my impression correct that this order was issued by

    3 you both to independent brigades, such as the 4th

    4 Military Police Battalion, and also to normal HVO

    5 formations?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is my impression then

    8 correct that in this order, you were issuing

    9 instructions on the basis of authority to all of these

    10 formations?

    11 A. On the basis of the competence I had and the

    12 orders which, on the 15th of April, I was given by the

    13 chief of the main staff in the case of an all-out

    14 general attack by the BH army.

    15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And this order would

    16 remain in force on the following day?

    17 A. Yes, this order was to have remained in

    18 force. In the case of an attack, then all the units

    19 which were not directly subordinated to me were to be

    20 attached to me.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, General.

    22 MR. KEHOE:

    23 Q. General, let us summarise this particular

    24 order. You tell the Jokeri to go and "Take prisoner

    25 and destroy by quick and energetic actions diversionary

  100. 1 terrorist groups of the 7th [Muslim] brigade ..." You

    2 then tell them to "... destroy the accommodation

    3 facilities and return to base without accepting

    4 fighting." The area that they are to cover are the

    5 municipalities of Busovaca, Zenica, Travnik, Novi

    6 Travnik, and Vitez, and the commander of the 4th

    7 Military Police Battalion can decide when he wants to

    8 do this.

    9 General, that is a carte blanche to this unit

    10 to go and do what you want to do, go where you want to

    11 go, and go and do it when you want to do it; isn't that

    12 right?

    13 A. First of all, the interpretation I had

    14 received was that I commanded that prisoners of war be

    15 taken prisoner or even to be destroyed. That is not

    16 correct and that is not what this order states.

    17 Second, I have already said why I mentioned

    18 the areas of operation. You see that Busovaca, Zenica,

    19 Novi Travnik, and Vitez are mentioned, and they were

    20 the only areas in which the unit could be effective,

    21 that is to say, units intended to fight diversionary

    22 terrorist groups. This task, this assignment was

    23 copied out from the regulations of any, if we were to

    24 open it, military regulations treating fights against

    25 diversionary and terrorist groups. I refer to the

  101. 1 rules of company, platoon, battalion, brigades, rules

    2 and regulations governing them, the armed forces of the

    3 former Yugoslav People's Army, in fact.

    4 This was the type of formulation that was

    5 used in fighting diversionary terrorist groups. These

    6 were the principles to be adhered to, linked to arrests

    7 and so on, but I never read that prisoners should be

    8 liquidated, and it is not true. In order to ensure

    9 command control, I demand that the system of command be

    10 allowed to function intact.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: I think that's been said

    12 already. I didn't hear any question when you were

    13 speaking about liquidating prisoners.

    14 MR. KEHOE: No, Mr. President. I don't know

    15 what the translation was. I was reading the order, Mr.

    16 President, which says: "Take prisoner and destroy by

    17 quick and energetic action diversionary terrorist

    18 groups of the 7th [Muslim] brigade." That is the first

    19 line in the second paragraph at 2.3.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. If the interpretation is

    21 not good, of course, you cannot answer the question

    22 properly, General. But the question remains, and I

    23 would like you to try to answer it, we have a few

    24 moments left, the question is to know whether you gave

    25 carte blanche to those units to carry out quick and

  102. 1 energetic actions in the zones within the

    2 municipalities of Busovaca, Zenica, Travnik, Novi

    3 Travnik, and Vitez. If you say that that was in

    4 accordance with the military doctrine of Yugoslavia,

    5 well, I wouldn't know whether that is so, but the

    6 question is an important one.

    7 A. I did not issue an order, as the Prosecutor

    8 maintains, and I refer to point 6 of this order where I

    9 demand, in very precise terms, that I be informed of

    10 all the details and exceptionally if the need arises.

    11 So I demand reports.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: But the reports are done after

    13 the action has been carried out. We're talking about

    14 taking "quick and energetic actions in order to destroy

    15 diversionary terrorist groups of the 7th [Muslim]

    16 brigade," to destroy accommodations, and to "return to

    17 the base without accepting fighting." The activities

    18 are to be undertaken within the municipalities of

    19 Busovaca, Zenica, Travnik, Novi Travnik, and Vitez.

    20 That's what it says.

    21 A. I have already stated that this is the point

    22 that corresponds in content to all the principles and

    23 regulations of the former Yugoslav People's Army. When

    24 we describe, according to the rules of the former JNA,

    25 fighting against diversionary and terrorist groups,

  103. 1 then these are the actions that have to be stipulated

    2 in the second half of 2.3.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Well, that's an answer. You

    4 can continue.

    5 MR. KEHOE:

    6 Q. General, the reality of this situation is

    7 that when the Jokeri went in and massacred those people

    8 in Ahmici, you have provided yourself a perfect out by

    9 giving a vague order allowing these guys to do anything

    10 they wanted to do; isn't that right, General?

    11 A. That is not so. So please give me any rule

    12 and regulation for us to see whether the order was

    13 written in precise terms, as required by the rules and

    14 regulations, when dealing with fighting diversionary

    15 groups. I demanded that the system of the chain of

    16 command, control and command, be affected and when they

    17 entered. Then I learned at this Tribunal from the

    18 Prosecution witnesses what happened, but until the 16th

    19 of October, until 12.45, I had no direct knowledge as

    20 to the events that had taken place in the area.

    21 On the basis of this order, I say that they

    22 cannot have committed a war crime and that no soldier

    23 could have committed a war crime on the basis of this

    24 document because the order is very precise, and there

    25 is no corps commander who writes an order in as much

  104. 1 detail as this order has been written.

    2 Q. General, they did go in there on the morning

    3 of the 16th and massacre those people, didn't they?

    4 A. You quite possibly know this. I told you

    5 what I knew about what was linked to the perpetrators.

    6 Unfortunately, I do not have the identity of the

    7 perpetrators to this day. If I did have, I am certain

    8 that they would have been prosecuted.

    9 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, it's after 6.00.

    10 I'm about to move on to another topic.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: All right. I think you're

    12 right. We're going to stop here. We are adjourning

    13 until tomorrow at 2.00.

    14 The court stands adjourned.

    15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    16 6.03 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

    17 the 18th day of May, 1999, at 2.00 p.m.